Former U of L coach Charlie Strong made the cover of The Sporting News yearbook at Texas.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Sporting News is testing the strategy that you’d better feature local faces on the cover of your college football preview magazine to sell more copies.
There are 16 regional editions of The Sporting News 2014 college football yearbook. None feature anybody from Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana or Western Kentucky on the cover – unless you count former U of L coach Charlie Strong, who drew a small area of the cover in the Texas edition.
(Strong is overshadowed by Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the last time he’ll be satisfied with being overshadowed by another in-state player.)
But that doesn’t mean TSN thinks the local teams will be primarily tackling dummies this season. Actually the magazine projects bowl appearances by three of the four teams, although nobody from the area makes the magazine’s pre-season Top 25 or first team all-American squads.
Here is the roll call:
Third in ACC Atlantic, behind Florida State and Clemson, programs the Cards and coach Bobby Petrino will be playing every season.
Cards are projected to play in the Music City Bowl (Bye-bye New Orleans and Orlando; Nothing says bowl season like an sitting outside in Nashville in late December.)
Charles Gaines, cornerback, third team all-American, first-team all-ACC.
DeVante Parker, receiver, first team all-ACC. Parker is also TSN’s pick as the Cards’ difference maker.
Louisville recruiting class ranked ninth in the ACC, ahead of Syracuse, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Duke and Wake Forest.
Former Trinity quarterback Reggie Bonnafon is the pick as Louisville’s top recruit.
Fifth in Big Ten East, ahead of Maryland and Rutgers.
Hoosiers are projected to play in the Detroit Bowl (one of the few bowls that makes a December trip to Nashville seem like a joy).
No IU players were picked first team all Big Ten. Cornerback Tim Bennett is the pick as IU’s difference maker.
IU recruiting class picked ninth in the Big Ten, ahead of Iowa, Minnesota, Rutgers, Purdue and Illinois.
Wide receiver Dominique Booth of Pike High School in Indianapolis is rated as IU’s top recruit.
Picked seventh in the SEC East.
No UK players picked first team all-SEC. Defensive end Bud Dupree is the pick as Kentucky’s difference maker.
UK recruiting class ranked 10th in the SEC, ahead of Arkansas, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt.
Quarterback Drew Barker was named UK’s top recruit.
Second in Conference USA East during WKU’s debut season in the league.
Hilltoppers are projected to play in St. Petersburg Bowl (yeah, sunscreen required – at least until the game starts in domed Tropicana Field).
No WKU players were picked first team all-CUSA. Running back Leon Allen was picked as WKU’s difference maker.
WKU recruiting class picked sixth in C-USA, behind Marshall, Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss and Middle Tennessee.
Linebacker Dejon Brown was selected as the Hilltoppers’ top recruit.
Here is The Sporting News national Top 10:
3. Florida State
9. Ohio State
10. South Carolina.
TSN has five other SEC teams in its Top 25 – LSU (11); Georgia (15); Texas A&M (18); Ole Miss (20) and Florida (22). Only one other ACC team made the Top 25 – North Carolina (24). Michigan State (12) Nebraska (17) and Wisconsin (19) also represent the Big Ten.