College Football Insider Blog 

An inside look at the teams, players, coaches and trends that shape college football Saturdays

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]

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]

Vegas oddsmaker: Florida State favored to repeat

  • 1:31 pm Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

We interrupt the LeBron News Network to drop some college football knowledge on you.

Florida State is 11-2 to repeat as national champion in odds posted by Las Vegas sportsbook Bovada, followed by the usual suspects Alabama (6-1), Oregon (8-1), Auburn (9-1) and Ohio State (10-1).

The next 10 are: UCLA (14-1), Georgia (16-1), LSU (18-1), Michigan State (25-1), South Carolina (25-1), USC (25-1), Baylor (28-1), Florida (33-1), Wisconsin (33-1) and Ole Miss (40-1).

Other teams of interest: Notre Dame (40-1), Michigan (50-1) and Clemson (66-1).

As for the ACC title, the odds go like this: FSU (2-5), Miami (11-2), Virginia Tech [More]

Need a college football fix? ESPNU to replay 2013’s top games

  • 11:36 am Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

If you’re tired of watching soccer or tennis or just need a warmup for the upcoming football season, you can watch what ESPN is calling the best 25 games of 2013 later this month.

ESPNU will air many of the Top 25 College Football Games of 2013, beginning with two on July 21. The top five will be decided upon by the fans from a list that includes these games (You can vote here; it ends July 28):

Auburn vs. Alabama
Florida State vs. Auburn
Ohio State vs. Michigan
Texas A&M vs. Duke
Auburn vs. Georgia

I don’t know about you, but it’s [More]

Are Miami, Louisville, UNC or Virginia Tech potential SEC targets?

  • 12:11 pm Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Andy Johnston

The ACC has changed.

Maryland is gone. Pitt, Syracuse and Louisville are the new residents.

Maryland landed in the Big Ten, which also added Rutgers.

So where will the SEC look if it chooses to add a couple of teams?

The SEC guys at ESPN.com debated this in a column and came up with four potential SEC targets, eliminating Clemson and Florida State.

Greg Ostendorf, who covers Auburn for the website, said the SEC should look to adding Miami and Louisville.

Miami is a no-brainer, he wrote, because it would provide a natural rival for Florida, be “significant for recruiting as local kids would [More]

Tim Brando: No SEC teams will make four-team playoff

  • 11:41 am Friday, June 20th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

There’s no SEC bias in Tim Brando.

The SEC Network hired the longtime broadcaster earlier this month, but when gave his prediction for the four teams that would make up this year’s first college football playoff, no SEC team could be found.

He said UCLA will play Michigan State in one national semifinal and Florida State will play Oklahoma in the other.

Why I love @TimBrando Less than a month after he's hired by SEC Network, he predicts the first CFP will have NO SEC teams. Godspeed, Tim.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) June 20, 2014

Brando made the predictions during his [More]

Jameis Winston’s dad says son has 2 more years at Florida State

  • 8:47 am Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

You better get used to Jameis Winston in a Florida State uniform.

That’s according to his father Antonor Winston, who told AL.com that his son will play at least two more years at FSU.

“We want Jameis to succeed with one more year in baseball and two more years in football,” he told the website. “We’ve never strayed from our plan that he is going to be in college until he gets that degree.”

Winston is from Bessemer native and graduated from Hueytown High in Alabama.

Winston, who won the Heisman Trophy and led the Seminoles to the national championship as a [More]

Georgia’s Todd Gurley among Heisman favorites

  • 10:34 am Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by Andy Johnston
090212 uga football

You can find odds on everything these days, even how long Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kanye West will last.

So it’s no surprise that Heisman Trophy odds are already listed, nearly two months before the start of the season.

The favorite, according to Las Vegas sportsbook Bovada is the young man who walked away with the 25-pound bronze man last year — FSU QB Jameis Winston at 3-to-2.

Winston, who is a sophomore, could become the first player to repeat as Heisman winner since Ohio State RB Archie Griffin in 1974 and ’75, something that Johnny Manziel, [More]

ESPN: Arkansas is new ‘Running Back U.’

  • 2:15 pm Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Darren McFadden is one of the best running backs I’ve ever seen.

I still remember him thundering past me as I stood on the sideline at a couple of Arkansas games several years ago.

What a combination of power and speed. And injuries, which, unfortunately for him, have hampered his NFL career.

McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis, his teammates, gave the Razorbacks one of college football’s most feared backfields in the mid-2000s, one that has helped Arkansas claim the title as “Running Back U.” for the 2000s, according to ESPN.com.

Arkansas beat out Oklahoma, Alabama and Auburn in the new rankings.

ESPN [More]