By Phil Hecken
Well, it took until the sixth week of the 2015 NCAA football season, but we can now officially declare that the University of Oregon — they of the BFBS & GFGS, multiple uniform combos never repeated again — innovators and oft-imitated (much to the detriment of the NCAA) … have finally jumped the shark.
If you’re not familiar with the uniform pictured above, Paul wrote a really good piece about it earlier this week. And he also specifically said at the end of that piece “Let’s please see if we can discuss this uniform without invoking a certain phrase about leaping over a ferocious fish. Because if there’s anything that captures the spirit of that phrase, it’s the phrase itself.” But I’m using it today because it’s true. We actually had a few e-mails back and forth about the new uniform before Paul wrote his review, and in one of them I wrote to Paul: “I’m actually really interested in seeing how you play this one. Not that you do, but if you want a quote from me…They finally jumped the shark.” Once Paul wrote his bit, he sent me the following, “by the way, my little dig at ‘jumping the shark’ today had nothing to do with you. Had more to do with the umpteen Twittiots who were using it yesterday, and then one of my ESPN editors used it and that was the last straw.”
So I guess I was in good company then. Or, not. But if you’ve read Uni Watch for the past eight or so years, you know that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the Ducks and their uniform machinations over that time — every time I think they’ve run out of ideas, they surprise me. Every time they come back to wearing their beautiful green and yellow…they go GFGS (National Title Game, Twice) or BFBS or some other thing to make me hate their decisions. But this latest stunt (and while I get where they are trying to go with the Lewis and Clark thing) was it for me. It won’t keep me from having the Duck Tracker or possibly falling back in love with one of their good sets (and they DO have a couple of those). But yesterday marked the day when they finally pushed things too far. We’ve moved from uniforms into fantasy now, and it’s a line I didn’t know when they’d cross, but now they have.
Anyway, enough of my babbling. There were plenty of costumes (and some nice unis as well) on display yesterday, so I’ll turn this over to my trusted SMUW sidekick, Terry Duroncelet, who will bring you the uni rundown of the …
Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet
• You know, Washington kinda reminded me of Hancock the other night. You don’t like their image (quite literally in this case), but you know they hold the best chance of saving the day (I’ll eat my weight in grated coconuts before I ever cheer for USC). Well Huskies, I’m glad you won, but I’ll play the role of Ray Embrey and tell you this: next time, stick to school colors.
• Texas and Oklahoma played in the Red River Rivalry over the Weekend. I’m sure someone who knows more about uniform templates than I do will correct me on this, but if I’m not mistaken, this is the first time since 2012 that Texas and Oklahoma faced off against each other in the same Nike uniform template (the 2013 edition of the RRR in which both teams wore those gold-accented uniforms does not count). Both teams were wearing this template in 2012 (different team, same template), and Oklahoma would continue to wear it into 2014, while Texas switched to the Hypercool something-something for the 2013 and 2014 seasons before both the Longhorns and Sooners switched to Mach Speed for this season. Here’s how last year’s game looked.
• I don’t do the 5&1, but shoutout to the Iowa/Illinois game for being such a great-looking game.
• As noted earlier in the week, Notre Dame and Navy wore the same baselayer against each other. I actually really like this move. Not even gonna crack a ‘Notre Dame Midshipmen vs. Naval Academy Fighting Irish’ joke, but I can’t make that joke even if I wanted to, as Navy’s pants were, well, navy.
• Maryland wore their Antithesis of Black Ops uniforms against Ohio State.
• The LSU/South Carolina game was set to be held in Columbia, and the Gamecocks were slated to wear white at home. However, due to Hurricane Joaquin, the game moved to Baton Rouge, but South Carolina still wore white, putting LSU in purple. That much we knew, but what I was unaware of is that LSU would come out in white helmets and pants (which wasn’t the first time they did this). Does anyone know the occasion? Does it have anything to do with the recent storm? Also, absolute class move by Leonard Fournette for auctioning off his jersey in order to aid in relief efforts in South Carolina.
• GG, ACC Network.
• GG, Ole Miss.
• Tulsa wore BFBS helmets and pants against Louisiana-Monroe.
• Tennessee wore their Smokey uniforms against Georgia. Not the first time they’ve done this in recent years, but definitely their first time under Nike. Now THIS is the way to do a Smokey uniform. The previous iteration suffered from Adidas’s Trademark Treadmarks, plus they wore their usual helmets, which made the uniform reek with imbalance. This time, they actually had the presence of mind to wear a matching helmet. And I think I like them with the Volunteer Orange socks with black shoes.
• Oregon wore those Oregon Trail uniforms against Washington State. Paul already said what needed to be said about them in this column, but also of note: they had two additional decals on the back of the helmets: one for the victims of the UCC shooting from October first, and that black square with a silhouette of the State of Oregon is for their nine Native American tribes.
• Utah wore their hybridbacks against Cal. Now, if this was meant to be your average, period-specific throwback, it would’ve been a botched and failed attempt. But given its multi-period nature, which lends itself to a more lax approach, this was an absolutely fantastic look for the Utes. The only thing that would’ve made this game better is if Cal had worn white pants. Also, credit to Curtis Galvin (@CurtisGalvin) for catching this. I also found this while looking for images for the Utah/Cal tilt. It makes me feel things past the GFGS and camo baselayers. I don’t know that these things are. They just… feel like something?
That’ll do for this week. I’d like to thank TesseracT for keeping me company while writing this column. See you next week.
Thanks, TJ. Ok, now on to the rest of the SMUW smorgasbord.
NCAA Uni Tracking
Back again today with our new feature: NCAA Uniform Tracking.
Once again, I’m pleased to welcome our 4 NCAA trackers, tallying the uniforms worn by the Power 5 conferences.
We’ve go Rex Henry (tracking the ACC & SEC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII) and Joey Artigue (tracking the B1G).
We’ll start with Joey & the B1G today:
Joey will be establishing a separate website for B1G tracking, but for now, you can follow him on Twitter.
Rex is up next today:
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
Here is your link to the 2015-16 Duck Tracker.
And finally, here is Kyle with the Big XII:
And that’s all for today — thanks Joey, Rex, Dennis and Kyle!
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1
It’s a NEW NCAA Football Season, and this year we have a NEW 5 & 1 decider — Joe Ringham — who has some big shoes to fill (for Catherine Ryan, who did the 5 & 1 for the past three years, and Jim Vilk before that) but I’m sure he’ll do just fine.
We’re on to week 6 in the NCAA, and there were a bunch of throwbacks and assorted costumes out there to compliment the regular games. Did any of them make the dreaded & 1?
Good Sunday, everyone! Second weekend in October, conference play starting to heat up a little, and the uni match-ups are starting to get quite a bit more favorable. So, let’s get right to this weeks list.
5) Middle Tennessee at Western Kentucky — Usually, I’m rather meh when it comes to teams going mono-red. But the Hilltoppers’ blood clot look, paired with the chrome lid, really didn’t look all that bad against MTSU’s white/white/blue.
4) NC State at Virginia Tech — Going back to Friday night for this one. Really dig the Wolfpack’s red/white/red (huge fan of that combo), and I thought it matched up well against the Hokies’ white/maroon/white. The white lid for Va. Tech is also growing on me, as I didn’t really like it at first.
3) Indiana at Penn State — The Nittany Lions always look good at home, so that’s no surprise. But, IU’s red/white/red, with the state flag seal on one side of the helmets, looked real sharp today, much to my surprise. A great looking match-up in Happy Valley.
2) Tulane at Temple — The Green Wave are yet another team I’ve been trying to get on here so far this season. They get on today with their white/white/green against the mono-maroon of the Owls. Great contrast between the colors of the teams.
1) Oklahoma State at West Virginia — Now this is a West Virginia uni combo that looks good. The navy/gold/navy against OK State’s grey/white/orange made for a game that visually popped on the screen. A very bright and colorful number one this week.
And, finally, because someone has to be the sacrificial lamb this week…
+1) Wisconsin at Nebraska — Hey, someone has to be the one to fill this spot this week. In this case, it’s both teams, who made this look like an intrasquad scrimmage.
Have a great week everyone, enjoy Columbus Day on Monday (plus a Happy Thanksgiving for the readers up in Canada), and I’ll see you next week!
Thanks, Joe! Remember, the tip-line email (UW5and1@gmail.com) is back for any games you want Joe take a look at. Pictures of the game/games you want are very much suggested.
In Case You Missed It…
… New Design Contest
Yesterday, in combination with Uni Watcher Daniel Secord, I announced a new design contest — one that really is probably the craziest design contests ever — an ambulance. It’s actually pretty simple (although the execution may be tricky), and there are prizes!
If you missed it, please read the entry here for all the rules, downloads, graphics, deadlines, etc.
Hope we can get our designers (and non-designers alike) to really give this one a shot.
Uni Watch News Ticker:
Baseball News: According to reader Mark Shevin, “Rob Lowe gets it”. … Every LDS series this fall has produced alternate unis for at least one team (well, all except the Mets and Dodgers, who’ve kept it old school). Even St. Louis has one (yes, that is their Saturday Alternate, and they continue to wear it for their playoff run, as they have in the past). Pic by RN’s Funhouse>. If you have to wear an alternate uni, that’s definitely one of the better ones. … Chicago area Dunkin Donuts are selling Cubs W flag donuts (thanks to Mike Chamernik).
NFL/CFL News: Here’s a close up of Tom’s 1975 Rick Upchurch “tear away” jersey. You can see how this one is sewn together (from Kevin Gallagher). … Crossover alert: Dwight Howard came out for his first Texans game Thursday night. Looks like he enjoyed it. More photos here. … Pinktober in the CFL includes pink flags for the officials (via Mark Weber).
College/High School Football News: Reader Christian Beruman notes, “I have a submission from the Happy High Cowboys from Happy, TX — which is the GI JOKEVEMBER JERSEYS. It’s the yellow unis.” … Oregon wore their crazy Lewis & Clark uniforms yesterday, but not everyone is pleased with their exclusion of Oregon Tribes. … Speaking about the Duckies special duds, As his Washington State team prepared to take on Oregon in Eugene on Saturday, Mike Leach was asked for his thoughts on the Ducks’ Lewis and Clark-inspired uniforms. As only Leach could, he called Oregon’s “Pioneers” uniforms “irrelevant” before explaining what intrigued him about the exploration of the western United States. … Alex Allen ran across this logo at McNary High School in Salem, Oregon, yesterday, which he says is a “Powder Puff Football Logo”. … Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills High School football team went Pinktober Friday night against Glen Este (Walnut Hills lost, 45-7), from Brian Henke.
NBA News: Crossover alert! On Friday, the New York Islanders opened their season in Brooklyn, so naturally a few Nets were there to support the team wearing the black Islanders’ alternate sweater. … This is pretty cool: an artist has done an evolution of Michael Jordan uniforms, including his stints with the Birmingham Barons and Tune Squad (from Charlie Eldred). … The Toronto Raptors have revealed their new court design (thanks to Sweat Suit Sammy).
Hockey News: Do these two Winter Classic Reebok winter hats give any hints at the forthcoming uniforms? (via Nick Griffin). … The Boston Bruins have released their Third Jersey & Winter Classic Jersey schedule (thanks to Kenny). … “My son is playing in a hockey tournament and the opposing team are all wearing pink socks,” writes Ken Pilpel. “They are doing this for October because of breast cancer awareness. Looks good.” … New Islanders Goalie, Jean-Francois Berube (who was recently claimed off waivers from the Kings), is still wearing his LA Kings mask (from Kevin Cushing). … Tweeter Zach Bennett spotted this hat for sale in Nashville Predators team store. He asks, “Peek at a new alt logo?”
Soccer News: There are frankenjerseys and then there are frankenjerseys. Here’s on found at a flea market yesterday by Everett Corder (actually it was his brother who found it. No background on it, sadly.
Grab Bag: “Just saw this at the National Czech and Slovak Museum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,” writes R. Scott Rogers. “A vest for competitive polka.”
That’s it for today. Everyone have a great Sunday and I’ll catch you next week. Thanks to TJ, all the trackers & Joe for his 5 & 1.
“The way the Lions look and play, you should have bought a hearse instead.”
— Jakob Wolf