AP Top 25 College Football Podcast

With the help of players, coaches, TV analysts, school administrators and NCAA officials, AP College Football Writer Ralph Russo tackles on-and off-field issues affecting the sport throughout the year. The "AP Top 25 College Football Podcast" gives everyone from the casual fan to the obsessed alum, an insider look into the AP Poll and all that is trending on campuses around the country. Be ready for the big game, signing day or spring practice with this weekly chat about college football.


AP Top 25 College Football Podcast

Spring Football Has Sprung

How will Notre Dame follow-up its first College Football Playoff appearance? What are the odds both Alabama and Clemson have unbeaten regular seasons? Sure, the NCAA basketball tournament is about to start, but spring football is in full bloom. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg joins AP's Ralph Russo to look toward possible overachievers and underachievers for the 2019 season. How will second-year coaches Scott Frost, Willie Taggart and Chip Kelly do after losing debuts? And what quarterback competitions need to be sorted out this spring?
00:41:45 3/18/2019

Past Episodes

It's the college basketball edition of the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast. AP national basketball writer Aaron Beard joins Ralph Russo to preview selection Sunday and sort through who the top seeds might be in the NCAA Tournament. What does Duke have to do to gain a No. 1 seed, and where should the committee place the Blue Devils if star Zion Williamson can't show that he is healthy at the ACC Tournament? Plus, which schools outside the big contenders look capable of making a long run in the NCAA and should the committee put more mid-major teams in over Power conference squads with mediocre records?
00:35:00 3/11/2019
The NFL combine is over and the most important thing we found out was Kyler Murray is not that short. Dan Brugler, NFL Draft analyst for The Athletic, joins Ralph Russo to discuss which players helped themselves at the combine and whose stock might have dropped. Plus, how is combine evaluation changing now that intense training and preparation for it is so common? The athletes seem better than ever. Does that mean the scouts need to adjust their expectations? Brugler discuss avoiding group think and some of his favorite under-the-radar prospects.
00:33:00 3/4/2019
A decision is expected soon in a court case that could bring dramatic changes to the NCAA. Dennis Dodd of CBS joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss the so-called Alston Case, which challenges the NCAA's rule against compensating football and basketball players beyond a scholarship. Dodd explains what's at stake and how schools have been quietly preparing for a decision that goes against the NCAA. If so, rules on player compensation could fall to the conferences. Is it the end of college sports or just a continuation of a trend?
00:42:00 2/25/2019
Stanford coach David Shaw is one of the college football's most insightful coaches, with well-thought out opinions on big-picture topics. He also is about to begin a three-year term as chairman of the NCAA football rules committee. Shaw joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss why he thinks the targeting rule needs to be changed, and how. And tweaking overtime rules to lessen the chances of marathon games. Plus, why he believes the transfer portal could be hurting more athletes than it helps. Shaw also shares some insight on the increasing number of players leaving school early for the NFL and why even great college players might not be ready to compete for a job.
00:54:00 2/18/2019
It's the middle of winter, so what better time to start gazing toward the 2019 college football season? Bill Connelly of SB Nation joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss the first edition of his S&P+ rankings. Connelly's numbers combine returning production, recent recruiting rankings and recent performance. No surprise, Alabama is No. 1. In fact, the numbers love the SEC. They are not so high in Texas. Here is a huge gap between Clemson and the rest of the ACC and a potentially intriguing Big 10 West race. What are the prospects for a resurgent Pac-12? Plus, where is UCF coming into this season? Connelly and Russo also slide into a discussion about the value of going for it on fourth down and why Jimbo Fisher really needs to get with the program.
00:51:00 2/11/2019
The NCAA recently dropped a hammer on two high-profile basketball players and Missouri. What followed was outrage from all parts about the punishment and complaints about how NCAA enforcement goes about its business. Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss a wave of NCAA issues and whether there is any way college sports' governing body can regain the confidence of its members. And why everybody wants to crack down on cheaters, but then complains when they get caught cheating. Also, Forde and Russo discuss Southern Mississippi's interest in former Baylor coach Art Briles.
00:38:00 2/4/2019
The second and final signing period begins Feb. 6, but most of the recruiting for this year has already been done. The early signing period in December has become THE signing period. Alabama has already locked up the number one class and about 80 percent of available scholarships have been handed out. Barton Simmons, scouting director of 247 Sports, joins AP's Ralph Russo to preview what's left for teams to do on signing day. Simmons also discusses how the new transfer rules and early signing period are intersecting. Also, he gives a glimpse of the recruiting story lines already developing for 2020.
00:36:00 1/28/2019
College Football turns 150 years old in 2019 and ESPN is preparing a yearlong project to commemorate the birthday and tell the story of the sport. Longtime college football writer Ivan Maisel joins AP's Ralph Russo to talk about the project and the challenges of telling such a wide-ranging story. Maisel is overseeing the television content _ and there will be 35 hours of it _ along with writing stories and producing podcasts. For a college football fan, it figures to be must-see TV, and Ivan is always a must-read writer. He is even teaching a class at Stanford this semester on the history of college football.
00:42:00 1/21/2019
Kyler Murray has declared for the NFL draft. Whether he will give up baseball for professional football is still to be determined, but ESPN's Tom Luginbill believes Murray has all the skills necessary to be one of the top quarterback prospects in the upcoming NFL draft. Luginbill joins AP's Ralph Russo to talk about Murray, the aftermath of a championship loss by Alabama, the transfer portal and a little recruiting with signing day a few weeks away.
00:42:00 1/14/2019
The 2018 season is a wrap. Clemson is the champion after a unprecedented beat down of Alabama. The final AP Top 25 college football podcast of the season takes a look at what went right for the Tigers; what went wrong for the Tide; and where college football's superpowers go from here. The USA Today college sports crew of Dan Wolken, Paul Myerberg and George Schroeder join AP's Ralph Russo for a roundtable that puts a bow on 2018 and looks toward the story lines for 2019.
00:35:00 1/7/2019

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