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

Stanford coach David Shaw on targeting, transfers and the NFL

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

Past Episodes

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
Cole Cubelic of the SEC Network joins AP's Ralph Russo to break down the College Football Playoff national championship game between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson. Paul Myerberg also joins the show to talk winners and losers from bowl season. It was a good month for the Big 12 and not so great for Jim Harbaugh. Will Urban Meyer coach again? Can Notre Dame do better than Brian Kelly?
01:09:00 1/1/2019
No. 1 Alabama plays No. 4 Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl and No. 2 Clemson faces No. 3 Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl. Steve Palazzolo from Pro Football Focus joins AP's Ralph Russo to do a deep dive on the semifinals. Does OU have any chance to stop Alabama's offense? Why playing like a Big 12 team might be Bama's best strategy. What's the best way for the Tide to contain Kyler Murray? Can Notre Dame hold up against Clemson's talented defensive front? Where are the Tigers susceptible on defense and how can the Irish and Ian Book exploit them? Where does Trevor Lawrence rank among recent freshman quarterbacks? Plus, a little NFL draft talk.
00:40:00 12/24/2018
The transfer season is about pick up steam as Georgia's Justin Fields, a former five-star quarterback recruit, seeks to move on _ and maybe play immediately for a new school. USA Today's Dan Wolken, who broke the news about Fields, joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss Fields, transfer rules and waivers and why the NCAA seems to be subtly acquiescing on players sitting out after switching schools. Plus, a grab-bag of December topics from playoff expansion to players skipping bowls to the coaching carousel.
00:44:00 12/17/2018
The early signing period debuted in college football last year and it quickly became the main signing period. Most prospects signed their national letters of intent and most schools had their classes all but complete in December. With the early signing period beginning on Dec. 19, Mike Farrell, the national recruiting director from Rivals, joins AP's Ralph Russo to survey the landscape. How have coaches and prospects adjusted to the new date? What teams are set to clean up? What highly touted prospects figure to wrap up their recruitment in December? Which ones will wait until February?
00:45:00 12/10/2018
It is bowl season in college football. There will be 39 games played from Dec. 15 to Jan. 1, including the College Football Playoff. AP poll voter Matt Brown from the Athletic join Ralph Russo to preview all the non-playoff games, pick winners and let you know which is the best game on each day of bowl season. From the Boca Raton with Tulane and Louisiana-Lafayette to the Sugar Bowl between Texas and Georgia, we hit on them all.
01:04:00 12/2/2018
The great debate in college football is Oklahoma or Ohio State? Which school is best positioned to take the fourth College Football Playoff spot heading into championship weekend? Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated joins AP's Ralph Russo to talk Buckeyes, Sooners and playoff scenarios. Also, the coaching carousel is spinning faster and already has a surprise. Mack Brown is back at North Carolina. What should we make of Kansas and North Carolina hiring 60-something coaches?
00:46:00 11/26/2018
The College Football Playoff rankings have been stagnant for a couple weeks. Some shakeups are possible on rivalry weekend, but what results will cause the selection committee the biggest headaches and toughest choices? ESPN's Heather Dinich, who covers the playoff 24/7, thinks Ohio State beating Michigan could muddle things for the committee. She joins AP's Ralph Russo to talk playoff possibilities and what could lead to expansion.
00:39:00 11/18/2018
No. 11 UCF is getting the big stage this weekend with ESPN's "College GameDay" visiting the Orlando, Florida, campus and the Knights' game against No. 19 Cincinnati being broadcast nationally in prime time. Matt Murschel, the national college football writer for the Orlando Sentinel, joins AP's Ralph Russo to discuss UCF's big day, whether fans will be welcoming of ESPN's "GameDay" crew and how this Knights team stacks up to last year's undefeated bunch. Also, a whip around the Sunshine state where Florida State and Miami have tanked, Florida is having a solid start to Dan Mullen's tenure as coach and the Lane Train has slowed at FAU. Plus, some playoff talk.
00:49:00 11/12/2018

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