By Phil Hecken and the SMUW Uni Crew
The SMUW splash photo is usually reserved for a really special new uniform, an awesome throwback, or some god-awful hideous thing that never deserved to see the gridiron. But yesterday didn’t feature any of those things, so instead, we welcome back the University of Michigan sporting maize pants, for the first time in two seasons, on the road. And it looked glorious.
I have to admit, I was a big fan of the white over white look (a throwback to the 1970s) that Jim Harbaugh introduced over two years ago, and I still do like it. But there’s something that is just so right about Michigan in maize pants — and after two-plus seasons of going white over white, it was a nice return. Unfortunately, if you’re a fan of Michigan, maybe busting out the maize pantaloons against Penn State wasn’t the best time to do it (PSU topped UM 42-13), and suspicious uni-types might take this as a bad omen, and possibly shelve the maize trousers with the white jerseys for the remainder of the season. Let’s hope not.
I got a late call yesterday to substitute for Saturday Night Curling, so once again, I missed a huge chunk of games yesterday. Fortunately, Terry D. has you covered. So, without further ado, let’s get this party started. Here’s TJ…
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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
Now that last week’s festivities are out of the way, let’s get back to business, shall we? Homecoming Week is a-go!
• Houston did… the anthracite thing, against Memphis, who wore white tiger stripes on a silver lid. Interesting color combo.
• Northwestern wore throwback helmets against Iowa. They also wore ‘ARA’ decals and patches, in honor of Ara Parseghian, who coached the Wildcats from 1956-1963.
• Stay classy, Vols. Several readers noted that during the Bama/Tennessee tilt, Damien Harris’s helmet stripe was pulling a Mike Gundy (PC: Scott Hord/@Caribou99695).
• Georgia Tech wore decals in celebration of the 100th anniversary of their 1917 national championship on Saturday. They also wore all-white against an all-black Wake Forest team.
• I LOVED Indiana’s look against Michigan State. This helmet is easily my favorite of theirs, and works well with the white-over-crimson.
• Mizzou wore white ‘M’ decals in their Homecoming game against Idaho. The block M makes its first appearance since 2011. Here’s a nifty gif on the history of Mizzou helmets.
• Michigan wore maize pants on the road for the first time since 2014 against Penn State on Saturday. Also, Grant Perry’s numbers seem to be doing their best impression of Sid from Ice Age (PC: Chris Vannini/@ChrisVannini and Kyle Good/@kylejgood, respectively).
• Duke played against the Pitt Panthers while wearing– ah, you know the drill.
• The Minnesota/Illinois game was easily one of my favorite-looking games from Week 8 (alongside Michigan St./Indiana and Cincinnati/SMU), but I must say, the removal of the helmet stripe for the Illini this year never sat right with me. I mean, I can live with it not being on the orange helmet (even though it does look better with the stripe), but WOW, the white helmet SUFFERS without it (here’s how it should look, for comparison). It’s still an *alright*-looking helmet, so I won’t liken it to being chicken with zero seasoning. It’s closer to chicken that DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH seasoning. Also, Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck wore some new Homecoming shoes for the game.
• Here’s a look at Virginia Tech’s Homecoming uni for their game against UNC.
• Arkansas wore anthracite against Auburn.
• Ole Miss wore the light blue helmets (with TV numbers!) against LSU.
• During the Notre Dame/USC matchup, one of the #25s for the Trojans (I’m assuming that’s Jack Jones) was wearing what I can only define as glorified Nike 9″ compression shorts. They might be 7″, who knows (PC: Brendan Orr/@NtTheFakeWhoDey).
That’ll do it for Week 8 of the 2017 college football season! I feel that this week was a little thin, but I also probably missed some key games (and I do apologize if I did). Next Saturday is the last one before Halloween hits full-tilt, so I’m expecting at least a couple of teams to pull out something that is sure to encapsulate the holiday spirit. See you all next week!
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back again for 2017 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.
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Happy Sunday, everyone! Let’s get to the list for Week 8…
5) Youngstown State at Northern Iowa — Into the FCS (the Missouri Valley Football Conference, to be exact) we go for this one. The Penguins, who I overlooked last week in a fine-looking game against North Dakota State, looked strong in red/white/red on the road, matching up well against the purple/purple/black of UNI. A great-looking match up under the dome in Cedar Falls.
4) Oregon at UCLA — Finally, a uni combo for the Ducks that isn’t too hideous. Loved how the chrome/white/green clashed perfectly against the gold/blue/gold of the Bruins. Made for a really good looking game in the Rose Bowl.
3) Indiana at Michigan State — Homecoming in East Lansing looked quite good. Always a fan of the usual green/green/white home set from Sparty. Indiana looked equally as good in their red/white/red set on the road.
2) Southern Cal at Notre Dame — Two iconic programs, and an iconic rivalry, with iconic uniforms. Enough said…
1) Michigan at Penn State — If you’ve followed this space since I took over, you know how much I love the classic home unis of the Nittany Lions. But, this makes the top spot because of Michigan going back to the maize pants with the white top on the road. Automatic #1 for me, right there. GO BACK TO THIS PERMANENTLY, MICHIGAN!!!
+1) Syracuse at Miami — On a day where there wasn’t a hands-down choice for the +1, this game slides in here because, really, someone has to. The U just doesn’t look right in mono-green, and the ‘Cuse in mono-white just doesn’t look right either.
Have a great rest of your Sunday! I’ll see you all next week.
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Thanks Joe! You can follow Joe on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2016 trackers are back!
We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking last season. Ethan has stepped into the dual role of both the B1G and the SEC.
Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:
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Rex is up first today (ACC):
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Follow Rex on Twitter here.
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
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Follow Dennis on Twitter here.
And here is Ethan, with the SEC:
And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.
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Follow Ethan on Twitter here.
And here is Kyle with the Big XII:
Follow Kyle on Twitter here.
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And here’s Ethan with the B1G:
Welcome to the 2017 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.
Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):
You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!
MLB Playoff Uni Tracking
A few years back, reader Alex Rocklein tracked the MLB Playoffs by uniform — you guys may recall this. Here’s what his 2010 Uni Tracking looked like. Alex also tracked the playoffs for Uni Watch last season as well. Here’s how the 2016 World Series looked.
We welcome Alex back this year, having tracked the playoffs through the Division Series and now the Championship Series’. These are now up to date through last night’s Astros victory over the Yanks in Game 7. We’ll have the World Series (either completed or partially completed) next weekend.
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XFL Redesign Contest Reminder
In case you missed it, on Saturday, I announced our latest jersey design contest, this time to reimagine a team from the XFL if the league were still operational in 2017.
All the deets are here.
Deadline for submissions is October 31 at 11:59 EDT.
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: This happened 42 years ago yesterday: one of the most famous World Series home run shots of all time — a Carlton Fisk time lapse to win Game Six of the 1975 World Series, for the Red Sox over the Reds (from Bruce Menard). … Here’s a fantastic picture of the Polo Grounds in 1962, with Mets pitchers huddling against the cold under Mets logo blankets (from Paul Plaine). … There are tremendous photos from the 70s, and then there are tremendous photos from the 70s, such as this one of Hammerin’ Hank, Brent Musburger and Sadaharu Oh. I’ll bet Brent had money on something between those two (from Douglas Ford). … During last night’s ALCS game 7, Matthew Wilson noticed Marwin Gonzalez’s jersey is missing the inner orange lining on the “R” in the middle of his jersey stuck out like a sore thumb to me. … This was @’ed at me, and without a player ID (my apologies, I didn’t see the game — I was curling), but here’s an old school barehanded & wedding ring’ed player for the Astros (from Benjamin Thomas). … OK, so here’s a “player at an All Star Game wearing a helmet from another team” I don’t think we’ve EVER seen — check out Nolan Ryan wearing a Padres helmet! (from Corey Buck). Paul ID’ed that as from the 1985 ASG.
NFL News: The saga of the Rams and their horrid mismatched unis continues, and I’ve yet to get a definitive “answer” on their ineptitude. However, this ESPN article seems to make the most sense. The pertinent quote: Teams can’t change their jerseys until they go through an entire uniform redesign. Why didn’t the Rams just change their uniforms now? Because it’s at least a two-year process, and, according to the team, they couldn’t start that process until the relocation. They’re currently working with Nike to unveil new uniforms for the 2019 or 2020 season, the latter being the year they move into the new stadium in Inglewood, California. (emphasis mine). … Here’s a great look at a 1962 game in Yankee Stadium between the Giants and the Lions (from Bruce Menard). … Our pal Clint Richardson is no fan of the J’ville Jags unis, but he argues the combo they will wear today is the best they have.
College Football News: A company called Defend Your Head has developed helmet shell add-on, ProTech, to reduce the impact of helmet collisions through the absorption and dissipation of force impacted on the player’s dome. … You know that Texas A&M has a patent on the “12th Man” (for its fans) right? Well, there’s actually a pretty interesting backstory behind the 12th man, including some lawsuits and other shenanigans. Recommended reading. … There are outstanding team programs from the 70s and then there are outstanding team programs from the 70s. Check out this VMI vs. Virginia Tech beaut from 1971 (from Douglas Ford).
Hockey News: The Northern Michigan Wildcats graphics guy (or gal) had a little trouble spelling Wisconsin and Green (good spot from Jerry Nitzh, who admits NMU is his alma mater). … You guys may remember Tyson Kehler (who I interviewed and featured some of his designs back in August) — well, Tyson designed these jerseys for the Steinbach Pistons. These are his first designs to “take the ice” — so congrats! … St. Lawrence men’s ice hockey held their Legends of Appleton night at Appleton Arena on Saturday night. “For the game they wore this jersey patch. Looks like a plastic/non-embroidered patch,” says John Muir. “Not sure if this is becoming the norm in college hockey. Though it makes the jersey a bit busy, it’s a decent looking patch.”
NBA News: “I noticed something watching the Lakers game last night and I’m not sure if anybody has mentioned it before,” says Chris Schifano. “It looks as though their uniforms are inconsistent with where the NOB is placed. Some are higher, some are very low (the ones I noticed being low were Jordan Clarkson, Luol Deng, and Brandon Ingram).” … Paul’s NBA preview was so thorough (and long), I forget if this was mentioned or not: the Lakers #6 switches back to old font. F.K. Yaaj notice it was changed the last two seasons. … Looks like the New Orleans Pelicans will be wearing their blue alternate unis on Fridays this season (from Pipes Guice). … Here’s a very cool PDF of the Hornets uni schedule (from Kenny Saidah). … There are awesome team photos from the 70s, and then there are awesome team photos from the 70s (thanks to Douglas Ford). … Tweeter @NotoriousJLE “saw the new Nike NBA ad again & noticed a ref in the ad has the makers mark covered up.”
Grab Bag: Australia wore new indigenously-themed shirts against New Zealand yesterday. Jamie Rathjen notes, “This is the first such national team-level shirt in Australia.”… Here’s a look at the helmet design for Romain Grosjean for the US Grand Prix, for F1’s only team from the USA (from Chris Foster).