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]

Mississippi State moves to No. 1 in AP poll

  • 2:39 pm Sunday, October 12th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Mississippi State is the top dog.

The Bulldogs are No. 1 in the new AP Top 25 that was released this afternoon, making them the first team in the poll’s 78-year history to go from unranked to No. 1 in five weeks.

I wrote yesterday, after Mississippi State defeated 38-23 then-No. 2 Auburn, that the Bulldogs deserved to be No. 1 based on their strength of schedule and on lack of strength of Florida State’s opponents.

That came to realization today, when Mississippi State received 45 first-place votes from the media panel to FSU’s 12.

The Bulldogs (6-0) were No. [More]

Sorry FSU, Mississippi State deserves to be No. 1

  • 9:02 pm Saturday, October 11th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Move over Florida State.

Mississippi State should be No. 1 when the new polls are released Sunday.

I’m not saying they Bulldogs (6-0) will surpass the top-ranked Seminoles, but they’ve done their part.

They’ve defeated three top 10 teams in their past three games.

No. 3 in the streak was their 38-23 victory over No. 2 Auburn on Saturday.

It wasn’t their prettiest win of the season, but the Bulldogs have continued to show that they can score on the ground, through the air and play some mean defense. They can win at home and they can win on the road.

They are playing as well [More]

Deshaun Watson to make first start for Clemson

  • 9:26 pm Sunday, September 21st, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Dabo Swinney did the right thing by not starting Deshaun Watson in Clemson’s game at Florida State.

He’s doing the right thing by starting him this week.

Swinney said Sunday that the incredibly talented freshman quarterback from Gainesville will be behind center when the Tigers host North Carolina at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“That’s the decision I had to make based on what I saw,” Swinney said on his Sunday conference call, as reported by the Charleston Post and Courier. “Had Cole played, well, like he played the first couple games, or Deshaun didn’t play well when he went in, we’d kind of [More]

Five ACC games you can’t miss this season

  • 6:30 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Let’s take a look at the top five ACC games this season.

Miami at Louisville, Sept. 1 (Monday)

Hey, Louisville. Welcome to the ACC. The Cardinals and coach Bobby Petrino will make their conference debut in prime time. Controversy has followed Petrino to Louisville, which will have a new QB after Teddy Bridgewater went to the NFL.

Clemson at Florida State, Sept. 20

What a debacle for Clemson last season. ABC’s cameras made sure the nation saw FSU’s 51-14 dismantling of the Tigers. Jameis Winston’s quick strikes were too much for Clemson. Guess what? Winston is back and this year’s game is in Tallahassee.

North [More]

Jimbo Fisher: ACC had better year than SEC in 2013

  • 11:15 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

The ACC was SEC-ond to none last season, according to Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher.

Fisher, who led the Seminoles to the national championship with a last-second win over Auburn said: “No conference has ever had as dominant a year as the ACC had last year.”

Fisher said that and other comments about his team, Jameis Winston and the two rival conferences during an interview with Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman that aired on FOX Sports 1 on Tuesday night.

Comparing the ACC and SEC, Fisher said the ACC had more award winners, and then added this:

“Eleven (ACC) teams had [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.

Alabama, Oklahoma and Oregon each had one first-place vote.

As expected, the SEC leads the way with eight teams in the preseason [More]

LSU vs. Wisconsin among top non-conference games this fall

  • 10:47 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

I love some of the intersectional matchups this year.

These kinds of games — with all the conference pride on the line — tend to rile folks up somewhat.

Here’s a look at what I think are the top non-conference games this season.

Michigan State at Oregon, Sept. 6

Michigan State was one of the best defensive teams in the nation in 2013. Coordinator Pat Narduzzi quickly will know if this year’s group will be able to match the 2013 unit when they face Mariota and Oregon’s speedy offense.

LSU vs. Wisconsin, Aug. 30 (at Houston)

SEC pride will be tested when LSU, which lost 11 [More]

Jameis Winston’s dad says son has 2 more years at Florida State

  • 8:47 am Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

You better get used to Jameis Winston in a Florida State uniform.

That’s according to his father Antonor Winston, who told AL.com that his son will play at least two more years at FSU.

“We want Jameis to succeed with one more year in baseball and two more years in football,” he told the website. “We’ve never strayed from our plan that he is going to be in college until he gets that degree.”

Winston is from Bessemer native and graduated from Hueytown High in Alabama.

Winston, who won the Heisman Trophy and led the Seminoles to the national championship as a [More]

Video of Jameis Winston walking out with crab legs is online

  • 1:37 pm Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

If you want to check out Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston leaving Publix with those famous crab legs, here’s the store’s security video.

Winston is wearing a long-sleeve black T-shirt, black shorts and some sort of flip-flops or sandals while leaving the Publix on April 29. The crab legs are plainly visible in the video released by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office.

Winston makes an appearance about 5 seconds into the video.

Winston was not arrested when police arrived at his residence around midnight and has completed 20 hours of community service. He didn’t face criminal charges.

Winston threw for 4,057 yards and [More]