By Phil Hecken
Week 12 of the NCAA football season certainly had its share of excitement — #1 Kansas State marched into Waco and played a BFBS-topped Baylor team that promptly spanked them (52-24), and almost simultaneously, #2 Oregon (dressed in carbon/black/gray, more on that below) lost an overtime heartbreaker to white clad Stanford. And, of course, in a game with slightly less national implications, black-ops’ed Maryland candied up and got blown out 41-14 against the ‘Noles of FSU.
But Week 12 wasn’t all about the black-clad teams (and TJ will have more on those below), yesterday was all about the beautiful USC/UCLA game, which for almost the fourth consecutive year, was color vs. color. THE Jeff approves.
Not every game could (or should) be color vs. color, but for the rare, special game such as this, I firmly approve as well. IMHO, color-vs-color should be played only under three conditions: 1) Neutral site (or as close to neutral as one can get); 2) Only when the colors are sufficiently different so as not to clash. Teams that wear gray (silver) or gold (yellow) almost automatically qualify versus darker-clad teams, and orange or powder blue would usually be ok; and 3) Rivalry games. When these three conditions are met, as they are when USC and UCLA hook up, bring it on. I wouldn’t want to see Tennessee and Alabama pulling that, even in a Bowl game.
I did a three part series on NFL color-versus-color back in 2010. My feelings on the NFL, because of it’s more stringent uniform requirements, differ slightly on NCAA color-vs-color, but they’re basically similar. We see a few of these matchups in the NCAA every year, but none of them look as good as USC/UCLA. There are probably a dozen or more teams that could pull this off — and as long as those games are special (or at least as special as NCAA games can be what with all the candying up…), lets see more.
And now, here’s Terry Duroncelet with your week 12 edition of…
Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet
Let’s candy up for week 12, gentlemen (and ladies).
• On Wednesday, Ball State wore black jerseys against Ohio. I don’t know if this qualifies as BFBS for them, so I’ll say this: these wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t have those lame screenprinted numbers (terrible picture, I know, but it was the best one that I could find that showed the shine of the numbers). I mean, they received new uniforms this year, and yet they still haven’t made the switch to tackle-twill. Why? Is there some sort of tradition of using screenprint at Ball State?
• Toledo wore grey uniforms with gold helmets that had the Rockets logo on one side, and T.V. numbers on the other. To me, the combination of navy, gold, and grey can actually be pretty good. However, Toledo’s design isn’t the best in college football, plus these particular grey uniforms suffer from the same problem as Ball State: screenprinted numbers! Weak. I can’t help but think that I’ve seen this look before. Maybe… nah, couldn’t be.
• On Thursday, North Carolina wore their HydroChrome helmets for the second time this season against Virginia. As I said before, I love this helmet, and the Tar Heels’ uniform choice of white jerseys and navy pants was much better than the mono-navy that they wore before. My only complaint is that UVA wore their navy pants as well. Ah man, they should’ve worn their white pants! There would’ve been a lot more contrast then.
• Moving on to Saturday, Maryland wore the uniform that has a military-themed name that just so happens to have been worn in the same week that a popular game with a similar name released the sequel to said game earlier in the week. Now, I lost my shit (to say the least) last week when I went on a rant about their Pride uniforms v2.0 (you’ll have to scroll down a bit), but I’ll be honest: I don’t hate these. Yes, they still suffer the no-stagger problem, but it’s hardly noticeable here, so I don’t mind as much. Some of you can guess that I hate when teams do this mess, but here, I actually like it (they even look nice in the background of that photo). The red ‘MARYLAND’ wordmark with the gold-outlined black numbers don’t look sterile and monochrome-ish, and they’re surprisingly readable (to me, at least).
• Virginia Tech wore some new decals on their white helmets against Boston College, which featured their Gobbler mascot on the left, and some rather thin T.V. numbers on the right. Here’s a closer look at both sides. I like, but the helmet is still too white for my taste. I say slap a maroon cage on there at least.
• A bit of D1AA news from Dr. Daniel Swartos, who writes: “I sent this on Twitter but didn’t know if I did it right. The South Dakota State University Jackrabbits are playing the University of South Dakota Coyotes today for the first time in 9 years. They’ve both transitioned to D1AA over that time. The rivalry is 113 years old and is your classic Med/Law University (USD) vs Land Grant University (SDSU), or as they put it “If you want to work on the farm, go to SDSU, if you want to own the farm, go to USD”. It is a very bitter rivalry and they are expecting 20,000 people. I know that’s small but in this state it would be the largest crowd ever. Anyways, SDSU is wearing some throwback unis from the 80’s.They are much much better than what they usually wear. I wish they would have gone with the yellow pants today, but the jersey is gorgeous and I love the simple “Jacks” on the front. I just figured I would pass it along. Its not Alabama/Aubrn, but for us up here, its a big game.” I found one photo, and it’s tiny, but I can tell that they only sprung enough for throwback jerseys, and not throwback helmets or pants. Silly Jackrabbits, don’t you know that there’s more to a uniform than just a jersey?
• Whyoming. Wat r u doin? Whyoming. STAHP. Seriously, I can’t believe that they wore the yak panel uniforms a second time this season. I can name a bunch of things that are better than what the Cowboys wore on Saturday, like drinking coconut mango water, G3 Pinkie Pie face, this “music“… I could go on, but then we’d be here all day, so let’s move on. (BTW, if anyone’s wondering, yes, I intentionally spelled those first seven words wrong)
• Kansas went BFBS with white helmets against Iowa State. Now, I’ve seen plenty of teams wear the ebony fabric, usually to poor success, but GEEZ, Kansas looks particularly out of place. Because of the blue accents, I honestly thought that this was Kentucky for a second.
• San Jose State wore gold jerseys with blue pants against BYU. To my knowledge, this is the first time that I’ve seen them in this combination (although that the photos linked here are from a previous game against UC Davis). Also, note how their regular blue and white tops have some sort of Nike polygon underneath the armpits, yet the gold tops have full side panels, even though they look to be the same Nike Pro Combat template as the other two uniforms. Weird.
That does it for this pretty chill (eye-roll) week 12 of the NCAA football season. A good number of top teams fell (K-State, Oregon). I cannot WAIT to see the new rankings later on today. Take care.
Thanks, TJ. Yes, boys and girls, because UO & KSU both lost, that means the number one team in the nation is now…yup. As if my weekend wasn’t bad enough already.
The Return of the Bumblebee…
The guys from the GUD are back with an update on the Steelers’ throwbacks.
Tonight in the Sunday Night Football game the Pittsburgh Steelers will be wearing their “bumblebee” throwbacks for the second (and thankfully) final time. Three weeks ago they debuted them against the Washington Redskins and people generally either loved or hated them, but mostly hated. Here at Uni Watch, we ran a fantastically detailed rundown by The Gridiron Uniform Databases’s Tim Brulia and company that demonstrated that the so-called “1934” throwbacks probably weren’t even worn at all during the 1934 season.
But the public and media (and the Steelers) continue to call them “1934” throwbacks. It’s especially frustrating when people like Brian Billick, the play-by-play announcer on the Redskins-Steelers game, refer to the Steelers wearing these uniforms from the 1934 season and mention that “they should get rid of them because the team went 2-10 that year” or other opinions to that effect. As we’ve shown, they probably weren’t even wearing the “prison stripes” when they went 2-10!
The response by the normally enthusiastic and detailed-oriented Uni Watch Nation seemed to be uninterested as well. Today, as we bid adieu to these uniforms for this season (and hopefully forever) we’d like to offer this poll, to follow up on the research from three weeks ago:
Let us know what you think!
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
Ding-Dong! It’s the deep recesses of your mind calling; are you listening?…
Click to enlarge
2012 Duck Tracker…
The eleventh game of the Ducks 2012 season featured them at home in a very loud Autzen Stadium, taking on PAC-12 rival Stanford. If you expected to see another UO blowout…well, you were in for a surprise — the Cardinal took out the Ducks in OT, 17-14. In somewhat of a return to ‘normalcy’ (if such a word can be applied to the Duck uni combos), the U of Zero eschewed any sort of green in sporting a very attractive carbon-black-carbon costume. Since I tend to give Oregon a free pass when it comes to actually wearing school colors, I liked this combo. (And I like it anytime they wear *gray* helmets and *gray* pants together.)
Our 2012 Duck Tracker is Tim E. O’Brien, and here he is to tell you about it:
Yesterday will go down as the second time ever that the Ducks have worn Carbon/Black/Gray (The first being last season against ASU). This is far and away one of Oregon’s best looks this season and a classic in the making for seasons to come. My favorite part of this set is the connectivity between each uniform element. The helmet, jersey and pants all have gray, black and yellow elements and no other colors. That kind of consistency helps the Ducks look more unified, visually – something I think they’ve had a problem with at points this season.
In other tracking news, Northwestern wore their black pants on the road for a second time this season (and are now 2-0 when doing so *HINT HINT*) and my Hoosiers wore their red helmets on the road for the first time since the Ohio State game last fall. Unfortunately Penn State ran them off the field. Time to add red pants…
And finally, as always, feel free to check out all of the college uniform tracker sites.
Catherine Ryan’s 5 & 1
The five and one has been a staple of Uni Watch for three years, usually ably administered by Jim Vilk. But he got old and tired, so we needed someone young and fresh. And we’ve found that someone in this year’s new 5 & 1 decider…Catherine Ryan.
Catherine’s just rip, roarin’ rarin’ and ready to go with this week’s 5 & 1, in a weekend that featured a whole mess of interesting matchups. I think we may all have a pretty good idea what the #1 (good) game will be, coughUSCUCLAcough, but what else will make the vaunted Top 5? And which teams will capture the dreaded “And 1”? Lets find out…
Happy Sunday, UniWatchers! I know this countdown is the highlight of everyone’s weekend so let’s get started!
And the bad one…
I look forward to hearing what you all think! Hope everyone had a great weekend!
Thanks Catherine! Oh, boy…first time in a looooooooong time we’ve disagreed (and vehemently) on the “bad” game. You’re correct that Maryland is a good weekly candidate for the “and 1,” but this weekend wasn’t one of them. That ‘black ops’ costume was great and the contrast with FSU was perfect IMHO, of course. Readers, how’d she do?
And on that note, we’ll end this fine Sunday edition of Uni Watch. Everyone have a great rest of the weekend and a fine Thanksgiving! White meat is for suckers, but I’ll take a double order myself. Enjoy the Stillers in their bumblebees (in a game most of us will actually get to watch) and lets hope for a couple color-vs-color Thanksgiving games, eh? Catch ya next weekend.
“About the Terrapin uniforms — I don’t really care about their look one way of another, but to me this black ops and white ops b.s. is just second rate copying of things Nike have been doing for years.”