College Football Insider Blog 

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

Five SEC games you can’t miss this season

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Let’s take a look at the top five SEC games this season. In case you’ve forgotten, the season gets under way on Thursday.

Georgia at South Carolina, Sept. 13

The Gamecocks enter this season with 18 consecutive home wins, a streak that could be at 20 when Georgia visits for the 3:30 p.m. CBS game. The Bulldogs have an extra week to prepare for longtime nemesis Steve Spurrier and all those crazy Gamecocks fans.

South Carolina at Auburn, Oct. 25

A SEC title continues to elude South Carolina. The Gamecocks, depending on what happens against Georgia, likely will need to defeat Auburn to continue [More]

Tide’s new starting QB? Either Jacob Coker or Blake Sims

  • 3:56 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Jacob Coker or Blake Sims.

Sims or Coker.

There has been much debate over who will replace AJ McCarron as Alabama’s starting quarterback, and it appears the mystery might continue until Saturday, when the Tide opens against West Virginia.

Coker and Sims were listed as starters on Alabama’s depth chart that was released Monday.

“We’re going to continue to rep both guys,” Alabama coach Nick Saban told AL.com earlier today. “We feel like both guys have been doing a very, very good job. Obviously somebody has to start the game. We’ll make that decision probably at some point in time [More]

Death threats force carnival organizers to cancel Harvey Updyke appearance

  • 1:50 pm Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Harvey Updyke is off the hook.

At least for any pies to the face or dunk tank splashes.

The organizers of a charity event scheduled for Sept. 29 in Mobile, Ala., canceled Updyke’s appearance after former Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s mother, Dee Dee Bonner, and wife Katherine received death threats on social media, ESPN.com reported.

Auburn University police spokesman confirms student was questioned about making threat against organizer involved in Updyke appearance— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) August 22, 2014

An Auburn student was questioned by Auburn city police about a threat against one of the organizers, ESPN.com reported.

Updyke originally was scheduled to [More]

Auburn fans have opportunity to dunk, throw pie at Harvey Updyke

  • 7:45 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Andy Johnston

If you’re still upset about the oaks in Toomer’s Corner, here’s your chance.

Harvey Updyke has said he will be either in a dunk tank or at a pie throwing booth at a charity event in Mobile, Alabama, on Sept. 27, ESPN.com reported.

You surely remember Updyke.

He’s the zealous Alabama fan — is there another kind? — who poisoned the beloved 130-year-old oaks after Auburn’s win over Alabama in the 2010 Iron Bowl, leading to their death and removal.

“He thought about it and thought about it,” Updyke’s wife, Elva, told ESPN.com. “His daughter said he needed to do it because [More]

FSU No. 1, Alabama is second in AP preseason Top 25

  • 2:30 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Florida State is right where it ended the 2014 season.

The Seminoles, who had 57 of the 60 first-place votes, are No. 1 in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25, ahead of No. 2 Alabama, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 5 Ohio State. FSU had 1,496 points, followed by Alabama with 1,361.

The Seminoles, featuring Heisman Trophy-winning QB Jameis Winston, open the season versus Oklahoma State at 8 p.m. Aug. 30 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

No. 1 jinx? Last 4 preseason No. 1s: 2013 Bama 11-2 (No. 7), 2012 USC 7-6 (NR), 2011 OU 10-3 (No. [More]

Iron Bowl at top of nation’s conference games this fall

  • 9:53 am Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

The start of the season is about two weeks away, so here’s a look at the nation’s top conference games this season.

Auburn at Alabama, Nov. 29

The Iron Bowl is must-see TV because this is the best rivalry in the country. Four of the past five national champs have come out of this game and Auburn just missed making it 5-for-5 last year. These rivals will have a tough time matching 2013’s game for drama.

Baylor at Oklahoma, Nov. 8

The Sooners were left red-faced after their dismal showing in a 41-12 loss at Baylor last year. Bears QB Bryce Petty threw five [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]

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]

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]