I went out and bought the preview mags. Almost all of them. I have no idea why I do this other than I've been buying college football preview magazines since I was ten years old. I realized sometime around age sixteen that I probably knew more about these teams than most of the local sports hacks did, but it is a July tradition and I have a soft spot in my heart for the print media and all of its lazy irrelevance.
I also enjoy when they put Andre Jones in our two deep.
Phil Steele can be the exception as I've actually learned things from his magazine, but his grating writing style and his relentless Cairene carpet dealer self-touting is wearying:
"Look at my quick pick, eh? You feel fibers, yes? Tight! Like a scorpion's asshole! Let us make business, friend. Do not leave, we make business! I want you to make acknowledgement that Boise State is 14-1 vs the spread at home during odd numbered years when UK has Labour government in power!"
You make deal?
So here's a compilation of facts gleaned from Lindy's, The Sporting News, Athlon et al that should save you some time and $$$:
1. The cheerleader sections are the same 'ol, same 'ol and have been since 1982. The women in the South are gorgeous (Ole Miss and LSU scoring predictably well) though the SEC girls can admittedly be overindulgent mascara whores all too frequently drawing their inspiration from a Japanese anime raccoon. The Pac 10 girls are largely beautiful, full of the fresh-faced optimism born of blue skies and open vistas, though there's a skanky hot Paris Hilton vamp Washington State cheerleader pictured in Lindy's that gave me the clap just from brushing my thumb across the page. The Big 10 girls are pleasantly average with hardy constitutions, wide birthing hips, all consonant last names and little fear of winter. I'm pretty sure one of them was Tracy Flick. The Northeastern girls are wisely not pictured at all or, when pictured, are depicted in "But Her Face" distance shots. Thanks for sparing us from some gum-smacking, fake-baked Amy Fisher look-a-like decked in Syracuse Orange, Athlon.
God Bless you Missy/Lindsey/Misty.
Each caption mentions that Lindsey/Misty/Missy is a sports management/mass communication/education major, a proud member of Tri Delta/Chi Omega/Kappa Kappa Gamma, and can't wait to begin a career in pharmaceutical sales/being taken care of by older rich men/teaching pre-K. She enjoys watching television, hanging with friends, and sympathizes heavily with the Maoist insurgency in Nepal.
2. Texas. Texas is in for a 7-5 season. Texas doesn't rebuild, they reload. Texas is Texas. Mack Brown is stale. Texas has renewed life. The spring practices were the most energetic we've ever had. Last year's seniors were all selfish bastards. Watch out for John Chiles! Greg Davis is mediocre. Greg Davis is underrated by a hypercritical fan base. This is Colt's team! This team is so together it doesn't need leaders. Last year's team was composed of Serbs, Croats, and Muslims in terms of team chemistry. This year's team "really is a family!" We have no playmakers on offense. Defense is a question mark. Texas has humidity. The OU game is very important for Texas. It's played in Dallas.
3. It's finally Clemson's year! Proven QB, great RBs, playmaking WRs, good defensive talent - this is when they put it all together! What could possibly go wrong?
4. USC vs. Ohio State will decide the fate of Western Civilization. I'm pulling for Buddhism.
5. BYU/Fresno St/Wellesley is going to break through to the big enchilada this year. Watch out BCS.
6. That Mike Leach is sure unusual. Pirates.
7. Pete Carroll is so awesome. He's like Daniel Craig in Casino Royale, but more ripped. Matt Sanchez didn't rape anyone. Some girls just aren't good sports. These Trojans are loaded! The only thing standing between them and a national championship is Ohio State, Stanford, and more erroneous rape accusations.
A carrot for the handful of women who read this blog
8. Lots of teams in college football throw now. Like some of them used to run a lot, but not anymore. They throw.
9. The SEC is so impossibly, incomprehensibly tough. Every week is a war. Playing Mississippi State on the heels of Vanderbilt coming off of an open date before playing Ole Miss is like facing Gehrig, Ruth, DiMaggio. A five loss SEC team could legitimately make a case for a National Championship game berth.
10. College football needs a strong Notre Dame!
11. The recruiting section makes mention of several coaches with incredibly shitty recruiting years who "recruited well to their system."
12. Matt Stafford is both chunky and a Christian. Both help his Q score in Branson.
13. Conventional wisdom is that JoePa and Papa Bowden are through, but the old warriors have one last surprise in 'em for the young 'uns! (Going 7-5?)
14. Really, I cannot stress enough how difficult the SEC is.
15. We need a playoff. The current system is a joke.
16. No we don't! The pageantry of bowls! The beauty of imperfection!
17. A number of QBs with no physical ability have great intangibles.
18. That SEC is a motherfucker, folks.
19. A bunch of different players overcame early childhood adversity to accomplish some shit. Dad in jail, mom on crack, sister works at Applebees. These players admit to running on the wrong side of the law, and the felony mollusk battery (Hitting A Person Or Persons With A Mollusk With The Intent To Cause Bodily Harm) charges are unfortunate, but Coach ____ believed in them and they've grown as people after serving a one quarter suspension against Atchafalya State. The tattoo IRRF on their bicep stands for "I Run Real Fast" and the tattoo that covers their entire back depicting Martin Luther King muay thai kicking Megatron in the groin tells kids that you should never give up on your dream and that good conquers evil.
I have a dream...to kick you in your package
20. Alessana Alessana.
21. For some, tailgating is way of life! Fan interest story. The payoff is that there's a man who skipped his father's deathbed and missed all of his children's births so that he could make the Eastern Washington, Oregon State, and Montana State road games and keep his tailgating attendance streak alive. He is praised for his dedication and brisket.
22. Why is no one talking about East Carolina!!?!?!
23. Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada.
24. If Florida were in the NFC East, they would go 11-5.
25. Rest assured that no one will challenge the Division III supremacy of Mount Union. Don't give me that Wisconsin-Whitewater or Mary-Hardin Baylor smack.
The VY of Division III basks in the glow