College Football Insider Blog 

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

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]

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]

College football TV viewing guide: Five games to watch

  • 9:51 am Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

So much for the likes of Nicholls State, The Citadel, Lamar and Sam Houston State. The level of competition is improved – albeit slightly for some teams — which should lead to some fancy channel flipping at night.

East Carolina at Virginia Tech, noon, ESPN

Virginia Tech appears to be back. OK, it’s only two games, but the Hokies were unfazed by the masses and mystique of Ohio State’s Horseshoe last week. With no teams on their schedule currently ranked, Virginia Tech could be looking at a return to glory, when they averaged 10.5 wins from 2004-11. Let downs against teams like [More]

Bo vs. Herschel: Who was the best?

  • 10:55 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Each side has plenty of evidence and is vehement in its beliefs.

There are folks who swear Herschel Walker is the best running back to ever plow under and step on college defenders.

And then there are those who uphold Bo Jackson as the radiant and supreme example of a running back.

No matter who you think was the best, they were both so marvelous in the 1980s we know them by one name: Herschel and Bo.

The topic has been debated for nearly 30 years, since Herschel left Georgia for the USFL and Bo was steamrolling tacklers while playing for Auburn.

Herschel led the [More]

Rick Neuheisel latest to bash SEC teams, schedule

  • 11:50 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Steve Spurrier was right when he called this part of the year the “talking season.”

Now, Pac-12 Network commentator Rick Neuheisel is the latest person to bash the SEC, this time criticizing the conference’s November schedule and making snide comments about SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.

“Their (the SEC’s) November is so vastly easier than any other conference … they can sit back and watch (contenders) fall off,” he said at the Pac-12’s media days. Remember, Neuheisel played QB at UCLA and has coached at Colorado, Washington and UCLA coach, which are all now Pac-12 teams.

There are some patsies dotting the [More]

Spurrier vs. Swinney growing into college football’s best reality TV

  • 2:34 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Andy Johnston

Season 6 of Spurrier vs. Swinney is off to an amazing start.

You have to love Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney and the verbal shoving match they have with one another. It’s so good, you wonder if they have an unstated understanding to pick at each other just to draw interest in the rivalry between South Carolina and Clemson.

They’ve gone at each other for five seasons, and even though the Gamecocks have won five straight over Swinney and his Tigers, he keeps coming back for more.

Which is fine with Spurrier.

He’s Yoda of the snide remark, a master at getting under a [More]

With more seats, Les Miles says LSU stadium will pump up the volume

  • 3:00 pm Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

That roar you’ve heard from somewhere west of the Mississippi River will grow in intensity this year.

LSU finished the end zone expansion to Tiger Stadium, raising its capacity to 102,321.

“If you thought we were loud before, we just got louder,” coach Les Miles said at SEC Media Days earlier today.

Tiger Stadium is now the second-biggest venue in the SEC, behind Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium. Nationally, it’s behind only Michigan (109,901), Penn State’s Beaver Stadium (106,572), Ohio State (104,944) and Tennessee (102,455).

Three other SEC stadiums — Alabama’s Bryant-Denny (101,821), Georgia’s Sanford Stadium (92,746) and Florida’s Swamp (88,548) — also are in the [More]

Athens — and Atlanta — among best college football towns

  • 9:45 am Friday, June 6th, 2014 by Andy Johnston

You don’t have to travel far to find great college football towns.

Athens is almost always included on these kinds of lists, and there it is again, on Bleacher Report’s group of Top 25 College Football Towns for 2014.

But Atlanta — at No. 24 — also is on this list — just ahead of Iowa City — which is interesting.

A lot of folks might argue with this statement: “With Georgia Tech holding a long tradition of success and fan support,” but part of the reasoning for including Atlanta is this:

Since 1994 the Georgia Dome has hosted the [More]