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Photos: 21 Things Hiding in College Sports Logos

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  • Arkansas Pine Bluff

    A handful of schools, conferences and other entities in college sports are downright subliminal with their logo designs. Look closely at the following 20 logos and you’ll stumble upon more than the eye can initially see.

    Such is the case with Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Barely detectable in the golden lion’s mane are the initials “UAPB.”

  • Big Ten

    The “I” and “G” cleverly double as a “1” and “0.” From 1990-2011, the number 11 (representing the number of Big Ten member schools) was interwoven into the logo.

  • Washington State

    The cougar’s mane forms a “W,” while it’s head and jaw combine to form both an “S” and a “U” for “Washington State University.”

  • George Washington

    ​Look very closely at the “W” in the Colonials’ logo and you’ll see one of the more recognizable landmarks of our nation’s capital: The Washington Monument.

  • Eastern Washington

    Something about the Palouse must lend itself to integrating a school’s three-letter acronym into the logo design. Eastern Washington’s integration of “EWU” into its eagle’s wings and tail is almost identical to what Wazzu (less than 70 miles away) did with its cougar logo.

  • Oregon

    Oregon’s “O” logo pays tribute to its two most recognizable athletics facilities: The track-shaped inside of the “O” is the shape of iconic Hayward Field (home of the annual Prefontaine Classic), while the outside is the shape of Autzen Stadium.

  • Nebraska-Omaha

    The Mavericks’ logo is actually three letters rolled into one. There’s a “U” (represented by the black band), an “N” (the red band) and an “O” (the two bands combined). Additionally, the ends of the bands are pointed to signify a bull’s horns.

  • Louisiana Tech

    Take away the “La” on the left side and the “ech” on the right (a la the Bulldogs’ football helmets) and you’re left with a block “T” transposed onto an outline of Louisiana - forming a natural “L” and, subsequently, an interlocking “LT” combination.

  • Pac-12

    Once made up primarily of member schools on the Pacific Coast (along with Arizona and Arizona State) shown by the wave above the “12”, the Pac-12 now counts two “mountainous” members in Utah and Colorado among its ranks - an expansion reflected in the peak at the center of the now three-year-old new logo.

  • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl

    The football in the logo of the former Humanitarian Bowl doubles as a baked potato topped with sour cream and chives.

  • Charlotte

    Hoping to strike it rich with something more clever and less common than an ordinary “C,” Charlotte has had the letter portrayed as an arm swinging a pickax (alluding to the 49ers nickname) since 1998.

  • Hofstra

    The program formerly known as the “Flying Dutchmen” has reason to be proud of the gender equality demonstrated on its nine-year-old logo, one that contains both a lioness (in white in the foreground) and a male lion (in blue in the background).

  • UC Davis

    That’s not just a “C” for “California.” UC Davis’ mustang mascot, Gunrock, is underscored by the fact that the “C” is also a horseshoe.

  • Elon

    Elon has been nicknamed the Phoenix since 2000 (after previously going by the “Fighting Christians”). Its logo is, appropriately, the mythical bird in flight while forming an “E.”

  • Sacramento State

    Imagine Sacramento State’s logo in uber conceptual terms a la a constellation. The “S” part of it is supposed to be the body of a hornet (the school’s mascot) with a stinger on the bottom end, with two “wings” protruding from the sides. Too bad it looks more like a “nondescript earth worm eating through an apple core.”

  • Long Beach State

    Look hard enough and you’ll see that the “B” is not just a letter. It’s also a pair of fish swimming side-by-side one another.

  • Sun Belt

    Unveiled prior to the 2013-2014 athletics season, the Sun Belt’s new logo contains a blue band representing the “belt” - made up of four parts representing the conference’s key principles of ambitious, authentic, loyal and adventurous - and the horizon at daybreak representing the “sun.”

  • Missouri Valley

    Notice how “Valley” slopes down in bowl-like fashion from either side, much like the appearance of an actual valley.

  • Northern Arizona

    Nestled into the triangle portion of the “A” is a yellow mountain peak in reference to NAU’s location in Flagstaff high above sea level (6,910 feet to be exact).

  • San Diego State

    Taking full advantage of its “Aztecs” nickname, San Diego State has gone with a Mayan-fonted “S” interlocking with a “D” resembling a spear.

  • College Football Playoff Logo

    A mere four laces - instead of eight - appear on the CFB playoff logo’s football, representing the number of participating teams. Here’s hoping that more laces (i.e. more teams) are added to the football in coming years.

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