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A Final FB Preview: The "Bible of Baseball" chimes in

Pre-season magazines generate all kinds of buzz and interest. We started with Athlon's assessment of Rutgers and the Big Ten. We moved next to ESPN and Lindy's Sports. The finale today from The Sporting News.


The Bible of Baseball - the first all sports publication - is our last preview.

Like two of the previous three, The Sporting News has Rutgers in last place in the East, behind Maryland.  Those two are the only East teams they feel won't go to a bowl game, along with Illinois and Purdue from the West.

With the change in offensive philosophy, TSN felt it would take time to develop.  Meaning, that while they didn't predict Ws and Ls, don't expect the left side of the ledger to have big numbers.

Recruiting:  TSN highlights Trey Sneed, Solomon Manning, and Tylin Odin in its very small recruiting point.  "Quarterback Tylin Odin was a nice "get" at the end, but the Scarlet Knights are banking on and hoping that many of the overlooked prospects in New York and New Jersey they signed pan out down the road."

Something different: TSN listed a team that was overrated and underrated.  On the overrated side....wait for it...,.PENN STATE.  They say, "Back-to-back 7-6 seasons -- including a 6-10 record in Big Ten play -- puts a little pressure on James Franklin in his third year.  Penn State is free of NCAA sanctions and has recruited well.  The Nittany Lions, however, have to fight back into the top three in the Big Ten East."

It did not comment on whether they were #Unrivaled.

The underrated squad?  Wisconsin.  The 10 wins last year was pretty good, but apparently the Badgers are now facing the West Division's equivalent of Rutgers' first year crossover schedule:  Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State.

Around the Big Ten: The Sporting News sees Ohio State winning the East and Iowa taking the West.  It also sees OSU making it to the College Football Playoff, losing to Alabama in the semifal at the Peach Bowl.  And because of the CFP, it has Michigan going to Pasadena, while Iowa heads to the Citrus Bowl.

That being said, TSN looks at the storyline in the West with some interest.  "The Big Ten brings a lot of exciting storylines into 2016, and most of those revolve around the Buckeyes, Spartans, and Wolverines.  However, don't rule out a surprise champion from the Big Ten West."

All Big Ten: Keep looking.  No Rutgers player - again - makes the pre-season All Big Ten squad.

National Rankings and the Big Ten: Alabama sucks.  Okay, got that out of the way.  TSN has Ohio State at No. 4, making the CFP as noted.  And it has Michigan at No. 8.  Outside the Top Ten, two other Big Ten teams make the rankings:  Michigan State (11) and Iowa (17).

The Schedule: Like the other publications, the opener at Washington is viewed as very challenging.  TSN has the Huskies at No. 20 to start the season.   And the start of the Big Ten schedule will be, in their words and many others, brutal.  "Rutgers could have a brutal start before showing improvement in the second half of the season, which features a tough road test at Michigan State."

And while they predict New Mexico to finish fourth in the Mountain West Mountain Division, they also feel the Lobos will go bowling.  "Coach Bob Davie told everyone in Albequerque he could get the Lobos turned around.  It just took him a little more time than he had hoped, but New Mexico isn't going away any time soon."

Interesting note: TSN lists the five year record for each team.  Maryland is 23-39 over the last five, including 3-9 (shoulda been 2-10!) in '15.  Rutgers is 36-28, including last year's 4-8 (shoulda been 5-7!).

Another interesting note: Most previews, including The Sporting News, had Baylor in the Top Ten (No. 5 here).  With the horrific stories coming out of Waco, you wonder how that will impact their performance.  Of course, maybe they should have just shut it down.

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