There's computer literacy.
And now there's Twitter literacy, or Twitter-acy. To not be using Twitter in 2010 is to not yet be using Google 10 years ago. You may be resistant, but eventually you'll capitulate and be glad that you did. In terms of news and information gathering, Twitter is to the web what the internet is to newspapers.
And, unlike Facebook, which is often a celebration of self, Twitter is a glorious cascade of both information and ideas. As someone tweeted (naturally) recently, "Facebook is for friends who are now strangers. Twitter is for strangers who should be your friends."
In the past year, college football media, coaches and players have all joined the revolution. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema actively monitors his players' tweets ("I point out stupid tweets when I see one," he says). It was a college coed's seemingly innocuous (at least in her mind) tweet about seeing Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen being punched in the face last November that helped break that story. USC-bound wide receiver Markeith Ambles ended all questions as to his college choice, and inspired a few smirks, when he tweeted, "I am a Trogan."
The problem for anyone with a Twitter account (which is free) is not dissimilar to that of a young person on a quest to find meaning in life: whom to follow? I'm here to help. Hours and hours of exhaustive research, interrupted only by bathroom breaks and my own irresistible urge to tweet, have led to FanHouse's inaugural College Football Twitter 200: 200 characters who provide insight and information in 140 characters or less.
We'll break up the series into three parts, running the posts in consecutive days this week. The first part (this one) will be the first 100 media members in alphabetical order, with the second part sporting the rest of the Twitter 200.
In the third and concluding part of the series, I've added a short list of players, coaches and media whom we'd all like to see using Twitter. Some have dormant accounts (I'm looking at you, Chris Fowler), while some may merely be Luddites hoping, incorrectly, that this fad will pass. Like that forward pass fad passed.
Note: For each person on the list, I've included their Twitter handle, the number of followers they have and the number of times they've tweeted (as of August 9). Please feel free to comment and tell me whom I have forgotten.
Andrea Adelson: @aadelsonESPN
Florida-based blogger for the 24-hour, 5-channel sports media leviathan.
Erin Andrews: @ErinAndrews
ESPN sideline seductress will now host a third hour of College Gameday. This will make me (even more) unpopular, but female sideline reporters tend to be a tad saccharine. If you want to follow a truly funny female, Michelle Beadle (@ESPN_Michelle) is your sweet sassy mo'lassy.
AP Top 25: @AP_Top25
Filters the best of AP sportswriters' college football-related stories into tweets.
Greg Auman: @gregauman
For all things South Florida football, follow this felicitous Gator alum who now writes for the St. Petersburg Times.
Big Ten Football: @BTNStatsGuy
Tasty morsels of trivia and numbers related to the Big Ten.
Tony Barnhart: @MrCFB
Venerable college football scribe who covers the South like kudzu.
BC Interruption: @bcinterruption
Unofficial blog for Boston College news.
Brian Bennett: @espn_bigeast
ESPN.com's man on the Big East beat.
Mike Bianchi: @BianchiWrites
Orlando Sentinel columnist who recently quipped: "Jimbo Fisher has had his first major arrest at Florida State. Only 28 more to be competitive with Urban Meyer."
Blatant Homerism: @BlatantHomerism
Avid, addled fan of Oklahoma football who declares himself the sport's "finest mind."
Bleacher Report: @BR_CFB
Indie sports site that delivers the goods.
Blog Ten: @BlogTen
For all news Big Ten-related.
Kirk Bohls: @KBohls
Long-time columnist at the Austin American-Statesman covers Longhorns from tip to tip.
Tim Brando: @TimBrando
The CBS studio host is a little old-media for this list, but perhaps he'll surprise us.
David Brandt: @DavidBrandt
Covers Mississippi for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, helping to make "Masoli" a trending topic.
Irreverent SB nation blog concerned -- did I say "concerned?" -- obsessed with all things SEC.
L.A.-based blogger (read: "internet people") who is often out in front of the news. Cultivates sources well.
Jenn Brown: @JennBrownESPN
Erin Andrews' heiress apparent (right) is a former softball player at Florida, which has become Sideline Reporter U.
Chip Brown: @ChipBrownOB
The man who broke the Big 12 realignment story and has a hammerlock on all things burnt orange.
Chris Brown: @smartfootball
Like his Twitter handle says, Brown is a professor of pigskinology.
Bucky's Fifth Quarter: @b5q
You can jump around to other Wisconsin-related feeds, but you're likely to return to this one.
Jenni Carlson: @JenniCarlson_OK
Columnist for The Oklahoman whose 2007 story inspired Mike Gundy's legendary "I'm a man! I'm 40!" rant. If only coach Gundy had a Twitter account.
Funny. And wrong: "Butch Davis proudly reveals that T.J. Yates got a 4.8 on his SATs, runs a 1290 in the 40."
Andrew Carter: @osseminoles
The Orlando Sentinel's beat writer for Florida State, striking names from the Seminoles' roster almost as fast as they exit the program.
Jay Christensen: @JayChristensen
Founder of TheWizofOdds.com, a daily must-read for fans of the sport.
John Clay: @johnclayiv
Columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader has two decades or so of experience covering the SEC.
College Football: @CollegeFootball
No-nonsense updates on the sport. Any Tweep that uses Keith Jackson for its avatar can't be bad.
College Football Outsiders: @FO_College
They're not really as "outside" as they proclaim. Insightful, pertinent stuff.
College Football Talk: @CFTalk
The college sister of NBC's Pro Football Talk.
Bob Condotta: @bcondotta
U-Dub may not challenge for the Pac-10 title, but as long as Jake Locker is under center and Steve Sarkisian is behind a microphone, they'll be fun. Condotta, who writes for the Seattle Times, has them covered.
Chadd Cripe: @IDS_BroncoBeat
Beat writer for the Idaho Statesman, covering everyone's favorite BCS-buster. Chadd, 2010 is your close-up.
David Curtis: @davecurtis33
National college football writer for "The Sporting News." Here's hoping he becomes more engaged with the tweets.
Richard Deitsch: @RichardDeitsch
SI.com's "Media Circus" writer. No one better at covering the people who cover the people ...
Tom Dienhart: @TomDienhart
National college football scribe for Rivals/Yahoo! "Had breakfast with UConn coach Randy Edsall in Newport, RI. Is there a better football coach in America?" (Um, yes.)
Heather Dinich: @ESPN_ACC
ESPN's ACC beat reporter.
Dennis Dodd: @DennisDoddCBS
This national columnist for CBSSports.com is among the most incisive voices covering the sport.
Bill Doleman: @TheMTN_Bill
Network anchor for The Mountain Sports Network provides a peek at the conference with all the peaks.
Pat Dooley: @pat_dooley
Long-time college football scribe for The Gainesville Sun who can remember when Emmitt Smith played for the Gators (even if Emmitt apparently cannot).
Gregg Doyel: @greggdoyelcbs
Read his columns, and you get the sense that Doyel's fingers are punching the keyboard. Love his Twitter bio: "This better be the real me -- or, I'm gonna sue, um, me."
Chris Dufresne: @DufresneLATimes
The Times' point man on college football, for as long as both should survive.
ESPN College Football: @ESPN_Others
No, it's not a feed devoted to a film in which all the ghosts believe they're alive. It's ESPN's feed for non-AQ schools in the FBS.
ESPN College Football Live: @espncfblive
Official feed for ESPN's daily weekday show.
Gentry Estes: @BamaBeat
Why do southern writers always have the best names? Covers the Crimson Tide for AOL.com, among others.
Every Day Should Be Saturday: @edsbs
The funniest site about college football is also, not coincidentally, one of the smartest. "You couldn't chop (6-foot-7 Arkansas QB) Ryan Mallett down with two axes."
Michael Felder: @InTheBleachers
Former reserve player at North Carolina tackles tweets at a most prolific rate.
Bruce Feldman: @BFeldmanESPN
L.A.-based ESPNer is plugged in to the Pac-10. Not a nicer gent on the national beat.
Pete Fiutak: @ColFootballNews
Writes the popular weekly "Cavalcade of Whimsy" column for CFNScout.com, but needs to become a more frequent participant in this newest media format.
Bryan Fischer: @BryanDFischer
Covers the Trojans for USCFootball.com/Rivals, and is never far removed from a 140-character insight.
First and Big Ten: @FirstandBigTen
Three tweets and a cloud of dust, daily.
Alex Flanagan: @Aflanny
Sideline reporter for NBC's Notre Dame football telecasts is probably more thrilled with the coaching change in South Bend than you are.
Chris Foster: @CFosterLATimes
Covers the UCLA Bruins for the Los Angeles Times.
Friends of the Program: @FOTProgram
The type of Twitter account you and your wiseass dorm mates would've set up had you gone to college in age of Twitter ... or the internet.
Gobbler Country: @Gobblercountry
If you only follow one Virginia Tech feed -- and most of you will follow fewer than that -- this one, manned by the author of its eponymous blog, is the one.
Ken Goe: @KenGoe
Covers college football for the Portland Oregonian. Should have a column entitled "Ready, Set, Goe."
Ken Gordon: @kgordonosu
Covers Ohio State for the Columbus Dispatch. Should NOT have a column entitled "Ready, Set, Go(rdon)!"
Dan Greenspan: @DanGreenspan
Covers the Trojans for SCPlaybook, part of Scout.com.
Teddy Greenstein: @TeddyGreenstein
Chicago Tribune columnist who seems to know what the Big Ten will do before commissioner Jim Delany does. Needs to manufacture more tweets.
Brian Grummell: @BrianGrummell
Covers the Big East for FanHouse, but just as likely to tweet about his alma mater, USC.
Glenn Guilbeau: @LSUBeatTweet
With a name like that, you just knew he covered LSU Tiger football, didn't you?
Suzanne Halliburton: @suzhalliburton
Trenchant writer for the Austin-American Sportsman.
Brian Hamilton: @ChiTribHamilton
Acerbic and astute reporter at the Chicago Tribune who covers the Fighting Irish somewhat begrudgingly.
Travis Haney: @gamecocksblog
South Carolina correspondent is one of the more zealous tweeters on the chirp network. Just look at his number of tweets.
Eric Hansen: @hansensouthbend
Entrenched South Bend Tribune columnist who knows Our Lady's program as well as anyone.
Terrance Harris: @ThatBig12writer
FanHouse's man in Big 12 country.
Mark Hasty: @PickBigTen
Covers the Big Ten for FanHouse, among other things.
Hawkeye Nation: @HawkeyeNation
Iowa will be a top ten team this season, and this feed is as good as any to stay abreast of the Hawkeyes.
Heisman News: @HeismanNews
Trust me, this feed produces relevant tweets for more than just a month or two each year.
Jim Henry: @JimHenryAOL
FanHouse's man in the ACC, based in Tallahassee.
Matt Hinton: @DrSaturday
He's not really a doctor, but the Austin-based blogger is an esteemed specialist when it comes to college football coverage.
Matt Humphrey: @NCAAFootballman
Orlando Sentinel's self-proclaimed "college football maven." Well then, if he's a maven ...
Hangs out in that van in the corner of the school parking lot with the cool kids at @edsbs and @DrSaturday.
Lisa Horne: @LisaHorne
Covers Southern Cal, and all of southern Cal, for FoxSports.com
Cecil Hurt: @CecilHurt
Inveterate chronicler of the Crimson Tide -- his first year on the beat (1982) was Bear Bryant's last -- for the Tuscaloosa News.
Chris Huston: @HeismanPundit
Huston is another example of someone who cares THIS MUCH about college football. Fantastic site, fantastic insight.
Irish Illustrated: @NDatRivals
Scribblers Tim Prister and Pete Sampson provide the latest on four- and five-star recruits who will ultimately break the hearts of the Irish and their fans by signing somewhere else (warmer). Well, not all of them.
Gary Klein: @LATimesklein
Trojan beat reporter for the Los Angeles Times, which means every day he deals with both an HOV lane and a USC Lane.
Adam Kramer: @kegsneggs
Popular Illinois-based blogger whose site name invokes a newfangled tailgate tradition.
Steve Lassan: @AthlonSteven
College football editor for Athlon Sports, the people who publish those glossy preseason guides you read at the beach.
Tom Lemming: @TomLemming
The recruiting guru who can always say he had a few lines in an Oscar-nominated film ("The Blind Side").
Doug Lesmerises: @PDBuckeyes
Covers the Buckeyes for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Chris Low: @ESPN_SEC
ESPN.com's beat reporter for the conference that has produced the last four national champions.
Ivan Maisel: @Ivan_Maisel
'Bama born-and-raised, Stanford-educated scribe who's been on the beat for a quarter-century now. Does podcasts with Beano Cook for ESPN.com.
Stewart Mandel: @slmandel
One of SI.com's two authoritative voices on college football. Author of "Bowls, Polls and Tattered Souls," a great read on the sport.
Arash Markazi: @ArashMarkazi
"Guest List" Markazi, as I like to call him, covers everything in L.A. in red, from his beloved Trojans to the carpets at film premieres.
Mark May: @Mark_May
Dr. Lou's favorite foil is one of the few Bristol-based talking heads who actually chirps: "Bob Huggins WVU BB coach broke 4 ribs in a fall in his Vegas hotel room," ... "Huggie Bear What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas!!!!"
Jason McIntyre: @TheBigLead
Tireless blogger whose site is read by everyone in the business who cares.
Ted Miller: @ESPN_Pac10
Covers the Pac-10, soon to be Pac-12, for ESPN.com
Russ Mitchell: @russmitchellsec
SEC columnist for College Football News (CFNScout.com): "US Judge rules cheerleading not a 'sport' in part b/c it 'doesn't have a playoff system.' Ruh-roh, Reorge!"
Rob Moseley: @DuckFootball
Tweets -- or is it quacks? -- on Oregon football for the Eugene Register-Guard.
Chris Mottram: @ChrisMottram
Senior editor at SBNation and self-proclaimed "part-time stalker." Aren't we all?
Brett McMurphy: @BrettmcmurphY
FanHouse's man on the national scene and caretaker of the best mustache in the press box.
Austin Murphy: @si_austinmurphy
Has covered college football for "Sports Illustrated" since before every current player was born, but still in good enough shape for two-a-days.
Brian Murphy: @murphsturph
Boise State coach Chris Petersen has made Twitter off-limits to his players in-season, but that ban does not extend to this Idaho Statesman columnist.
Paul Myerberg: @PreSnapRead
Provides Greg Jones-like sideline-to-sideline coverage of the sport. Well worth following.
Dari Nowkhah: @ESPNDariNowkhah
Part-time CFB Live host and the only regular tweeter among Bristol's army of hosts.
Jerry Palm: @JPPalm
Owner/operator of CollegeBCS.com is a number-cruncher, game-watcher whose specialty is the Purdue Boilermakers.
Joe Person: @josephperson
Sports writer for the The State, in Columbia, S.C., will keep you in-the-know on Clemson and 'cocks.
Randy Peterson: @RandyPete
Long-time writer for the Des Moines Register. Has the best ears in Iowa that can't be shucked.
David Pollack: @davidpollack47
Former Georgia linebacker is the Tedy Bruschi of college football analysts for ESPN. Even resembles Bruschi. Smart and dynamic with a bright future in TV.
Kyle Ringo: @KyleRingo
Covers the Buffs for the Boulder Daily Camera and likely tickled that he'll soon be subbing out road trips to Ames and Manhattan for Berkeley and Tempe.
Editor's Addition: @NCAAFanHouse
OK, so now we have to call it the Twitter201. John's editors will forgive him for leaving us off the original list. Everything we post gets tweeted, so follow this and stay connected to all this great coverage.
Coming Wednesday: We'll spotlight the media member who has more followers than any other college-only writer (hint: he would have been listed above, alphabetically), followed by revealing the remaining 99 members of the Twitter 200. It will finish up the media members and also contain active coaches and players (oh, and a cheerleader).