Soutwvboy’s Half Assed College Football Preview Magazine Preview


Football on Field

Image Credit: ncaa-football-bet.com

Memorial Day Weekend has always been a favorite time of year for me. It’s a time of cook outs, cold beer drinking car race watching and college football “countdowning”. And there’s not a better way in the world to celebrate the last part there then picking up a College Football Preview Magazine. I’m old school, I love buying magazines and newspapers. It’s nice to have the hard copy in hand. My 10 year old has started hanging them on his wall, he cuts out pictures of his favorite players and with the preview magazine’s I like making notes for use later on in the season. So here is a breakdown of the preview’s I prefer. Also over the course of the May I plan to get you ready to properly get ready for the upcoming College Football Season. I’ll be breaking down the best podcasts, best websites, best fan sites and whatever else I can think of. Now when I say the best I mean what I like and hopefully you to will give it a shot. So I present to you my go to “College Football Preview Magazine Preview”. Also southwvboy is a dorky handle on a fan site. It’s my calling card.

Phil Steele.

For all its glory this preview isn’t perfect. The guy does a great job of predicting the upcoming season and picking dark horse teams that may have been awful the year before but is due for a breakout. He list’s each teams 3 deep depth chart coming out of the spring. His position by position grading is stealer and for the most part is spot on. Also for dorks like myself he provides each teams schedule on the teams page with space to list the score. Again it doesn’t seem like much but for dorks like myself I can’t do without it. I use this preview year round. Mr. Steele boasts about having more info jammed packed in there than any other magazine. Though he’s technically correct not all that info is relevant. In the team position breakdowns Phil will spend 3 paragraphs to give you everything you need to know about WVU’s past running backs but only a few lines on their current crop. When I read the WVU 2015 QB outlook I shouldn’t see the name Pat White or Geno Smith, yet I bet you dollars to doughnut holes he will open the section with one of those names. Even with those positon “outlooks” making up the majority of the magazine and being worthless I still can’t go without this magazine. Each team page will feature as stated above at least a 3 deep depth chart with stats on each player; each teams schedule and result going back 10 years, split team stats for every opponent last season, each team’s top three all-time rusher, receiver and quarter back. Basically you take out the bulk of the writing and it’s still hands down the best of the bunch. And yes, I get it Millennials all that information is readily available with just a quick trip to Yahoo Sports, but you know, get off my lawn. According to the countdown clock on philsteele.com the mag will be available at newsstands on July 1st. Other than SI this may be the latest release date.

Athlon.

Athlon will hit the shelves around June 1st. Athlon has two areas that makes this a must buy for me. They have great feature article and of course cheerleaders and Song Girls, is a song girl a cheerleader or a song girl? With that said I would not recommend buying the national issue. In the past they would release a national issue along with issues for each of the 5 power leagues or BCS leagues way back when. The national issue is too brief in their team breakdowns to make this a must buy. I like to buy the Big 12 and the Big 10 issue each year. I live in Ohio so it’s easy to get the Big 10 issue but normally have to order the Big 12 issue from the web site. In the league specific issues the position and unit outlooks are outstanding. It’s a good compliment to the Phil Steele Magazine. Athlon does a great job filling in the holes left by Phil’s position breakdowns. But remember this only applies to the league issues, don’t expect anything worth reading in the national issues. Way to watered down. Another reason I buy Athlon is for the writers. Braden Gal is one of the senior writers and is worth a follow on twitter. He also hosts Athlon Sports Cover 2 College Football Podcast which is one of the better CFB podcast out there. He’s a super SEC homer so beware. He’s one of the few CFB writers that will go back and forth with you all day on twitter. In a world where douche bag has become a pre requisite to covering the sport, Gal somehow was able to get through without that credential.

Lindy’s.

The only time I buy Lindy’s is when I find a copy with WVU players on the cover. Or every other magazine has them picked realistically in the middle or lower in their conference and Lindy’s picks them top 10 nationally. I like to hear what I want to hear, don’t judge. I’ve never been a fan of Lindy’s, except for when they lie to me. To me Lindy’s has always seemed like a cheap knock off of Athlon. Both magazines follow the same template. Several feature articles, conference outlooks and team by team break downs. With both of these being so similar there’s no need to buy both. Lindy’s has always lagged behind Athlon in regards to their feature articles. Lindy’s one blue ribbon though is their depth chart. In the past they have provided more information than Athlon. I get better version of the depth chart with the Phil Steele preview so that has no bearing on my selection process. Lindy’s national issue will be available on June 1st with the conference issues being released throughout June.

Sporting News.

I haven’t read one of these in years. Sporting News stopped their weekly magazine a few years ago and merged with Street & Smith to provide only preview magazines. I’ve thumbed through one last year while waiting at Walgreens and I was not impressed. The team specific previews appeared to have less info than any other preview. It’s frustration to see what has happened to both Street & Smith and Sporting News. When I was a kid back in the 80’s these were the go to magazines. Street & Smith had hands down the best football previews and TSN had the most informative magazine out there. Maybe SI had great pictures and news worthy articles but each issue of TSN was packed with stats rankings and other forms of info that super fans like 12 year old me craved. I’ve looked for a release date but was unable to find one. In the past it came out around the first of June.

USA Today.

If this were a ranking about on-line previews the list would stop and start with USA Today. But it’s not. At some point in May Paul Myerberg will begin releasing each teams preview, normally releasing a team each day. These are the most in-depth national previews you will find. He writes just as much about Georgia State as Florida State. He starts with the last place team and releases one team each day until the day before the season starts when he releases his number one team. In the past it sucked, I would have to wait almost the entire summer for WVU’s preview but it meant they were highly regarded. The past two years I got to read their preview early, which isn’t a good thing. They do release a magazine which I would rank right there with Sporting News. Paul doesn’t do much of the writing for the mag which is a shame. The guy’s that handle the bulk of the magazine’s writing is nowhere near the talent of Myerberg. He started this format while running a blog that was associated with the New York Times a few years back called The Quad. There’s not a better way to start you day in the summer, Cup of Joe and the outlook on the South Alabama Jaguars. I was also unable to find a release date for USA Today.

So there you have it. I’m a huge college football fan. I watch around 12 to 15 games a week in the fall. I don’t watch ESPN’s Gameday as I find it mind numbing propaganda. Gameday is for the lazy fan that needs ESPN’s talking points in order to carry on a conversation about the greatest sport known to man. Your taste may not be the same as mine. The above reviews reflect the opinion of fanatic. So if you want to be well informed for the upcoming season I suggest buying the Athlon Preview for the conference of your choice and then following that up with Phil Steele come July. The other’s you can do without. Using those two with a daily visit to Paul Myerberg at USA Today will have you ready for the upcoming season.

 

 

– Quincy Bailey

TWITTER: @southwvboy
baileyquincy71@yahoo.com