Mascots for Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and TCU adorn the regional covers of this week’s Sports Illustrated college football preview issue.
Ohio State, the defending national champion, is well situated for a repeat run at the College Football Playoff championship and is the No. 1 team in SI’s preseason top 25. The Buckeyes return quarterbacks Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett (and former quarterback Braxton Miller will play receiver) and significant talent on defense. Linebacker Joshua Perry, defensive lineman Joey Bosa and Brutus Buckeye get the cover for Ohio State.
• MORE: Ohio State season preview
• MORE: TCU season preview
Notre Dame, 8–5 last year after four straight losses to close the regular season, is SI’s No. 4 preseason team as 18 starters return. Linebacker Jaylon Smith, offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley and the school’s leprechaun mascot decorate Notre Dame’s cover.
• MORE: Notre Dame season preview
Mississippi State is coming off a 10–3 season and Orange Bowl berth that saw quarterback Dak Prescott rise to Heisman Trophy candidacy. Prescott poses with MSU’s Bully the Bulldog on their regional cover. Mississippi State is No. 25 in SI's preseason top 25.
• MORE: Mississippi State season preview
• MORE: SI's Preseason Top 25
The four teams each get a regional cover that will be distributed accordingly:
Ohio State: Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona
Mississippi State: Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina
Notre Dame: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Eastern Missouri, Minnesota
TCU: Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana
GALLERY: ALL OF SI'S 2015 COVERS