Do you realize that we are 12 weeks from the start of the college football season? I don’t mean practice or reporting, I mean games. Twelve weeks from today (June 6) North Carolina and South Carolina will be kicking off on ESPN at 5 p.m.
Before we get to the season, we have to talk about the season, right? And there is no better time to do that than right after Football Magazine Day. The first round of college football magazines hit the shelves and, predictably, I bought them. All. I already know what they are going to say (remember: I am a recruitnik and an admitted college football addict) but that means nothing. I read anyway. Because it’s Football Magazine Day! I could go on for days about what’s in there, but I’ll give you four things from the first round of mags:
Alabama is the consensus No. 1
The sky is blue, water is wet and ou sucks. Bama being picked No.1 is as obvious as anything ever. As the back-to-back defending National Champs, easy to see why. The Tide return eight starters on defense and five on offense, not including superstar tailback TJ Yeldon, who backed up Eddie Lacey last year and still rushed 1,018 yards and 12 td’s. Three starters must be replaced up front, but CJ Mosley and HaHa Clinton-Dix (yep, that’s all written correctly) lead a smothering and confident defense. Oh yeah, they also return qb AJ McCarron and the adorable Nick Saban.
I know you didn’t ask me, but I’d duck Aggies. Lord Saban is not pleased with last year’s outcome and the only thing more dangerous than Saban and his team is Saban and his team with a chip on their shoulder and a score to settle.The others in the top 10 of both mags: South Carolina, Stanford, Oregon, Ohio State, Clemson, and Notre Dame. Oh, and…
Did you guys know the A&M quarterback won the Heisman? Manziel is getting more pub in the mags than Amanda Bynes. Unlike Bynes, Manziel has earned all of it. The First Team All-America qb for both early magazines, Johnny Football is the frontrunner to retain his Heisman and has his Aggies ranked No. 7 and No. 9, respectively. Things are looking good for the Ags…
But for all the love he is getting, no one has A&M in a BCS game. Everyone expects a loss to Bama and a loss somewhere else. Only five starters return on defense and they aren’t the SEC mystery with a new offense and defense this year… But Johnny Football! SEC! Whoop!
The other big names you’d expect to see getting lots of attention are Jadaveon Clowney, Mr. McCarron, Ohio State qb Braxton Miller (the real competition for a second Manziel Heisman), Tajh Boyd and the Alabama elephant.
New coaches, new places
Kliff Kingsbury at Tech, Bobby Petrino at Western Kentucky, Gus Malzan at Auburn, Bret Bielema at Arkansas, Tubs at Cincinnati, Bryan Harsin at Arkansas State and Mark Stoops at Kentucky, to name a few. Can’t wait to see what Kingsbury does at Tech and if there’s any justice, Tech and Cincinnati will meet in the post-season if possible.
The Big 12
The Sporting News has Oklahoma State ranked No. 6/Athlon’s No. 16 and are the highest ranked Big 12 team. The Horns come at 14/18 depending and ou is 17/19. The top three are the same in both magazines, but it varies from there with TCU and Baylor picked 4th/6th in one and just the opposite in the other. Both love Lache Seastrunk, the Baylor rb who said he would win the Heisman in 2013 and Devonte Fields, the freshman phenom de for TCU that is suspended for the for two games, but as a whole neither expects a big run from a Big 12 team or anyone wearing burnt orange.
This is the point when I start shouting at the magazine, saying it’s wrong. I can get fairly biting and cruel with the magazine, but it has to know it’s coming at this point.
So there you go, a quick-hitter on the first round of football magazines. What did I miss? Let me know.
Follow Trey at @TreyMcLean or email him.