College Football Insider Blog 

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

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]

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]

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]

LSU’s Tiger Stadium is the best in country, media say

  • 12:21 pm Monday, July 7th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Everybody has their favorite stadiums.

You might love Neyland Stadium because that’s where you saw your first game. Or Doak Campbell, simply because you’re a FSU fan.

Even sportswriters have our faves, either for the atmosphere or accessibility to interview rooms or even for the ease of getting in and out on game days.

Athlon polled 15 members of the national media to find out their favorite stadiums.

Here is the result:

1. Tiger Stadium, LSU

2. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State

3. Autzen Stadium, Oregon

4. Kyle Field, Texas A&M

5. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama

6. Notre Dame Stadium

7. Neyland Stadium, Tennessee

8. Sanford Stadium, Georgia

9. Husky Stadium, Washington

10. Beaver [More]

Aaron Hernandez is in 2014 Florida football calendar

  • 4:44 pm Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Andy Johnston

A photo of Aaron Hernandez, the former Florida TE who has been charged with killing three men, is in a 2014 University of Florida sports calendar.

A photo of him with the ball is featured for the month of July.

@CutlerRidgeLAZ Check out this huge whoops from the UF marketing department: http://t.co/iveDlTT3ud— Jimi Kunkel (@JimiKunkel) June 30, 2014

Officials approved the calendar in the spring of 2013, shortly before Hernandez was arrested on June 26, 2013, in the slaying of Odin Lloyd, Florida spokesman Daniel Apple told The Associated Press.

“There are thousands of Gators products for [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]