Ohio State one of four teams on SI college football preview covers

Mascots for Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and TCU adorn the regional covers of this week’s Sports Illustrated college football preview issue.
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Players and mascots for Mississippi StateNotre DameOhio State and TCU adorn regional covers for this week’s Sports Illustratedcollege 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


TCU is No. 3 in SI’s preseason top 25 and will look to build a playoff run around senior quarterback Trevone Boykin, who gets the regional cover alongside mascot Super Frog.

• 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