We are a little less than 100 days away from the start of the college football season and that can mean only one thing, the arrival of the various preview magazines at your local bookstore. Every year that date seems to be earlier and earlier and this year is no exception.
For those of us who eat, sleep, and breath college football and Iowa Football in particular, this day couldn't come soon enough.
I can remember not too long ago when the magazines would arrive in July, but on Saturday, while we were still in the month of May, I headed to the local bookstore and there they were. The Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy's, and of course the holy grail for any college football fan, Phil Steele. Those are the four big names each year for college football junkies who can't wait until the season starts.
I'll never complain about the earlier arrival date because it makes the summer pass more quickly and it's always great reading material. I've always been a fan of Phil Steele's magazine over the others because it has the most information. Although, either I am getting older or Phil's already small typesetting is getting smaller. I'm leaning towards the former, but I will not rule out the latter.
The general consensus is that the Hawkeyes are going to be pretty good. Maybe not as good as some Iowa fans want to believe, but Lindy's has Iowa in the top four thus far. I'll say this, having bought all of these magazines over the years, Lindy's is probably my least favorite and that has nothing to do with their prediction this year. For what it is worth, I'd rate the four starting with Steele, then Sporting News, then Athlon, with Lindy's brings up the rear.
If you are looking for another recruiting fix, there is plenty of information available in at least three of the magazines. Steele and Athlon do more of a consensus of the major services for their rankings, while Lindy's and The Sporting News use Rivals.com (cheap plug for us) for their rankings.
Individually, several Iowa players are getting some good pub in the magazines. As you might expect, Bryan Bulaga and Amari Spievey are receiving some All American consideration and All Big Ten honors. Pat Angerer seems to be a fixture on the 1st team All Big Ten list. Lindy's had a couple of surprises with Dan Doering making preseason first team all conference and Jewel Hampton on the second team. Athlon also gave Hampton some pub on the second team and they included Kyle Calloway on their first team All Big Ten list.
Even the glorious home of the Hawkeyes, Kinnick Stadium, gets some love from The Sporting News in their preview issue, listing it as the Best Stadium in the Big Ten. By the way, Penn State was selected as the best fans and having the best mascot. I disagree with both of those, but that is just one man's opinion.
If the college football can't get here soon enough for you, then head to your local bookstore and pick up the preview magazines. They aren't cheap and generally cost about eight bucks each, but it will make the months of June and July fly by as you flip through the pages over and over again and get ready for another season of college football.