If it's mid-June, then it's time for the newsstands to become thick with preview magazines. I received my Athlon in the mail (confession: I wrote three teams' previews) and my first time through it looks pretty solid. The Big Ten edition, which also features full MAC previews, has Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd, Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure and Northwestern QB Dan Persa on the cover.
One of the downsides is the lead time necessary to get this magazine out. For example, there's a two-page spread on Big Ten expansion and the word "Nebraska" is typed exactly once -- as part of an analysis of Iowa State's chances to get into the league. That'll happen.
Anyway, here are a few spoilers:
Northwestern: Picked 7th in Big Ten.
Illinois: Picked 9th in Big Ten.
NIU: Picked to win MAC West.
Also, the Athlon staff ranked all 120 Football Bowl Subdivisions in terms of how much would you want to be the coach of that school's program:
12. Notre Dame
84. Northern Illinois
Care to guess the top 5 in order? Here's a hint: Four conferences are represented.