But if the Manziel interview can teach us anything, it's that the football purists are still there, and will still ask the pertinent information true football fans desire, if only in a rising sea of superficial fodder. Pay close attention and you will stumble across articles highlighting Meyer's need for an entirely new front-four on defense to play beyond their years, the importance of having Devin Gardner back in the Maize and Blue and how James White can finally take the next step at Wisconsin and lead a rushing attack without Doak Walker winner Montee Ball.
Look past the major national media outlets and you'll find discussions on Tim Beckman's young Illinois squad and Nathan Scheelhaase's final season to leave a mark in Champaign. There are indeed pieces that focus on the Illini's unproven wideouts, or the strength of the linebacking core to try and lead the team to more than last season's 2-10 mark. The real, gritty material is there, you just have to wade through the fluff.
Braden Layer can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at firstname.lastname@example.org