By Phil Hecken
Good Sunday Morning, Uni Watchers — we’ve reached the (almost) half-way point in Bowl season, with 18 of the 40 bowls having been completed. Next Sunday, we’ll be through with all but one — the National Championship Game. Today, I’m pleased to bring back two of our NCAA Football Uni Watching stalwarts, Terry Duroncelet, who handle recaps of the first 18 games, and Joe Ringham, who’ll bring us a 5 & 1 for the first 18 of the bowls.
So far, the bowls have mostly produced some pretty nice matchups, as teams are wont to ditch their alts and special costumes, and wear their “Sunday Best” as it were, uniform wise. Not every matchup has been a beaut, and some teams with multiple uniform options haven’t necessarily matched up all that well. We did get a treat yesterday, as the Pinstripe Bowl between Duke and Indiana featured a nice all-blue vs. all red uniform matchup, with Duke sporting a new helmet decal on their white hats, and the Hoosiers busting out their own metallic candy-striped dome.
The first 20 or so bowls feature teams you may not have seen (necessarily) during the regular season, and only one team ranked in the top 25 (Utah, at #22) have played. So it’s a chance for the lesser schools (or schools without stellar records) to get a reward for their seasons, and a chance for them to get a bit of the spotlight. The big games are coming up this week, including some great games on New Year’s Eve (both playoff games) and New Year’s Day, with the Granddaddy and the Sugar, plus the Fiesta Bowl. It’s a big week ahead, so lets hope the remaining teams dress their best.
I’ll turn the rest of this over now to TJ who’ll take you thru your…
Sunday Morning Bowl Watch
By Terry Duroncelet
Hello, one and all! I hope your holiday season has been full of love and joy so far and welcome to the uniform roundup of this year’s bowl game season. Every game will be observed, and every school name will be said in full (or at least most of them). Without further ado:
~Saturday, December 10th, 2015:
• New Mexico vs. Arizona: To kick things off we begin with the Wildcats of the University of Arizona (in Tuscon) in white helmets and jerseys with red pants, as they faced off against the University of New Mexico Lobos, who showed up in dark grey helmets, red jerseys, and white pants. Not a bad matchup to start off with, but I felt it looked like a scrimmage game to me at times.
• BYU vs. Utah: Luckily, we didn’t have that problem in this game, and the Holy War in Sin City was Color-vs-Color. Brigham Young University Cougars in royal blue, Utah University Utes in full-red. It’s a shame Utah pulled a pent-up male rabbit and basically blew all of their energy in the first quarter, but they somehow managed to hold off BYU in the end to win it 35-28.
• Ohio vs. Appalachian St.: Contrary to what college football may suggest, not every uniform matchup is required to reinvent the wheel. Sometimes it’s as simple as black and white. Ohio University Bobcats in their College Jets look (which is pretty much anything they wear that isn’t the BFBS, but in this case, it’s all white), vs the black-clad Appalachain State University Mountaineers. White finding photos, I came across this gem of a phantom player celebrating with bowl game-winning hero Zach Matics, who apparently was cleared to kick with no helmet? I swear, college football gets more bizarre every year.
• San Jose St. vs Georgia St.: Real quick: I couldn’t really find a decent picture from this game showcasing Georgia State’s uniforms, but it’s what I able to find, so while the photos that I was able to find weren’t really what I would look for, these are –once again– the best I could find. Anyway, a simple, scrimmage-ish looking game between the San JosÃ© State University Spartans (blue/blue/gold), and the Georgia State University Panthers (white/white/blue).
• Arkansas St. vs. Louisiana Tech: The Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs will –unfortunately– switching to Adidas next season, which means their humble football look and decent-length shoulder stripes will be marred by eeeuuuuuuuugggghhh in 2016. A shame, but they went out in understated style: white helmets and pants with blue jerseys. Reason #246 why tackle twill numbers are better. You don’t get moments like this with those awful printed numbers, and you can always sew them back on! As for the Arkansas State University Red Wolves, they wore as red as a team with “Red” in its name can get on the road: red helmets and pants with white jerseys. Not bad.
~Monday, December 21st, 2015:
• Western Kentucky vs. South Florida: What better way to start off Christmas week with a red vs. green matchup? In this case, we have the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers in chrome/white/red, and the University of South Florida Bulls in white/green/white. I will be honest in saying that I’m slightly disappointed in USF’s not wearing of gold chrome helmets for that full ornament v. ornament effect, but as far as “modern” uni matchups are concerned, this isn’t too bad.
~Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015:
• Akron vs. Utah St.: The Utah State University Aggies kept it simple with white helmets and pants with navy jerseys, while the University of Akron Zips dressed in full-white. Here’s the thing: I really like Akron’s helmets, but the rest of the uniforms is about as inspiring as striking a Zildjian 16″ ZBT Rock Crash when you know you want that 20″ K Dark Crash Thin instead. Akron needs a revamp, stat.
• Toledo vs. Temple: The University of Toledo Rockets found that their bowl patch was getting swallowed up by their navy tops (which they paired with white helmets and pants). The Owls of Temple University were not affected, obviously. They wore white/white/cherry.
~Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015:
• Boise St. vs. Northern Illinois: Surprisingly, nothing much to say here about the Boise State University Broncos (sorry guys, no Orange Crush tribute uniforms here). Just simple blue/white/blue. And let’s throw a selfie in there while we’re at it. The Northern Illinois University Huskies wore all-black.
• Georgia Southern vs. Bowling Green: Blah-blah Alabama and Penn State did the Fusion Dance blah-BLAH. okay, with that out of the way, the Georgia Southern University Eagles wore their usual navy/white/white, while the Bowling Green State University Falcons wore orange/brown/orange.
~Thursday, December 24th, 2015:
• Middle Tennessee St. vs. Western Michigan: Middle Tennessee State University and their Blue Raiders looked more white (and grey) than blue against the Western Michigan University Broncos (who wore brown/brown/white)
• Cincinnati vs San Diego St.: I can never get enough of The University of Cincinnati Bearcats’ Nippert Stadium uniforms, especially with that white helmet! Meanwhile the San Diego State University Aztecs wore red/white/black (and also looked fantastic themselves).
~Saturday, December 26th, 2015:
• UConn vs. Marshall: Marshall University and their Thundering Herd in none other than white/green/green, and the University of Connecticut Huskies (how many Husky teams played this past week?) in all-white.
• Indiana vs. Duke: This proved to be a nice matchup between the Indiana University Hoosiers and the Duke University Blue Devils, who were very much blue in this game, complete with a nice helmet. I normally hate monochromatic uniforms with a mismatched helmet, but Duke pulled this off somehow.
• Tulsa vs. Virginia Tech: In Frank Beamer’s final game as the head coach of the Hokies of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, they *thankfully* wore a respectable maroon/white/orange look against the University of Tulsa Golden Hurricanes, who wore white/blue/white.
• Nebraska vs. UCLA: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Cornhuskers (thankfully) pulled no frills with their look, classic white/red/white. Question: how many grievances can you air before you start to feel bad for the uniform itself? UCLA, all I can say is I hope you find your footing again, and soon. Seriously, who the hell puts SLASHES on numbers and stripes?
*whew* That’ll do it for this first installment. Tune in next time when the games ramp up as we head into the new year, and I’ll see you guys soon for Part II.
Thanks, TJ! See ya next year!
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1 – SPECIAL Bowl Edition
OK — we’re almost through with the first 20 bowls (there have been 18 played thus far, so we’re not quite at the halfway point) — but enough have been played for Joe Ringham to give us his first 5 & 1 of the 2015-16 Bowl season. He’ll have part 2 next weekend, after the rest of the Bowls (save for the final National Championship Game) have been played.
Greetings, everyone! A Merry Christmas, and a Happy Holidays to all! This will be the first of two bowl 5 & 1’s, starting off with the bowl games up to yesterday (12/26). Some very good-looking match-ups to choose from out of the first 18 bowl games so far. So, without further adieu…
5) Independence Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Tulsa — This game was quite the looker. Really thought the Hokies looked great in maroon/white/orange, especially up against the white/blue/white of Tulsa. A great looking game In Shreveport.
4) Sun Bowl: Miami (FL) vs Washington State — For as much guff as I gave the U at the beginning of the season for their uni’s, they came on strong in El Paso to close the season. Loved the white/white/orange they with with to close, up against a strong looking mono-crimson from the Cougs. This game even looked pretty in the snow that came down.
3) Miami Beach Bowl: Western Kentucky vs South Florida — Boy, did it sure look like Christmas on the site of the old Orange Bowl. Really liked the chrome/white/red the Hilltoppers went with. It just seemed to really pop against the white/green/white of USF, and vice versa.
2) New Orleans Bowl: Arkansas State vs Louisiana Tech — One of the first games of the bowl season was also one of the best looking. ASU looked fantastic in their red/white/red, and it paired up very well against La. Tech’s white/blue/white, even when the Bulldogs have a player who played with the numbers ripped off the front of his jersey.
1) Pinstripe Bowl: Indiana vs Duke — I absolutely loved the look of this game. The Hoosiers looked great in the chrome candy stripe/mono-crimson. The Dookies looked equally as fantastic in their white/mono-blue. For the moment, my favorite looking game of the bowl season.
+1) Foster Farms Bowl: UCLA vs Nebraska — I had to pick someone, and UCLA disappointed me big time with the mono-white and the ugly-looking lines going through… well, everything that isn’t white on the unis.
Have a safe and happy New Year’s celebration on Thursday night/Friday, and I’ll be back for round 2 next Sunday.
Thanks, Joe! Looking forward to your final set next weekend!
So, How’m I Doon?
Yesterday, in the comments, reader “KikiDee” asked if I’d be publishing the results of my “Picking The Bowls by better uniform” exercise. Every year I do this, and while it’s a lot of fun, I’m not particularly successful, usually averaging about 50% correct when all is said and done.
Going into yesterday’s games, I was 7-5, and on quite a roll, having won 4 in a row. Then, yesterday hit and it was a woodshed kinda day (as in, the Bowls took me behind the woodshed and kicked my ass). My four game winning streak quickly turned into a 5 game losing streak, heading into the final game of the night (Wisconsin vs. UCLA). At least the Huskers pulled out a “W” for me after a terrible day. So, I stand at 8-10 through the first 18.
I’ll post the results of the first 18 bowls (in case anyone cares) today and next weekend I’ll list the final set. On another note, I’m also getting my ass handed to me in the “Bowl” side of the CorC action I am in (it’s a season-long ‘pool’ with about 10 other folks, some of whom are avid UW readers). So it’s just not been a good bowl season for me, after putting up pretty respectable numbers during the year. Ah well. Good thing I don’t gamble with real money. Anyway…here’s how I’ve done picking the bowls so far (Wins in Blue; Losses in Red):
[table id=28 /]
______ Family Portraits
Several years ago, some of you may remember, I did a post with Susan Freeman which examined the minutia of the SWC, and in which a few “Family Portraits” of the NCAA, circa 1969, done by a gentleman named Don Collins. In a few of those portraits were featured.
A couple days ago, on the Twitter, someone known as “Jedi ASU” posted this tweet, showing a “Family Portrait” of the Western Athletic Conference:
— Jedi ASYule (@JediASU) December 23, 2015
That triggered my memory of having done the post with Susan five-ish years ago, and, as is the wont of Twitter, a number of other “Family Portraits” emerged, some of which I’d never seen. I thought you might be interested in seeing them.
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) December 23, 2015
SWC “Up For Grabs”
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) December 23, 2015
— Phil Hecken (@PhilHecken) December 23, 2015
— Tucker Carden (@TuckerCarden) December 23, 2015
— Tyler Wagner (@Tyler_Wagner27) December 23, 2015
— Sports Paper (@PressRoomGFS) December 23, 2015
— Kyle Tucker (@CoachTuck35) December 23, 2015
— Matt Aho (@mateoaho) December 23, 2015
Interesting that some of those conferences no longer exist, or if they do, they exist in a different form today. Very cool stuff.
Also, apparently there were some type of “Family Portraits” (looks like a different artist) done for hoops as well, as witnessed by this Big East portrait:
— Penfield (@BpenfieldJ) December 23, 2015
If you guys know of any more of these family portraits, please post a link in the comments (or tweet at me)!
A VERY mini-ticker for today, done up old-school style
Check out this 1938 Bain High School photo. “Bain High is in the Mint Hill NC area, just outside of Charlotte,” writes David Berger. “I thought the variety of shoes was interesting. 2nd row left… are those golf shoes? Shes not wearing the jersey either… did she sneak into the photo? Some of the others look like lace up skate shoes.” … Mississippi State will go maroon/maroon/gray for the Belk Bowl. … The Fiesta Bowl will feature OSU in white and ND in blue (h/t Bill Landis). … This Eagles program features a picture of Jordan Matthews in a jersey he never wore in-game (from Jawn). … Here’s a look at the new shoes MSU will wear in the Cotton Bowl (via Ben Owen). … “Stirrups by the fireplace? Pffft. Sock & cleat stocking for the win. Happy Holidays!” says Jimmer Vilk. … Washington player Ricky Jean Francois wore custom ”˜Star Wars’ cleats against the Eagles (from TommyTheCPA). … The Lehigh Valley Phantoms wore custom purple jerseys last night (from BeerMeABeer). … Manitoba has one of the best license plates out there (from Mike Williams). Might have to move there just so I can get that tag! … Someone has put Bernie Sanders’ face on Pat Patriot (from Joe Fennessy). … Less camo for the US Marines soon? (from Ken Trainsman). … Fans burned a DeSean Jackson jersey prior to the ‘skins/Eagles game last night.
And that, dear readers, is my final post for 2015! Big thanks to Terry and Joe today (and for their efforts all fall), as well as all those who’ve worked on posts with me over the year, including (but not limited to) Gary Chanko, Bruce Menard, Jimmer Vilk, Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt and Kyle Acker, and the many, many others who’ve helped me bring Uni Watching to you over the weekends and during August. I know I’m forgetting many of you, so my apologies.
I want to wish each and every Uni Watch reader a safe, happy and healthy New Year, and all the best in 2016. I’ll be back next year (next weekend) with the results of the Vilkmas raffle, and more good stuff for sure. Be careful out there on Amateur Night! So, until next year…
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Penultimate is my next-to-favorite word.”