Ok, so I picked up my Athlon preview magazine and wondered, just how bad could it be. I wasn't expecting Nebraska to be ranked in the top 25, but maybe amidst the team were units or individuals that would be lauded for what they brought to the table. And heck, maybe one preview magazine would indeed have NU up there, if only out of some twisted sense of loyalty, shrouded by the statement, "Now, I know you are going to think I'm nuts, but".
Now, first don't go thinking that I believe that for every magazine that has "jilted" NU out of a pre-season top-25 spot, I think that this is yet another source of information that supplies quality prognostication at the same rate I can gestate a platypus.
I am with most of the public in thinking that Nebraska has no place on the top 25 list, but quite honestly, most of these preview magazines just tick me off.
Of course, I am a sports fan, so if each and every magazine doesn't praise my team for everything this side of parting the Red Sea, I get miffed, I get ticked, I scream bloody murder and in Norse terms, I have even been accused of waxing wroth. That's right. You pick my team number one in everything or your magazine just sucks.
Well, except for this year. Anyone picks Nebraska number one in anything that leans towards the positive note this year, they don't suck, they're just stupid.
Ok, back to the rags, err, I mean worthy publications of merit that have delivered upon us yet another bevy of worthwhile and insightful information that will keep us thinking and hypothesizing based on their conclusions, for months.
Can I throw up now?
One of these "expert" manuals that I actually like is the Sporting News. No, it's not because I agree with what they say or I find them to be amongst the most accurate. After all, these are the same idiots that picked Colorado to win it all the year they went 5-6.
It's not about that. What it is about is the fact that they have unit rankings, rating the top ten offensive line units, backfields, defensive line units and so on. And, they have an honorable mention list that pretty much names every other player in all of college football and some I think probably aren't even real.
Either way, what it means is that no matter how bad your team is, somewhere in there, you can probably find one or two of your players intermingled with others on a list that says they are worthy to watch.
Yeah, nothing makes you feel better about yourself than some bunch of idiots from a baseball publication telling you which college football players are worth taking note of. I'm desperate though, so I do desperate things.
First, I am getting ahead of myself, because I want to make a quick reference to the covers of these magazines. They're regional, which means that if your team is worth anything, that company has a publication with someone from your team smack dab on the front, so you can delude yourself into thinking that they actually believe your guy or team is going to do anything at all this year.
You know what I am talking about, right? Hmmm, I sit here glancing at the regional covers for Street and Smith's and nope, just some Notre Dame homage and a little blip on a player from Iowa. And, over on the aforementioned Sporting News, Notre Dame again, Iowa.......again and a running back from Wisconsin. Plus, in text, indications of stories on Indiana, Purdue and Iowa State.
These guys could at least put Frank Solich on the cover with the huge caption, "Win or Else!" over it, couldn't they?
Actually, they have. No, not on the front cover, but can you believe it, who would have ever thunk it, when you usually chuckle looking at the "coaches on the hot seat" category, regaling in everyone else's frustration, now it's NU fans' turn, because there he is, yelling..........at something, under the caption, "Lincoln when it sizzles".
It ended the little blurb on Solich by stating, "Fans probably don't expect a trip to the Sugar Bowl, but anything less than eight or nine wins and Solich may be shucked."
Not to diminish the unearthly knowledge of those from those of Street and Smith's, but duhhhhhhhhhh.
Segueing back to the Sporting News, looking at their pre-season All-American lists, not one Husker made the first or second team, not even Kyle Larson. I don't know about you, but when the Nebraska punter isn't getting his props, that just pisses me off.
How about those really long lists of top players at certain positions? Ok, let's see. According to the Sporting News when it comes to quarterbacks, their top twenty consists of .....hmmmm, no Nebraska quarterbacks. Ok, I'm not surprised on that one.
Top 20 running backs, again, no NU players made that list as well. There's just no respect anymore for freshmen pulled out of their redshirts in desperation.
Top 20 fullbacks? Now, this is ironic. When most were saying that Judd Davies showed up, but it was for only the last two or so games for Nebraska, evidently the Sporting News thought enough about his performance to put him as the 6th best fullback in the country.
Receiver? I almost typed that with a straight face. Almost.
To make this shorter, let's just talk about the ones that the mighty TSN thought were worthy enough to mention.
Matt Herian at Tight End (10th), Richie Incognito at Tackle (14th), Demorrio Williams at Outside Linebacker (11th) and Kyle Larson at Punter (4th). WOOOHOOOOOOOOO, KYLE MADE THE LIST, KYLE MADE THE LIST!!!!!
I take back everything I said bad about the Sporting News. They really are the most precise illustration of true and honest journalism everywhere. Well, right after the New York Times.
When I looked at Athlon and Lindy's, I thought for sure there was going to be some props for NU in there. I mean, just look at those regional covers. Jammal Lord, big as life on the front of both of them, each displaying prominent headlines as if this is their cover story for this year's college football review.
Ok, not quite. In fact, the only blurb Lindy's had specific to Nebraska was guess what. Yeah, "coaches on the hot seat" and wouldn't you know, they ended their sentence about Solich's "win or else" season with the word, "shucked", just like TSN. Not only are these guys never right, they even go so far as to plagiarize other people just as wrong as they are.
I do have to give Lindy's some credit though, because believe it or not, they must be Husker fans. After all, if you look to the very back of the magazine, you will see a piece lamenting significant moments in Big XII history and wouldn't you know it, half the moments involved NU. Right about now, that's damn near identical to Husker fans, because in the back of their minds, they are doing the exact same thing.
Oh yeah, most of them think NU will suck this year to.
Also and this just goes to show how much of a conspiracy there is against Nebraska this year, Lindy's and Athlon both have these little sections that have pictures and in Athlon's case, bios of cheerleaders from around the country. Without fail, it would seem that a Nebraska cheerleader makes it in there somewhere each and every season.
Not this year. Nope, the tides of biased-superfluous-self-indulgent thinking has not only stricken the team, it hasn't just hit the head coach and it hasn't for the most part, shunned our punter, but darnit, now they are hacking on the cheerleaders.
WILL THE MADNESS NEVER END?
Speaking of madness, Phil Steele has NU picked to finish 12th in the country this year. I see Phil has been hanging out with Bill Walton a little too much at those "growth" sessions in California. I hear that each claimed to have glaucoma 42 different times while in the Golden state.
No. 12, eh? PASS THE DORITOS!!!!!!!
Seriously, I enjoy the heck out of these pre-season magazines. I go and buy them all, even after a season that I would call the equivalent of being on a nude beach with a dozen playboy models that only have eyes for you..................and then getting diarrhea. But, still, it's not all bad.
Besides, it's not like any of these guys actually know what they are talking about.
In 1995 when Nebraska was about ready to put onto the field the single best team in college football history, the all-seeing-all-knowing Sporting News had only one Husker on the All-American list (They ended up with 3), they had Texas A&M winning the title (they finished 15th) and they said that the offensive line "won't wear out defenses like last year's did". Oh, they also said the only thing keeping Lawrence Phillips out of the Heisman race was Tommie Frazier. If they knew anything at all they would have said Scott Frost....or rather, his girlfriend.
Can't win them all I guess.
Man, there's still a ton that I don't have. Sports Illustrated and their annual "you are on our cover so you are screwed" preview special. Remember when they had Andy Katzenmoyer on the cover? If you would have cut a hole in his mouth on the cover, folded it back and forth like you were speaking and mouthed about six or seven one-syllable words, you would have had the verbal equivalent of his most extensive thesis during his time at THE Ohio State.
Yep, more preview magazines, more people tearing down NU like they haven't won a thing in fifty years and more articles telling us how much Solich's job is on the line and how he must win or get "shucked".
And they will of course include a variety of unit rankings with no NU, a variety of All-American speculations with again, no NU and amidst the vast list of some 6 thousand players that are on their "watch list", there will be three or four NU guys, simply mentioned because a guy that knows a girl that went to a school, who's principle was related to this woman from Joizey, who's husband's boss was a huge fan of Nebraska, thought they could do it just to be nice.
That's the future boys and girls. I don't need to write for a preview magazine to tell you that. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb and give you my own prediction of just how this season is going to end up and you can save yourself the vast amount of money it takes to pick up all these huge waste of trees.
Here ya go:
Nebraska will win more games than it loses, go to a bowl and win that or Frank Solich is going to get "Shucked".
Man, and I didn't even have to look anything up. I tell you, this isn't that hard. I think I have a gift or something. Yeah, that must be it. I am expanding, moving on. Forget about college football, I am predicting Tennis.
Anna Kournikova will be really hot, but won't win anything that makes her look like anything other than someone that's really hot.....................but nobody will care.
Oh, and speaking of Anna, I forgot to mention that I am really looking forward to the Playboy preview. I'm telling ya, they have some great articles.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619