I am going to come out right now and admit that I am a dork. Well, not so much a dork, but a complete college football junkie.
Here's an example. I was a fresh
21 year old college student. It was my first game ever being 21, and I could
finally have a "real" college tailgating experience if you know what I mean. I
chose not to. What did I do? I sat around and watched TCU upset
Last September 3, AFTER the afternoon games were over, then I went to tailgate. The only problem was that I like to be in the stadium at least an hour before kickoff. That left me with only about 20 minutes of tailgating.
If you don't get what I'm saying here it is in a nutshell. I, unlike most college students, have my priorities very different. College football #1, tailgating #2, anything else in my way is #3.
That's why this past week was one of my favorite times of the year. Preview magazines are FINALLY out. You know what that means? That means from now until September, we can talk college football and not feel stupid about it. It's legit now.
My favorite magazines every year are the Athlon Previews. Not only are they the most informative, but they are beautiful to look at.
I picked up my new Athlon's Big Twelve Preview earlier this week and had half of it read by the end of the night when my girlfriend and her sister were shopping for a dress at the mall. So I got this idea to break down what I thought about this year's issue. The following is a piece I worked out stressing my frustrations with the issue, and also what I like about it.
Here goes nothing.
Athlons does this thing where they
break down the key players on each team heading into the season. For
BUT, where is Stevie Hicks on that
All Big 12 Projections
Athlons had Meyer, Blythe, Jackson and Aaron Brandt listed as first team all-conference members. Curvey was listed as a second team selection.
Meyer, Blythe and Jackson work for
me. Blythe was also mentioned as a projected 3rd team All-American.
Here's my big question. Where is Scott Stephenson? He was 1st team All Big 12 last season, and this season you don't even mention him? Did Athlons forget about him? Are they worried about his shoulder? What in the world is going on here? Last year Athlons had Stephenson as the 3rd team starter before he had ever taken a snap at center at college. He goes out and is all-conference, and then you snub him? How much sense does this make to you people?
Brandt deserves to be mentioned, but I don't think he's 1st team. I would put Brandt on the 2nd or 3rd team but 1st is a stretch.
Seriously though, Stephenson wasn't even mentioned. That's some bulletin board material for the big guy right there.
Athlons mentioned how Kris Means might come right in and play. Have they been reading my stuff for the past six months or what? Good call Athlons.
To me this is a tough thing to rank. How do you look at it is the big question? If you're going off of starters alone then it's no biggie, but if you look down the depth chart to some guys with no experience, the job gets a lot tougher.
The big thing that stood out to me
is that Athlons had ISU ranked #1 when it came to QB's in the Big 12. I really
want to say that I agree with this, but I can't. I would put
For Meyer to have the best year
for a QB in the Big 12, so many things must go right. He absolutely has to have
a healthy productive offensive line. If he has that, then he has to have a
healthy productive running game. If both of those things happen, then Bret Meyer
will be the best QB in the Big 12. If one of those factors goes wrong, he won't.
ISU's running backs are ranked 9th in the Big 12. The OL is ranked
ISU's wide receivers are ranked 2nd in the Big 12 according to Athlons. Texas Tech is number one. Personally I would switch the two around. Tech is always loaded at receiver and once again, they are this season. Robert Johnson, Joel Filani and Jarrett Hicks all combined for197 catches last fall. That's an impressive number but the reason they are ranked this high and the reason that they had so many catches is simple. That's all they do! That doesn't mean they are the best. ISU will be forced to throw a lot this year. With a healthy Jon Davis, these WR are by far the best ever at ISU. Austin Flynn is automatic, Todd Blythe can do it all and R.J. Sumrall is going to blow up. Toss in a young but huge Marquis Hamilton and you have four guys who could potentially be number one receivers. Again, it all comes down to the running game. If Hicks is healthy and plays well, everyone else will strive.
This more than anything is the category where I couldn't disagree more with Athons. If you're not familiar with how Athlons does this, let me explain. They break each game down with three categories. What they consider a: win, loss, or a crucial game. (meaning a tweener)
Here's what they had for ISU
UNLV – W
@Iowa – L
UNI – W
@Oklahoma – L
@KSU – W
I agree that the last three games
on the schedule are crucial, but I would have put a W beside
Here is how I would rank the games individually.
UNLV – W
@Iowa – L
@Texas – L
UNI – W
@Oklahoma – L
@KSU – W
- Athlons did a cool feature breaking down the 2001 recruiting class and they discuss how the players have done. Blake Larsen is mentioned. I laughed.
- Dan McCarney is listed as one of the top five underrated coaches in the country.
- The Big 12 is ranked as the 2nd toughest conference behind the SEC.
I love the sideline section in
these magazines. You all should know why. There's nothing like mixing football
and semi-hot cheerleaders from
I was happy with this year's issue, for the most part. I encourage you all to pick one up and see what you think. I don't know about you all, but September can't come soon enough.