Stewart Mandel
Stewart Mandel>ARCHIVE

Stewart Mandel first caught the college football bug as a sophomore at Northwestern University in 1995. "The thrill of that '95 Rose Bowl season energized the entire campus, and I quickly became aware of how the national media covered that story," he says. "I knew right then that I wanted to be one of those people, covering those type of stories."

Mandel joined (formerly in 1999. A senior writer for the website, his coverage areas include the national college football beat and college basketball. He also contributes features for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. "College football is my favorite sport to cover," says Mandel. "The stakes are so high week in and week out, and the level of emotion it elicits from both the fans and the participants is unrivaled." Mandel's most popular features on include his College Football Mailbag and College Football Overtime. He has covered 14 BCS national championship games and eight Final Fours.

Mandel's first book, Bowls, Polls and Tattered Souls: Tackling the Chaos and Controversy That Reign Over College Football, was published in 2007. In 2008 he took first place (enterprise category) and second place (game story) in the Football Writers Association of America's annual writing contest. He also placed first in the 2005 contest (columns).

Mandel says covering George Mason's run to the Final Four was the most enjoyable story of his SI tenure. "It was thrilling to be courtside for the historic Elite Eight upset of UConn," Mandel says. "Being inside the locker room and around the team during that time allowed me to get to know the coaches and players behind that captivating story."

Before Mandel worked at ESPN the Magazine, ABC Sports Online and The Cincinnati Enquirer. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1998 with a B.S. in journalism. A Cincinnati native, Mandel and his wife, Emily, live in Santa Clara, California.


  • Favorite SI Vault story: An Upside-down Game (Nov. 28, 1966). "For me, it's Dan Jenkins's account of the 1966 Notre Dame-Michigan State tie. Nobody in history covered college football more colorfully and knowledgeably than Jenkins, and this was by far his most memorable story. You know you've done something right when your story causes Notre Dame students to burn copies of the magazine."
  • Writers who have inspired your work: "Dan Jenkins. He mixed satire with straight reporting. He influenced my writing style more than anyone."
  • Hobbies: "All forms of comedy (TV, movies, literature), traveling to new cities and countries and endlessly in search of the nation's finest grilled chicken sandwich."
  • Favorite book: Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman. "He is the preeminent satirist of my generation and this is his seminal work to date."
  • Greatest team you've seen in person: "The 2001 Miami Hurricanes."
  • Greatest game you've seen in person: USC-Texas, 2005 BCS championship game.

Updated July 3, 2013
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