M A G A Z I N E R E V I E W
The Sporting News college football preview
$5.99, 208 pages
Cover photo (Thanks, Alex C. in Pueblo!)
The Sporting News' college football preview magazine picks Nebraska to win the national championship. (Grain-of-salt alert: This is the same mag that picked Colorado three years ago. The Buffs went on to finish 5-6.)
Here are some other items of interest to Husker fans. (This is what was found in the version being sold in Colorado. There may be regional differences, particularly in the photo selection. To order the version with Crouch on the cover, call 1-800-825-8508.)
- Eric Crouch is on the cover, and the table of contents has as its background a two-page photo of Bobby Newcombe diving for the pylon against Iowa. And there's a full-page photo of Newcombe at the start of the national-rankings section.
- The Nebraska-Notre Dame game is one of six listed under "Set the VCR / Make sure you check out these games."
- Carlos Polk and Russ Hochstein are first-team All-Americans. No Huskers are on the second team.
- The magazine ranks players nationally by position. Most positions are 20 or 25 players deep. Eric Crouch is the No. 4 quarterback, Tracey Wistrom is the No. 6 tight end, Dominic Raiola is the No. 4 center, Russ Hochstein is the No. 2 guard, Kyle Vanden Bosch is the No. 6 defensive end, Carlos Polk is the No. 1 inside linebacker, Keyuo Craver is the No. 11 cornerback, Dan Hadenfeldt is the No. 5 punter, and Bobby Newcombe is the No. 4 return man.
- As a unit, Nebraska's offensive line is rated No. 1 nationally, its offensive backfield is rated No. 3, and its receivers are No. 10. These rankings go 12 deep, and NU's defensive line, linebackers and secondary are not ranked.
- On the awards lists, Eric Crouch is No. 4 for the Heisman, Kyle Vanden Bosch is No. 10 for the Lombardi, Carlos Polk is No. 1 for the Butkus, and Josh Brown is No. 5 for the Groza. (Curiously, Brown does not make it onto the list of the nation's top kickers in the previously mentioned position rankings. Nor is he on the magazine's first- or second-team all-conference team. These magazine always seem to have their internal inconsistencies, and this certainly is one of them. Look four items down for another.)
- Preseason rankings of NU's opponents: Kansas State, 5; Oklahoma, 17; Notre Dame, 22; Kansas, 37; Colorado, 42; Missouri, 59; Texas Tech, 65; Iowa, 71; Iowa State, 79; Baylor, 88; San Jose State, 103.
- The Big 12 is rated as the second-toughest conference, behind the SEC and ahead of the Big 10.
- In the Big 12 unit rankings, NU's overall offense, offensive line and backfield are rated No. 1, and its wide receivers are No. 2. Its overall defense is No. 2 (behind A&M), the defensive line and secondary are No. 3, and linebacking is No. 5. Special teams are No. 2, and coaching is No. 1.
- The "upset of the year" in the Big 12 is Oklahoma over Nebraska. (There's no explanation of how the Huskers are therefore expected to finish as national champions.)
- All those mentioned above except Josh Brown and Bobby Newcombe are first-team all-conference, and Eric Crouch is conference offensive player of the year. On the second-team all-conference list are Dave Volk, Dan Alexander and Bobby Newcombe.
- Nebraska's 2000 recruiting class is rated No. 11 nationally and No. 2 in the conference.
- Omaha Creighton Prep DL Titus Adams is listed as one of the nation's top 25 prospects at any position for 2001.