By Phil Hecken, with Tod Hess
Now that the NCAA College Football Bowls have all been announced, I’ve teamed up with Tod Hess to bring you the First Annual Uni Watch NCAA Football Pool. We’ll go over the first half of the bowls (there are 35) today, and finish up with the second half tomorrow. There are two ways to set up the pool: “straight” picks (where you simply have to pick the outright winner) and “confidence” picks, where you rank your picks on get 1-35 points for a correct pick). What we’re going to do right now is ask you which type of pool you’d prefer. The “straight” pool is probably much easier, but the “confidence” pool may be more strategic.
Tod has already set up the pool and the group, which we’ll reveal tomorrow, but today we just want to know which type you’d like. Please vote below:
Check back tomorrow for Part II of the review, the user group and ID. OK? OK! Now, on to the Bowls:
All the Bowl Matchups graphics (which list time & channel) below are courtesy of Zach Brady. The uniform montages were compiled by yours truly.
Tod and I will be using our own methods to select our choices. I’m basing all my picks, give or take, on which team has the better uniform. That’s all subjective, of course. There are some real slam-dunks, and some others where either both uniforms are equally good, or equally bad, or pretty close. I won’t likely win the pool this way, but you never know. You, of course, should use whatever system you feel will win you the pool. All spreads are as of Friday, December 10. The lines will probably move before the games, so use them only as a guide. Since the pool doesn’t involve picking ATS (against the spread), the actual number listed will tell you the current favorite. Over/Under will also be listed.
December 18, 2010
Tod Hess: In a game that should be renamed the Alphabet Bowl. I think that BYU will win this bowl and they definitely have the better uniforms. On a side note, I think this is the best trophy of all the bowls. Each year is a specially made trophy and no two are the same.
Phil Hecken: Based on these two uni matchups, this one is a slam dunk. BYU. This team has a white helmet with two blue stripes, and a set of blue and white tops and bottoms, with northwestern stripes. They seem to mix and match at random, but their unis are still miles above UTEP.
TH: I will start by saying I don’t like Fresno in monochrome and NIU will have the better uniform if Fresno goes with that look. However, since Northern Illinois’ Head Coach Jerry Kill is now at Minnesota, I will take Fresno to win this game.
PH: Both of these teams uniforms leave a lot to be desired. However, Fresno is slightly superior (or, less inferior). Not a fan of the monochrome or the drop shadow on the numbers, but there’s no garish side piping or bumper stickers either. I’ll grudgingly take Fresno.
TH: I like both uniforms and if forced to pick it would be Troy by a nose. I have not seen Troy at all this season and have seen Ohio a few, so I am going with Ohio for no real reason other than they are a MAC school.
PH: In a matchup of two pretty nice unis, there is no way Ohio doesn’t get the nod. Beautiful green color, classic shoulder loops, smart helmet. Troy might get the edge against a lot of teams, but not against Ohio.
December 21, 2010
TH: No matter who wears what the poor turf at the Tropicana Dome will make it look bad.I am going with Southern Miss in game but Louisville will look better.
PH: Ugh. This is one of those games where both teams will likely look awful. But, at least Southern Miss wears school colors. Louisville’s BFBS and “The Ville” and their stars & stripes helmet motif on September 11 are enough to tip the scales in favor of Southern Miss. The Beef “O” Brady’s Bowl…Really?
December 22, 2010
TH: Utah will have the better uniforms hands down but that won’t help them as they will get rolled by Boise State.
PH: I have to take Utah, right? Despite the wounded warrior garbage and the monochrome and the bumper sticker side piping? But, yes, Boise State is worse, unless they were to wear their pro combat costumes. But overall, Utah will get my pick. Not getting the points scares the hell out of me, but the laundry wins.
December 23, 2010
TH: Give me Navy to win the game and look the best as San Diego State in all black is just wrong. Besides isn’t Un-American to pick against the service academies?
PH: No contest here. The Academy would beat most teams in a uni-matchup, but it isn’t even a fair fight against SD State. Anchors aweigh, I shall take Navy.
December 24, 2010
TH: I think Hawaii will win at home and will look better than Tulsa.
PH: Yet another matchup that won’t be pretty. Hawai’i is really pretty bad, but it’s still better than almost anything the Golden Cane will put out there. Seriously, I’ll be watching A Christmas Story for the 200th time before I watch this game. Still — gotta pick Hawai’i.
December 26, 2010
TH: Toledo is about 45 minutes from Ford Field in the battle of monochrome uniforms and will have a huge cheering section. Give me Toledo to win but FIU will look better.
PH: Boxing Day yields as uni-unwatchable a game as Christmas Eve. Yeesh. Guess the NFL will get all the viewers. In a very grudging pick, the lesser of two very evils, give me Florida International.
December 27, 2010
TH: I love both uniforms but will give the nod to Air Force in both the game and the uniforms in a game that may not feature more than five passes total.
PH: I’m not in love with either of these uniforms, but the Ramblin’ Wreck has been going downhill in that department lately. And they have two different white (home) uni sets. Granted, they wear white for almost every game, but c’mon. I’m kind of hoping AF will break out the Thunderbird costume, but either way, I’ll take Air Force.
December 28, 2010
TH: I think West Virginia will look the best and win this game over the Wolfpack.
PH: WVU has one or two combos I like, but most of them try too hard. If they didn’t have the inconsistent (and thick) piping, I’d probably like them more, but the coal miner’s daughter pro combat costume actually may have looked better than some of their normal looks — and that’s not saying much. I’m hoping NC State won’t go mono red, but overall their unis are just a tad better. Sorry Bernard. Give me NC State, grudgingly.
TH: I have always loved Iowa’s uniforms over Missouri’s but Missouri will beat the Hawkeyes on the field.
PH: This one’s a layup, uni-wise. Missouri has such great colors, but such crappy unis, with the unnecessary piping and weird amorphous pants stripes(?). Iowa, on the other hand, is just drop dead gorgeous. ANF (“America Needs Farmers”), and I’ll take Iowa FTW (“for the win”).
December 29, 2010
TH: Why isn’t there a military academy playing in this game? Maryland looks better and will win what basically amounts to a home game.
PH: It’s hard to imagine a team looking worse than ECU. But, yet, we have Maryland. For a school with really great colors, the UA designers sure manage to screw the design up. It’s really tough to pick the purple menace, but yet, I feel I must. In a very anti-Lukasian pick, I’ll grudgingly take, East Carolina.
TH: I like Baylor to look sharp and beat Illinois in this bowl.
PH: Both teams have great helmets, and nice colorschemes. But neither team saw a side panel or amorphous shape they didn’t want to try to wedge where it doesn’t belong. Normally the Bears’ “diamond” shape thing would eliminate them, but their awfulness is trumped by the Illini’s swoosh-things. And the Waco kids’ colors are better too. Give me, because I have to choose, Baylor.
TH: I never really like Arizona uniforms and have always have been partial Oklahoma State’s jerseys. On the field Oklahoma State wins this game.
PH: Two teams who give new meaning to “mix and match.” Fellas, you’re not Oregon. Pick one look and stick with it please. That being said, I have to give the nod to the Wildcats (barely) because the Cowboys have this propensity to wedge diamond striping under the pits. Not a good look. Truncated stripes or no, I’ll take Arizona.
December 30, 2010
TH: Army will be the better looking team but SMU is basically at home for this game. Give me the Mustangs to win the game.
PH: Up until this year, Army was guaranteed (well, almost) to be in black and gold, and they could be counted upon to don a golden dome. But they have broken out full camo and a “dress gray” uni with a black helmet. The Mustangs always looks good. In what should be a nice looking bowl game, I will side with SMU.
TH: Syracuse should have a good crowd at the game and Kansas State will have the better uniforms. I have gone back and forth on this game since it was announced and will take Kansas State to win.
PH: You can count on two things in this bowl: Syracuse will wear an orange helmet and pants, and Kansas State will wear a silver helmet and pants. After a couple years of *experimentation,* the Orange have seemed to settle in to a very nice home/away uni scheme, while K-State is also pretty classic. It’s almost a uni-tossup, but I have to give the slight edge to Kansas State.
TH: I like North Carolina better in the Carolina Blue but they will still look better and play better than Tennessee. Tarheels will win.
PH: Not a huge fan of creamsicle, but I do think the Vols have a pretty great uni. The ‘Heels uni isn’t bad, and I can even kinda dig that “state outline” pant stripe, and God knows that Carolina blue is gorgeous. Still, the Vols uni just works a bit better. So, I’ll take Tennessee.
TH: Nebraska will look much better and crush Washington in the game.
PH: The last bowl we’re picking today is probably the easiest pick. The Huskers wear either white over red or red over white. That’s it. No messing around. Simple & classic. Washington’s unis have been getting better, but when they chose to go BFBS this year it made this one the “lock of the (first) day.” Nebraska, hands down.
OK, folks. That takes us through the first half of the Bowl Season. Make sure you take out your number 2 pencils and mark your ballots today for your first 18. And don’t forget to vote as to whether you want the Uni Watch NCAA Football Bowl Pool to be “straight” or “confidence.” We’ll tabluate the results overnight and be back with the final 17 games and the pool, so be sure to check back in tomorrow.
Stirrups from a Fan
I don’t often get “fan mail” (but feel free to send it in). However, I received this wonderful note last Sunday from a fantastic reader. The E-mail speaks for itself.
This comes from Gary Baumstark, and it’s really great.:
I love to follow Uniwatch—-every day! I really look forward to reading it.
It provided inspiration fo the attached photos. Graham Curry my grandson and I at the Cooperstown Under 12 Tourney this past summer. While at Cooperstown another parent saw my Brownie stirrups and commented “you must follow Uniwatch-I love them!”. Graham’s regular team in St. Louis is the Browns in sweet uniforms (In my opinion) I helped design.
I’m 65 years old — an old school guy — and particularly enjoy that element of your blog.
Wow. Thanks Gary. That’s a great little story. Beautiful uniforms, and of course, both the team’s socks and your stirrups.
Lots and lots of tweaks keep pouring in, so obviously this is a popular feature. A bunch new to get to today. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way.
Remember, if possible, try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per tweak. You guys have been great a keeping to that, and it’s much appreciated!
I had actually meant to run these two weekends ago, but I inadvertently left them off. It includes the three gentlemen whose tweaks I neglected to post, plus a very interesting *bonus.*
Now, on to
today’s this set of tweaks I forgot to post 2 weeks ago:
Starting off the show is Mike Andrews, who starts with a Titans tweak:
I promise I had worked up this tweak Tennessee Titans’ home and road uniforms prior to seeing your Nov. 7 column. Just a couple of quick notes about the concept:
HELMET ”“ I personally prefer the look of teams that have matching helmets and pants with contrasting jerseys for both the road and home (Packers, 49ers, etc.). I thought the Titans could go this route and be unique as the only team in the league with a light blue helmet. I also swapped the sleeve and helmet logos because I’ve always wanted to see the sword on the helmet.
STRIPING ”“ When the team first played in Tennessee as the Oilers, the helmet and pants stripes matched and were also mimicked on the sleeve cuff and socks (this image is a good example). I tried to pay homage to that striping consistency with this set.
JERSEY ”“ I thought that keeping the shoulders light blue was a bit too much, but I still wanted the jersey to be more than just a solid color like the Oilers wore. So, I opted for a light blue sleeve and collar. Also, to prevent the monochromatic look, I eliminated the light blue jersey altogether.
Thanks for giving it a look.
Next up is Dustin Smith who has just what the NFL needs:
I’ve been noticing the wounded warrior jerseys lately and I though it would be nice if the NFL were to get behind it. I have attached to concepts that I have made. The one with the yellow jersey is in a way me just messing around with color swap but I thought yellow may be a nice touch with these unis because of the yellow military ribbons. My favorite of the two which is a subtle change is the white away uniform. I’m going to work on one with the Falcons old alternate black jersey (aka The Cards new alternate jersey). But let me know what you think of the idea. I think the NFL would actually get on board with the idea. I mean they do a whole month in pink. Why not get with another worthy cause. Also I am available to do some color swapping if you guys need any help.
Thanks, Dustin Smith
Next up is Kyle Allebach with a new look for the Colts:
I watched the Eagles vs. Colts game with the 1956 throwback unis, and I felt that a cool uniform could be made with the Colt’s blue helmet. First, I changed the shade of blue to the same color, because that bugged me. For the home, I stayed white pants, but for the away, I thought blue with white stripe would look good. Here they are, thanks.
PS: There are quite a few mistakes, and I’m sorry. This is my first edit and I was using Photobucket.
And finally, a pretty *interesting* set of tweaks, sent my way just after the “Nike Fakes” had gone viral, by Elliot Schunke. I asked Elliot if he was responsible for any of the “fakes,” but he has denied any involvement. But check these out (and you may wish to wear goggles). All I can say is
HOLY SHIT “wow”:
Since a Nike Combat template PSD leaked or was created by a third party (I’m not sure which) and said company is getting the NFL rights, I decided to make some of horridly ugly uniforms for NFL teams.
If there’s anything I like more than football it is wildlife, and more specifically, birds. Because of that, I’ve always wondered why the Eagles have green as their primary color. Now this is more like it. Brown body, white head, white tail, yellow bill and feet … much better.
I made the Dolphins a little more gaudy. Orange sun rays on the jersey and a wave adorns the pants. In a similar move as the eagle, I made the dolphin gray on a team color backdrop on the helmet.
As for the Bengals, we’re moving to a white tiger motif. A large subdued logo on the chest with orange accents all around.
Keeping it in the jungle cat realm, the Jaguars. Spots all around and I really like a user’s past tweek with the jags changing the teal to green so I incorporated that.
For the Rams, I went back to the colors of the past, made the horn a little more rugged and added various ram graphics. Also included is the Arch in the pants.
The Ravens will make a switch to a alternate logo as the primary, lose some purple (just for you) and have a not-so-subtle addition of the Maryland flag to the uni on the socks, sleeves and belt. Not to mention a cameo from Mr. Poe himself.
We may as well make the Bills move to Canada official.
Lastly, being a die-hard Bear fan, I had to make a certain rival a little more cheesy.
Thanks. More possibly to come.
Thanks to all the tweakers. Back tomorrow with more.
Is This The New Duck Uni?
No. At least not unless Michael Princip (who created that) is on the Nike design committee. But it appears as though the Ducks will have new uniforms for their BCS Title Game against Auburn next month.
And the Ducks won’t be alone in getting new costumes for the
playoffs bowl season. According to this release from yesterday, “Nike on Tuesday will unveil the BCS National Championship game uniforms that the Oregon Ducks will wear in their Jan. 10 title game against the Auburn Tigers.”
Sweet. Since the Ducks have worn 12 different uniform combinations this year, it’s not like one more will hurt. Wait — that will make 13. Isn’t that considered unlucky? Oh, right, we’re talking Oregon here.
But it won’t just be the Webfoots who are being outfitted for new duds. The Swoosh will also be unveiling “the BCS uniforms for the TCU Horned Frogs, Boise State Broncos and Florida Gators. TCU and Florida have worn helmets this season specially designed by Nike and painted by a Dundee, Ore., company, Hydro Graphics.”
I didn’t realize now that teams going to bowls get to wear specially designed uniforms, but I guess that time has now arrived. It won’t change any of my Bowl Predictions, but it’s just one further nail in the tradition coffin.
And check out the last paragraph in that article: “Auburn, by the way, does not wear Nike-sponsored gear. Even worse, in Nike’s view, the Tigers are affiliated with Under Armour, a chief Nike competitor in the collegiate football world. That competition is expected to be a continuing back story in the buildup to the title game.”
Excuse me? Is this what college football has come to? It’s not just a matchup of the two best teams in the nation, but now it’s a matchup of Nike versus Under Armour? Are you EFFING kidding me? We all know Oregon is “Team Nike,” but now the title game is shaping up to be a battle between two uniform manufacturers? Seriously?
Simply amazing. Maybe we should all hope the Mayans were right.
OK, Uni Watchers, that’s a lot to digest for today. Make sure you vote on what type of pool you’d like for the NCAA Bowls, and get your selections ready for the first 18 bowls. Tod & I will finish off the preview tomorrow, and we’ll open the pool up then. To paraphrase Ty Webb, “We’ve got a poll and a pool. The poll would be good for you though.”
If MLB would spring for the box of 64 crayons instead of the 8 box, I could live with white at home, gray on the road. — Jim Mothersunbowlvilker