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 show 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.

LATEST EPISODE

AP Top 25 College Football Podcast

College Football By the Numbers

Figuring out what to make of early season college football results can be hard. Bill Connolly of ESPN joins AP's Ralph Russo to sort through the noise using Bill's SP+ rankings. The advance metric system looks beyond wins and losses to judge the performance of each team. College football followers are often too quick to dismiss results of any game that doesn't qualify as a big game. Every team is terrible. Every schedule is soft. Connolly's system helps quantify the value of each team and game. It allows us to see why it's significant that Georgia beat Arkansas State 55-0 and why being the 17th ranked team in the country is not so different from being the 37th ranked team in the country. Plus, why Russo might be ready to jump on the UCF bandwagon.
01:00:00 9/16/2019

Past Episodes

Fox has decided to take on ESPN's iconic pregame game show "College GameDay" with an hour show leading into its Big Noon game of the week. John Walters, who writes the Bubble Screen column for the Athletic, joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss how Fox's new crew is doing. Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer shows signs of being great on television, but you can tell he's still trying to get comfortable leaving coach-speak behind. Plus, John talks about some of his favorite analysts, what he'd like to see GameDay do more often and who would be an interesting addition to the crew if and when Lee Corso ever steps away from the set?
00:53:00 9/9/2019
The first week of the season was highlighted -- or lowlighted, if you're a fan of Florida State or Tennessee -- by a couple of embarrassing losses by blue blood programs. Or at least programs that used to be blue bloods. Dan Wolken from USA Today joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss where Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee and Florida State and Willie Taggart go from here. Chip Kelly's second year at UCLA also got off to a bad start. We look ahead to LSU-Texas and Texas A&M-Clemson, plus, does it really even matter which conference is best?
00:53:00 9/2/2019
The season is about to start, but the race for the Heisman Trophy has already begun. Heisman historian Chris Huston, who edits Heisman.com, joins AP's Ralph Russo to talk about how Heismans are won. The process has evolved throughout the years from the days of running backs and upperclassmen dominating to now when quarterbacks and underclassmen are all the rage. Heisman campaigns are not quite as important for simple name recognition, but winning a Heisman takes a good story and schools need to help differentiate their stars from others. How much influence does media coverage have on Heisman voting and is there an East Coast bias among voters?
00:49:00 8/26/2019
Voting in the AP Top 25 is a mix of art, science and hunch, and it's especially tricky when it comes to the preseason poll. On the latest AP Top 25 College Football Podcast, ESPN's Rece Davis joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss filling out a ballot when nobody has played yet. Davis explains how he tries not to make his preseason vote a straight prediction for the season and how that can lead to some rankings that look a little different from the consensus. Rece like Texas A&M more than the consensus and is not quite as high on Florida and Michigan.
00:55:00 8/18/2019
Oregon is trying to make the jump to playoff contender in the Pac-12 North, while Washington is breaking in a high-profile transfer quarterback and a bunch of new players on defense. Meanwhile, in the South, what will be the fate of coach Clay Helton at USC? Jon Wilner of the Pac-12 Hotline joins AP's Ralph Russo to preview the conference season. While all the drama surrounds USC, Utah has become the one sure bet in the Pac-12 South. The Utes might have a team good enough to win the Pac-12 for the first time. But will that be good enough to get a team in the college football playoff? The Pac-12 could really use a break to its playoff drought.
01:00:00 8/12/2019
Oregon is trying to make the jump to playoff contender in the Pac-12 North, while Washington is breaking in a high-profile transfer quarterback and a bunch of new players on defense. Meanwhile, in the South, what will be the fate of coach Clay Helton at USC? Jon Wilner of the Pac-12 Hotline joins AP's Ralph Russo to preview the conference season. While all the drama surrounds USC, Utah has become the one sure bet in the Pac-12 South. The Utes might have a team good enough to win the Pac-12 for the first time. But will that be good enough to get a team in the college football playoff? The Pac-12 could really use a break to its playoff drought.
01:00:00 8/12/2019
UCF has been the dominant team outside the Power Five conferences for two seasons. Can the Knights keep it up without McKenzie Milton? Chris Vannini from The Athletic joins AP's Ralph Russo to preview all the Group of Five conferences. UCF is trying to make it three straight American Athletic Conference titles. Boise State out of the Mountain West is looking for a second New Year's Six appearance. Can Appalachian State break through and challenge for a New Year's Six bid out of the Sun Belt? Also, Pete Sampson of the Athletic joins the show to preview Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish will try to follow up their first playoff appearance against a schedule that includes road trips to Georgia and Michigan.
01:13:00 8/9/2019
UCF has been the dominant team outside the Power Five conferences for two seasons. Can the Knights keep it up without McKenzie Milton? Chris Vannini from The Athletic joins AP's Ralph Russo to preview all the Group of Five conferences. UCF is trying to make it three straight American Athletic Conference titles. Boise State out of the Mountain West is looking for a second New Year's Six appearance. Can Appalachian State break through and challenge for a New Year's Six bid out of the Sun Belt? Also, Pete Sampson of the Athletic joins the show to preview Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish will try to follow up their first playoff appearance against a schedule that includes road trips to Georgia and Michigan.
01:13:00 8/9/2019
Oklahoma is trying to make it five straight Big 12 titles. Can the Sooners continue their reign with another transfer quarterback? Max Olson from The Athletic joins AP's Ralph Russo to preview the Big 12 and the contenders to unseat Oklahoma. It starts with Texas, but Iowa State could be primed for another step forward under Matt Campbell _ which will lead to even more speculation about Campbell being lured away by another school or the NFL. Veteran coaches Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State and TCU's Gary Patterson are looking for bounce-back seasons from their programs. And four new coaches enter the league, including Les Miles at Kansas.
00:58:30 8/6/2019
Oklahoma is trying to make it five straight Big 12 titles. Can the Sooners continue their reign with another transfer quarterback? Max Olson from The Athletic joins AP's Ralph Russo to preview the Big 12 and the contenders to unseat Oklahoma. It starts with Texas, but Iowa State could be primed for another step forward under Matt Campbell _ which will lead to even more speculation about Campbell being lured away by another school or the NFL. Veteran coaches Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State and TCU's Gary Patterson are looking for bounce-back seasons from their programs. And four new coaches enter the league, including Les Miles at Kansas.
00:58:30 8/6/2019

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