• BC-FBC--College Football Preview Package, ADVISORY



    To help you with planning ahead of the college football season, some of our upcoming coverage is below. The dates and angles are subject to change and the advisory will be updated. For questions, please contact Dave Zelio (dzelio@ap.org). Please also refer to the daily AP Sports digests and up-to-the-minute information on coverage via https://newsroom.ap.org .

    All times Eastern.



    A paginated look at the preseason Top 25 poll is 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 with emphasis on the very top teams. The pages are available at no charge to all AP Sports subscribers. Contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan@ap.org for more information.


    All 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@ap.org to take advantage of this free digital offering.



    Defending national champion Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State are all among the top teams in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 college football poll. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 850 words, photos Aug. 19. With agate list and a Reality Check analysis sent Aug. 20.

    _ The weekly poll will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 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 in New Orleans the evening of Monday, Jan. 13. This is the 84th year of the Top 25 poll.

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


    Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence headlines The Associated Press preseason All-America team, and he has two teammates from the top-ranked Tigers with him on the first team. Alabama also put three players on the list and others who made it include LSU’s Grant Delpit, Purdue’s Rondale Moore and Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 550 words, photos Aug. 20.


    _Conference previews were written in a things-to-know style, each approximately 800 words with photos.

    _Team previews moved the same day as their respective conference preview, also written in a things-to-know style, each approximately 700 words with photos.

    Aug. 12: SEC, Big 12 conference overviews and team previews. All sent.

    Aug. 13: Big Ten, Atlantic Coast conference overviews and team previews. All sent.

    Aug. 14: Pac-12 conference overview and team previews. Mountain West conference overview, MWC team previews on merit. All sent.

    Aug. 15: Remaining Group of Five conference overviews (MAC, Sun Belt, CUSA, AAC), plus select team previews, including Notre Dame. All sent.

    Aug. 16: Service academy previews. All sent.



    On the business side, college football has become a national enterprise, with the comprehensive media deals increasing exposure and a collaborative postseason system to crown a true national champion. At its foundation, however, college football is still very much a regional sport _ and some regions are, well, better than others. Recruiting pipelines in the South, spanning from the Carolinas to Texas, are pumping out more top players than ever and provide a simple explanation as to why only one national champion in the last 14 years has come from outside that region. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 950 words, photos Aug. 18.


    COLUMBUS, Ohio _ J.K. Dobbins wants to make up for his “failure” last season. Despite rushing for over 1,000 yards, Dobbins calls 2018 a disappointment. He had a drop-off from his record-breaking freshman year and is determined to get back to that level and prove he’s best running back in the nation. Unlike last year when he split carries with Mike Weber, Dobbins will get plenty of chances as the featured back behind new quarterback Justin Fields. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 725 words, photos Aug. 18.


    MONTGOMERY, Ala. _ It is the year of the veteran quarterback in the Southeastern Conference. Tua Tagovailoa and Jake Fromm are the headliners, but the league is loaded with experienced passers with double-digit starts under their belts at their current school or elsewhere. By John Zenor. SENT: 725 words, photos Aug. 8.


    Clemson and Alabama have dominated college football and their run looks to continue. The reigning champion Tigers and Crimson Tide have combined to win four straight national titles with matching 55-4 records dating to the 2015 season. Alabama is favored to win the Southeastern Conference championship yet again, while Clemson will pursue its fifth straight title in the Atlantic Coast Conference. By Aaron Beard. SENT: 800 words, photos July 24.



    If you're looking for a terser-than-usual response from Kirby Smart, just bring up how the last two seasons ended. The Georgia coach will shoot you a steely eyed glare that falls somewhere between disgust and disdain, then respond with a banal cliche that makes it clear you're just wasting everyone's time even broaching the subject. The albatross cannot be avoided, though: Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide. By Paul Newberry. SENT: 900 words, photos Aug. 2.


    - FBC--PICK SIX-IMPACT TRANSFERS, the top non-quarterback transfers who are ready to play. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 12.

    - 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. 13.

    - FBC--PICK SIX-AWARD HOPEFULS, our way-too-early predictions for the top player awards. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 14.

    - 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. 15.

    - FBC--PICK SIX-HEISMAN DARKHORSES, the top off-the-radar possibilities for the Heisman this season. By Joe Reedy. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 16.

    - FBC--PICK SIX-TOUGHEST SCHEDULES, on the teams facing the most daunting opponents. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 17.

    - FBC--PICK SIX-CONFERENCE DARKHORSES, on under-the-radar teams that could win Power Five conference titles. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 18.

    - 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. 19.

    - FBC--PICK SIX-NEW COORDINATORS, some of the new coordinators who could have a major impact on the season. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 20.

    - FBC--PICK SIX-IMPACT FRESHMAN, the top freshman to watch this season. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 650 words, photos Aug. 21.

    - FBC--PICK SIX-PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS, the four teams we think will make the College Football Playoff. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos Aug. 22.

    - FBC--PICK SIX-CRITICAL GAMES, the race to the national championship includes a bunch of tantalizing matchups. By Noah Trister. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos Aug. 23.



    AUBURN, Ala. _ Prince Tega Wanogho came to Alabama from Nigeria wanting to be the next LeBron James. He became Auburn's starting left tackle instead. Now, he's the anchor of the 16th-ranked Tigers' all-senior offensive line. By John Zenor. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 21.


    ORLANDO, Fla. _ A horrific leg injury turned UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton's long-term plans into his current reality. The guy everyone around Central Florida football calls KZ is determined to play again, and confident he will _ just not this season. The Knights have roiled the college football establishment, going 25-1 the past two seasons behind Milton’s magical playmaking. This year, his contributions will come as a de facto member of UCF’s coaching staff, helping to groom his replacement. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 900 words, photos Aug. 5.


    AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. _ Air Force senior linebacker Kyle Johnson spent the summer interning at a think tank that provides data-driven analysis on global conflict but he can't get too specific. The information is either sensitive or classified. He does have clearance on his game plan for the future. He wants to lead the Falcons back to a bowl game, attend graduate school and go through special forces training. By Pat Graham. SENT: 795 words, photos Aug. 13.



    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. _ North Carolina coach Mack Brown is savoring his return to coaching in a second stint with the Tar Heels. Brown had worked in broadcasting in the years since his departure from Texas after the 2013 season. But he says the time away rejuvenated him for his chance to return to the sideline. Now he’s trying to stabilize a program that has won two Atlantic Coast Conference games over the past two seasons. By Aaron Beard. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos Aug. 22.


    CLEMSON, S.C. _ Clemson has several holes to fill on defense after its second national football championship in three years. The Tigers have lost seven starters from the team that defeated Alabama 44-16 last January to win the crown for the second time in three years. That includes the front four of Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant, all selected in last April's NFL draft. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables says his group has plenty of unknowns heading to camp. By Pete Iacobelli. SENT: 700 words, photos July 16.


    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. _ The flawed roster. The mentally fragile players. The off-the-field and academic problems. It all looked familiar to Florida State football coach Willie Taggart. The state of the Seminoles was similar to programs he took over earlier in his coaching career. Florida State needed far more than a little sprucing up. This was a full-on rebuild. Taggart takes responsibility for last year's 5-7 finish but remains confident in his plan to get Florida State back on track because it has worked before. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1,400 words, photos July 1.

    BIG TEN:


    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. _ Last year, Micah Parsons put together the greatest freshman season for a linebacker in Penn State’s long history. He says he learned that earning a starting spot takes more than making a bunch of tackles. At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Parsons still has the speed of a running back. He will play weak side linebacker, but he has skills to lineup almost anywhere. He may even be a secondary kick returner this season. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 800 words, photos Aug. 7.


    COLUMBUS, Ohio _ The pressure is always crushing on anyone who starts at quarterback for Ohio State. But Justin Fields, who transferred from Georgia last winter, is expected to pick up where record-breaking Heisman Trophy candidate and first-round NFL draft pick Dwayne Haskins Jr. left off. By Mitch Stacy. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 6.

    _ With FBC--OHIO STATE-GETTING DEFENSIVE, story and photos sent Aug. 9.


    When Mike Locksley was hired in December as Maryland's head football coach _ the first black head coach in program history _ he knew the timing was perfect. The 49-year-old District of Columbia native embarks on his dream job a season after the program was shaken following the death of 19-year-old offensive lineman Jordan McNair after an offseason team workout. Now, Locksley is finding a way to move the program and the community forward. By Keith Jenkins. SENT: 900 words, photos July 19.

    BIG 12:


    AUSTIN, Texas _ The hits came at Sam Ehlinger from just about every angle this summer. Baker Mayfield jabbed him first. Then Terry Bradshaw landed one. The junior quarterback didn’t seem to mind, and will likely care even less every time he gets to flash a “Hook’em horns” hand sign after scoring a touchdown. Which he does a lot. By Jim Vertuno. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos Aug. 22.


    TOPEKA, Kan. _ The only thing Kansas and Kansas State have in common is the desolate stretch of I-70 that connects them. One football program has been in the doldrums for a decade, the other has flirted with the pinnacle of the sport. And those differences are reflected in their new head coaches, too. The Jayhawks tasked Les Miles, the "Mad Hatter" with a national title at LSU on his resume, with building a winner. The Wildcats replaced Hall of Fame coach Bill Snyder with Chris Klieman, who won a series of national titles at North Dakota State but has virtually no FBS experience. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 790 words, photos Aug. 21. With sidebar on K-State QB Skylar Thompson , also sent Aug. 21.


    NORMAN, Okla. _ Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts is cramming as he prepares for his only year with the Sooners. Before transferring from Alabama, he played in three national title games. He lost his starting job to Tua Tagovailoa last season, but his numbers and overall success still are stellar. He was 26-2 as a starter for Alabama, then completed 73% of his passes as a reserve last season. He has made an impression on the Sooners with his work ethic since landing on campus in January. By Cliff Brunt. SENT: 750 words, photos Aug. 17.



    EUGENE, Ore. _ Justin Herbert is in fall camp for a final season at Oregon, looking to continue the team's upward trajectory since his freshman season. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 8.


    CORVALLIS, Ore. _ Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton is getting another chance after a career marred by injuries. Luton was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA and he's competing to be the Beavers' starter this year. By Anne M. Peterson. SENT: 725 words, photos Aug. 6.



    GAINESVILLE, Fla. _ Even though his father played at Miami and his older brother at Florida, Marco Wilson has little knowledge of the once-heated rivalry involving the two Sunshine State teams. The Florida Flop? The Peach Pelting? The Bourbon Street Brawl? Never heard of any of them. He's hardly alone. The series is devoid of trash talk, bragging rights or wounds that haven't healed. The coaches, Florida's Dan Mullen and Miami's Manny Diaz, are close friends who worked together at Mississippi State. Many of the players crossed paths in high school and on recruiting trails, but they have little angst and even less animosity toward each other. By Mark Long. SENT: 750 words, photos Aug. 20.


    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. _ Steve Sarkisian keeps hitting the jackpot when it comes to quarterbacks and other offensive playmakers. A former USC and Washington head coach, Sarkisian left the Crimson Tide after the national championship game in January 2017 to head to the NFL. He took over an offense led by reigning NFL MVP Matt Ryan and All-Pro receiver Julio Jones. Before that, he arrived at USC in 2005 with Matt Leinart returning after winning the Heisman. Now, he's back at Alabama with plenty of tools at his disposal. By John Zenor. SENT: 700 words, photos Aug. 6. With feature on running back Najee Harris sent Aug. 20.


    Full season team schedules were sent Aug. 1.

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