College football can be a little dizzying, with its ups and downs, computer formulas, and conference musical chairs. But we can always trust that the first Saturday of the season will bring what really matters into focus. However teams approach the new season, they all have the same thing in mind: winning the BCS.
With each new season, we gather to ask: Is this the year the rest of the country finally catches up to the SEC? Maybe it ends this year, if USC can throw the Tigers or the Tide into submission. Or next year, if Urban Meyer needs just one season in Columbus like he did in Gainesville. How has the SEC won six straight BCS titles, and how can it be stopped? This dominance has to end, right? Not if you ask SEC fans.
ESPN The Magazine’s 2012 College Football Preview Issue, on newsstands Friday, August 10, offers a wide array of content to help get fans in gear:
ESPN Power Rankings
The Mag teamed up with ESPN.com and polled 20 in-house experts to amass the Top 25, in the hope of finding the 1. By Travis Haney and Mark Schlabach
Is the rebirth of USC football offensive? Absolutely. And that is meant in the best possible way. ESPN’s KC Joyner says the best (and maybe only) way to beat the SEC is to go deep. And nobody does that better than Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and their QB Matt Barkley, who opted to stick around for his senior season and USC’s entry back into the BCS pool. By Brett Forrest
Tyrann Mathieu is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. He could be the first defensive Heisman winner since Charles Woodson in 1997 – and to think Les Miles was the only SEC coach willing to give him a chance. LSU is keeping him off-limits to the media, but The Mag hunted down the true story of the Honey Badger. By Kevin Van Valkenburg
The consensus is that Texas is a year away and in need of a good signal caller. But haven’t a number of SEC teams won titles with mediocre QBs, great defense and solid running games? As long as Mack Brown can follow this formula and identify the right game manager, the Longhorns should win the Big 12. By LaRue Cook
Urban Meyer will be home for dinner
Urban Meyer signed two agreements when he was hired by Ohio State: One with the school demanding he return the university to prominence; the other with his family demanding much more. Meyer did not like the man he became in the frying pan of Florida. Now he’s out to forge a new identity in the fire of OSU. By Wright Thompson
Additional College Football Preview Issue Highlights:
- “On Death’s Door”: The Mag’s Don Van Natta Jr. takes readers inside the secret negotiations that brought Penn State Football to the brink of extinction.
- “Return to Power”: It used to be that catchers were expected to be defensive leaders who failed at the plate. Not anymore. As the pennant race heats up, the bats of backstop guys including Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli, and Matt Wieters are more at the forefront as power hitters who also act as field generals.
- “Life in the Shadows”: The Fix columnist Chris Jones discusses how Michael Jordan’s sons are learning firsthand the brutal truth that MJ himself warned them about: It’s damn hard to follow a legend.
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