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Video: ESPN's new College Football Playoff promo

In case you haven't noticed, ESPN is basically subsidizing the entire college football industry. In addition to the millions upon millions the Worldwide Leader heaps upon every FBS conference, it is also paying $470 million a year for the right to broadcast the College Football Playoff for the next dozen years. With more than 450 games on its docket, and a combined 189 million people watching those 450 games, ESPN has launched the "Who's In?" campaign to raise awareness of its CFP coverage. The spot you see below is the first of more than 23 hours of footage ESPN shot. 

"We’re holding up a mirror to the college football fan and the broad spectrum of fans around the country," said ESPN senior vice president of marketing Aaron Taylor told the Wall Street Journal. "By shooting the fans of 128 different schools, you’re going to get a broad spectrum of people. It’s the America we live in today and we sought to represent that America."

See it here before you see it on ESPN 48,403,093 times.

USC's bad week continues to get worse

Earlier today I wrote that Charlie Strong seemingly had the longest hiring day-to-game day wait of all new hires for the 2014 season. Steve Sarkisian probably has something to say about that. In fact, the last week has probably felt like three eternities stacked on top of each other for the brand new USC head coach.

One day after the Josh Shaw saga wrapped up with the captain admitting he'd made the entire thing up, and earning himself an indefinite suspension in the process, USC running back Anthony Brown has quit the team. Brown switched to running back from cornerback this spring, where he made 43 tackles in six career starts. Making matters worse, Brown accused Sarkisian of being a racist in an Instagram post, which has since been deleted. This appears to be nothing more than a grossly unfair swipe out the door by a disgruntled player, and has been strongly refuted by Brown's former teammates. 

In actual football impact, USC has now lost two players in two days, on a roster that lacked depth to begin with. 

USC opens its season versus Fresno State at 7:30 p.m. ET (televised by Fox). For Sarkisian and the rest of the USC football program, it can't come one moment too soon. 

A year away from launching football, Kennesaw State unveils its uniforms

A list of things a brand new football program absolutely needs to function would read something like this - a coaching staff, practice space, footballs, a weight room, practice equipment, and training materials. It probably would not include new game uniforms 12 months ahead of the program's official launch date, but here's one thing every new program definitely requires: money. Lots and lots of money.

That's where the uniforms come in.

In case you don't know by now, nothing jumpstarts excitement like new uniforms. In fact, scientists tell me a new uniform unveiling equates to 18 percent of one on field win. For a new program, a uniform is a tangible sign of progress, a signal that their money and support is creating something that is actually real. With opportunities for on-field victories still a full year away, a uniform is something fans can grab on to in a way that a new blocking sled doesn't provide.

With game one versus East Tennessee State still 371 days away, Kennesaw State unveiled three new uniform options on Thursday:

KennesawStateunis

KennesawStatehelmet

Video: Here is Texas' trailer for the season opener

Though he wasn't hired until mid-January, it feels as if Charlie Strong has had the longest wait from hiring day to opening day among all new head coaches. Maybe that's just the nature of the job he accepted. Nevertheless, after what feels like a full calendar year of talking, it's (almost) finally time to play ball. 

"It's the best university, why can't we have the best football team? Why can't that happen? Why can't we be the team that everyone talks about? We have an obligation to get this program back where it needs to be," Strong says.

Here's eight and a half months of culture change in 135 seconds:

Is this the future of football manufacturing technology?

Navy will wear some sweet alternate uniforms on Saturday, but perhaps the most impactful aspect of the Midshipmen's getup will not be what they're wearing, but what they're touching - the football itself

The balls Navy will use against Ohio State will be equipped with a first-of-its-kind tracking technology built into balls produced by leading manufacturer Big Game USA. From the press release: Big Game embeds a gametagTM near the football's laces, using the app, the ball can be tracked from the moment it leaves the factory. Once tracking begins, the history of the ball is recorded and all activity is sent to a secure database operated by Prova.

"Gametag is cutting-edge technology that immediately changes the way game balls are authenticated, while also improving quality control of official college footballs we produce," said Big Game founder Chris Calandro. "We love the idea that the life of our footballs can now be tracked and preserved alongside the history of the game."

The technology will actually debut in Thursday night's Texas A&M at South Carolina game, and will be used throughout the season by Mississippi State and Nebraska in addition to the Aggies and Midshipmen.

"We're excited about the ability to track our game balls with gametag," said Navy assistant athletics director Greg Morgenthaler. "The technology gametag uses is unlike anything we've ever seen."

This technology clearly is more of a godsend for the collector's market. The ability to sell the football Keenan Reynolds threw the game-winning touchdown with to beat No. 6 Ohio State, with definitive proof, should help drive up value. But now Big Game has proven it can implant a microchip into a game-quality football, what's stopping them from using a GPS microchip to take the guesswork out of spotting the ball?

Now that would be a true game-changer.

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