BC-FBC--College Football Preview Package,ADVISORY
To help you with planning ahead of the college football season, some of our plans in coming weeks. This digest will be updated through August. For questions, please contact Dave Zelio (dzelio(at)ap.org). All times Eastern.
TOP 25 POLL
The 2018 preseason Top 25 will be released on Monday, Aug. 20, at noon. The weekly poll will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and will then be sent every Sunday at 2 p.m. through the rest of the regular season. The final poll will be sent roughly an hour after the national championship game the evening of Monday, Jan. 7. This is the 83rd year of the Top 25 poll.
The AP will release its preseason All-America team on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at noon. The first AP All-America team was selected in 1925, a decade before the first Heisman Trophy. The same expert panel of 61 sports writers and broadcasters from AP-affiliated media around the country who decide the Top 25 will select preseason All-America players for each position for first and second teams.
All Power Five team previews, written in a things-to-know style, will move on Thursday, Aug. 16. Each preview will be approximately 700 words, with photos.
CONFERENCE PREVIEWS (each approximately 800 words, with photos)
Aug. 13: SEC, Pac-12
Aug. 14: Big Ten, Atlantic Coast
Aug. 15 Big 12, Mountain West
Aug. 17: Remaining Group of Five conference previews
Under a new NCAA rule change, football players will be able get into four games and still take a redshirt season. The shift is a boon for coaches, who are taking a whole new look at roster management. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 800 words, photos Aug. 1.
College football’s offensive revolution is literally slowing down. For the third straight season possessions per game dropped and 2017 saw a significant drop in plays per game, which led to less scoring. The “fast football” craze sparked by the likes of Oregon appears to be fading. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1,100 words, photos Aug. 6.
FBC--YEAR OF THE DEFENSIVE LINEMAN
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — In college football’s year of the defensive lineman, Boston College’s Zach Allen is not getting the publicity of Clemson’s four potential first-round draft picks, the latest Bosa harassing quarterbacks at Ohio State or Houston’s Ed Oliver. But the NFL scouts are well aware of Allen, too. With an obsessive dedication to an early-to-bed-early-too-rise routine and strict diet of George Foreman Grill meals, Allen has put himself on the same level as all those former five-star prospects. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by noon Aug. 9. With FBC--PICK SIX-DEFENSIVE LINEMEN.
FBC--HOW TO MAKE A SCHEDULE
Touting the strength of a schedule has become all the rage in the College Football Playoff era. Schools and conferences want to schedule to impress the selection committee, but the driving factor in most scheduling decisions is the budget. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by noon Aug. 22.
College football players do not have a much of an offseason, and summer tends to be no break. Still, Arizona State’s Kyle Williams has managed to take steps toward his long-term goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon over the last two summers. Williams has been shadowing ASU’s team doctor at the Mayo Clinic. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, video by 5 a.m. Aug. 8.
FBC--SUMMER JOBS-FARMER’S WORK
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State linebacker Koa Farmer loves crime-solving television shows like “CSI,” ″Law & Order” and “Bones.” Last summer, he got a taste of what it’s like to solve real crimes. His internship involved ride-a-longs with federal agents and Maryland police and work with forensics experts. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 500 words, with photos, video by 5 a.m. Aug. 8.
FBC--SUMMER JOBS-IT’S A ZOO
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota defensive linemen Winston DeLattiboudere, a junior, and Jerry Gibson, a senior, worked this summer as security guards at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory for the city of St. Paul, a few miles from campus. One of the Gophers coaches made the connection, and they both jumped at the opportunity to feed the giraffes, high-five the kids and help keep the zoo grounds safe. By Dave Campbell. UPCOMING: 600 words, photos and video by 5 a.m. Aug. 8.
— FBC--SUMMER JOBS-DALTON’S BLOG, K-State standout lineman Dalton Risner runs a popular blog. By Dave Skretta. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 8.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama has Tua Tagovailoa, hero of the national championship game, and Jalen Hurts, who has done little but win in two seasons as starter. The defending national champion Crimson Tide’s quarterback competition figures to be one of the preseason’s hottest topics. Coach Nick Saban wants it to play out on the field, not in the media. By John Zenor. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 p.m. on Aug. 7.
NORMAN, Okla. — It takes a special kind of swagger to follow Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield at quarterback, and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray definitely has it. For starters, the first-round Major League Baseball draft pick has signed for nearly $5 million to play for the Oakland A’s. He’s fully committed to football for one year, and if he can beat out Austin Kendall for the starting job, the speedster could be one of college football’s most electrifying players. By Cliff Brunt. UPCOMING: 750 words, with photos by noon Aug. 11.
FBC--MISSISSIPPI ST-MOORHEAD AND FITZ
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Joe Moorhead earned his reputation as an offensive savant after rebuilding Penn State’s attack over two seasons. Now the new Mississippi State coach will try to mesh his philosophy with veteran Nick Fitzgerald, who has been one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country over the past two seasons but is coming off a gruesome leg injury in last year’s Egg Bowl. By David Brandt. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m. on Aug. 12.
FBC--PENN STATE-RAHNE’S CHANCE
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — No pressure, Ricky Rahne. Penn State’s new offensive coordinator takes over a unit missing star running back Saquon Barkley and the man who made it hum, Joe Moorhead. But if he can keep things rolling in State College, he could be the next hot coordinator in college football. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by 5 p.m. on Aug. 13. With FBC--PICK SIX-RISING COORDINATORS.
FBC--ALLEN’S LAST CHANCE
Dakota Allen still feels this is his last chance, even after a successful return to Texas Tech following a well-documented season at an East Mississippi junior college. After being Tech’s second-leading tackler as a freshman in 2015, the linebacker was involved in an off-field incident which led to him being kicked off the team and out of school. He thought his football career was over. But he spent the 2016 season with the first team featured in Netflix’s “Last Chance U” series, then got the opportunity to return to Texas Tech. He was a team captain last season and now goes into his senior year as a preseason All-Big 12 pick. By Stephen Hawkins. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 20.
FBC--NEBRASKA-BUILD IT LIKE TOM
LINCOLN, Neb. — Scott Frost’s job is to return Nebraska to the place it held in the college football hierarchy two decades ago. Frost is driven by his profound respect for his mentor Tom Osborne. Frost has said repeatedly Nebraska made a mistake moving away from the methods Osborne used on and off the field to make the Cornhuskers great. His plan is to bring back that identity. By College Football Writer Eric Olson. SENT: 800 words, photos on Aug. 2.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dabo Swinney has built Clemson into an every-year power with regular College Football Playoff appearances and a recent national championship. None of that could’ve happened without first asserting unquestioned control of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tigers open practice this week with two league losses in three seasons and as the overwhelming favorite to become the first team to win four straight ACC titles since Florida State’s romp through the 1990s. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 790 words and photos on July 31.
— FBC--PICK SIX-GROUP OF FIVE, the top teams from the so-called Group of Five conferences. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 6
— FBC--PICK SIX-IMPACT TRANSFERS, the top non-quarterback transfers who are ready to play. By Genaro C. Armas. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 7.
— FBC--PICK SIX-AWARD HOPEFULS, our way-too-early predictions for the top player awards. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 8.
— FBC--PICK SIX-BACK FROM INJURY, top players back in the mix this season after injuries. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 9.
— FBC--PICK SIX-HOT SEAT COACHES, which coaches may have the most to lose this season. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 10.
— FBC--PICK SIX-HEISMAN DARKHORSES, the top off-the-radar possibilities for the Heisman this season. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 13.
— FBC--PICK SIX-GOOD PLAYERS ON BAD TEAMS, the best of the crop stuck on teams expected to struggle. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 14.
— FBC--PICK SIX-IMPACT FRESHMAN, the top freshman to watch this season. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 15.
— FBC--PICK SIX-PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS, the four teams we think will make the College Football Playoff. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 16.
— FBC--PICK SIX-CRITICAL GAMES, the race to the national championship includes a bunch of tantalizing matchups. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 17.
— FBC--PICK SIX-REDSHIRT FRESHMAN, the top youngsters to watch this season. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 18.
AP TOP 25 PODCAST
The AP Top 25 podcast is published weekly on Tuesday evenings. It can be found on APNews.com and iTunes .
AP SPORTS EXTRA: PRESEASON POLL PAGE
A paginated look at the preseason Top 25 poll will be available shortly after the poll is released on Aug. 20. The AP Sports Extra pages are available in full broadsheet, half broadsheet and tabloid size (perfect for preseason football tabs). They will include space for local advertising or content. The pages will focus on the 25 teams selected by AP poll voters with emphasis on those at the very top. The pages are available at no charge to all AP Sports subscribers. Contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan(at)ap.org for more information.
DIGITAL NEWS EXPERIENCE
All the content in this advisory will be available through the College Football Digital News Experience, an all-digital presentation focused entirely on AP’s college football coverage and anchored around the marquee Top 25 poll. The site, which is responsive to all devices, is available for free and pays a revenue share to participating sites. The DNE allows for local customization of the site logo, navigation bar, highlighted teams and other features, including embeddable widgets around the poll and Latest News. Some examples: http://collegefootball.ap.org/tampabay and http://collegefootball.ap.org/newsday . Contact your local sales representative or Barry Bedlan at bbedlan(at)ap.org to take advantage of this free digital offering.