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Photo: Did Wal-Mart spoil Florida State's new logo reveal?

If you read a lot of uniform-related articles like I do (or maybe not, I might have a slight problem), you'd know that spoilers are a common plight of teams and leagues hoping to hold a surprise uniform unveiling until a specific date. What often happens is, for example, an NBA team will want to surprise the public with new uniforms around the start of the season, only to be spoiled by screen shots of NBA-related video games hitting the internet a month in advance.

We may have seen a similar situation happen in college football on Wednesday. 

Florida State has announced plans to update its iconic Seminole head logo, which the school has used since at least 1976

Florida State logo

“The changes are very minor and the primary thing people will see is consistency in the garnet,” Florida State vice president for university relations Liz Maryanski told ESPN.com. “If you go into a sports store and look across the store, you’ll see as many shades of garnet as there are T-shirts, and we’re trying to get consistency in our colors. We’ll still have what we call ‘the head’ with the Seminole [Tribe’s] blessing.”

 But on Wednesday, the Florida State blog Tomahawk Nation posted a photo of this T-shirt on sale at Wal-Mart. 

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On the surface, this definitely passes the smell test. It's a tweak of the basic template that Florida State already uses, with a slight change of the facial expression and the "Seminoles" script exchanged for "FSU". It's the type of change that would sail right over the heads of casual fans. 

To be clear, this is far from official confirmation. But it's a situation where you wonder, with a new logo on the way, why would that shirt be available for retail if it wasn't the new official logo? 

Anyway, this mystery will be solved on April 11, when the 'Noles will unveil their new logo in advance of the spring football game the following day. 

Here's a short video Florida State released in advance of the release. Let the amateur detectives in our audience have at it. 

(HT SB Nation)




Georgia is sending hand drawn portraits to recruits

Some programs flood a recruit's mail box with a hundred letters a day, others send unique puzzles, but Georgia has decided to put their own (very) unique spin on their recruiting mailings to a handful of recruits.

Below are the hand drawn portraits that Bulldog targets Rashad Roundtree and D'Andre Walker received, along with a short hand written note from Mark Richt.

It would be nice if coach Richt had the time and talent on hand to craft each one of these himself, but regardless of the illustrator, you've got to give the staff credit for coming up with something this unique. Both recruits seem to have enjoyed the personalized touch.




Recapping our visit with the Texas Tech staff

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Last week I spent two days with the Texas Tech staff...and came away very impressed. Over the next few weeks I plan to share a number of stories and insight into the coaches on staff; but I also wanted to provide some high level thoughts now based upon my time there. 

Zach and I had been talking about how impressed I was and we figured we just roll some tape to share with you my thoughts on where the program is and what the future looks like for Texas Tech football. 

 Will share a number of other pictures, stories and opinions over the coming weeks. Stay tuned...

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Kliff and his staff at their staff meeting Thursday morning

One last note, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Coach Kingsbury, the entire staff and particularly Kenny Bell for their assistance and hospitality during my visit. Nothing but great people in West Texas. Thank you




Kentucky OC Neal Brown learned an important lesson his first year in the SEC

Neal Brown's hire as Kentucky's offensive coordinator brought plenty of hype, and hope to the Wildcat program. When the season finally came to a close, the Wildcats finished 100th or worse offensive in both scoring (108th) and pass offense (100th), and they ranked 86th in rush offense.

Looking back on year one with The Courier-Journal, Brown noted that in order to improve moving forward they need to dramatically improve in talent level, and create more depth within the program to be successful in the SEC. He also detailed an important lesson that he sees now looking back on the season, and it's something that head coaches and coordinators everywhere should take note of, especially if you're in a league where you're often outmatched physically or talent-wise.

"I think what happens when you're maybe not as talented as some of the teams you're playing is you try to out-scheme some people and maybe deviate from the system you have in place. I think we did that." he explained.

"We tried to maybe cover up some areas that were weaknesses for us, where if I had it to do over again I would just really concentrate on fundamentals and stuck with the system and not swayed off it as much and just really concentrate more on fundamentals."

Going into the year, Brown and the staff set a goal of having the opportunity to win the game when the fourth quarter came around.

"Our goal was to take games into the fourth quarter and, with the exception of three games, we had opportunities to win in the fourth quarter – the exceptions being the Alabama, Georgia and Missouri games. But the rest of the games, we had realistic opportunities to win the game, and that was kind of my goal to give us a chance in the fourth quarter. Now obviously we didn't finish those games, but we did give ourselves an opportunity."

"Some of the things we did schematically did give us an opportunity to win the game. We just didn't do it. Looking back, after we went 2-10, the schematics kept us in games but we didn't win them, so I think one thing if I had to do it again is maybe being less concerned with schematics, being more concerned with just getting fundamentally better each week – which we did, but we could've done better."

Read the full Q&A session, with a lot more quality content, here.




This brand new D-III program has some of the nicest helmets we've seen

We can't yet say how George Fox University will perform in their inaugural football season, but at least we know they'll look good.

 A Division III school in Newberg, Oregon, the Bruins will play their first football season in 45 years this fall, kicking off with Arizona Christian on Sept. 6. And they'll do so in some of the sharpest helmets in college football. George Fox has partnered with Hydro Graphics, Inc., to design their lids. If you're not familiar with the name HGI, you're certainly familiar with their work. They claim some of the most innovative and futuristic helmet designs in college football in their portfolio

Launching your Division III program as a peer of the likes of Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon and the like? Head coach Chris Casey has to love that. 

 George Fox helmets




What would your players do if a coach got padded up for a drill?

The circle drill. Every program has their own variation of it. We highlighted Texas' version earlier today, and LSU calls their version the Big Cat Drill.

But what would your players do if a coach showed up in full pads, and called a few players out in the middle?  See how the team at Lincoln University (D-II - PA) reacted when head coach Ramon Flanigan came out of the press box suited up from head to toe. The first minute or so of the clip contains the players' reaction to seeing their coach padded up and the last thirty seconds or so is where the real action is, everything in between is all part of the build up to the big moment.




Show up to work and your entire office is filled with packing peanuts

This is the scene Stanford director of football operations Matt Doyle saw when he arrived to work on Tuesday. I would love to see how, say, Nick Saban would handle this situation.




Get up close and personal during Texas' Circle Drill

The circle drill is football at its essence. It's you, the guy across from you and the ground, and two of those three are about to get acquainted with each other. It's football the way George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and the other Founding Fathers would want it. 

It's also the epitome of the toughness and competitiveness that Charlie Strong and his staff want to install at Texas.