By Phil Hecken, with the SMUW Crew
Well, it’s like déjà vu all over again, as Yogi would say.
Clemson and Alabama took care of business in yesterday’s playoff games, each advancing to the final game to decide the #1 in the nation, 8 days hence (that’s Monday night, January 7th, 2019).
Two schools with great unis (you know Alabama is my favorite school, uni-wise, in all of College Football, so needless to say from that perspective I’m happy). Since the first CFP (College Football Playoff) was initiated in 2015, Alabama has been in the dance every year, winning twice. Clemson has made 3 appearances prior to this year, losing twice to ‘bama and beating them once. Clearly, these two teams know how to get back to the big game (or close to it) every year.
The game next Monday should look a lot like the 2017 final game: Alabama in their home crimson against Clemson in white over orange. Interestingly, in the three times the teams have met, Clemson has worn the home unis twice (in 2016 and 2018). The 2016 and 2017 games were the final game; last year (2018), the teams played in a semi-final tilt.
Here’s how those games looked:
Beautiful games, all of them. And we’ll do it all again in a little over a week.
College Football: the more things change, the more they stay the same…
Now, here’s the SMUW crew back again for your Bowl Wrap, week 2. First up is TJ Duroncelet with your…
Sunday Morning Bowl Wrap
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
From Saturday, December 22nd, 2018
│Hawai’i vs LA Tech│ As promised, here’s coverage of last Saturday’s game between the Rainbow Warriors (love that name) of the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, and the Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs. Hawai’i (who is basically playing a home game here) wore black/green/black, while LA Tech wore all-white. A fantastic-looking game, with plenty of contrast.
From Wednesday, December 26th, 2018
│Boise State vs Boston College│ This will be aptly abrupt. Boise State University Broncos in all-orange, Boston College Eagles in gold/white/white. Someone must’ve played Metallica’s sophomore album one too many times for this to happen.
│Georgia Tech vs Minnesota│ I’m surprised that both schools weren’t forced to wear their respective uniforms rendered in Lions colors. This bout features the Yellow Jackets of the Georgia Institute of Technology in gold/navy/navy, and the Golden Gophers of the University of Minnesota… wait for it… Twin Cities, in white-over-maroon, and gold-chrome helmets, which every time I look at them, I can’t help but to see rose gold sometimes, even though I know it has to do with the lighting. Maybe my eyes are broken.
│TCU vs Cal│ Here lies a game that had great uni potential, but one side came up short, in more ways than one. The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs wore purple/black/purple, and the Golden Bears of the University of California, Berkeley… weren’t lookin’ so golden. They wore navy/white/white, and I know that this game would benefit from Cal wearing gold pants (old uni, but my point still stands), or even this. C’mon, Golden State
From Thursday, December 27th, 2018
│Duke vs Temple│ You guessed it: another color-vs-color game. We have the (180 year-old!) Duke University Blue Devils, Who wore blue/blue/white. Personally, I prefer the Devilman decal that they wear from time-to-time, but the script decal is also really nice, and this is coming from someone who otherwise HATES brush script. I can’t get over how… blasé it looks. Brush script is like unseasoned chicken. People who eat what is basically cardboard with extra protein are not to be trusted. RIGHT, we have another school to talk about, sorry! On the other side of the ball, we have the Temple University Owls, who wore black/grey/black, and boy, did those numbers suffer in the legibility department. Say it with me: CONTRAST. MATTERS. Far from Temple’s best look, but not the worst matchup by any means.
│Wisconsin vs Miami│ On this day a year ago, these two teams met with in a bowl game with… slightly higher stakes. This year, the designated home and road roles are reversed. This year’s “home” team are the Badgers of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, who wore nothing short of a Badger uni: white helmets and pants with red jerseys. Meanwhile, the University of Miami Hurricanes wore white/white/green, but despite the fact that they looked infinitely better than last year, the result was all the same. A good-looking game, even if the game itself was one-sided. Other notes include both endzones: the Canes used the same wordmark that the Miami Dolphins use, which would make sense, if they were playing in the stadium that the Dolphins play at, which they currently do for all regular-season games, but this is in New York. Also, it’s faint, but if you look closely, you can still see the endzone work from Notre Dame’s game, which was a month-and-a-half ago!
│Vanderbilt vs Baylor│ Baylor University… can we talk about how extra their facemasks look? I’ve seen my fair share of gold-chrome at this point, but I don’t know, I think I actually like how it’s utilized here. Facemasks aside, the Bears wore white/white/gold, while the Vanderbilt University Commodores wore all-black, and looking at that last photo, in case you were wondering what the significance of everyone wearing #82 on the front of their helmets is, click here. (another look here).
From Friday, December 28th, 2018
│Auburn vs Purdue│ Auburn University’s Tigers vs. Purdue University’s Boilermakers help to begin our day of penultimate bowls before the semifinals, and this game was one (1) touchdown shy of being a repeat of the Army/Houston
shellacking game from last Saturday. Auburn wore white/navy/white, and Purdue wore gold/white/gold.
│Syracuse vs West Virginia│ An old Big East rivalry renewed, and much like TCU/Cal tilt, it had a lit of visual potential, but one team squandered that opportunity. The Syracuse University Orange wore their best look: DEEP orange helmets and pants with navy jerseys, and the West Virginia University Mountaineers wore white/white/navy. Not a bad look, but c’mon WVU, the gold pants would’ve looked so much better! Especially since you two don’t meet up that often anymore.
│Washington State vs Iowa State│ The Washington State University Cougars wore what is arguably their weakest look (white/crimson/crimson) against the Cyclones of Iowa State University of Science and Technology, who wore all-white. What exactly is wrong with this? Why do you choose to look like Discount Oklahoma (the Sooners don’t wear white lids, but still)? Also, there’s a “get bent” joke here somewhere.
From Saturday, December 29th, 2018
│Virginia vs South Carolina│ We kick this action-packed Saturday off with an okay, but not life-changing matchup between the University of Virginia Cavaliers in all-navy, and the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in black/white/black. I keep saying something about wasted potential…
│Nevada vs Arkansas State│ Moving on, we have the Wold Pack (two words) of The University of Nevada, Reno, wearing grey/navy/grey, and the Arkansas State University Red Wolves (lot of wolves in this game) in all-white. Nevada looked fine enough (and A-State didn’t look too bad themselves), but what’s up with the white facemasks on a grey shell?
│Michigan vs Florida│ Jim Harbaugh ain’t feeling so peachy after this game. But hey, it was a visual site to behold. We have the University of Michigan Wolverines in Only The Best, and the University of Florida Gators in orange helmets, white jerseys, and blue pants.
│Clemson vs Notre Dame│ While the game was disappointing from a gameplay standpoint, the uniforms were the complete antithesis of that, with the Fighting Irish of the University of Notre Dame du Lac in gold/white/gold, and sporting what I still maintain as the best helmets in college football, facing off against the Clemson University Tigers, who wore what I still maintain as the best all-orange look in college football. Maybe next year, ND.
│Alabama vs Oklahoma│ This game had everything: a broken headset, a decent back-and-forth… a broken headset. The uniforms were also grand. We have the University of Alabama in crimson/crimson/white (a classic), and the University of Oklahoma Sooners in crimson/white/white (another classic). All kidding aside, congratulations to Alabama –not so much on making it to the championship game– but for finally getting the Boomer Sooner monkey off your back.
That’ll do it for part 2! Once again, I will be in the comments today if you have any questions you want to ask (or yell at me for carrying on about contrast). I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday season so far, and I’ll see you next year.
Thanks, TJ! OK, now on to the rest of your SMBW…
Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1
Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham returned in 2018 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he had 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. Now that the regular season has ended and the bowls are here, Joe will bring us 3 final 5 & 1’s: one each for each Sunday covering all the Bowl games (except for the National Championship Game).
Happy Sunday, everyone! Hope everyone enjoyed the Christmas holiday this past week (or whatever you celebrate). Let’s get right to the list for this past week’s worth of bowl games.
5) Camping World Bowl: West Virginia vs Syracuse – We start with one very good-looking game in Orlando. Really liked WVU going white/white/navy here. And I though Syracuse looked sensational in their traditional home orange/navy/orange. If WVU had gone with the navy lids here, or maybe even the gold lids, this game would’ve ended higher on the list.
4) Music City Bowl: Purdue vs Auburn – Sometimes simplicity in the uniforms on both sides makes for a fine-looking game. That’s the case here in Nashville. Auburn always looks fantastic in their usual home unis and I love how it pairs up against the gold/white/gold the Boilermakers went with.
3) Pinstripe Bowl: Miami (FL) vs Wisconsin – Really liked the look of this game. Wisconsin always looks fantastic in their usual white/red/white home set. Match it up against the U’s white/white/green road set and you have one sharp-looking game in the Bronx. Very nice on the eyes.
2) Cotton Bowl: Notre Dame vs Clemson – Not gonna lie, I didn’t think this game would be that high on the list, even though I knew it would look great. ND always looks great in their traditional road look. However, while not usually a fan of Clemson’s mono-orange look, it really makes for some great contrast here. A really good-looking game down in Texas.
+1) Independence Bowl: Temple vs Duke – Sometimes color vs color works. Sometimes it doesn’t. This is an example of the latter. Just… ugh.
That does it for me this week. I’ll be back for one final list next week, covering the remaining bowl games left to be played. Until then…
Thanks Joe! You can follow Joe on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!
NCAA Uni Tracking
Uni Watch again tracked the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences throughout the regular season, and now that we’ve moved into Bowl Season, we’ve got you covered as well. For the second week, each of the Power 5 had teams represented, after a first week where only two total teams from all the Power 5 conferences played.
Back for the 2018 bowls are: Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking a couple seasons ago. Ethan continues his dual role of tracking both the B1G and the SEC.
Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:
Rex is up first today (ACC), with seven teams (Wake Forest played before last weekend) having played:
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12, with two teams (Arizona State played before last weekend) having played:
And here is Ethan, with the SEC (5 games played):
And here is Kyle with the Big XII (five games played):
Follow Kyle on Twitter here.
And here’s Ethan with the B1G (four games played):
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: Lately I’ve been into following the Twitter account of @FlagstaffFilms, which features rare and archival MLB footage. Here’s one rare clip of the Kansas City Athletics vs NY Yankees, 6/6/1956, played at Yankee Stadium. The account is definitely worth a follow! … Here’s a nice look at the 1970 All Star Game program from newly opened Riverfront Stadium in Cincy (should out to the Cincy Party tonight!). From Bruce Menard. How many of those logos (and teams) are still in existence??? … Speaking of Cincinnati, yesterday, in 2002, Riverfront Stadium was imploded. … Big Cheese tweets, “2019 MLB Spring Training caps change from ’18 rubberized logos & new cap material? When will the rest of the teams be out, they usually come out in Nov.?”
NFL News: Perhaps unsurprisingly, the New Orleans Saints, who have basically eschewed wearing their gold pants (they only wore them for one game — their season opener) this season, are going mono-black today in their season finale vs. the Carolina Panthers. … According to the GUD, looks like most teams will wear “traditional” unis (Buffalo is going mono-blue, and the Rams will wear their classic throwbacks), for the final weekend of regular season play, which features all intra-division games. … The Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders unveiled a new, less-revealing uniform this week that the team says breaks “traditional stereotypes” of cheer attire and is more conducive to dancing.
College/High School Football News: Adidas has unveiled the 2019 Football Uniforms for the 2019 All-American Bowl (from Paul Murphy). More info here. … After wearing monochrome for every game during the “regular” season, the Oregon Ducks will be going yellow/green/yellow(!) in the RedBox Bowl vs. Sparty. … The NC State Wolfpack will be going red/white/red in the Gator Bowl vs. aTm. … New uniform and helmet decal for Mizzou in tomorrow’s Liberty Bowl. … Another sibling v sibling band matchup in a bowl game occurred yesterday (from James Gilbert).
Hockey News: The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins will be playing in the Winter Classic (at Notre Dame) on New Year’s Day. It’s hard to believe this will be the 11th of these — so here’s a look back at Winter Classic uniforms over the years. … Here’s a guide to the game. … “I was at a game [Friday] night between Gatineau (in BFBS) and Val D’or,” says Wayne Donner. “Both teams are wearing the QMJHL 50th logo on their jerseys but I was a little concerned with the placement of the crest on the goalies jersey. I have included photos of the goalie and another player showing improper and proper placement. It was horrible because the neckline for Val D’or lends itself to having the crest line up better. Additionally I noticed near the end of the game that the crest is on the opposite side for the ref. All this can be seen between the photos attached, for the straight crest look at the player not in the scrum.” … What do you do with your jersey when your team’s best player walks away from your team as a free agent? Here’s how Isles fans treated John Tavares’ jerseys, ranging from clever to stupid. … Rask Mask: Here’s the custom mask that the Boston Bruins’ Tuukka Rask will wear for the Winter Classic. The helmet features the Notre Dame leprechaun in Bruins’ gear, complete with a shamrock and all, along with the team’s classic “B” logo, his name and an image of a sign that reads “Play Like A Champion Today,’’ on the back. … 22-year-old Mackenzie Blackwood gets his first career NHL shutout Saturday afternoon. He’s also the first Devils goalie to wear number 29 since Martin Brodeur in 1992 (from James Beattie). … The Fort Worth Comets had Nickelodeon Night last evening and the results were predictable (from Jeff Warden).
NBA News: (From Friday night): Oops! Andrew Wiggins forgot to put on his jersey underneath his warm-ups (from Mike Chamernik, intern emeritus). … The Golden State Warriors have a shit-ton of throwback jerseys, and the players were asked to pick their favorites. … Steph Curry fulfilled his promise to Riley Morrison, the nine-year-old who wrote a letter to Curry about why his Under Armour sneakers were only sold in boys’ sizes, sending her two pairs of his new Curry 6 sneakers as a surprise on Christmas Day (thanks, Brinke).
College Hoops News: Another one bites the dust: Looks like Virginia Tech now has a set of BFBS uniforms. Submitter Andrew Cosentino states simply, “Virginia Tech unveiled BFBS basketball uniforms. But why?” Here’s a better look. According to Andrew, this turns athletes into super heroes. … Also from Andrew, Virginia Tech went GFGS, making a color vs color matchup against UMES. … Good looking color vs. color game yesterday for Butler and Florida (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: “The Officials wouldn’t let Kentucky guard Ashton Hagans wear his “L’s Down” shoes during the Kentucky-Louisville basketball game on Saturday. “L’s Down” is a popular celebration done by Kentucky players and fans alike after defeating our rivals, Louisville. The refs made him change out his shoes that featured this celebration on the tongue of the shoe. The shoes also had the last two digits of the years of all eight national championships that Kentucky has won in basketball on the laces.”
Soccer News: Slated for release in January or early February, Club America will receive a new third kit for the upcoming Clausura tournament. Here’s a look at that kit (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, Adidas celebrates its 70th birthday next year with a special football collection. Footy Headlines takes a look at the history of the Adidas logo, including the first-ever, the famous Trefoil logo as well as the modern logo of the Three Stripes. … “Fun kit note in English lower league soccer,” says Trayton Miller. “Oxford United player Slavi Spasov has to wear a shirt without the Singha sponsor (beer brand) because he’s under 18.” … Still more from Josh: Both Arsenal (right sleeve; thick band) and Liverpool (left sleeve; thin band) wore black armbands during their match on Saturday because Arsenal’s former chairman passed away this week. The referee, Michael Oliver, also wore an armband, and so did the two assistant referees as well as the fourth official. … We continue with even more from Josh: FC Tucson Announces Macron as Official Apparel
Grab Bag: “In this satirical article about the police doing stop-and-frisks on the Panther’s Eric Reid, The Onion photoshopped a picture of Reid with two cops, but didn’t bother to use actual Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD officers,” says Dan Tarrant. “I could tell by the shoulder patch on the cop’s uniforms. Here’s what the actual CMPD officers wear.” … Barclay College’s (located in Haviland, KS) logo is a modified Memphis Grizzlies logo with pupils and a flame birthmark on its forehead. This is at the entrance to the gymnasium. Their teams are called the Bears (from Scott Nuzum). … This is kinda cool: a graphic of “almost” every space suit ever made (from Leon LaVigne).
As we tick down the hours until 2019, I want to wish the entire Uni Watch readership a very healthy and happy new year. It’s been a bit of a rough patch for me (if you’re not sure why, click here & scroll down slightly) and Paul (if you’re not sure why,
you’ve been living in a cave click here), but out of adversity arises opportunity. I hope your 2019 is your best year yet!