College Football Insider Blog 

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

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]

Auburn AD says Tigers would have beaten Alabama without ‘Kick Six’

  • 8:53 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Even if you don’t believe in luck, some crazy good things happened to Auburn last year.

There were last-minute wins over Texas A&M and Mississippi State even before the improbable catch against Georgia — The Prayer in Jordan-Hare — and the still shocking missed field goal return — the Kick Six — to defeat Alabama.

Was it luck? No way, Auburn AD Jay Jacobs told AL.com.

“We were going to win the Alabama game whether it went to overtime or not. We had the momentum going and it was at our place and we felt good about it. Then we have [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]

Derrick Thomas heads 2014 College Hall of Fame class

  • 1:31 pm Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Former Georgia Tech QB Joe Hamilton is among 14 former players and two coaches who were selected to the College Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, joining former Alabama LB Derrick Thomas and WR Sterling Sharpe, who grew up in Glennville, just west of Savannah.

Folks were wondering when Thomas, who still holds the single-season sack record for college football with 27, was going to be elected. He had already been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2009) after a pro career shortened by a car accident that led to his death on Feb. 8, [More]