Mr. College Football blog 

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Who’s playing the toughest road schedule in the SEC?

  • 2:43 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

The Associated Press preseason media poll was released Sunday. Now I know many of you don’t put a whole lot of stock in human polls. And with the arrival of the first College Football Playoff and its selection committee, the traditional polls simply don’t mean as much as they did during the BCS era (1998-2013).

But what the preseason polls can do is give us a place to start the conversation, knowing fully that where we start and where we end up could likely be the difference between night and day.

Still, it gives us a metric for today’s topic: Which SEC [More]

Why Mizzou cast-off Dorial Green-Beckham should not play this fall

  • 4:38 pm Sunday, August 17th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

These facts are not in dispute:

• On Friday, April 11, sophomore wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham was kicked off the Missouri football team. In the school’s announcement of the decision, director of athletics Mike Alden said this: “We have a high standard of conduct for our student athletes. … We are also responsible to the community at large and the ideas and values of the University of Missouri.”

• Just five days before he was asked to leave, Green-Beckham was involved in an incident, outlined by an 18-page police report, where he forced his way into an apartment occupied by his girlfriend [More]

So who’s going to start at quarterback?

  • 3:14 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

A year ago the SEC was as deep as I’ve ever seen it in really good quarterbacks. A quick rundown of the guys who are gone: Aaron Murray (Georgia), Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M), Connor Shaw (South Carolina), Zack Mettenberger (LSU), AJ McCarron (Alabama), James Franklin (Missouri), Austyn Carta-Samuels (Vanderbilt).

There are some proven quarterbacks returning (Nick Marshall, Auburn; Bo Wallace, Ole Miss; Dak Prescott, Mississippi State) and some seniors who have not started but are finally going to get their turn (Dylan Thompson, South Carolina; Hutson Mason, Georgia).

On Thursday senior Justin Worley was named the starter at Tennessee over Joshua Dobbs [More]

Should the Power Five only play the Power Five?

  • 4:26 pm Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Last week my good friend Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com got folks all worked up with a survey of coaches from the 65 teams in the Power Five conferences (ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 plus Independent Notre Dame).

The survey revealed that 30 of the 65 coaches (43 percent) liked the idea of the Power Five conferences playing all of their games within the Power Five. That means no games against the other FBS conferences (American, Mountain West, MAC, Sun Belt, Conference USA) and none against the FCS (formerly Division I-AA).

Alabama coach Nick Saban told McMurphy that keeping all of [More]

Will autonomy, O’Bannon ruling change college football?

  • 2:57 pm Sunday, August 10th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

I’m not big on hyperbole so just  trust me on this:

Last week’s NCAA vote to give the Big Five Conferences more autonomy followed by a landmark ruling in the Ed O’Bannon case represent the two biggest changes in college athletics that we have seen in 30 years. Not since the Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that the individual schools, not the NCAA, owned football television rights, have we had a moment this big that will literally change how college athletics goes about its business.

That 1984 decision begat mega-million dollar television packages for conferences (like the SEC) which begat conference championship [More]

Saban: Alabama must re-establish its identity

  • 3:27 pm Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Hoover, Ala. — When Nick Saban says that his 2013 Alabama team lost its identity along the way, here is what he means.

Alabama’s defense in the national championship seasons of 2011 and 2012 led the nation in yards per rush at 2.43.

The 2013 team, by contrast, gave up 3.32 yards per rush, thanks in no small part to the 296 yards allowed in the historic loss to Auburn.

That difference may not seem like a lot, but on such things are championships won — or lost.

And, after being ranked No. 1 every single day of the regular season, the 2013 Crimson [More]

Spurrier: The numbers tell the real story

  • 4:37 pm Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart

Hoover, Ala. — The grand ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel is Ground Zero at SEC Media Days. While the TV folks get the most attention, this room is reserved for the hard-core newspaper and internet writing force that sets the tone for this event. Coaches who come here for the first time find it a bit unnerving. This is a hard-to-impress bunch. This much you can count on.

When Steve Spurrier addresses “The Media Boys,” as he loves to call them, this room is full. This was Spurrier’s 22nd Media Days as a head coach in the SEC (10 at [More]

SEC’s Slive: Big Five conferences could seek new ‘venue’

  • 6:03 pm Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Tony Barnhart
Mike Slive, Southeastern Conference, SEC, SEC Media Days

Hoover, Ala. — The passage from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive was only about 40 words. But it sent a very powerful message to open the conference’s annual Football Media Days:

“If we do not achieve a positive outcome under the existing big tent of Division I, we will consider the establishment of a venue with similar conferences and institutions where we can enact the desired changes in the best interests of our student-athletes.”

Slive, a former judge who still calls himself “a recovering lawyer,” chose his words carefully but the meaning was clear: For years, the five largest conferences in college athletics [More]

Coming soon …

  • 12:56 pm Saturday, July 12th, 2014 by AJC Sports

Check back soon for the return of Mr. College Football to the AJC.

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