College Football Insider Blog 

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

Ole Miss player says Alabama not ‘as good’ as in past

  • 2:01 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Ole Miss players are getting a little plucky.

The Rebels have a lot of things going for them.

They’re 4-0 for the first time since 1970.

They’re No. 11 in the land.

They have a solid, if not mistake-prone, QB, an aggressive defense and a bunch of talented skill folks.

Ole Miss also hasn’t played a potent team, loading its early-season schedule with Boise State, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Lafayette and Memphis. Not a lot of heavy hitters there.

But the Rebels are certainly confident and ready to prove they can contend in the SEC West with No. 3 Alabama and the “College GameDay” crew heading to The Grove [More]

SEC Power Rankings: Week 5

  • 6:30 am Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

No surprises among the first six mean nothing changes at the top. The Best of the West again fill the first six spots in this week’s power rankings. It probably won’t be that way next week after Alabama plays Ole Miss, LSU visits Auburn and Texas A&M travels to Mississippi State on Saturday.

Alabama (No. 1 last week) – Nick Saban will have his Crimson Tide well rested and eager for their visit to the 11th-ranked Rebels. “College GameDay” will be there, so it must be an important game.

Texas A&M (No. 2) – What a scary day for Aggies fans, but their [More]

College football TV viewing guide: Five games to watch

  • 11:47 am Friday, September 26th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

You don’t have to stay up too late tonight. The best games should be done in time for you to learn something new about Derek Jeter on SportsCenter.

Tennessee at Georgia, noon, ESPN

Swarm was the key word in Tennessee defender Curt Maggitt’s vocabulary this week, using it to describe how to bring down Todd Gurley. The Vols should get plenty of practice against Gurley and the other Bulldogs backs, but Tennessee also has a talented freshman in Jalen Hurd.

Florida State at N.C. State, 3:30 p.m., ABC

It’s that time of year when we start discovering if teams are pretenders or contenders. N.C. [More]

Alabama offense in Fast Lane with Lane Kiffin

  • 1:56 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Lane Kiffin has cut a controversial path through college football, and whether you love him or loathe him, Alabama’s offense has never been more potent.

Ponder this.

In the 1,208 football games in Alabama’s remarkable history, the Tide had never had a 400-yard passer, a 200-yard receiver and a 100-yard rusher in the same game.

That happened on Saturday, in Alabama’s 42-21 domination of Florida.

Blake Sims, who some folks think still shouldn’t start ahead of Jake Coker, threw for 445 yards, the second most ever by an Alabama QB.

Amari Cooper caught 10 passes for 201 yards, and, BTW, had three TD grabs.

On top [More]

Former Florida QBs stand out at new schools

  • 2:18 pm Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Tyler Murphy and Jacoby Brissett are enjoying life in the ACC.

Murphy is the conference’s second-leading rusher with 500 yards and has already led Boston College to an upset of Southern California.

Brissett has thrown 108 consecutive passes without an interception, leads the ACC in total offense (280.8) a game and is second in pass efficiency (166.7) for N.C. State, which is 4-0.

What do they have in common?

They both once started at Florida.

Murphy started six games for the Gators last year before transferring to Boston College. Brissett started two games as a freshman in 2011 and played valuable minutes in 2012 before [More]

SEC Power Rankings: Week 4

  • 6:30 am Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Is this the year that Mississippi State makes a move? The Bulldogs sure looked like a contender, not a pretender, in their upset of LSU. Dak Prescott is beginning to receive some Heisman talk, but I’m not ready to put him among the leaders just yet.

Alabama (No. 2 last week) – Alabama moves ahead of Texas A&M because it put the “Roll” in “Roll Tide” with 645 yards of offense against Florida. Lane Kiffin is proving that he was a strong hire.

Texas A&M (No. 1) – SMU played road kill for the Aggies, who rested Kenny Hill for the [More]

Deshaun Watson to make first start for Clemson

  • 9:26 pm Sunday, September 21st, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Dabo Swinney did the right thing by not starting Deshaun Watson in Clemson’s game at Florida State.

He’s doing the right thing by starting him this week.

Swinney said Sunday that the incredibly talented freshman quarterback from Gainesville will be behind center when the Tigers host North Carolina at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“That’s the decision I had to make based on what I saw,” Swinney said on his Sunday conference call, as reported by the Charleston Post and Courier. “Had Cole played, well, like he played the first couple games, or Deshaun didn’t play well when he went in, we’d kind of [More]

Matt Mumme’s Air Raid offense powers LaGrange

  • 12:46 pm Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Matt Mumme has tweaked his father’s Air Raid offense here and there, but for the most part, it’s nearly identical to what Hal Mumme originated and has run at his many coaching stops.

Matt Mumme installed the wide-open system at LaGrange when he arrived as offensive coordinator in 2013 and is still calling the plays, even though he replaced Todd Mooney as coach midway through last season. (Read more about Hal Mumme in this ESPN The Magazine piece).

“I learned everything from him,” Matt said of his dad, who has been the coach at several schools, including Kentucky and Valdosta [More]

College football TV viewing guide: Five games to watch

  • 6:30 am Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

What’s that strange site? A day of conference games? Finally. Look around and you’ll see plenty of what should be more competitive matchups than we’ve seen so far this season. Here’s the best of the bunch.

Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech, noon, ESPN

The Hokies were a little pokey at the start of last week’s loss to East Carolina. And it cost them. If Virginia Tech had won, it had a chance at going undefeated this season. That’s evaporated and now the Hokies have to slow Georgia Tech. Even if they don’t, can the Jackets slow them?

Florida at Alabama, 3:30 p.m., CBS

Florida [More]