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Sunday Morning Uni Watch


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By Phil Hecken

It was quite a Saturday for the NCAA football squads yesterday — some odd uniform choices, some upsets, some very good looking games. About what we’ve come to expect for the second week of the season. Well, except that not only did Oregon not break out a new uniform — they reused their old template for yesterday’s whompin’ of Sparty.

After yesterday’s MAMMOTH post, I promised you a shorter one today, and well, it will be. Of course, the main course comes first — Terry Duroncelet and this SMUW, and we’ll have Catherine Ryan back with the 5 & 1, and Tim E. O’Brien handling the Duck Tracker. There is also a nice little section which addresses the uni query in Friday’s ticker — the Notre Dame/Iowa game of 1939, during which Notre Dame changed jerseys at half — there was some tremendous detective work done, so make sure you read on for that.

So, let’s just get right to it — here’s TJ with your…

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet

Second verse, same as the first.

From Friday:

• I always find it kind of interesting when a collegiate squad apart from LSU and Georgia Tech wear white at home. That was the case for Nevada when they played against Washington State, who wore mono-grey.

From Saturday:

• Looks like College Gameday used an older Michigan State helmet (note the helmet stripe). Kudos to Phil for sending that one in. Also from CGD, your OTP will never amount to Corso x Donald. They also looked to have put up the correct MSU helmet.

• A player for Tulsa suffered a pretty good jersey tear. Credit to Michael Ferguson Edmond for that

• Kentucky wore their new grey jerseys with blue pants and blue helmets that looked to have some new burpleish treatment done to it with a chrome-ish grey helmet stripe and facemasks. I dig the helmets, but as with a character wearing grey during workout montages in sitcoms and cartoons, the grey highlighted the sweat like a mother.

• Northwestern wore star-spangled helmet decals against Northern Illinois.

• Tulane played their first game in their new stadium after spending almost 40 years in the Superdome. Looking at the game, the new uniforms are okay (they played a road game last week and looked great), but the home uniforms suffer from one glaring error: THERE’S HARDLY ANY BLUE! All I see is, what, that tiny sliver on the sleeves? Since the jerseys are already made, I would think some solid-light blue pants would help a great deal. Speaking of pants, Georgia Tech wore white pants for the first time in a while. From Douglas King: “Didn’t do that with the current uni set last year (did go white over white against BYU but it was with the honeycomb unis). I wonder if this is a return to what they did from 2008-2011 (white on gold at home, white on white on the road), or if this was just for today.”

• Maryland wore white jersey tops that look to have been modeled after the Pride v3.0 uniforms from last year. FINALLY, they get it right! In the past, they’ve had problems with staggering the patterns properly, problems with color balance, and I actually mentioned what would this uni look like if in white last year. Now Maryland is looking like a team from, well, Maryland. I wonder if they get Alex Rüdinger’s stamp of approval. Also from that game, USF wore their gold chrome helmets. Couldn’t find a decent pic, though.

• Remember last week’s UCF/Penn State game? Apparently, Vanderbilt and Mississippi were watching that game and thought: Ya know, that looks pretty cool, we should try that. Never mind that the contrast is almost nonexistent. Ugh. At least Mississippi’s blue helmets and grey pants offered some color breakage. Also from that game, no facemask penalty will ever amount to this one. That happened when Nigel Bowden (#52 for Vandy) grabbed and inadvertently ripped the facemask off of Jaylen Walton’s helmet (#6 for Ole Miss).

• Bowling Green State wore a helmet stripe that had an incorporated digital camo pattern. Normally, I roll my eyes at the very notion of camouflage, but I may let this one slide, since it’s so subtle. I mean, that’s the point of camouflage, isn’t it? To remain inconspicuous? Wish I could say the same about their side decals.

• I know kickers have a reason for not wearing their pants over their knees, but ya think they might be taking it a bit far these days?

• Army wore black helmets and white pants with black jerseys. The helmets and pants look to be carryovers from a few seasons ago, and I don’t think we’ve seen this combo before (in recent years, at least). Also note the name tags. Neat.

• As tradition would have it, LSU wore their white tops for their home opener against Sam Houston State.

• Now THAT’S what I call a blood jersey! Credit to Coleman Mullins for that pic.

• Remember how I said that the gold numbers edged in garnet on Florida State’s road uniforms probably wasn’t the best idea? Well… The home uniforms were on point, however. FSU’s opponent was The Citadel, BTW. who have this on the back of their helmets. Nice. From John Shields: “Pretty neat feature on The Citadel helmet. In place of the helmet manufacture is the player’s company. The Citadel is a military college and I think this is an awesome way to show esprit de corps.”

John Alexander noted that one or more guys from Ohio State wore the normal game pants with the “Pride” uniforms.

And that’ll do it for Week 2. We’re eating gumbo tonight to kick off tomorrow’s Saints game, so I’ll be on my way. See you all next week.

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Thanks, TJ. OK, now on to the rest of today’s content.


Catherine 5 & 1 (animated)

Catherine Ryan’s 5 & 1

Every Sunday, Catherine will give us the rundown of her best five and one worst uniform matchups from the College Football games played this week. Since it’s practically impossible to watch every game, you guys can help by sending your thoughts on “good” and “bad” matchups (and hopefully with photos from that game) by e-mailing her at

OK, here’s Catherine with this week’s 5 & 1.

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Happy Sunday, Uni Watchers! Thanks to those of you that sent tips to the “tip line.” I love checking to see if your lists match up with mine. I had a good weekend watching my alma mater put on a FCS clinic. It ain’t the big time but I’ll take what I can get. Let’s get to the countdown so everyone can focus on a full day of NFL action.


5. WKU vs. Illinois

I’m not usually a fan of chrome helmets, and many of you took issue with WKU’s pants, but overall I thought this was a pretty match-up.


4. Missouri State vs. Oklahoma State

A bunch of you had a lot of love for the Cowboys this week. These beautiful unis got them on the countdown this week.


3. Kansas State vs. Iowa State

Iowa State looked sharp, per usual, and the game had a fantastic contrast between the teams.


2. USC vs. Stanford

It was no surprise that this game came down to the wire. Similarly, it was no surprise that it looked great. There are a lot of great looking uniforms out there on the left coast.


1. Michigan vs. Notre Dame

This is my last opportunity, at least for the foreseeable future, to put this beauty on the countdown.


+1 Missouri vs. Toledo

I enjoyed nothing about this game. There was nothing glaringly wrong with either team but together they were just ugly and uninspiring. Let me know if you liked how this one looked!

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Thanks, Catherine! OK readers, how’d she do?


Duck Tracker

Each week, as we have done on Uni Watch for the past five seasons, we’ll be tracking the uniform combinations of the Oregon Ducks. Back for his third season is Tim E. O’Brien, who’ll show you what the Ducks wore in their last game, and add a few words of wisdom (click image to enlarge)…

Ducks 2014 - Week 2

Here’s Tim:

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Quack State decided to go throwback Saturday. That’s right. Nike U wasn’t using Nike’s most up to date template. It seems as if the new uniform template rollout has gone less than spectacular, as we’ve only seen one jersey (mind you, in two variations) since the late 2013 introduction.


Anyway, Oregon looked OK, but I personally hate these helmets. But the Ducks already wore all yellow against Tennessee last season, so…

As always, things are updated over at the Duck Tracker and on twitter (@DuckTracker). You can also follow my Northwestern (@NUniTracker) and Indiana (@Hoosier_Tracker) trackers as you so choose but only feel the need to force myself watch those two awful programs (Oh, NU. What happened to you…smdh).



Mystery Solved? Maybe…

On Friday, there was a ticker item about Notre Dame changing into green jerseys (from blue) during halftime in a game against Iowa. Paul, who compiled the ticker, asked if anyone knew more.

I received responses from three readers, Kary Klismet, Warren Junium and Larry Bodnovich, each of whom had a bit (some more than others) to share about the game. We’ll begin with Kary, who has quite a writeup:

I’m a longtime Uni Watch reader who comments under the screen name “BvK1126.” Today’s ticker included a question about Notre Dame switching from blue to green jerseys at halftime of its 1939 game at the University of Iowa. Having spent a number of my formative years in Iowa, I know a little bit about the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The 1939 Iowa football team, known as the “Ironmen” and featuring Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick, is one of the most celebrated in program history. Not deep with talent, the team earned its nickname by frequently using only 14 or 15 players a game, many for the entire 60 minutes. The team earned a #9 ranking in the final AP poll – its first-ever appearance in the season-ending rankings.

Team member Al Coupee wrote a memoir entitled One Magic Year – 1939 – An Ironman Remembers. He makes note of Notre Dame’s halftime jersey switch in his recounting of Iowa’s 7-6 victory. He first notes that, “Notre Dame came out for the kickoff in the typical blue-gold combination uniforms.” (Page 102.) Later, Coupee describes Notre Dame’s switch to green jerseys at halftime:

“When the Irish returned to the gridiron for the second half, they came firing out of their end of the stadium wearing the green of old Erin; they had removed the usual Notre Dame football uniform of blue and gold, and there they were the Gremlins of Notre Dame, as Irish in emerald as leprechauns with names like Saggua, Piepul, Zontini, Sitko, Schrenker, Brutz, and Stelmaszek, and, of course, Kelly, Sheridan, Crimmins and Gallagher. Hey, this was a little much for me–a football team changing uniforms at halftime, and Notre Dame at that. Well, hell, they didn’t change their names, just the color of the duds, and I guess we could handle that, too.” (Page 103.)

I’ve attached the pages with these quotations (below) for your reference. Notre Dame’s tradition of wearing green alternate jerseys was apparently already well-established by that point, as this article from Notre Dame’s website explains. They had switched from blue jerseys to green during a game on at least one other occasion – a come-from-behind 19-6 victory over Navy in 1927.

(the below scans are at full resolution)

ND Scan1

ND Scan 2

Why Notre Dame changed jerseys midway through its game against Iowa in 1939 appears to be a mystery. It might have been a motivational ploy like it had been against Navy 12 years earlier. Or it might have been to provide greater contrast to Iowa’s black jerseys than Notre Dame’s standard navy blue jerseys afforded. As the article on Notre Dame’s website also indicates, “Green became a more popular color for Notre Dame in the 1930s. During the Elmer Layden coaching era (1934-40), white yokes were added to the shoulders to provide contrast to the uniform when both teams were still garbed in dark jerseys.” Photos of the game from the University of Iowa’s archives seem to support this assertion (click to enlarge):

Iowa-Notre Dame football game, The University of Iowa, November 11, 1939

Iowa-Notre Dame football game, The University of Iowa, November 11, 1939

Iowa-Notre Dame football game, The University of Iowa, November 11, 1939

That first photo shows two teams wearing dark jerseys with no contrasting yokes, while contracting white yokes are visible on one team’s jerseys in the other two photos. Additionally, video footage of the game from this old Iowa highlights reel, around the 6:35 mark, includes a clear shot of Kinnick returning the opening kickoff with both teams wearing solid dark jerseys. (As a quick aside, the whole video is fantastic, from the animated opening and closing credits through several uni-notable old still photos and bits of video footage to the dated-sounding vocal inflections of the narrator. It’s worth a watch the next time you have 11 minutes to spare.)

Another video, although raw and grainy, shows even more game action. This one is significant because it has footage of both the first and second halves. The Hawkeyes scored shortly before the end of the first half, to take a 7-0 lead. Notre Dame scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but missed the extra point and ended up on the short end of a 7-6 final score. Both touchdowns are featured in the video, and the shoulder yokes of Notre Dame’s uniforms are noticeably different in each of the two touchdown drives.

Color footage of the game apparently does exist and was once available for viewing on the internet, but sadly that is no longer the case. All that can be found now is a low-resolution screen shot in front of a broken hyperlink on this web page. But if you look closely, you can make out what appears to be a Notre Dame player in a jersey with a dark green tint and contrasting, light-colored shoulders.

I hope that helps provide some background on the story. I’m happy to follow up if you have any questions.


-Kary Klismet

Wow! Thanks Kary.

OK — now on to Warren:

From a review of the game: “Notre Dame switched from (navy) blue jerseys to green jerseys at halftime, probably to avoid confusion with Iowa’s black home jerseys.”

Here’s BW film from the game

Here’s a Bleacher Report story about the green jerseys (the color video mentioned in the article isn’t available)

1939 ND Student Magazine Football Review

BW Photos just begging to be colorized

–Warren Junium

…and Larry:

My screengrabs of 1939 ND Iowa and jersey change at halftime

I just happened to go back and check my comment. Kind of late to thank Ben Fortney for his tip about the old Picassa account. I used his code and it worked.

Lot of pics in the album but you can see the blue jerseys until it has grab saying second half. Then the Irish come out in green jerseys with white around collar.

Larry Bodnovich

Thanks, gentlemen. If this doesn’t solve the mystery, tis pretty close. Great detective work all!


Uni Watch News Ticker:

Baseball News: “Great little catcher’s gear story,” says Glenn Griffin. “In case you haven’t come across this yet.” … According to this article, the Orioles will be wearing “special-designed patriotic uniforms” to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. Says submitter Andrew Cosentino, “I’m scared.”

NFL News: The Broncos wore blank nose bumpers in preseason but will add 3-D wordmark for season opener (thanks, Paul). … Alex Allen received his prints from Maeser Anderson today. Check it out!

College Football News: “Anybody remember the last time LSU wore purple in a SEC game?” asks Jeff Stark If you guessed, “2000 vs Florida in The Swamp,” you’re a winner. Says Jeff, “seems it was a Spurrier ‘jedi mind trick’. He declared the Gators would wear white at home. Thus, causing LSU to wear their purple jerseys.” … According to SBNation, Florida State will be making changes to their helmet and uniforms. … Nevada’s new pride stickers are axes (h/t Andrew Lind).

Grab Bag: The Northwestern University Wildcat Marching Band uniforms from the past are featured in the university’s magazine (thanks to Kenneth Traisman). … NASCAR is considering changes to its souvenir business (thanks to TommyTheCPA). … Michigan field hockey is going to be played on a blue and maize field. … Australian top league team Adelaide United FC revealed kits for next 2 seasons (from Kasey Van Puijenbroek. … Tom Dumoulin received a camouflage leader’s jersey to mark the Tour of Alberta Stage 3 finish in the Canadian Army base (from Jeff Meyer). … If you’re a sneakerhead (or even if you’re not), brand loyalty is impossible (thanks, Brinke).


And that’s going to do it for today. Everyone have a fantastic Sunday (and opening weekend of the league where they play…for pay). Big thanks to Terry, Catherine, Tim, Kary, Warren & Larry for their assistance with today’s post. You guys have a great week and I’ll catch you again next Saturday.

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken


.. … ..

“The Villareal font looks like the work of a drunkard whose dominant hand is still holding a drink. WTF!”

— Denver Gregg


Comments (34)

    I just love the old football photos simply to show how much the stadia and unis (and scoreboards) have changed since so long ago.

    When I was a kid helmet stripes were all straight from forehead to the neck. Are we in the 20th year of the first triangular stripes? Was that the first Carolina or Tennessee Titans helmet which had that?

    And is there a an entry in the lexicon for these stripes? (My humble suggestions: “Jib” or “pennant”.)

    Carolina is the first major team to use the tapered stripes as far as I’m aware, but it’s certainly possible that an Arena or lower level college team might have done it earlier. The idea was certainly around before the Panthers took the field in 1995, as both the Baltimore Bombers and St Louis Stallions NFL proposals featured non-standard striping too. (link)

    Good stuff; did not know about the NFL proposals for StL and BAL.

    I do remember a lot of ground-breaking stuff from watching Arena football, especially the Iowa Barnstormers (goggles on helmet, propellers down the pantlegs) and Memphis Pharaohs (helmet treatment like a pharaohs).

    Thanks for the link to those proposed uniforms.

    And WOW, those are some horrific uniforms, in all three cases.


    Spurrier and Florida also wore white at home vs. LSU in ’98. Tigers wore gold jerseys in that game. You can see them here.


    Also, last time LSU didn’t wear white for an SEC home game was 1996. Vanderbilt was the opponent and back then the visitors had to agree to let the home team wear white. Vandy refused because LSU had hired its former head coach, Gerry DiNardo, and he was in a dispute with Vandy over his buyout clause for leaving. So LSU wore gold jerseys.

    BYU-Texas should’ve had a spot in the 5 and 1 today. Two great-looking, traditional uniform designs with contrasting, complementary colors.

    Regarding changing uniforms at halftime,I recall 2 examples involving Maryland. One was a basketball game in the late 80’s or early 90’s against Virginia when UVA wore blue in one half and orange in the other. I never heard an explanation as to why. The other was in 1979 against Johns Hopkins in lacrosse. Maryland changed from white to red at halftime because the white didn’t contrast well against Hopkins’ light blue.

    How about teams changing uniforms after pre-game warm-ups?
    Maryland did in their opener against Miami in 2011 when they debuted the controversial flag patterned “Pride” uni’s in 2011 that Terry referenced today. More famously, Notre Dame changed from traditional navy blue to green against USC in 1977 and went on to the national championship.
    Any others?

    There’s a 1991 SI article about a “collective gasp” that went out when Clemson came out of the tunnel wearing purple: link

    My Sunday morning tradition is coffee, Uni-Watch, and College Football Final. Are my eyes deceiving me, or did I catch a glimpse of the defunct Big East logo in the opening roll for College Football Final?

    Mizzou changed from all black to black jerseys with gold pants against Nebraska in 2005 after pregames.

    I watched a bit of the Tulane game too. In addition to the lack of blue in the uni, the coloring of the field was bad. The link seems intended to make the visitors seasick.

    While I know the 5&1 usually doesn’t include late games, Air Force at Old Wyo was a link.

    I’ll bet you anything the clown that used to do the 5&1 would put AF/WYO in his top five.

    I think Air Force should have gone mono grey. These unis from WYO aren’t as bad as their past ones and the game would have looked better if the Cowboys didn’t have that weird piping on the shoulders

    So I watched the France vs Spain friendly from midweek on ESPN3. France wore it’s iconic blue/white/red and Spain wore red/red with white change socks.

    It might shock FIFA to know that I had no trouble distinguishing the teams, even though both sides wore their “predominantly dark” kits.

    My same thought when I saw the Vikings and Rams. At least the Browns were wearing striped socks.

    Some good background on that Iowa ND 1939 game I too was looking for that video and sorry to see it no longer is online.

    I really enjoyed the Fame of the black and gold video.

    Good job today by all on the college football.

    Question… I understand why Heinz Field only has the one end zone painted, since the Panthers also play there, but why not just put Pittsburgh on both sides?

    Just to clarify, the “raw and grainy” video I mentioned but neglected to provide a link to is the same one that Warren sent in. Glad to see Warren, Larry, and I were able to dig up some good insight into that old 1939 Iowa-Notre Dame game.

    One more thought about the 1939 Notre Dame-Iowa game. I suspect that the Notre Dame turnover near the end of the first half that led to Iowa’s lone touchdown is what prompted Elmer Layden to have his team change jerseys at halftime. The summary of the game in the Notre Dame student magazine that Warren provided a link to mentions:

    “And the miracle that was Iowa began to happen. Sitko intercepted Kinnick’s pass in the end zone, was trapped and hit hard on the three-yard line. His at-tempted lateral to Zontini bounced into a swarm of Iowa players. Twice the Irish line held, but Kinnick lunged into the end zone on his third effort, then dropkicked the conversion which even-tually defeated the Irish.”

    The video footage that Warren sent in shows that sequence starting around the 19-second mark. Iowa’s Kinnick throws a deep ball into the end zone that Sitko picks off. Around the 31-second mark, as he runs out of the end zone and is surrounded by Iowa players, you can see Sitko casually flip the ball in the direction of several dark jerseys. In the confusion, it’s hard to tell which team is which (although I’m sure the black and white footage adds to this problem).

    I wonder if Layden decided to reduce the chances of his team committing another player identification-based turnover by switching up their jerseys at the half. It seems plausible to me.

    Sounds like OU is debuting the new alts against Tennessee Saturday night. Apparently when students pick up their tix, they’re being shown a video about the new duds. Not a fan of the wood grain. Hmm.

    Not a big deal, and I know this may sound butt-hurt after the loss, but those Ohio State uniforms are not called “Pride” uniforms, they started off as “Rivalry” uniforms and have not been officially referred to by the athletic department or Nike as our “Pride” uniforms.

    You’re right, I actually meant to write “Rivalry” instead of “Pride”, but after some thought, I’m happy I went with “Pride”, because considering that Ohio State has kept this look in rotation since their original debut in (I think) 2012, and seem to have no real rhyme or reason behind when they wear them, I see these more as “Pride” uniforms as opposed to “Rivalry” uniforms.

    You bring up a good point. The only nickname I could offer for these uniforms would be “Primetime”, because since their debut in The Game against TTUN in 2012, the Buckeyes have worn those uniforms for all primetime/night games: Penn State, Wisconsin, and Orange Bowl against Clemson last year; the only exception to this is when they wore their regular road uniforms against MSU in the 2013 B1G Championship game. Meanwhile, they have never been worn for a day game SINCE The Game against TTUN in 2012.

Comments are closed.