By Phil Hecken, with Jim Vilk
Last weekend, everybody’s favorite fashion-plate, Jim Vilk and I gave you our “grades” for the uniforms of each school and each conference for the old Division I (now known as FBS) schools that are eligible for ‘automatic’ BCS bids. Today, we’re back in our roles as arbiters of NCAA fashion. Surprisingly, Jim and I were pretty similar in our grades of the six BCS conferences. How will he and I match up this time around?
When we’re through with our grades, we’ll each give you our “Five and One” (5 best and 1 worst) individual uniforms, followed by a poll allowing you to rank the conferences. As we did last week, Jim will produce the first grade and mine will follow. And because we may not have been entirely clear last time around, we’re ranking the teams on their “standard” home uniform (meaning, what one would usually expect a team to wear on a regular basis) — no alts, no special unis, no “pro combat.” The uniform pictured is the one we’re ranking.
Before we start, here’s a few words from Jim:
“Phil and I have been known to joust a bit when it comes to certain uniforms, but on the whole we’re not that different. Today, we’ll see pretty much the same thing. In fact, there are only two schools where we’re apart by a full two letter grades. This week’s list fluctuates a bit more than the last one, so let’s see where the surprises are.”
And now the rankings:
Conference grade: B+ / B-
“Conference” Grade: A…but three independents do not a conference make / B+ (and no, there is no “Indie” conference)
Conference grade: B- / B-
Conference grade: B / B-
Arkansas State: C- / C-
Florida Atlantic: A+ / A+
Florida International: D+ / D-
LA Lafayette: B+ / B
LA Monroe: C / C+
Middle Tennessee State: A+ / A-
North Texas: B- / B
Troy: B- / B+
Western Kentucky: B / C-
Conference grade: B / B
Conference grade: B- / C+
Jim’s 5 & 1:
5. SMU: If I knew Tulane was staying with white helmets full-time, they’d be here instead (love the horsey helmet, by the way).
4. New Mexico: Great font, great lines.
3. Louisiana Tech: Like a reverse Ole Miss uni, and we know how much I like those.
2. Florida Atlantic: I’d tweak the school logo, otherwise we’re flirting with perfection here.
1. Temple: A wonderful mix of simple and snazzy.
And Jim’s worst pick: Boise State — Never should have changed their unis from when they beat Oklahoma.
And my 5 & 1:
5. Rice: Great colors, love the Old English font for some reason.
4. Eastern Michigan: What Sparty should look like.
3. Temple: Oh do I love tiled stripes.
2. Florida Atlantic: Does an anal retentive proud. Perfect stripes.
1. BYU: Best of the non-BCS. All my wives agree.
And my worst pick: Florida International — There is just NOTHING about that uni to like. It’s bad from helmet to shoes.
OK, folks. That’s what Jim and I think of the non-BCS conferences. But we’re only two votes. You guys will now have the ultimate say. So, naturally, I’ve again contacted the UW Pollster, Jimbo Huening to set us up, much like last week. You can use any methodology for reaching your grade. Take your time, be methodical, or just give it your best college try. Just be sure you fill in the little circle completely, or the scanner can’t read your vote. You’ll be asked six quick questions (grade each conference) and then you’ll be asked for your OVERALL favorite uniform for one team. We’ll have the results from last week’s poll immediately following this one.
The Poll is below…
And here’s James with the results from last week:
The grading scale is as follows.
A+: 4 points
The SEC, with a GPA of 3.336 barely edged out the Big Ten with 3.327. Both were good for a B+ average. The SEC also garnered the most A+ grades.
The Big 12 also averaged better than a B with 3.043. The Pac-10 came really close with 2.956 followed by the ACC’s 2.827.
Finally, we had the Big East with it’s 2.345 GPA.
Penn State was our summa cum laude.
Thanks James and Jim. We always knew the SEC had the best unis as a BCS conference, and you guys proved it through your vote. Now, tell us who is the best non-BCS conference. Remember, the “Independents” don’t count (as a conference), but we’re at least going to let them get a uni-vote. Fire away.
Who woulda thunk it?
But that’s exactly what didn’t happen on the first day of play yesterday, which began under torrential rains in Newport, Wales, as the US seeks to defend the Ryder Cup. You see, the captain is responsible for all the clothing for his team. And while the Saturday gear and Sunday outfits are even nicer than their Friday wear, apparently Mr. Pavin spent all his time and energy focusing on what Team USA would wear if the weather cooperated.
The problem is, the British Isles are famous for inclement weather, and Pavin’s choice of rain gear was from a somewhat obscure supplier named, ironically, Sun Mountain. Perhaps that was his first mistake. Because, almost as sure as the sun rises in the east, it will rain in the British Isles in the fall. His second mistake was not actually testing the “waterproof” gear for its, ya know, waterproofness. Because it wasn’t. Someone said that Euro captain Colin Montgomerie wore his wet wear in the shower for 20 minutes to test it’s effectiveness. It’s probably safe to say Pavin didn’t.
The Sun Mountain gear got soaked and heavy. It didn’t deflect the rain, as most waterproof gear should. Instead, it actually absorbed water. Only a few holes could be played in the deluge, which saturated the US squad’s jackets and pants, before play was called. And it wasn’t just the rain gear — the US’ bags were soaked through as well. All the players were unhappy, but everybody’s favorite American, Tiger Woods, actually played without his rain jacket due to the difficultes he encountered in playing once the jacket became drenched.
Once play was called due to the course being unplayable, Pavin had to scramble. The players wanted gear that would actually keep them dry, like the ones the Europeans were wearing. Unfortunately for Pavin, finding new rain gear in a pinch didn’t leave many options. What did he do? He and the team went to the PRO SHOP and bought $6,300 worth of “waterproofs” (as they are called in Wales) — from the same manufacturer who outfits the European team(!).
Once the monsoons and ensuing seven-hour rain delay ended, the US team went back on the course in their standard Friday outfits, saving Pavin the indignity of his players having to wear the pro shop gear. It is not known whether (no pun intended) they will have new gear overnighted or if the pro shop attire will be adorned with “USA” accoutrements should the rains return Saturday or Sunday. What is known is that they will not be wearing the Sun Mountain waterproofs should any inclement weather return.
According to the UK Guardian, “American television reported that Tiger Woods was unhappy that the team were not allowed to use their own clothing with sponsors’ labels removed and there also appeared an issue with the team’s golf bags leaking. It is understood that a dry towel placed in Woods’s bag on the 3rd tee by Steve Williams, his caddie, was soaking wet by the time the green was reached.” Could swooshie have saved the day?
Rather than issue any kind of apology for the snafu, Sun Mountain instead defended itself. “Sun Mountain has been designing and selling outerwear for more than two decades. We have provided rainwear to over 150 tour players and numerous US teams. Sun Mountain has staff on the ground at the Ryder Cup working in conjunction with the PGA of America on this issue.” However, according to the Guardian, “Privately sources at the company claimed part of the trouble was the stitching specifically requested by the USA team which caused ‘significant leakage problems’.” Right. So it’s Pavin’s fault.
Let’s just hope the bad weather will stay away so we can see the U.S. in their gorgeous weekend outfits. Because, after falling behind in their wet waterproof gear, the U.S. surged out to leads in 2 of the 4 matches (being tied, or “all square” in one) after the rain ended and they competed in their dry gear. Better to look good and to play good, yes?
You can check out the Ryder Cup (weather permitting) on ESPN and NBC today and NBC tomorrow. The current scoreboard is here.
Stay tuned. Waterproofgate may not yet be over.
Still have a backlog of uni tweaks, so let get right into it. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way. OK? OK! Here’s what’s on tap for today.
Those who’ve already sent in tweaks, they’re fine the way they are, but in the future, because many of you seem to enjoy elaborate write ups, can you possibly try to keep them to 50 words tops per team? (Every one I’ve received since I asked for the ~50 limit has complied so far!) Thanks!
Starting off the show is Eric Davis, with some MLB tweaks:
I obviously missed the deadline for the uniform tweak contest, but please accept these for whenever the regular series of uniform tweaks continues on UniWatch.
I love the site and have been working on these (and others still in progress) for awhile now. Attached are Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Cincinnati.
Seattle Mariners: I went back to basics with a retro-melding of the original pilot uniforms and the late-70s to mid-80s blue and gold tridents. The typeface is a modified Eurostile. The light blue resurfaces as an alternate.
Tampa Bay Rays: Yeah, it’s the Miami Hurricanes color palette, but it’s the color of orange fields that drew me to this incarnation. The Rays and Tampa Bay typefaces are custom-made based off of the Ray Ban sunglasses mark. I’m not crazy about the baseball sun logo, but I would put it up against the current “sunburst” anytime. The softball-top alternates don’t really come with pajama pants ”” just imagine the existing stirrups for home and away on the alts.
Cincinnati Reds: Baseball is in our blood ”” and what better way to show that than using a darker, richer red as the primary Cincinnati color? I paired it with a simple cream home uniform with an alternate cream cap. The road unis harken back to the old days. Heck I could even see Votto perhaps cutting those sleeves Big Klu-style. I messed with a dark red alternate top that used the wordmark “Redlegs” but it looked ridiculous and out of place with the rest of this design, so I ditched it.
Next up is Isaac Mierau with a tweak Jeremy Brahm will adore:
Not sure if you are still accepting these, but wanted to send in this Uni Tweak.
It is for my favorite NPB team, the Chunichi Dragons.
The most unique thing about their home unis, and also something I think looks good, is the fat blue stripe that runs from their sleeves, down the sides of the jersey and then down the sides of their pants.
Unfortunately, on their road unis, they where a royal blue uniform top with white stripes. With this they wear solid white pants, discontinuing the stripe.
My suggestion is to create a powder blue road uniform with Chunichi across the chest (like the current road uniform) and with the royal stripes as they appear on the home uniform. They have also worn powder blue road uniforms in the past but not with the current style.
I’ve also included an alternate cap with powder blue front panels that could be worn with either the home or road uni. I think either cap (current or alternate) would look good with the new road uni.
Please take a look.
Our last tweaks in an all baseball set come from Matt Malinoski, who has some concepts for the Cubs and Brewers:
I have a couple of tweaks for the Cubs and Brewers.
For the Cubs, I have always liked the look of the 1958 – 1968 uniforms, and would like to see them used again. I used the Cubs emblem used in the seventies, still using a narrow blue outline, but without all the extra whitespace, and of course, no registered mark.
For the Brewers, I replaced the Times-esque numerals with a font called Kepler. I didn’t do a true 3-D shadow, but you get the idea. I removed the NOB, added gold stripes to the stirrups, and added braid to the collar to match the sleeves. I put “Milwaukee” on the road jersey and used the longer tails that extend over the placket. I also put the Beer Barrel Man on the sleeve.
Great work gentlemen. Keep the tweaks coming (and thanks for keeping the descriptions to about 50 words per uni). Back with more next time.
Ok everyone, that’s all for this first Saturday in October. In college football, September is for cupcakes and soft 3-0’s. Now the real football begins. Watch the golf this morning and then the games all day long. Couple races in baseball still worth watching, so it’s all good. See ya tomorrow.
Expect an armada firing cannonballs at your dwelling. Just in case you have many an armada attacking and boarding on a daily basis, mine will be flying stirrups, you dirty rotten pirate. — Robert Marshall