College football magazines
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  1. #1
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    College football magazines

    Ranking the College football mags since I picked up damn near everything possible in print. Mostly I snagged just the national issue, but did hunt down a few conference issues as well. 1-4 are all good. Yahoo(at #5) blows goats. Depending on the day, Lindys and Athlon could swap places. Since I attempt to follow at least 1 team per conference, I try hard to stay in the know to get a good feel for the whole national scene.

    1. Sporting news
    2. Lindys
    3. Phil Steele
    4. Athlon
    5. Yahoo/rivals

    #1 Sporting News
    Pros: Pretty compact and to the point. Love the layout. Combines all the stats/figures/list together in one area for each team. Feature story delves into how a coaching search works. Pimps out the top teams per conference with 2 pages of coverage. Rolls up its sleeves and gives some competent coverage on all FCS schools along with D2 and D3. Furthering the sleeve rolling up process, it steamrolls through some junior college and NAIA coverage. Compiles some lists of the top high school/prep teams athletes. Nice conference round ups as well.

    Cons: Info really skimps on the non BCS schools. Greatly lacks interest/feature stories.

    Final verdict: Straight and to the point without a lot of fluff. Lacks much in the line of features, but I can't say its detrimental. For whatever reason I'm a total mark for the layout of this mag. I feel the simplicity of the read makes this a heavy hitter.

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    #2 Lindys
    Pros: Good set of features like team, coach, and players of the decade. A Big 10 image problem story, and a sit down with Lane Kiffin. Gives a slug of player rankings by each position, and goes 1 step further ranking individual units(wrs/LB's/etc). Nice overall look and very colorful.

    Compact and easy read on each team. Includes a page on basic coverage of D2 and D3, along with a look back at college football from 5 to 50 years ago in 5 year increments(for the most part). Not a ton of info on each team(everyone only gets 1 page) but a small side box really gives the best nuts and bolts in a quick manner.

    Cons: Tebow, Bradford, and McCoy story. Minimal info on FCS schools.

    Side Note: The conference preview issue (bought separately) is written(as far as i could tell) by a local beat writer for each team. There's a sense of homer-ism for the most part in each teams capsule. The individual team coverage here is greatly increased (obviously) to 7 pages with a very in depth look. Also included is a page of various notes, opposing coach assessments(which is never not awesome), a page profiling a prominent player, and schedule analysis along with lots of recruiting info.

    Final verdict: Overall its a great read. Maybe the team pages are a little lacking compared to some, but the basics with a little depth and compelling story lines are outlined. The feature stories come across as the main focus though. The conference issue really flexes some muscles with the additional features for each team.

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    #3 Phil Steel
    Pros: Less is more? WRONG MOTHER****ERS! More is more. The 4th dimension is more. The 7th circle of hell is more. The gateway to annihilation is more! I couldn't even begin to list the features and gadgets and shiny object Phil offers up. 5 times more content than any other magazine out there. Hell maybe 6 or 8 times the content of any other mag. I **** you not.

    Cons: Its too damn much to take in. It has to be read in small increments and sometimes doesn't hold my attention when it wanders off discussing the QB battle of 2006 on its way the 2009 season. Charts, graphs, huge panels of stats...its so heavily packed in there its almost an eye sore. Some features lose me 5 minutes in to the point where I wonder where the **** the story is headed?

    Side note: the Conference issue(bought separately) give you 6 jam packed pages of more stats and figures. MORE CONTENT! Each conference issue does feature tons of FCS coverage which is refreshing(1/2 page per team).

    Final verdict: Its gaudy and overbearing and at times a very challenging read, but you will go back to it over and over. Phil and his staff puts in a lot of busy work compiling all this stuff, and it shows in sheer volume. This is probably a staple for the 1% absolutely die-hard college Fb nuts that have to know everything about everything. In some regards this doesn't belong on the list because its on a level all its own, but Im sure PS sells a ton of copies each year, and he claims in print thats he's more accurate prognosticator than any other magazine.

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    #5 Athlon
    Pros: Moderately strong feature sections. Position units are ranked, and a nicely laid out bio for all the new incoming head coaches. Ranks all team units(QB/WR/LB/etc) in conference as well. The pages are pretty glossy and colorful. This might be the "hot chick" of college FB mags. The team pages are limited to just one and the info seems fairly condensed, but the "final analysis" for each team gets you up to speed in a hurry.

    Also has pictures of cheerleaders(never a bad idea), and rattles off a fair share of recruiting rankings. College fantasy football rankings for all major positions are included.

    Cons: Not too much to nitpick here, but only 1 page per team is always a demerit in my book. Zero FCS or lower coverage, which last time I checked is still college football. Nothing ground breaking with the feature pieces.

    Side Note: The individual conference issues(bought separately) really drops the hammer. Each team is broken down by position(which is awesome) which I find as informative as possible. The 2 minute drill give you the basics. Rumbles through the key players, key loses and rising stars in a separate feature. Team rosters get broken down by position(never seen that before) and they burn up a page recapping the 09 recruited class. FCS gets a page in the conference issue.

    Final verdict: This could be the consummate casual fans guide. Overall pretty solid even though the content is not overflowing. Pretty basic layout that doesn't leave your head spinning.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    #5 Yahoo sports
    Pros: The only magazine not picking ISU last in the B12 north! Considering how minimal this whole ******* thing is, it did manage to have a whooping 3 features on the struggles of repeating as champ, Q and A with Rich Rod, and 5 players under the radar/on the rise. I'll give em due on the fact that they did put together a decent conference round up. Nothing ground breaking, but they churned out a few lists to mull over. The top 10 teams did get 2 pages of coverage.

    Cons: Very minimal overall. No gloss at all to this mag. Its like colored newspaper print. No FCS coverage at all, and they claim yahoo is the leader of investigative sports reporting...which this mag is clearly not. Its their 1st crack at it(that I'm aware of) so maybe next year will be better.

    Final verdict: This would be a godsend if your plane is delayed 3 hours and you're stuck in the terminal without a god damned thing to do. Other than that, find something else to read.


    I'm not sure any more exist at the moment on a large national level, but if they do, I'm willing to purchase and give them a read.


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    Re: College football magazines

    Excellent post, well written. My favorite sports magazine has long been The Sporting News. I used to have a subscription years ago before so much content started being posted online for free. However, I do still purchase the College Football Preview issue annually and read it from cover to cover.



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    Re: College football magazines

    I thought this might be pertinent to this write up. It's a great site I like to look at showing a collection of all the preview mags for college football, the rankings for the teams in those publications, and basically gives a "consensus".
    Here's the home page for the site where you can find past years plus this year's preseason:
    College Football Preseason Magazines
    And here's the link if you click on "'09 Cons." under preseason for this year:
    2009 Preseason Consensus

    Enjoy!


    Vitte, Dulcedo, Sipes

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    Re: College football magazines

    Quote Originally Posted by FD Cyclone View Post
    #1 Sporting News
    Cons: Info really skimps on the non BCS schools.

    #2 Lindys
    Cons: Minimal info on FCS schools.

    #5 Athlon
    Cons: Zero FCS or lower coverage

    #5 Yahoo sports
    Cons: No FCS coverage at all
    I see a trend here. NDSU fans -- does this tell you something???


    Gene Smith, 1993-2000. 7 years, 6 NCAA's, 1 bowl game. Revenue sports postseason participation 50%. Good.
    Bruce Vandevelde, 2000-20005. 5 years, 4 bowl games, 2 NCAA's, 2 NIT's. Postseason participation 80%. Better.
    Jamie Pollard, 2005-. 4 years. 1 bowl game, 0 NCAA's, 0 NIT's. Postseason participation: 13%. The next big step.

    My ignore list: splitidentity, tarheelhawk,superdorf, clones_jer. That is all.

  5. #5
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    Re: College football magazines

    I bought steeles for the first time this year. very good but yes it is like reading a novel



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    Re: College football magazines

    I hate Phil Steele's "Forecast" he does for every team. It's 500 words describing the last 5 years, and then 2 sentences summing up his predictions for this year. It's brutal to read anything on those pages too.



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    Re: College football magazines

    Quote Originally Posted by ISUonthemove View Post
    I hate Phil Steele's "Forecast" he does for every team. It's 500 words describing the last 5 years, and then 2 sentences summing up his predictions for this year. It's brutal to read anything on those pages too.


    I will give you that it is damn wordy and jam packed into such a little space it seems



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