If you can get past its ESPN.com-like propensity for loading up on annoying advertisements, Scout.com's College Football News is as entertaining as it gets for the knowledge-hungry fan.
Even though my modem shudders at the idea of having to sift through that sea of ads, I cannot nitpick too much.
CFN has been unabashed in its support of Missouri football the past few seasons, predicting the Tigers to finish last season with a record of 10-2, including a win over the Texas Longhorns.
Yeah, that didn't exactly work out, but despite MU's moderately disappointing season in 2009, the CFN staff seems to have at least stayed within shouting distance of the bandwagon.
CFN writer Richard Cirminiello recently compiled a list of his top 10 offensive and defensive players to watch during the 2010 season, and the Tigers figured prominently, featuring a player on each side of the ball.
Here's a bit of what Cirminiello had to say about MU quarterback Blaine Gabbert:
Beyond just the statistics, he has the raw physical gifts to become a special passer in the Big 12 if he continues to improve his reads and decision-making. At 6-5 and 240 pounds, he can make all the throws, moves surprisingly well for his size, and plays in an offense that’ll showcase all of those skills.
And when it came to defense, Cirminiello gushed over the emerging superstar that is defensive end Aldon Smith:
This is the classic example of the modest recruit, who works hard in the offseason, blooms a little late, and catches a lot of people by surprise in his first year. Without much warning, Smith shot up to 6-5 and 255 pounds and routinely busted through opposing offensive lines as a redshirt freshman.
And while you're at CFN, check out its breakdown of the schedules of the teams from every BCS conference. The staff gives each team a worst-case and best-case scenario for the 2010 season and opines that the Tigers could win as many as 10 games or lose as many as six. And the closest thing to a sure bet is that the Big 12 North will be decided with MU's visit to Lincoln on Oct. 30 to face Nebraska.
Photo credit: Columbia Missourian