'Tis the way of preseason publications, as they try to gather all the pieces and fit them together into a glossy, information-packed periodical for your endless consumption. For me, it was a way to make an almost tangible connection with the coming season, which seems so distant now but will be over quicker than you can say "Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl."
As spring football winds down for MSU this week, the coming season is what will gain our full attention. Well, maybe not my full attention - because I love baseball more - but certainly for most of you.
And even though the season is more than four months away, a few things were learned this spring that we can project onto the fall version of these Bulldogs.
I'm sure you'll be more than glad to indulge me this time-honored tradition of premature, possibly inaccurate football analysis:
* Nick Griffin and LaDarius Perkins will work in tandem at tailback, with neither guy being a real No. 1 - at least not initially. The larger Griffin told me recently that coaches are wanting him to be a power back, and we know Perkins has speed and ball-catching ability, so expect to see him out in space a good bit.
* Denico Autry is starting to catch on, and that's bad news for opposing SEC offenses. The junior college transfer will end up starting at defensive end and should help MSU have a much better pass rush than in years past.
* I've been high on strongside linebacker Deontae Skinner for a long time, and look for him to have a breakout season. Second-team All-SEC, perhaps?
* This team will be more offensively diverse than it ever has been under Dan Mullen, who's entering his fourth year as head coach. Tyler Russell is the best passer to come through Starkville in years, and there are plenty of weapons at his disposal. It's mostly on Russell to take the MSU offense to a new level.
* The offensive line could be the undoing of this offense. It's not an overly impressive bunch, and not very deep, either. Keep a wary eye on it, fans.
* Darius Slay could very well supplant Corey Broomfield as a starting cornerback. Kid has a nose for the ball.
That's all I've got for now. Hopefully it tides you over for at least a couple of hours.
Brad Locke (firstname.lastname@example.org) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at NEMS360.com.