Crimson White, Daily Texan blitz coverage

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The Crimson White produced a terrific publication previewing today's SEC title game.

So what are college newspapers saying about three big games set for kickoff today?

Florida vs. Alabama

The Independent Alligator offers a story that is filled mostly with overview and background. The ‘Gator also includes several columns along with a podcast where football writers preview the SEC Championship game. Decent content. But nothing spectacular for a game promoted as ‘the game of the millennium’ on the podcast. Columnist Mike McCall says he’s pulling for several teams (Texas Christian, Boise State and Cincinnati) to win so there will be added pressure on college football officials to create a playoff system. Good luck convincing those greedy, self-serving league officials to change the system, Mike, but keep trying.

The Crimson White produced a terrific GameDay magazine for today’s SEC championship game that can be viewed in full screen online. In addition, the Crimson White has comments from Friday’s press conference in Atlanta, along with a story outlining key news on the Gators. Plus, columnist Spenser White argues that ‘Bama needs this game to assert itself as the SEC’s top program. But a victory today won’t change that Florida has won two national titles in three years – and has beaten Alabama in four of six SEC title games. A victory today, really, will only validate the SEC as the toughest conference, where the top programs continually beat one another.

Texas vs. Nebraska

You can get matchups, a story on two Longhorns receivers who have emerged as potent targets, a history of Big 12 championship upsets, a Heisman watch, and an admission by a sportswriter that he used to ‘hate’ Colt McCoy in the Daily Texan. The newspaper offers several more items for another informative Double Coverage issue.

The Daily Nebraskan does a mediocre job previewing today’s title game, publishing a column that serves as an analysis piece – and little else. The newspaper offers a story that is not updated (and, apparently, not edited, because the following note was left in the copy from Thursday afternoon.)

“Oregon/Oregon State….DON’T CHANGE COPY DESK, we’ll change this once we know who wins this game tonight) will play Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.”

And the Big Red Blog, ostensibly ‘the place for all things Husker football,’ has not been updated since Nov. 27. Looks like it serves primarily as a place for live-game blogging. The newspaper does offer a story on the team’s evolving offensive line that now helps plow ahead for 150-plus rushing yards a game, a feature published a few days ago. Couldn’t tell the Cornhuskers were playing for a spot in a BCS bowl, though. Looks more like coverage one would see before a game against Florida Atlantic.

Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh

Thousands of Pitt fans plan to rush the field if the Panthers defeat Cincy in today’s unofficial Big East championship game, according to the Pitt News. (Thanks Facebook groups.) The winner of today’s regular-season game earns a BCS berth, but the News spent little effort previewing the game. No match-ups nor features nor in-depth analysis. Instead, the newspaper offers a bowl overview and a story on the offensive line to go with the traditional overview story.

The News Record does not produce much coverage either, offering an analysis story on the front page. Beyond that, the News Record ran another general preview story on Wednesday. But there are no match-ups, analysis or features on the opposing team, nor pre-game assessments, comments or updates. To make matters worse, the Bearcats blog has not been updated since Oct. 13, when the writer focused on the Baltimore Ravens. If your newspaper is going to produce a sports blog, cover your university teams. That’s your beat. Leave the NFL to the national media. And update the blog regularly, or readers won’t return.

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