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BC-FBC--College Football Preview Package,ADVISORY

August 17, 2018
BC-FBC--College Football Preview Package, ADVISORY,2395


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.



The 2018 preseason Top 25 will be released on Monday, Aug. 20, at noon. The weekly poll will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 2 p.m. and will then be sent every Sunday at 2 p.m. through the rest of the regular season. The final poll will be sent approximately an hour after the national championship game the evening of Monday, Jan. 7. This is the 83rd year of the Top 25 poll.


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.


The AP Top 25 podcast is published weekly on Tuesday evenings. It can be found on APNews.com and iTunes .


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, were sent on Thursday, Aug. 16. Each preview will be approximately 700 words, with photos. Service academy previews will move Sunday, Aug. 19.

CONFERENCE PREVIEWS (each approximately 800 words, with photos)

Aug. 13: SEC, Pac-12 (both sent)

Aug. 14: Big Ten, Atlantic Coast (both sent)

Aug. 15 Big 12, Mountain West (both sent)

Aug. 17: Remaining Group of Five conference previews (MAC, Sun Belt, CUSA, AAC). SWAC preview.



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.


BOSTON — 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. SENT: 1,100 words, photos Aug. 9. With FBC--PICK SIX-DEFENSIVE LINEMEN.


NEW YORK — The rise of legalized sports gambling is sparking a debate within college football about injury reporting. NCAA leaders are analyzing whether it’s possible to have more transparency to prevent collusion and be more unified across the sport. But some players and coaches aren’t on board with that. By Terrin Waack. SENT: 890 words, photos Aug. 10.


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.



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.


COLLEGE STATION, Texas — All those zeroes in Jimbo Fisher’s new contract hang over the coach like a huge cloud on the verge of a massive rainstorm. Texas A&M handed Fisher a 10-year, $75 million contract to leave Florida State after Kevin Sumlin was fired last year. And Aggie fans believe that’s 75 million reasons why he should be the one to deliver their first national title since 1939. He knew what the expectations were before the ink was dry on that huge deal. And he insists he isn’t daunted by them. By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by noon Aug. 22.


ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Jim Harbaugh was hailed as the savior when he came back to Michigan, where he was a star quarterback, to turn around college football’s winningest program. Harbaugh hasn’t been able to do it yet in part because quarterback wasn’t a position of strength in his first three years. It is now. Mississippi transfer Shea Patterson is expected to be under center when the Wolverines open the season under the lights at Notre Dame. By Larry Lage. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, video by 5 p.m. Aug. 23.


MADISON, Wis. — Thanks to quarterback Alex Hornibrook, the Wisconsin Badgers are well-equipped to shatter perceptions about their offense this year. Star running back Jonathan Taylor might have some air support this season for a team that went 13-1 a year ago. By Genaro C. Armas. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 15.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Urban Meyer investigation is costing Ohio State $500,000, but whether the superstar football coach keeps his job still comes down to whether the university wants to stick with him based on how he’s already been tainted by the scandal. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 1,100 words, photos on Aug. 14.


EAST LANSING, Mich. — No matter how many games Michigan State wins this season, it won’t change the ugliness of the recent past. The Larry Nassar sex-abuse scandal — plus lingering off-field questions about the basketball and football programs — put the university under the kind of spotlight every school wants to avoid. By Noah Trister. SENT: 885 words, photos Aug. 12.


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. SENT: 860 words, photos Aug. 12.


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. SENT: 780 words, photos Aug. 11.


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. SENT: 800 words, photos Aug. 7.


ATHENS, Ga. — Momentum created by Georgia’s 2017 success has helped Kirby Smart reload for another championship run. After Georgia landed the nation’s top-rated signing class in February, Smart’s recruiting roll has continued. He’s adding more big-name recruits from all around the country as he continues to chase Bulldogs’ first national championship since 1980. By Charles Odum. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 7.


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Dan Mullen has no illusions about his quarterback situation. Especially not after nearly a week of football practice. Mullen says Feleipe Franks, Kyle Trask and freshman Emory Jones have a long way to go to meet his lofty expectations. He says it might not happen this season or even next year. By Mark Long. SENT: 725 words, photos Aug. 6.


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.

With FBC--NEBRASKA-DEVELOPING A DEFENSE. By Eric Olson. SENT: 775 words, photos Aug. 7


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.



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. SENT: 760 words, photos Aug. 8.


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. SENT: 670 words, photos Aug. 8.


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. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 8.


— FBC--SUMMER JOBS-DALTON’S BLOG, K-State standout lineman Dalton Risner runs a popular blog. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 630 words, photos Aug. 8.


— 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. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 7.

— FBC--PICK SIX-AWARD HOPEFULS, our way-too-early predictions for the top player awards. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 8.

— FBC--PICK SIX-BACK FROM INJURY, top players back in the mix this season after injuries. By Steve Megargee. SENT: SENT: 720 words, photos Aug. 9.

— FBC--PICK SIX-HOT SEAT COACHES, which coaches may have the most to lose this season. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 10.

— FBC--PICK SIX-HEISMAN DARKHORSES, the top off-the-radar possibilities for the Heisman this season. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 650 words, photos 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. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 14.

— FBC--PICK SIX-IMPACT FRESHMAN, the top freshman to watch this season. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 15.

— FBC--PICK SIX-CRITICAL GAMES, the race to the national championship includes a bunch of tantalizing matchups. By Noah Trister. SENT: 650 words, photos 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.

— 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. 22.


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.

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