Same ol' Cougfan, just a different look

EXCEPT FOR some small tweaks here and there, the look, feel and layout of hasn't changed in close to a decade. Until now. The aim of the new look you see all around here is to make stories and player profiles easier to read on your computer and mobile devices.

The larger photos and headlines are obviously the most noticeable changes, but the way the front page functions is also a big departure from the old system. Starting today our top stories will be in a "carousel" across the top, running left to right, with the rest of the stories below them for scrolling up and down.

The old front page was built on the long-time web thinking that you needed to pack as much as you can on the first screen of a computer. But in this age of ever-greater tweeting, blogging and facebooking, people are scrolling. That means we can liven up the site with big photos, headlines and fonts to make it more inviting to the eye. In short, more readable.

For now, our message boards are staying the same. In the coming weeks, they'll get a refresh that allows for easier access from tablets and smartphones.

As you probably know, we are part of the network. While we're independently owned and operated, they're our national network affiliate, much like your local TV stations are aligned with one of the major networks.

The benefit of this affiliation is that our readers get access to recruiting information and other stories from around the system. In addition, it means the staff of CF.C can focus most of its efforts on generating content, not worrying about building and maintaining the platform of a website.

So is driving this new look of ours. Their thinking has been shaped by focus groups, data analysis and more. That doesn't mean it won't take some getting used to. Change is always a bit unsettling -- especially when we've all come to know and appreciate the old look and feel for the last decade.

It's also important to note that is under new ownership with a long history and passion for what we do. The result is that we won't be going through the calamity of the last "new look" the network tried a year or two ago. There will no doubt be hitches and glitches as we roll out this new format, but the direction of the company suggests long-term benefits to our readers.

At the end of the day, we stake our claim on the notion that "content is king," no matter how its packaged. And we will continue to bring you the most Cougar-centric content on the web. Moreover, continues to invest in regional and national recruiting analysts to ensure you're getting the latest intelligence.

Thanks for reading and thanks for your patience as we move to the new format. If you have any questions you can reach out to our staff on the message boards.

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