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

The future of the College Football Playoff

Two things are safe to say about the future of the College Football Playoff: Someday it will expand to include more than four teams. That expansion is unlikely to happen soon. ESPN playoff reporter Heather Dinich joins AP's Ralph Russo this week for an all playoff talk edition of the AP Top 25 College Football Podcast. They discuss why we are not on a fast track to expansion and what hurdles need to be cleared to get there. And what would be the best expand playoff formats and what would have to change to improve the way college football crowns a national champion.
00:41:00 5/13/2019

Past Episodes

There are 27 first-year coaches in FBS this season. Who is most likely to succeed? Who is least likely? AP's Ralph Russo ranks the new coaches from 1 to 27 based on who is best positioned for long-term success. Recurring guest Paul Myerberg of USA Today joins the show to debate and breakdown Russo's rankings. Plus, Myerberg has his rankings of the 10 new coaches most likely to have a successful first season. We also spoil Avengers: Endgame in the final minutes. You have been warned.
01:14:00 5/7/2019
It's College Football Meeting Time. This week, AP college football writer Ralph Russo sits down with his colleagues Nicole Auerbach and Max Olson of The Athletic while covering the meetings of the top college football conferences. They chew over the stunning selection of Duke's Daniel Jones over Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins in the first round of the NFL draft, and consider the rationale behind and effects of top-dollar contracts for top-level coaches.
00:31:30 4/30/2019
New Miami coach Manny Diaz grew up in south Florida when the Hurricanes were king. Now the son of the former mayor is the 'Canes head coach. He hopes his connection to the program and community can help bring Miami championships again. Diaz joins AP's Ralph Russo for an interview that ranges from his Miami roots to working the transfer portal.
00:40:00 4/23/2019
Stepping into a new job is always challenging, but what new coaches have the toughest tasks ahead of them in college football? Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports and The Athletic joins the AP's Ralph D. Russo to talk dirty jobs and heavy liftiong. Nobody seems to have his work cut out for him more than Scott Satterfield at Louisville. Mike Locksley at Maryland is also walking into a tricky situation. Bruce and Ralph also discuss which new coaches at Group of Five schools could be the next rising stars and what first-year starting quarterbacks could be ready to break out the way Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa did last year. Plus a little Tiger Woods talk.
00:49:00 4/15/2019
With the college football championships out of the way, it's time to turn back to football. Bill Bender of The Sporting News joins the AP's Ralph Russo to talk about the first look at quarterback Justin Fields, playing for Ryan Day's Ohio State program. Plus is this finally Jim Harbaugh's year to beat the Buckeyes? And which of 2018's surprise teams _ Washington State, Syracuse, Missouri _ can build on their successes, and which will regress? Also, Nick Saban's so-called rant about players leaving early.
00:47:00 4/9/2019
Oklahoma's latest transfer quarterback held his first news conference and he sounded a lot like his old coach. Jalen Hurts has a new home in Norman, but George Schroeder of USA Today says the former Alabama quarterback definitely sounds like a product of Nick Saban's machine. Schroeder joins AP's Ralph Russo to talk Hurts, the growing gap between the American Athletic Conference and the other Group of Five conferences and why the SEC made a concerted effort to get better in basketball. Plus, which SEC coach is a better long-term stock: Chad Morris of Arkansas or Jeremy Pruitt of Tennessee?
00:48:00 4/1/2019
Miami got good news last week when it found out transfer quarterback Tate Martell would be eligible to play this season for the Hurricanes. At least it seemed like good news. Paul Myerberg of USA Today joins the AP's Ralph Russo to discuss what to make of Martell, a former blue-chip recruit who played sparingly at Ohio State. Who knows how good Martell will be, but he has to be an improvement for Miami. Right? Myerberg talks spring storylines from Virginia to Texas to the state of college football in Los Angeles. Plus, Jeff Brohm or P.J. Fleck? Who ya got?
00:57:00 3/25/2019
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
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

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