College Football Insider Blog 

An inside look at the teams, players, coaches and trends that shape college football Saturdays
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SEC Power Rankings: Week 2

  • 6:30 am Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

There’s not much movement in this week’s SEC Power Rankings, since the biggest challenge for just about every team was signing those big payout checks. The carnage was shown in some of the scores:

Florida 65, Eastern Michigan 0
LSU 56, Sam Houston State 0
Texas A&M 73, Lamar 3
Arkansas 73, Nicholls State 7
Ole Miss 41, Vanderbilt 3

Oh wait. That last one was a SEC game.

You get the drift. On with the rankings.

1. Texas A&M (No. 1 last week) – No let down here. Like we expected one. Kenny Hill has seven TD passes and zero picks in his first two starts.

2. Georgia [More]

State notebook: Mercer has emotional Southern Conference opener for Bobby Lamb

  • 12:42 pm Friday, September 5th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Mercer coach Bobby Lamb is glad the Bears host Furman today.

A home-field advantage can be helpful, but Lamb spent 29 years as either a player, assistant or head coach at Furman and is in the school’s athletic hall of fame, so it would be tough for him to stand on the other side of the field.

“It’ll be different facing (Furman),” Lamb said. “I spent so many years in that stadium and on the home sideline. We’ve got to play them some time. It just happened we get them right out of the gate.”

Lamb helped built Furman (1-0) into a successful [More]

College football TV viewing guide: Five games to watch

  • 9:37 am Friday, September 5th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Good home cooking is in short supply on Saturday.

Most of the top teams around the Southeast will be stuffing their stats and running up scores against smaller FBS programs and various FCS teams on Fat Check Saturday.

Sam Houston State will receive $500,000 for playing LSU, Texas A&M is paying $325,000 to Lamar and defending national champ Florida State is cutting a check for $425,000 to The Citadel.

So cast your eyes to other areas of the country for today’s most competitive matchups.

No. 14 USC at No. 13 Stanford | 3:30 p.m. | ABC

This has become one of nation’s best rivalries, thanks [More]

Dylan Thompson strives to provide leadership for South Carolina

  • 10:08 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Dylan Thompson waited for this chance.

Connor Shaw is gone. Thompson is South Carolina’s starting quarterback and has his opportunity to build on what Shaw helped build.

Thompson threw for a career-high 366 yards and four TDs, but the run game and defense struggled mightily in an opening 52-28 loss to Texas A&M.

Who says roosters can’t lay eggs?

Where does South Carolina go from here? The Gamecocks have a chance to work out the issues against East Carolina on Saturday before Georgia arrives in Columbia on Sept. 13.

“It’s only one game. We’ve got to stay positive as coaches, players, fans,” coach Steve Spurrier [More]

Now at Rutgers, Ralph Friedgen earns national honor

  • 3:38 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Georgia Tech fans might be longing for the days of Ralph Friedgen, but he has a new job.

Friedgen is no longer a head coach, like he was at Maryland. He’s returned to scheming offenses, which is what he did twice at Tech, the first time from 1987-91 and the second from 1997-2000.

He was the Jackets’ offensive coordinator when they won a share of the national title in 1990 and was back there when they went 10-2 in 1998 and averaged more than 225 yards rushing and 283 yards passing  a game in ’99 with Joe Hamilton at QB (It would [More]

SEC Power Rankings: Week 1

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

I hope you enjoyed the first weekend of college football.

Here’s how the SEC stacks up after the first week of the season. I will update this on Monday morning every week.

1. Texas A&M — Boom! Where did that come from? Especially since few folks were expecting an offensive explosion in the absence of Johnny Manziel. The Aggies let everybody know they’ll be a force this season.

2. Georgia – If Texas A&M ruled the air, Georgia controlled the ground in its win over Clemson. Did Vince Dooley replace Mark Richt?

3. Auburn — Nick Marshall was voted preseason All-SEC. Just think. He [More]

College football TV viewing guide: Five games to watch

  • 10:11 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

For those of you who don’t have tickets or tailgating plans or just want to enjoy the air conditioning and your new 65-inch flat screen, here’s a quick viewing guide.

Five games to watch

No. 7 UCLA at Virginia | Noon | ESPN

This doesn’t sound like much of a game. UCLA is projected by many to win the Pac-12 and be in the running for the national championship. And Virginia, is uhhhh. OK. Even if it’s not a close game, sit back and enjoy the talents of UCLA QB Brett Hundley, who will set school passing records this season. And if that’s [More]

Kenny Hill shows South Carolina is missing more than Jadeveon Clowney

  • 11:50 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

So maybe Johnny Manziel was a product of the system.

Don’t believe that.

But Kevin Sumlin has something special going on at Texas A&M.

And some Aggies fans will be getting free furniture.

Kenny Hill picked and plucked South Carolina from his first pass to his last. He threw for 511 yards — breaking Manziel’s team record — to lead the Aggies to a shocking 52-28 victory over the Gamecocks.

We were once used to seeing Steve Spurrier’s QBs putting up obscene numbers, but Hill — making his first career start in a stadium that’s given plenty of visiting QBs the 1,000-yard stare [More]

Five best SEC players in 2014

  • 2:00 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama

Cooper should be the No. 1 option on the Tide’s list of weapons, but sometimes receivers are behind RBs in that system. If Alabama’s QBs ever tire of handing the ball off, they have one of the country’s most athletic receivers to find downfield.

Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia

No running back was taken in the first round of this spring’s NFL Draft, something that will have to change if Gurley turns pro after this season. He’s the most polished back in college football, and that doesn’t include the fact that he’s 226 pounds and runs angry.

Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn

Gus [More]

Five best ACC players in 2014

  • 10:00 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson

Beasley lets his stats do his talking. The disruptor from Adairsville led the ACC with 13 sacks, was fourth in the nation in tackles for loss (23) and helped transform the Clemson defense. He turned down NFL dollars for one more go around with the Tigers.

Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh

A hometown hero from nearby Clairton, Pa., Boyd broke Larry Fitzgerald’s freshman receiving records with 85 catches and 1,174 yards in 2013. And then he returned a punt for a TD to help the Panthers win their bowl game. What’s his encore?

Rashad Greene, WR, FSU

Speedy and able to leap [More]

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