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 and plans are subject to change. For questions, please contact Dave Zelio (dzelio(at)ap.org). All times Eastern.
Eds: Adds FBC--FAU-AL-SHAAIR’S JOURNEY, updates throughout and adds Ohio State section.
TOP 25 POLL
FBC--T25-COLLEGE FOOTBALL POLL
Alabama is No. 1 in the AP preseason college football poll for the third straight season, a feat done only one other time. Clemson is No. 2 behind the defending national champions. Georgia, Wisconsin an Ohio State complete the top five. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 750 words, photos on Aug. 20. With lists, Heat Check.
— 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.
— AP SPORTS EXTRA: PRESEASON POLL PAGE. A paginated look at the preseason Top 25 poll is now available. The AP Sports Extra pages are available in full broadsheet, half broadsheet and tabloid size (perfect for preseason football tabs). They include space for local advertising or content. The pages 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.
— AP TOP 25 PODCAST. The AP Top 25 podcast is published weekly on Tuesday evenings. It can be found on APNews.com and iTunes .
FBC--AP PRESEASON ALL-AMERICA TEAM
Heisman Trophy runner-up Bryce Love of Stanford and Outland Trophy winner Ed Oliver of Houston highlight the AP’s preseason All-America team. The team also features West Virginia quarterback Will Grier and his teammate, receiver David Sills V. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 550 words, photos on Aug. 21. With list.
All Power Five team previews, written in a things-to-know style, were sent on Thursday, Aug. 16. Each preview is approximately 700 words, with photos. Service academy previews were sent 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. (all sent)
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
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.
FBC--PLAYER PRIVACY-INJURY REPORTS
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.
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. SENT: 1,200 words, photos Aug. 22.
FBC--OHIO STATE COACH-TEXTS
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Any attempt by Ohio State coach Urban Meyer to eliminate work-related text messages on his university-issued phone to hide information would be illegal, open records experts said following a two-week investigation into his handling of domestic violence allegations against an assistant coach. By Andrew Welsh-Huggins and Jim Vertuno. SENT: 800 words, photos Aug. 26.
FBC--OHIO STATE-NO NCAA
The question often comes up when a serious scandal hits college sports: Where is the NCAA? Why isn’t the governing body of major college sports, you know, governing? Ohio State suspended Urban Meyer for three games for mishandling allegations of domestic violence against one of his assistants, but it is doubtful the school or coach will face NCAA penalties. That’s because the NCAA is highly restricted in the issues it can punish, and schools don’t want another layer of discipline. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 750 words, photos Aug. 25.
— TOP 25 PODCAST: The drama at Ohio State that put Urban Meyer’s status as coach in limbo for three weeks has come to a resolution that has left many unsatisfied. Details here .
FBC--ON FOOTBALL-MEYER’S FAMILY
What has transpired over the last three weeks at Ohio State should be a lesson to all coaches. Your football program is not a family. Urban Meyer treated Zach Smith like family and it almost cost one of the most accomplished coaches in college football his job. A case can be made that it should have. Instead, Meyer is suspended for the first three games of this season. It is OK to run your program as a family, with you as the patriarch, right up until the point when it gets dysfunctional. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 750 words, photos Aug. 23.
— FBC--PAUL NEWBERRY-URBAN LIAR. Column: Urban Liar is a perfect symbol for college athletics. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 750 words, photos Aug. 25.
FBC--OHIO STATE-NEW NORMAL
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A week before the opening game, few people in Columbus are talking much about football. Instead the discussion has been about domestic violence, misplaced loyalty and how much a football coach is expected to know about the personal lives of his assistants. Meyer has been suspended for three games for his handling of domestic violence allegations and other problems regarding now-fired receivers coach Zach Smith. The Buckeyes start the season Sept. 1 against Oregon State. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 25.
FBC--OHIO ST-URBAN MEYER-CONTRACTS
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Sports law experts say a clause in coach Urban Meyer’s contract that’s getting extra attention amid an Ohio State investigation is becoming increasingly common in college athletics — and goes beyond the typical morals clauses found in most agreements. By Kantele Franko. SENT: 600 words, photos Aug. 20.
BOCA RATON, Fla. — Florida Atlantic star linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair could use an NFL paycheck. But the nation’s fifth-leading tackler from last season is back in school for his senior season, now essentially raising two of his brothers, remaining devout in his Muslim faith and believing that the struggles of growing up homeless have somehow made him a better football player. By Tim Reynolds. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by 6 p.m. Aug. 27.
FBC--WASINGTON ST-REMEMBERING TYLER
PULLMAN, Wash. — Mark and Kym Hilinski keenly remember the swirl of activity. Rushing to Pullman after learning their son, Tyler, had taken his life. Planning memorial services on the Washington State campus and back home in Southern California. Dealing with authorities as they tried to determine why 21-year-old Tyler was gone. The Hilinskis could have been overwhelmed by the grief and sadness. Then the letters and boxes began arriving at their Newport Beach, California, home, sent by Cougars players, fans and others, saying how much they had been touched by Tyler’s story. By Nicholas K. Geranios. SENT: 800 words, photos Aug. 27.
FBC--FURMAN QB-CLEMSON STUDENT
CLEMSON, S.C. — Quarterback Harris Roberts spends his time in class at Clemson and practice time on the football field at Furman. In an odd twist, the Paladins’ QB is a fulltime student at Clemson. His dual worlds will clash when he and his Furman teammates play at Clemson on Sept. 1. By Pete Iacobelli. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 5 a.m. Aug. 28.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is a year away from the launch of its own TV channel in partnership with ESPN. The league needs the ACC Network to provide a reliable revenue boost after falling behind its power-conference peers in recent years. In an interview with The Associated Press, league Commissioner John Swofford says the ACC is reviewing options for the men’s basketball and football schedules to set up attractive matchups that could help get the channel off to a good start in 2019-20. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 950 words, photos by noon Aug. 29.
FBC--SEC-THE ALABAMA EFFECT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Everyone in the Southeastern Conference has been chasing Alabama for supremacy ever since the Crimson Tide started collecting national titles under Nick Saban, and that has caused plenty of impatience among fans and upheaval in the league’s coaching ranks. Only four of the league’s 14 coaches have been at their current positions more than three seasons. The chase continues this year, as Alabama opens the season ranked No. 1. By Steve Megargee. UPCOMING: 750 words, photos by noon Aug. 29.
FBC--FLORIDA ST-TAGGART’S TIME
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Willie Taggart grew up as a Florida State fan and said he felt like the goal of becoming the Seminoles’ head football coach would become a reality since his first job at Western Kentucky in 2010. He will reach his goal on Sept. 3 when the 19th-ranked Seminoles take on Virginia Tech. While the Bradenton native has enjoyed a honeymoon with fans and his own team, he has to prove to skeptical outsiders that he can do the job. Despite turning around Western Kentucky, South Florida and Oregon, Taggart’s career record is under .500 and a recent coaches poll named him one of the most overrated in FBS. By Joe Reedy. UPCOMING. 700 words, photos by 3 a.m. Aug. 30
FBC--MICHIGAN-COUNTING ON PATTERSON
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. SENT: 1,100 words, photos Aug. 24.
CLEMSON, S.C. — Once Dabo Swinney finished thanking people when he was named Clemson’s head coach a decade ago, he told those who had written-off the Tigers to check out the football program going forward. Swinney promised them, “We will not disappoint.” Ten years later, Swinney and the Tigers have lived up to that proclamation, using an up-tempo offense and attacking defense to recruit the top players in the country. It’s a formula that has propelled Clemson to seven 10-win seasons, four Atlantic Coast Conference championships, a national title and allowed Swinney to shoehorn the Tigers into the circle of powerhouse programs legitimately expecting to win it all each season. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 800 words, photos Aug. 24.
ARNOLD, Md. — One year later, Donna Jasper’s voice cracks with emotion and tears stream down her cheeks as she recalls watching her teenage son hooked up to a life-support system following a problematic heart procedure. That wouldn’t be the last harrowing moment for the Jasper family — which includes Navy offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper — during a six-month ordeal that ultimately ended with Jarren getting a heart transplant late last January. By David Ginsburg. SENT: 900 words, photos Aug. 25.
FBC--AIR FORCE-FAMILY TIES
AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — Air Force defensive back Garrett Kauppila wears No. 22 in honor of the 22-month gap between him and his older brother. It’s a strong bond that was only fortified last season. His brother suffered a brain injury in a motorcycle accident in California and a few days later Kauppila broke his collar bone while blocking a punt. Kauppila de-enrolled from the academy for a semester to heal and help take care of his brother -- living in a trailer outside the hospital. No. 22 is back on the field and has a big fan in his older brother, who’s still recuperating. By Pat Graham. SENT: 900 words, photos Aug. 26.
FBC--TEXAS A&M-FISHER TIME
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. SENT: 750 words, photos Aug. 22.
BOISE, Idaho — Bryan Harsin was standing back, letting his veteran players address the rest of their Boise State teammates when the realization hit him. He is no longer in charge of a program built largely around recruits brought in by one of his mentors. About to begin his fifth season at his alma mater, it’s Harsin’s guys and truly his program now. By Tim Booth. SENT: 730 words, photos Aug. 22.
STANFORD, Calif. — Bryce Love’s unusual decision to return to school following a 2,000-yard rushing season that made him a Heisman Trophy runner-up will be validated in December when he walks on stage to receive the prize he came to Stanford to earn. Sure, the Heisman would be great but Love’s decision to bypass the draft and play his senior year for the Cardinal and earn his degree in human biology is already special to him. By Josh Dubow. SENT: 850 words, photos Aug. 21.
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. SENT: 800 words, photos Aug. 20.
FBC--IOWA ST-CAMPBELL’S MAGIC
AMES, Iowa — Third-year Iowa State coach Matt Campbell has a program that suffered through a century of mediocrity in position to win big in the Big 12 and beyond. Campbell has elevated the once-woebegone Cyclones with a roster of overlooked recruits he lovingly refers to as “the island of misfit toys,” according to quarterback Kyle Kempt. The Cyclones went 8-5 and beat Memphis in the Liberty Bowl last December. By Luke Meredith. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 19.
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.
FBC--MICHIGAN ST-SOUL SEARCHING
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.
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. 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.
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.
With FBC--NEBRASKA-DEVELOPING A DEFENSE. By Eric Olson. SENT: 775 words, photos Aug. 7
FBC--SUMMER JOBS-DOC SUN DEVIL
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.
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. SENT: 670 words, photos 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. 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. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 18.
— FBC--PICK SIX-PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS, the four teams we think will make the College Football Playoff. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 22.
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.