Sports Illustrated is featuring fifth-year senior linebacker SHAYNE SKOV on one of its regional covers, previewing the beginning of the collegiate football season. The management science and engineering major is among the students nationwide used by Sports Illustrated to personify what it is terming the “rise of the nerds.” The magazine makes the dubious claim that “smart schools” have suddenly “got good” at football.
The magazine notes that, last year, four schools—Notre Dame, Stanford, Northwestern and Vanderbilt—ranked among the top 20 in both the U.S. News & World Report best colleges ranking and the final USA Today college football coaches ranking. The editors also say that “nerds weren’t very good at football for much of college football history. Suddenly, that’s changed.”
The issue also features Sports Illustrated‘s top 25 collegiate teams, with the Cardinal ranked second.
Coach DAVID SHAW is quoted in an online article from the issue as saying, “As much as we can, we’re going to change college football. Some of our guys are going to be CEOs and found companies and do all kinds of things outside of football. But when it comes to game day, they’re just as tough and just as good as anyone in the country.”
Sports Illustrated writes, “Instead of viewing the current stretch as an anomaly, however, these programs are attempting to create a new reality, and in so doing dispel generations of naysayers who assumed being smart and being good at football were mutually exclusive.”
In a touching article, which is available in the printed edition, Skov talks about his challenging childhood, his mother’s illness, and the injury and DUI arrest that temporarily sidelined him.
Cardinal fans can meet Skov and his teammates this Saturday during the annual football open house. Learn more about the open house on the Stanford Athletics website.
For more about the “rise of the nerds,” visit the Sports Illustrated website.