College Football Insider Blog 

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

AJ McCarron says Alabama needs ‘true leaders’

  • 2:33 pm Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

AJ McCarron has plenty to say about Alabama now that he’s no longer with the program.

McCarron, who was a part of three national championship teams and is now a rookie QB with the Cincinnati Bengals, had a few suggestions for Nick Saban’s team on a radio show on Tide 99.1-FM in Tuscaloosa, as reported by

We all know Nick Saban’s team is coming off its first loss of the season, a 23-17 loss at Ole Miss.

Here are what McCarron suggests to help Alabama from here on out.

Distribute the ball more evenly

“I don’t know if that’s Lane (Kiffin’s) doing [More]

SEC Power Rankings: Week 6

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

If you didn’t love college football before Saturday, you should be passionately addicted to it now.

Five of the top 10 and 11 teams in the Top 25 lost over the week (remember No. 2 Oregon went down Thursday), including No. 3 Alabama and No. 6 Texas A&M, which means a shake up in this week’s SEC Power Rankings.

Here we go.

Auburn (No. 3 last week) – The Tigers might be the best team in the country after devastating LSU. They’re running game isn’t as powerful as last year, but QB Nick Marshall is much more potent through the air.

Mississippi State (No. [More]

Time for Ole Miss, Mississippi State to shine

  • 4:17 pm Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

It’s Mississippi’s time to shine.

No, not just Ole Miss, but also Mississippi State.

This weekend’s football games involving the state’s SEC programs — No. 3 Alabama at No. 11 Ole Miss and No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 12 Mississippi State — are bringing both the Rebels and the Bulldogs to the forefront.

Two games. Four undefeated teams.

It’s the first time both Ole Miss and Mississippi State have played on the same day while ranked in the top 15 for first time since Sept. 29, 1958. And it helps that their opponents are also ranked.

“It’s going to be wild,” Ole Miss DL [More]

Ole Miss player says Alabama not ‘as good’ as in past

  • 2:01 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Ole Miss players are getting a little plucky.

The Rebels have a lot of things going for them.

They’re 4-0 for the first time since 1970.

They’re No. 11 in the land.

They have a solid, if not mistake-prone, QB, an aggressive defense and a bunch of talented skill folks.

Ole Miss also hasn’t played a potent team, loading its early-season schedule with Boise State, Vanderbilt, Louisiana-Lafayette and Memphis. Not a lot of heavy hitters there.

But the Rebels are certainly confident and ready to prove they can contend in the SEC West with No. 3 Alabama and the “College GameDay” crew heading to The Grove [More]

SEC Power Rankings: Week 5

  • 6:30 am Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

No surprises among the first six mean nothing changes at the top. The Best of the West again fill the first six spots in this week’s power rankings. It probably won’t be that way next week after Alabama plays Ole Miss, LSU visits Auburn and Texas A&M travels to Mississippi State on Saturday.

Alabama (No. 1 last week) – Nick Saban will have his Crimson Tide well rested and eager for their visit to the 11th-ranked Rebels. “College GameDay” will be there, so it must be an important game.

Texas A&M (No. 2) – What a scary day for Aggies fans, but their [More]

Alabama offense in Fast Lane with Lane Kiffin

  • 1:56 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Lane Kiffin has cut a controversial path through college football, and whether you love him or loathe him, Alabama’s offense has never been more potent.

Ponder this.

In the 1,208 football games in Alabama’s remarkable history, the Tide had never had a 400-yard passer, a 200-yard receiver and a 100-yard rusher in the same game.

That happened on Saturday, in Alabama’s 42-21 domination of Florida.

Blake Sims, who some folks think still shouldn’t start ahead of Jake Coker, threw for 445 yards, the second most ever by an Alabama QB.

Amari Cooper caught 10 passes for 201 yards, and, BTW, had three TD grabs.

On top [More]

Man hides in Nick Saban’s bathroom, springs surprise proposal

  • 3:38 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Bear with me. This one takes an explanation.

Drew Clayton, who graduated from Mississippi State, didn’t want to flush his chance at a grand marriage proposal.

His fiancee, Kayla Posey was finishing graduate school at Alabama last spring, where she worked as one of coach Nick Saban’s student assistants.

Her co-workers helped Clayton gain access to Saban’s office (he was out of town at the time), where he replaced one of the national championship rings with his ring. One of Posey’s jobs was to give tours of the athletic facilities, and Saban’s office was one of the stops.

Here’s how reported [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]

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 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]

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]