- David Ubben, College Football
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Here's a bit of what you missed over the weekend across the Big 12:
West Virginia finally began preseason practices on Friday, with the Big 12's most wide-open starting quarterback spot waiting to be filled. The potential to rack up lots of yards in coach Dana Holgorsen's offense only adds to the intrigue, but Florida State transfer Clint Trickett finally got a chance to take the field with his teammates after becoming a Mountaineer following spring practice.
"He has a lot of experience and knows what he is doing. He has played in big games and has been through three years of college football, so he is a good guy to be around," redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress told reporters about Trickett. "I will see what tricks he can teach."
Holgorsen has given little indication about the quarterback pecking order heading into camp, but the race to sort it out is on.
"It was pretty even yesterday. We are all just trying to get better and are pushing each other," Childress said. "Once we get our pads on, we will really get to see the difference."
Childress is the only Mountaineers' quarterback with no game experience. Trickett earned two career starts behind E.J. Manuel at Florida State and threw seven touchdown passes as a freshman in 2011.
Millard has served as Geno Smith's backup in each of the past two seasons and has three touchdown passes of his own as a Mountaineer. Childress has a lot to prove with no on-field game experience to allow coaches to review.
"I feel a ton better with the offense," Childress said. "I actually know what is going on, what the defense is doing and what I need to call and check out of everything."
Scrimmages are always the best indicator of where a quarterback race stands, so I'd keep a close eye on those when they arrive for the Mountaineers, including both performance and the amount of reps and attempts each player earns.
"Once we get the pads on in a few days and we can actually do some situational stuff, I think that things will clear up a little faster," Millard told reporters. "Right now we just have to go day-by-day."
Tech debuts new uniforms/helmets
Texas Tech revealed their new uniforms and alternate helmets in this well-done YouTube video. Coach Kliff Kingsbury hinted these were coming all offseason, but it's a great look. You can see Tech players' thoughts here.
Here are the Red Raiders' new basic set of uniforms in one spot:
— Scott Lacefield (@ScottLacefield) August 3, 2013
The biggest change is the lack of the shiny "glitter" look on the helmets, which are instead a regular shiny black look. I would have loved to have seen Tech have a matte black look with the Double T logo on it, but I love the stripe across the shoulder and featuring the "Guns Up" slogan ("Guns up" on their actual "guns." Get it?) on the pants and jerseys. Strong look versus the previous awkward location of the phrase. The new stripe on the helmet is a great look, too.
You can see the collection of helmets Texas Tech will have at its disposal here from a display at the Red Raiders' media day over the weekend.
Most eye-catching is the new Masked Raider logo at a variety of angles. I like the look, but is it recognizable enough? We're seeing a trend of universities focusing branding efforts on a single logo even with a variety of uniforms, but Oklahoma State did something similar in emphasizing a variety of Pistol Pete logos in addition to the block "OSU" that appears most often in the university's athletic teams.
Time will tell how ingrained that image becomes, but the average college football fan (and even Big 12 fan) is going to see that helmet and not immediately know which school is wearing it. That was never the case with the classic Double T logo.