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Articles written by Ralph D. Russo

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AP Top 25 Reality Check: Clemson poised for long stay at 1

The biggest news in the latest Associated Press college football poll was what didn't change. Clemson remained No. 1 in the Top 25 on Sunday, overwhelmingly ahead of No. 2 Alabama. The Tigers received 54 first-place votes to the Crimson Tide's...

 

Cincinnati-Tulsa postponed due to Bearcats' COVID-19 issues

No. 8 Cincinnati's game at Tulsa on Saturday has been postponed because of positive COVID-19 tests among Bearcats players. The American Athletic Conference announced Thursday the game is being rescheduled for Dec. 5. The number of players who have...

 

AP Top 25: Oklahoma, UCF out; BYU up; Iowa State back in

Oklahoma dropped out of The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since September 2016 and No. 24 Iowa State jumped back into the Top 25 after a day of upsets. There largely was stability at the top of the rankings Sunday after...

 

AP Top 25 Reality Check: ACC milestone with 4 top-10 teams

With attention on falling Big 12 powers and dominant SEC heavyweights, the Atlantic Coast Conference reached a milestone in The Associated Press college football poll. The ACC had four teams ranked in the top 10 of the Top 25 for the first time in...

 

AP Top 25 Takeaways: LSU gets Air Raided; No. 3 OU upset

The Pirate plundered the defending national champions. Oklahoma got its annual faceplant as a big favorite out of the way early. Texas made a crazy comeback to keep the Big 12 from going up in flames. College football was batty on Saturday, which...

 

AP Top 25 Reality Check: Big Ten back in poll, not on field

There was no way this was going to turn out anything but odd, and it's not going to get easier going forward. The college football season will not have all 10 FBS conferences playing until the first week of November. In the Associated Press college...

 

AP Top 25 Reality Check: Big Ten back in poll, not on field

There was no way this was going to turn out anything but odd, and it's not going to get easier going forward. The college football season will not have all 10 FBS conferences playing until the first week of November. In the Associated Press college...

 

Pandemic-proof: Fall college football revived on West Coast

A major college football season that was in peril six week ago as conferences succumbed to concerns about COVID-19 is reconstituting. The West Coast got back in the game Thursday night, The Pac-12 set Nov. 6 to start a seven-game season, joining the...

 

AP Top 25: No. 12 Miami rises; Marshall jumps into rankings

A week before Big Ten teams become eligible again for The Associated Press college football poll, No. 25 Marshall is ranked for the first time since 2014 and Miami jumped to No. 12 after a conference road victory. Clemson remained a nearly unanimous...

 

AP Top 25 Reality Check: Who's eligible? Who's playing?

The second regular-season AP Top 25 of the season includes Southeastern Conference teams that begin playing next week but not Big Ten teams that start playing in about a month. Next week the SEC starts playing and the Big Ten teams become eligible fo...

 

NCAA eligibility ruling solves some problems, creates others

For the college athletes who are heading into a season of uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, the NCAA's decision to not charge them a year of eligibility — no matter how much they play — brings peace of mind. And happy parents. "My mom's more...

 

Big Ten, Pac-12 pull plug on fall football amid pandemic

A crumbling college football season took a massive hit Tuesday as the Big Ten and Pac-12, two historic and powerful conferences, succumbed to the pandemic and canceled their fall football seasons. Five months almost to the day after the first spikes...

 
 By Ralph D. Russo    Sports    May 29, 2020

NCAA offers guidance for bringing athletes back to campus

The NCAA released a long and detailed plan Friday to help schools bring back athletes to campus during a pandemic. While schools will need to have testing and surveillance plans in place, the guidance does not recommend testing all athletes upon...

 

Analysis: NCAA moves toward athlete compensation but how?

The foundation is in place for the NCAA to drastically alter its definition of amateurism. By this time next year, college athletes may have the official OK to become paid sponsors, able to earn money for their names, images and likenesses without...

 

Miami, Nebraska still waiting for 1st player taken in draft

Miami and Nebraska dominated college football from the 1980s through the early 2000s. Since the Hurricanes and Cornhuskers played for the 2001 national championship they have been trending in the wrong direction, and both are coming off losing...

 

Analysis: Expect college football to take a slow road back

While professional sports leagues can ponder plans to isolate their athletes from the new coronavirus and have them play in unusual, even secluded places, college sports have no such option. Pro sports leagues can get creative with solutions to save...

 

AP Top 25 Reality Check: A familiar top 10 looking to 2020

The final Associated Press Top 25 of the season has a familiar look. LSU is No. 1 after winning the national championship. Add Clemson, Ohio State, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma and Alabama and you have seven of the preseason top 10 teams finishing in...

 

Playoff matchups: OU slowdown vs LSU; Clemson keys on Young

The four College Football Playoff teams rank in the top five nationally in points per game and yards per game. For defenses to determine who wins this championship, there might be a turnover here, a sack there and a couple of clutch red-zone stops....

 

Playoff showdowns: LSU vs. Oklahoma; Ohio State vs. Clemson

Defending national champions. Undefeated and owners of a 28-game winning streak. The Clemson Tigers are one heck of a No. 3 seed. Clemson will play second-seeded Ohio State in prime time Dec. 28 in the College Football Playoff semifinal at the...

 

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Georgia becomes 1st major upset victim

A college football season truly starts with the first big upset. Game on. No. 3 Georgia became the highest-ranked team to lose to an unranked team this season. The Bulldogs were popped 20-17 in double overtime by 24-point underdog South Carolina,...

 

AP Top 25 Reality Check: Super 6 has rankings on lockdown

Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, LSU and Oklahoma. Call them the Super Six. After six regular-season Associated Press college football polls the top six teams are the same teams that were ranked in the top six in the preseason. The order has...

 

Rising Again: Fueled by culture, South winning football race

Sonny Dykes has spent most of his career coaching and recruiting football players in his home state of Texas and around the South. When he became a head coach in the Pac-12, he found an unfamiliar environment at some high school games in California....

 

Toughest job in college football: Defensive coordinator

DALLAS (AP) — Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables began his coaching career at Kansas State in the mid-1990s, trying to come up with ways to stop Nebraska's power option. The Cornhuskers were predictable, but often darn near unstoppable....

 

Oklahoma's Murray edges Alabama's Tagovailoa for Heisman

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyler Murray replaced a Heisman Trophy winner by becoming a Heisman Trophy winner. The Oklahoma quarterback won college football's most prestigious individual award Saturday night, edging Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and setting up a...

 

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Texas tops Big 12; SEC East revival

Texas has been losing the type of game it won on Saturday for nearly a decade. The Longhorns since 2009 had mastered the excruciatingly painful loss as they tried to find their way back (that word!) to being nationally relevant and a legitimate...

 

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