By Phil Hecken
Welcome back, College Football!
OK, OK, it actually has been back for more than a week, but since I was taking my (short) Uni Watch vacation last Labor Day weekend, now we’re here to OFFICIALLY kick it off! Today, I’m going to introduce (actually, mostly re-introduce) you to the fantastic cast of characters who comprise the Sunday Morning Uni Watch — which will begin tomorrow and go through the entire NCAA Football season — with a look back at all the uniforms and uni-related shenanigans for Week One.
Please join me in welcoming (back) Terry Duroncelet, who has been bringing you the guts of the Sunday Morning Uni Watch for years, Joe Ringham, who is returning for the “5 & 1” and Power Five Uni Trackers Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt, Kyle Acker, Davis Vinckier and Ethan Dimitroff. All but Ethan are returning, and all are on board to bring you the best and most comprehensive NCAA Football coverage on the Interwebs. There’s a LOT to get to today, so let’s start the show!
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
Hello everyone! Words cannot describe how stoked I am for this college season, because while this is my sixth season doing SMUW, it’s my first with my new custom-built PC, because as I mentioned back in January, I was going to be building a new computer to replace my old HP G72 laptop that I did the first five seasons of SMUW on (I know the VGA cables look sloppy in that second pic, but this was literally the day after I built it, and just wanted to get some quick pics up on Twitter, and they have since been cleaned up). We have a lot to go over, so as much of a gear nerd as I am, I won’t bore you guys with the specs. Instead, I’ll direct you over to my PCPartPicker list if you want to know more (NOTE: I actually use a Ducky Legend keyboard, not a Shine 5, but they didn’t have the Legend listed on the site). But without further ado…
From Friday, August 26th:
• We kick things off with a matchup in the land of a million legendary drummers, a.k.a. Australia. Cal and Hawai’i got things underway, and uni-wise, there wasn’t anything too out of the ordinary, although I always enjoy contrast between two uniforms (not sharing a similar color in the helmet, jersey, or pant department), especially if both unis are solid designs. Also, I don’t know when I’ll have another chance to talk about Cal again this season as a Nike school, since they’ll be switching to Under Armour next year. My only complaint about the game is that North Texas wasn’t selected.
From Thursday, September 1st:
• Louisville and Charlotte faced off, and let’s just say that the Cardinals won in another way apart from their 70-14 trouncing of the 49ers.
• Another great example of what contrast can do to a matchup: Tulane vs Wake Forest. I hope to see more of the cartoon wave going forward, and despite how played-out the color-chrome helmet thing is, I dug how the Deacons were looking in this game. It should also be noted that Wake Forest won that game 7-3. I guess you could say they had some… Good Fortune that night. Alright, I’ll see myself out.
• Cincinnati wore white at home against UT Martin.
From Friday, September 2nd:
From Saturday, September 3rd:
• I think this is the first time in SMUW history that the same school (Hawai’i) has appeared in two different bullet points for two different games involving said school in the same column. This time, they faced off against another navy and yellow/gold school: Michigan, who is playing their first football season in Nike attire since the conclusion of the 2007 season (which was the same season that they were beaten by Appalachian State… who almost beat #9 Tennessee just days before this game). Now about that die-cut outline on the numbers (closer look)… at first, I thought it was a waste, since the conventional way of doing single-ply, one-color twill numbers has been working fine for literal decades, but the more I thought about it, the more it kind of makes sense to me. Think of it: this newer lightweight stretch twill (as Nike calls it) is so thin, you can see the intricate details underneath whatever textured surface the twill is over, even if the surface is soft, as shown on the bottom of the #8 in this Michigan State game pic from (I believe) 2011. My thinking is that the same-color die-cut serves the same purpose as a reinforcement ring in a thin-shelled drum, like the drum kits you’d find from the 1940s-1960s. I could be wrong, though.
• Ya know Mizzou, if you’re gonna wear an “Icy White” uniform or whatever the hell you’re callin’ it, you could’ve at least waited until it got colder to wear it, not the very first game of the season in frickin’ SEPTEMBER. And no white helmet? C’mon! If you’re gonna have an unnecessary alt, you might as well go all out. Lame.
• It’s funny to think that Houston was a pair of white pants and a helmet stripe away from looking like Nebraska in Nike.
• While the Rutgers Scarlet Knights were looking more like the Ivory Knights than anything against Washington, , their new uniform set is an improvement over the “Knight in Shining Armor” look from before.
• I haven’t the slightest clue what Ohio was thinking with that “str” on the pants. Maybe it’s symbolic to them, saying “our athletes are so fast, that they run out of their stripes. Kind of like running out of your shoes, but this is ‘something a little different'” (for some reason, I HATE when they say “oh, it’s just something different”). Also, shout-out to Texas State for the classic college-style footwear: all-black cleats and white crew socks.
• I’m pretty impressed with Oklahoma State’s new look.
• Adidas, Adidas, Adidas. For the last… what, 6 seasons from mid-2010 to the end of 2015, you have done to UCLA’s stripes in what I can only describe as a rather… “intimate” activity of pleasure, using that thing that Kerry King wears on his arm as your accouterment of choice for “added pleasure”. And let’s just say that the Bruins have been feeling it the morning after for literal years. But now, your tastes have matured some (“some” being the operative word here), and you have deemed UCLA worthy of wearing a proper shoulder stripe once again. Granted, the ends of said stripes aren’t rounded like they should be, but at this point, I’ll take what I can get. Just as well: the Bruins hope to have better luck in bed next year with their new partner: Under Armour. It’s almost kind of sad: it’s the end of an era of the seemingly never-ending question of “what tomfoolery can the Three Stripes shoehorn into UCLA’s visual identity for this season, or that one particular game”, etc. All I can say at this point is: don’t go too heavy on the Blue Bell, Adidas. It’ll get better, I promise.
• Speaking of uni deals, this is Wisconsin’s first season with Under Armour, and the new uniforms are what you would expect out of a Badgers uni, for the most part. I really like the new font, for one. I’ll admit, the “moving forward” arrows in the stripes seem forced to me, but they’re so thin, and you can’t reallyreallyreally see them from afar, so I can live with it. However, I dislike the honkin’ ‘W’ on the front of the jersey. It looks like it was just SLAPPED on at the last moment, like “Quick! Add this thing to the front of the jersey so that one asshole with the blue computer can’t call us the ‘Wisconsin Cornhuskers’ again!”. Not a fan of the name on the pant leg, either.
• These days, when you hear the words “North Carolina”, you’re instantly met with a wave of how far we still need to progress as a collective (although that last link is a bonus for the State of Louisiana, given recent events), but one good thing about North Carolina if nothing else: the Tar Heels opened their season in a lovely-looking color-vs-color matchup for the second-straight year. Last year, it was against South Carolina, this year, it’s Georgia.
• Tulsa wears Adidas now, and the new uniform is clean enough, but the one GLARING oversight is that there is literally no gold in the uniform (except for the star in the American Conference patch)…. for a team that calls themselves the Golden Hurricane. Hell, their opponent San Jose State had more gold in their uniform that Tulsa did, and Tulsa was the HOME team! On a related note, Tulsa wore white at home in that same game.
From Sunday, September 4th:
• During the Fighting Irish/Longhorns game, I noticed that Notre Dame’s number font not only looks a million times better this season than their first two years with Under Armour, but it seems to almost echo the block font used for the interlocking ND (the ‘D’ in particular). I’m sure that’s just coincidence, but I like the change, nonetheless. They also upgraded from the printed twill numbers to die-cut gold-outlined numbers, adding a nice dimension to the numbers.
From Monday, September 5th:
• And we close out with Florida State/Ole Miss. When I saw the coaches in baby blue windbrakers as the game was about to start, I assumed that the team would be wearing their corresponding helmets. Was not to be however, and they also wore a rarely-seen mono-white look. An alright look, although I say stick to the grey pants.
And that’ll do it for Week 1! Honestly, this new computer setup has already made writing these columns 8,700 times more comfortable. I’m already excited to get to work on tomorrow’s column as soon as possible. See you tomorrow!
Thanks, TJ! See you tomorrow!
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. Most of the 2015 trackers are back, with one new tracker added:
We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), Davis Vinckier (tracking the B1G), and Ethan Dimitroff, (tracking the SEC). Rex, Dennis, Kyle and Davis are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is new to the NCAA Uni Tracking this season
Here are the Uni Trackers for WEEK ONE of the NCAA Season:
Rex is up first today:
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
And here is Kyle with the Big XII:
And here’s Davis the B1G:
And finally, here is Ethan, with the SEC:
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back for 2016 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) Bowl matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. You may agree and you may disagree — these are, after all, just opinions and everyone has one. Feel free to let him know what you think in the comments section.
Good Saturday morning, everyone! So, here I am, back on the 5 & 1 beat for this season. Coming up with a top 5 was quite a chore this opening weekend. So many good looking match-ups dotted the landscape, making my job rather interesting. In any event, here were my 5 from this first weekend of the season. Some may agree, some may not. But, here we go…
5) Northern Iowa at Iowa State — This game beat out a few others for this spot. Absolutely loved how the purple/white/purple of the Panthers matched up against the Cyclones red/red/yellow home set. It made this FCS upset by UNI look all the more eye-catching.
4) Kansas State at Stanford — Always a fan of both of these teams’ uni looks. K-State’s silver/white/silver road look just looks perfect against the white/cardinal/white look of Stanford. A fine looking game on a Friday night in Palo Alto.
2) LSU vs Wisconsin — Yet another game featuring two teams with uniforms that I am huge fans of. LSU’s normal yellow/white/yellow just seemed to pop incredibly well against the white/red/white of the Badgers, even more so against the backdrop of Lambeau Field
1) Georgia vs North Carolina — Color vs. color is one of my weaknesses. You do that and you earn a spot on this countdown. This game met that criteria and then some. Loved how the red/red/grey of Georgia clashed against the blue/blue/white of Carolina. Aesthetically pleasing, and a damn fun game to watch.
+1) Northern Illinois at Wyoming — I’ve never been a big fan of NIU going mono-white. Just doesn’t look right to me. Pair it up against Wyoming’s white/brown/yellow… and you have a mess that doesn’t belong on a football field.
That’s it for the opening weekend. Let’s do this again tomorrow and, if you have any games you want me to take a look at today (or any Saturday, for that matter), hit up the 5 & 1 tip line at UW5and1@gmail.com.
Thanks, Joe! Welcome back and we look forward to seeing what you pick from today’s games tomorrow.
Welcome to the 2016 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-08 by Michael Princip, who retired after several seasons, whereupon the project was continued by Tim E. O’Brien. He, too, retired from the tracking, but the project has been ably kept up by the man who also tracks the Pac12, Dennis Bolt.
Here’s this week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):
You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here!
UW’s Friday Flashback
In light of the recent storyline regarding Tom Brady possibly removing the NFL logo decal from his helmet, Paul’s latest Friday Flashback piece on ESPN takes a look at the history of the NFL shield, and its assorted permutations, on players’ uniforms (including the Art Rooney memorial decal that the Eagles wore on the front of their helmets when playing the Steelers in 1988, as shown here).
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Yesterday, the Minnesota Twins unveiled a new “11” sign (for Jacob Wetterling), and it will remain on the outfield wall for the remainder of the season (from Riley Grams). … And here’s a look at that patch on their unis (from Mark Wilkes). Here’s another look.. … And here’s how those patches look on the Indians (from Cleveland Indians). … Shockingly(?), Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’ favorite NFL jersey is a Patriots jersey. … The Cincinnati Reds did the Negro League throwback thing last night, and here is a look at the and jersey they wore (Steve Hemsath and AdamtluA respectively). Their opponents, the Pirates, sported these beauties (from Scott Bonnett). Here’s another look (from Bruce Menard). I may have mentioned this, but that’s my FAVORITE Negro League throwback uniform of all time. Here’s a look at the Cincinnati Tigers, the team the Reds were throwing back to (also from Bruce). Here are a few looks at those gorgeous unis in action (via Pirates). … Ooohhh, check out Frank Herrmann with the rare AB and old school baseball cap under the batting helmet (thanks, Paul).
NFL News: On Thursday evening, near the end of the Panthers/Broncos game, I posted this tweet which totally blew up. Along those lines, this article says “Why it’s time for NFL to adopt college football’s rule when it comes to legislating helmet-to-helmet hits”. … Really nice throwback photos here of the Washington football club from 80 years ago, featuring “Slingin'” Sammy Baugh (via Ryan Sprayberry). … Looks like the Buffalo Bills will be wearing all red (color rash) unis next Thursday, against the Jets (in case you forgot what last year’s color rash looked like, here’s a refresher). … A bunch of adidas-sponsored players will be breaking out these cleats Sunday (h/t Paul Murphy). … Here’s an odd rendering of a Cowboys helmet (good spot by Ben Matukewicz). … Here’s the Bears’ uniform combination for their Week One matchup vs. the Texans (from Mike Chamernik). … Also from Mike, in remembrance of 9/11, Bills players and coaches will wear special helmet decals, pins and gloves in Sunday’s game. … The Lions will have the 9/11 decal as well (pretty sure this is a league-wide thing). From Mike as well. … Tom Brady denies NFL helmet sticker protest: ‘I don’t even pay attention to what is on my helmet.’ … Odell Beckham Jr. and Victor Cruz are planning to wear special 9/11 cleats for Sunday’s season opener. … A bunch of Jaguars Under Armour-sponsored athletes will be joining in on the 9/11 shoe parade as well (thanks, Mike Chamernik). … The fallout has begun: Broncos’ Brandon Marshall loses endorsement deal after kneeling for national anthem (thanks, Brinke via Paul). … What would a new year be like for the Browns if they didn’t open the season in a combo they’ve never worn before (with this uni-set)? They’re going orange/white/orange/orange for the first time to open the 2016 season. … This may come as a shock to some of you (well, they did break out the black alts last year), but the 49ers are wearing red jerseys for their home opener vs. the Rams on Monday Night Football. … HOWEVER, according to this article the Niners will wear black unis for their color rash game. … The Buccaneers will be going *pewter*/white/white/*pewter* against the Falcons this weekend (via John Sabol).
College/HS Football News: Here’s the uniform that Georgetown football will be wearing today against Marist (from Georgetown Football). … A (very small) piece of news: Expect #Pitt to debut their matte blue helmets today (thanks, Paul). … Here’s Tulane’s uni combo for their home opener vs. Southern (from Tulane Sports Guy). … If you read this article, (and click on the embedded video) Arizona will be wearing red helmets, red jerseys, and blue pants for their home opener against Grambling State. … You cannot say that aTm doesn’t love America, now can you? … September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Marshall Football will wear this decal Saturday as a tribute to those suffering (thanks to Coleman Mullins). … “Azusa Pacific University, my alma mater is a D2 school in the Los Angeles area” says Matt Ryburn. “They put this football uniform teaser video on the football Facebook page for the second game of the season.” … “This is not a new piece but it just came across my Twitter timeline,” says Jay Winkler. “Cool little piece on the prevalence of sailor’s caps in old college football logos.” … From Tyler Madsen: Here’s a link to the Truman State (Kirksville, MO) football helmet decals that they’ll be wearing for Military Appreciation Day today. … Long time coming: 1,062 – Days from the announcement (10/14/13) of @PilotFlyingJ @BattleAtBristol & today’s game (from Austin Perryman). … Here’s a uniform guide for the Virginia Tech players for today’s Battle at Bristol (from Andrew Cosentino). Here’s a look at the unis. … The Syracuse Orange certainly lived up to their name (from Rell Lauren). … Syracuse wasn’t the only “all orange” team — here’s a look at the Illini’s all orange get up (from Illinois Football EQ). Here’s another look. … Had enough orange? Well, at least Clemson will look like Clemson (from Ron Lendowski). … This Samuel L. Jackson is going to be a thing all season, isn’t it (h/t Mike C.). … Samford is going blue/white/white today vs. UCA (via Clint Richardson). … Ugh. Vandy will be wearing their “Anchor Down” unis today. … Ole Miss going blue/red/gray today. … Looks like white lids in Tempe for Texas Tech today, notes Timmy Westside Never seen them with red masks before he adds. … “Better late than never,” says Jon Solomonson “James Madison University is going ‘White Out’ on Saturday.” … Meanwhile, Boise State will be going all blue (h/t LUNAL). … For the first time ever, the University of South Alabama will be wearing all navy (from Clint Richardson). … The Paynesville MN High School Football wore a Jacob Wetterling memorial helmet decal yesterday night (from Barry Brite).
Hockey News: Pretty cool gesture from Braden Holtby. He’s honoring Gord Downie and @thehipdotcom with his World Cup mask (from Mark Coale). … “Team USA sweaters for the hockey World Cup got me thinking about the Union Pacific logo,” writes Christopher Bisbee. Here’s a “Nice primer on the evolution of that.” … The Florida Panthers have a new center ice logo (from Mike Chamernik). … The Wheeling Nailers unveiled their new looks. Says submitter Yancy Yeater, “Nothing groundbreaking and they kept the Penguins old colors (Pens ECHL Affiliate).” … There is a new number for the New Jersey Devils’ Steve Santini. He switches from 38 to 34 (h/t Mike Chamernik).
NBA News: “New court for the @hornets? Or is that the practice court we’ve seen once before?” asks Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. … And here’s a look at the Hornets’ new video boards, which are, according to the Hornets, “the highest-quality HD boards in the league. Only true 1080p HD boards,” (thanks to Nic Isom). Nic also asks, “New center court logo for Hornets?”. Here’s another view. Here’s some additional views/information (from Conrad Burry). … And I guess we don’t have to worry about the Hornets court changing (from Mike Chamernik).
Soccer News: This expensive Manchester United scarf is apparently the new, must have accessory these days (from Mark Coale).
Annnnnnnnnnddddd…that will do it for today! Wow — great stuff from Terry and Joe and all the trackers! And they’ll all be back tomorrow when we begin the REAL Sunday Morning Uni Watch for 2016! Until then,
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Maybe I’m not that bright. Can someone explain this whole thing to me? Only people with a penis use a urinal. Urinals are only in men’s rooms. Everyone else uses a stall. Stalls have doors. Why do we need laws for this?”