While the boys enjoy the good kind of 2 and BBQ, lets talk some football. The world of preseason magazines is an odd one these days. Most are only shells of their formers selves, riddled with ads and white space and logos and all sorts of unnecessary fluff to pad out the pages. Most are still pretty accurate, but they also heavily favor the proven and like to play it safe. As a result, most have become somewhat useless diversions for a football mad populous looking for something, anything that can hold them over.
The shining beacon of excellence in this sea of mediocrity is Phil Steele. He consistently puts out an accurate and over-packed book that is basically like carrying a college football wikipedia around. Wanna know how well Iowa state has done against the PAC-10 for the last decade? It's in there. Syracuse's 4th string TE? It's in there too. It has few ads and is so packed that he employs a huge list of acronyms just to give more room for facts and analysis. You may get your eyes crossed the 1st time you read it, but you'll get used to it.
He also tends to be more wiling to put himself out on a limb on his predictions. He made alot of friends locally when he was one of the very few to correctly pick the Saints to win it all last year in his 1st annual NFL mag. In the run up to it's availability this year, Steele is putting out team page samples for his Top 30 and sending out a few early copies to the media. A few of the notable surprises is a preseason #1 ranking for Oklahoma and an uncommon praise for UGA, which has got The Mayor worried already. Yesterday he put out his All-SEC teams, which included Nevis, K. Sheppard, and Peterson on 1st-team defense, with Peterson making his 1st team All-American.
LSU's team preview pages [WARNING: PDF LINK] came out a few days ago as he has us ranked at #26. As you would imagine he's high on our secondary and believes our RB's have nowhere to go but up, but citing how many times we were outgained last year and our tougher schedule, he doesn't see us topping last year's 9 wins. Give it a read, it should only take an hour or two.