To help you with your planning ahead of the college football season, we will have the following stories, photos and more in coming weeks. This digest is subject to change and will be updated throughout the month of August. For questions, please call 212-621-1630 or email Dave Zelio (dzelio(at)ap.org).
TOP 25 POLL
The 2017 preseason AP Top 25 will be released on Monday, Aug. 21, at noon. The weekly poll will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 5, and will then be sent every Sunday at 2 p.m. through the regular season. The final poll will be sent roughly an hour after the national championship game the evening of Monday, Jan. 8. This is the 82nd year of the AP Top 25 poll.
The AP will be debuting a preseason All-America team on Tuesday, Aug. 22 at noon. The first AP All-America team was selected in 1925, a decade before the first Heisman Trophy. The same expert panel of 61 sports writers and broadcasters from AP-affiliated media around the country who decide the AP Top 25 will select the preseason All-America players for each position to first, second and third teams.
All team previews, written in a things-to-know style, will move by noon ET on Thursday, Aug. 10. All will be approximately 700 words with photos.
Aug. 7: SEC, Pac 12
Aug. 8: Big Ten, Atlantic Coast
Aug. 9: Big 12, Mountain West
Aug. 12: American Athletic , Sun Belt , Conference USA , Mid-American , SWAC
- NOTE: The story slugged How to Make a Schedule in a previous preview package advisory will not move as planned on Saturday, Aug. 19. A substitute story, Picking Captains, is listed below.
The two-a-day football practices that coaches once used to toughen up their teams and cram for the start of the season are going the way of tear-away jerseys and the wishbone formation. As part of its efforts to increase safety, the NCAA approved a plan this year that prevents teams from holding multiple practices with contact in a single day. By Steve Megargee. SENT: 900 words, photos on Wednesday, July 26.
FBC--SHORTENING LONG GAMES
Give us action, and make it fast. The lords of sports know how Americans like their games. To keep fans engaged - in the stands or on TV or mobile devices - the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball have taken steps to shorten games. Now it's college football's turn. By Eric Olson. SENT: 840 words on Monday, July 31.
Football has been slower to become immersed in the type of statistical analysis and data-based decision-making that has revolutionized sports such as baseball and basketball. But it's happening: An increasing number of college football programs are using analytics to decide everything from when to go on fourth down to what prospect to offer a scholarship. By Ralph D. Russo. SENT: 1000 words, photos by on Saturday, Aug. 5.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Shaq Jones could have bolted suddenly football-free UAB for just about any Conference USA school, and some others. Instead, the Blazers linebacker stayed put for the past 2-1/2 years, remaining near his young son and holding down multiple jobs while working to help former foster kids find homes and jobs. Now, Jones & Co. are ready for some football again. ''It was worth it,'' Jones said, ''without a doubt.'' By John Zenor. SENT: 800 words, photos, video on Friday, Aug. 11.
FBC--CASE FOR TARGETING
College football's most hated rule turns five years old in 2017. Targeting, which penalizes players for hits to the head with ejections, drives coaches, players and especially fans crazy. But an attempt to dial back the harshness of the penalty was shot down this offseason. Targeting is here to stay and its supporters are adamant that it is a necessary part of the evolution of college football. SENT: 800 words, photos on Saturday, Aug. 12.
FBC--K-STATE'S SILVER FOX
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder is back for another season, despite a cancer scare earlier this year. The 77-year-old coach believes he has a team capable of contending for a Big 12 title and even a national championship, and no amount of chemotherapy was going to keep him from leading the Wildcats for the 26th year. By Dave Skretta. SENT: 1,000 words, photos on Sunday, Aug. 13.
As college football season approaches teams all over the country will be choosing captains, those hard-working, high-character players who set an example for their teammates to follow through both actions and words. Or at least that is what worried coaches hope will happen. Captains reflect a team's leadership and leadership problems often spill over to performance. By College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos by Saturday, Aug. 19.
FBC--PENN ST-SAQUON STRONG
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is a firm believer in the idea that championships runs start in the weight room. Barkley, who benches 420 pounds, squats 600 and recently power cleaned a ridiculous 420 pounds is not only one of the best players in the country, but he might be - pound-for-pound - the strongest. By Ralph D. Russo. UPCOMING: 800 words, photos, video by 5 a.m. Aug. 22.
AP TOP 25 PODCAST
The AP Top 25 podcast is published weekly on Tuesday evenings and can be accessed via the College Football DNE blog and through your locally branded version of the DNE. Find archives or subscribe here.
AP SPORTS EXTRA - PRESEASON POLL PAGE
A paginated look at the preseason AP Top 25 poll will be available shortly after the poll is released on Aug. 21. The AP Sports Extra pages are available in full broadsheet, half broadsheet and tabloid size (perfect for preseason football tabs). They will include space for local advertising or content. The pages will focus on the 25 teams selected by AP poll voters with emphasis on those at the very top. The pages are available at no charge to all AP Sports subscribers. Contact Barry Bedlan at bbedlan(at)ap.org for more information.
DIGITAL NEWS EXPERIENCE
All the content in this advisory will be available through the College Football Digital News Experience, which is a fully curated digital presentation focused entirely on AP's college football coverage and anchored around the marquee AP Top 25 poll. The site, which is responsive to all devices, is available for free and even 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(at)ap.org to take advantage of this free digital offering.