College Football Insider Blog 

An inside look at the teams, players, coaches and trends that shape college football Saturdays
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Charter, ESPN finalizing deal to show SEC Network

  • 11:31 am Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Charter subscribers can breathe easy.

The cable company, which has 5.7 million customers in 29 states, including Georgia, and ESPN are finalizing a deal to televise the SEC Network in time for its launch on Aug. 14, a spokeswoman wrote in a release Wednesday morning.

Cable and satellite providers have gradually been adding the SEC Network, which will be available to about 65 million subscribers.

Charter joins Comcast, AT&T U-Verse, Cox Communications, Dish Network, Time Warner, Bright House Networks and Google Fiber as SEC Network providers.

Here are the football games set for the SEC Network through opening weekend.

Aug. 28

Texas A&M at South Carolina, [More]

More SEC underclassmen drafted than other conference

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Andy Johnston
Auburn's Tre Mason was one of many SEC players who have left with a year of eligibility remaining. (AP)

Steve Spurrier wouldn’t be surprised if RB Mike Davis leaves for the NFL after this season.

Davis will have a year of eligibility left, but Spurrier might help push him out the door.

“Mike Davis, if he has a big year, he’s going to go pro,” Spurrier told ESPN.com. “And we’re going to tell him to go pro, because he should. The lifespan of a running back is only a certain amount of years. If a young man after three years can go, we’re going to shake his hand and let him go. That’s why you keep recruiting more running [More]

Former Volunteers: Good riddance to Lane Kiffin, Derek ‘Doolittle’

  • 10:24 am Monday, July 28th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Several former Tennessee players got together in Chattanooga over the weekend to help at one of their former teammate’s football camps. The group included Al Wilson, Eric Westmoreland, Troy Fleming, Gerald Riggs Jr., DeAngelo Lloyd, Jabari Davis, Steven Marsh, Corey Larkins and Keyon Whiteside, who played for former coach Phillip Fulmer.

As expected, they had a lot of great things to say about Fulmer in this article in the Chattanooga Times Free Press, not so much for the two guys — Lane Kiffin (2009) and Derek Dooley (2010-12) — who followed him.

Why? Here’s how Tennessee finished under Kiffin and [More]

Rick Neuheisel latest to bash SEC teams, schedule

  • 11:50 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Steve Spurrier was right when he called this part of the year the “talking season.”

Now, Pac-12 Network commentator Rick Neuheisel is the latest person to bash the SEC, this time criticizing the conference’s November schedule and making snide comments about SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

“Their (the SEC’s) November is so vastly easier than any other conference … they can sit back and watch (contenders) fall off,” he said at the Pac-12’s media days. Remember, Neuheisel played QB at UCLA and has coached at Colorado, Washington and UCLA coach, which are all now Pac-12 teams.

Neuheisel: "I've got a Mike Slive [More]

Bob Stoops doesn’t like Nick Saban calling Sugar Bowl a ‘consolation’

  • 6:30 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

These coaching spats are getting out of hand.

I just profiled the ongoing verbal battle between South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, and now Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Alabama’s Nick Saban are going at it.

One day after Saban called the last season’s Sugar Bowl a “consolation game,” Stoops answered told ESPN: “That’s a good one.”

“They didn’t look like it was a consolation game on that first drive when they scored a touchdown and everyone thought they were going to rout us. I’ve been in plenty of those (non-national title games). We’ve played in a bunch [More]

Spurrier vs. Swinney growing into college football’s best reality TV

  • 2:34 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Season 6 of Spurrier vs. Swinney is off to an amazing start.

You have to love Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney and the verbal shoving match they have with one another. It’s so good, you wonder if they have an unstated understanding to pick at each other just to draw interest in the rivalry between South Carolina and Clemson.

They’ve gone at each other for five seasons, and even though the Gamecocks have won five straight over Swinney and his Tigers, he keeps coming back for more.

Which is fine with Spurrier.

He’s Yoda of the snide remark, a master at getting under a [More]

Bobby Petrino takes steps toward redemption at Louisville

  • 9:32 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Bobby Petrino is hated by many in Atlanta.

He’s hated by many in Arkansas.

He was — and might still be — hated by many in Louisville, a college and fanbase he left jilted when he bolted to coach the Falcons in 2007.

(Here’s a Mark Bradley blog from 2010 comparing Petrino with Lane Kiffin).

As you know, Petrino is back with Louisville, trying to rebuild his name and reputation.

He was all smiles and selflessness at the ACC Media Days this past weekend, relating stories for caddying for his daughter Katie, who plays golf for Louisville in a column by [More]

Finebaum book: Texas was prepared to pay Saban $100 million to leave Alabama

  • 4:27 pm Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Texas wanted Nick Saban so bad that Longhorns boosters were prepared to pay Alabama coach Nick Saban $100 million.

“Texas was dead serious about trying to money-whip Saban,” according to a new book, “My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why the SEC Still Rules College Football,” which popular radio show host Finebaum co-wrote with ESPN.com’s Gene Wojchiechowski.

“Depending on whom you talk to — Bama big hitters or Texas big hitters — the Longhorns were prepared to give Saban somewhere between a $12 and $15 million signing bonus and a salary package worth $100 million (plus performances).”

AL.com obtained an [More]

With more seats, Les Miles says LSU stadium will pump up the volume

  • 3:00 pm Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

That roar you’ve heard from somewhere west of the Mississippi River will grow in intensity this year.

LSU finished the end zone expansion to Tiger Stadium, raising its capacity to 102,321.

“If you thought we were loud before, we just got louder,” coach Les Miles said at SEC Media Days earlier today.

Les on Tiger Stadium: “We enjoy the style of people that come in there who are intimately attached to our football team.”— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) July 16, 2014

Tiger Stadium is now the second-biggest venue in the SEC, behind Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium. Nationally, it’s behind only Michigan (109,901), Penn State’s [More]

New national championship trophy is sleek, shiny

  • 11:41 am Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Say bye to the crystal football.

College football’s new national championship trophy looks like a priceless vase mixed with an Olympic torch. It’s sleek, is made of 24-karat gold, bronze and stainless steel and “features a focused football at the center of the base that rises to form an actual-size ball,” according to its release.

The new trophy, which had its coming-out party on Monday, coincides with the new college football playoff and the end of the BCS. It replaces that awkward trophy that looked like a piece of furniture with a football sticking out of the top.

Here are some details:

Manufacturer: Handcrafted [More]

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