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 to first, second and third teams.
All 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. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by noon Wednesday, 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. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by noon 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.
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. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos on Aug. 2.
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 on Aug. 13. With FBC--PICK SIX-RISING COORDINATORS.
—FBC--PICK SIX-GROUP OF FIVE, the top teams from the so-called Group of Five conferences. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. 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-IMPACT FRESHMAN, the top freshman to watch this season. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 8.
—FBC--PICK SIX-REDSHIRT FRESHMAN, the top youngsters to watch this season. 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-AWARD HOPEFULS, our way-too-early predictions for the top player awards. 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.
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.