College Football Insider Blog 

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

Miss. State, Auburn, Ole Miss among top four in first playoff ranking

  • 8:01 pm Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

The SEC is first, third and fourth to none in the first College Football Playoff ranking released Tuesday night.

Undefeated Mississippi State is the top team in the initial ranking, which isn’t a surprise, but after Florida State at No. 2, Auburn is third and Ole Miss is fourth, leaving Alabama at sixth — behind Oregon — and out of this week’s first four.

Of course, this is the first of the CFP’s rankings, which will continue on Tuesdays until Dec. 7, which is being called Selection Sunday.

Other SEC teams include Georgia at No. 11 and LSU at No. 19.

ESPN.com [More]

Booster group bought Saban’s home for $3.1 million

  • 2:18 pm Monday, October 27th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

How would you like if someone paid for your house, let you live in it — rent free — and are now paying the yearly property taxes?

It’s nice to be Nick Saban.

A group called the Crimson Tide Foundation paid $3.1 million for the four-bedroom, 4 1/2-bath, 8,759-square-foot home that Alabama’s coach and his wife Terry bought in 2007, according to AL.com.

And before you say that has to be an NCAA violation. It’s not.

“A spokeswoman for the NCAA said a coach’s compensation package is determined by the university, and a university foundation is allowed to be a source for [More]

College football TV viewing guide: Five games to watch

  • 6:30 am Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

October’s wonderful TV offerings become complicated Saturday night if you want to watch Game 4 of the World Series between the Giants and Royals and keep up with an evening college football schedule that includes three ranked SEC games. Good luck trying to manage all those options.

Mississippi State at Kentucky, 3:30 p.m., CBS

Coming off a three-game stretch against three top 10 teams, No. 1 Mississippi State needs to be wide awake going into Kentucky. The Bulldogs have had an extra week to prepare for the improved Wildcats, who are 5-0 at home, but haven’t faced a team as well equipped [More]

Lane Kiffin’s mother ‘scared to death’ for her son

  • 8:36 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Do you remember when Phil Fulmer was hit with a subpoena on a trip Alabama?

Well, now Lane Kiffin’s mother is fearing something might happen to her son when Alabama plays at Tennessee on Saturday.

Y’all know about Kiffin’s inglorious departure for Southern California after one year as coach of the Volunteers in 2009, which didn’t leave him in high regard with the fine folks of that state.

He’s already been dragged into a political battle between two candidates for the state legislature.

And a Knoxville barber says Kiffin still owes him for a $14 haircut.

And now, Kiffin’s mom Robin, [More]

Who is SEC’s best QB? Marshall, Prescott, Wallace or Sims

  • 10:49 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Auburn’s Nick Marshall was thought to be the SEC’s best QB entering this season.

With none of the M&M&M Boys (Manziel, McCarron and Murray) around, he seemed the likely candidate.

Marshall had just put together a Cam-like season in leading the Tigers to the SEC title and the national championship game and was voted to most of the preseason All-SEC teams.

He’s playing exceedingly well again this fall, but quality QB play has lifted the two Mississippi schools to the top of the SEC and added oomph to Alabama’s offense.

Let’s take a look at the SEC’s top QBs this season:

Nick Marshall, Auburn

Stats: 55.4 [More]

SEC Power Rankings: Week 8

  • 6:30 am Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

I usually write a few sentences to lead into the weekly SEC Power Rankings, but this morning, here’s loyal reader PigIron’s own rankings, as he posted in the comments of another post.

Read his and then you can compare his to mine.

PigIron’s SEC Power Rankings: 1. Mississippi State; 2. Ole Miss; 3. Alabama; 4. Auburn; 5. Georgia 6. LSU; 7. Missouri; 8. Texas A&M; 9. Kentucky; 10. South Carolina; 11. Arkansas; 12. Florida; 13; Tennessee; 14. Vanderbilt.

A strong list. Here is mine:

Mississippi State (No. 1 last week) – The leader of the SEC pack still has a treacherous road, [More]

Football first: Four SEC teams among top five

  • 3:03 pm Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

The SEC’s Fantastic Four has set a football first.

SEC teams make up four of the top five spots in the AP Top 25, becoming the first conference to accomplish the feat in the history of the poll.

Mississippi State (6-0) is No. 1, followed by Florida State  (7-0) at No. 2. After that, it’s Ole Miss (7-0), followed by Alabama (6-1), which jumped from No. 7 to No. 4, and Auburn (5-1), which didn’t play, but moved up because of losses by Notre Dame and Baylor.

Mississippi State had 43 first-place votes to 14 for FSU and three for Ole [More]

College football TV viewing guide: Five games to watch

  • 6:30 am Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Halfway through the season and six undefeated FBS teams remain in the FBS. Two of them are in Mississippi, and they are two of the reasons why the past two weeks have been a couple of the most exciting in college football in several years. Mississippi State is off today and Ole Miss should be able to handle Tennessee, so here’s a look at five other games on your watch list this week.

Texas A&M at Alabama, 3:30 p.m., CBS

The Crimson’s Tide offense has blown an engine after being in the fast lane earlier this season. Alabama has scored 17 and [More]

SEC schedules don’t get any easier in 2015

  • 8:26 pm Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Butch Jones’ young Tennessee players better grow up before next season.

The Volunteers’ schedule doesn’t get any easier with a four-game stretch beginning Sept. 26 that includes games at Florida, vs. Arkansas, vs. Georgia and their traditional rivalry at Alabama on Oct. 24.

At least they get a week off before playing the Crimson Tide as the finalized SEC 2015 schedules were announced Tuesday night.

The biggest change in scheduling in 2015 is that the schedules are condensed, with teams playing all 12 games in 13 weeks (one open date), instead of 12 games in 14 weeks (two open dates) like 2013 and [More]

Second-half snapshot: Who has toughest, easiest road to SEC title game

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Since we’re halfway through the college football season — pause for collective moan — I thought we should take a look at the contenders’ remaining schedules and see who has the toughest road to the SEC Championship game.

SEC East

Georgia (5-1, 3-1)

Remaining schedule: at Arkansas, vs. Florida, at Kentucky, vs. Auburn, vs. Charleston Southern, vs. Georgia Tech

Prognosis: With only one ranked team left (Auburn) and having already defeated Missouri, the Bulldogs have a strong chance at winning the division, especially if Todd Gurley returns. Soon.

Kentucky (5-1, 2-1)

Remaining schedule: at LSU, vs. Mississippi State, at Missouri, vs. Georgia, at Tennessee, at Louisville

Prognosis: [More]