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Good Sunday Morning, Uni Watchers. It’s time for Week Six (wow, we’re basically half-way through the season) of the SMUW.
Yesterday, the Iowa State University Cyclones held their (now) annual Jack Trice Memorial game, and the 2023 ediiton was even more special against TCU, and ISU wore special uniforms to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his death. In case you missed it, yesterday reader/contributor/pal Kary Klismet penned a fantastic piece, Iowa State’s Memorialization of Jack Trice — A Uni-centric History, which not only describes the uniforms worn yesterday, but includes a LOT more detail of the life and tragic death of Jack Trice. I heartily recommend your reading that if you didn’t see yesterday’s article.
As you know from reading that article, Iowa State played fairly fast and loose with the throwback — which is understandible in a way, since the uniforms they were trying to recreate were 100 years old. White helmets were worn yesterday, atop a red jersey, and tan pants.
Of course, if helmets were worn at all back in the early 20’s they were of the most basic leather variety, so I can’t fault ISU too much there. The sides of the helmets read “AMES.”
As you can see in that shot, the jerseys were NNOB.
The front of the jersey featured five grayish lines, arranged in a Chevron pattern, beneath white numbers. The five stripes were supposed to resemble those of “friction strips,” which were commonly used back then to aid in holding onto the football.
Fortunately, this game was moved to FS1, so I was able to watch most of it. It wasn’t a bad looking game, by any means, but the slightly disjointed white/red/tan combo of ISU somewhat clashed with TCU’s black/white/purple. But the importance of this game historically far outweighed the importance of aesthetics. It has been a wonderful on-going gesture from ICU to honor the memory of Jack Trice.
About my only real complaint about the uniforms was the tendency of the numbers to scrunch up. I don’t know if this has anything to do with the “friction strips,” but it made for some odd-looking numbers in the tight shots.
As you can see in the last shot, several of the ISU players were wearing untucked white undershirts, which while I get is the new thing, but I felt the players should have presented a less slovenly appearance when playing a game to honor Trice. YMMV.
And with that, I now turn the rest of this over to the one and only TJ Duroncelet, who will bring you the rest of today’s…
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Sunday Morning Uni Watch by Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
No, this image will never not be funny to me. Anywho, as is tradition (of a couple of years ago), I welcome all uniform acts that would otherwise be considered heinous during the month of October. All of the clown suits, BFBS, GFGS, and everything in between is a-okay by me… but ONLY for October. The moment the first whistle blows on whatever games happen on Wednesday, November 1st, it’s back to logic and reason. Anywho, let’s get down to business.
• Middle Tennessee State/Jacksonville State: Normally, I would make some snide comment about MTSU dressing as the Black Raiders instead of the Blue Raiders (their actual team name), but it’s October, so they get the green light here. Bonus points for committing to the full look with matching helmets. Go big or go home.
• Illinois/Nebraska: Illinois wore memorial decals in honor of the most Chicago man there ever was, Dick Butkus, who died on Thursday. The Chicago Bears had a game literally the same night of his passing, so they had no time to pull a uni-borne tribute for him, but Illinois had just enough time to model the decals after the helmet that Butkus wore during his time at the University.
• North Carolina/Syracuse: Is it just me, or is there an odd pattern of teams that wore all-white this weekend having a tendency to lose that game (and by big, too)? Nah, I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.
Returning for 2023 is Canadian University Uni Watcher Wade Heidt, who will bring us some looks at three-down, 110-yard Canadian university football from up north. That’s Wade to the right side of your screen (you can even click to enlarge). The shirt Wade is wearing was created by the one and only Wafflebored! Wade’s rundown will appear every week on SMUW until the season ends.
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Canadian University Uni Watch by Wade Heidt
You know what time it is. Time for some university football uniform watching Canadian rules style! It’s time for the CUUW!
Fewer games to choose from as Canada West conference did not play on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. As well, unlike the rest of the schools, the Laval Rouge et Or commonly play their home games on Sunday after the CUUW deadline. Still plenty to monitor regardless. We will travel from east to west as the CUUW is known to do.
We will start in the Atlantic conference (AUS) with two games in Nova Scotia.
• It was X-Men vs. Axemen in Antigonish. It was colour vs. colour. It was GFGS (grey for grey’s sake). The St. Francis Xavier X-Men wore navy over navy. Fairly standard home look for St. FX. The Acadia Axemen wore dark grey jerseys over white. The red numbers on the grey jersey barely legible. That needs to be fixed.
• The Saint Mary’s Huskies went with their white/maroon/maroon combo at home in Halifax. The visiting Bishop’s Gaiters wore white over white. Can someone please donate some grey pants to Bishop’s? Would make their uniforms look a lot better with the silver helmets.
• We move along to Quebec to look at one RSEQ game. In the Montreal rain, the McGill Redbirds wore red over red at home. The Montreal Carabins were the visitors. The Carabins broke out their complete white combo. White helmets, jerseys, and pants.
The farthest west we will travel this week is to Ontario. Let’s take a look at three games in OUA.
• The Queen’s Gaels were at home in Kingston. As many CUUW followers would know it is easy to predict the uniform for the Gaels. They only have one. It was the iconic mono-yellow for the Tricolour. The Queen’s Gaels do have socks which is uncommon for university football. The socks are red. The visiting Carleton Ravens wore white over black.
• In Toronto, it was the Red & Blue Bowl for the Argo Cup. A rivalry game between U of T and York. Common looks for the schools for this one. The York Lions wore red over black at home. The Toronto Varsity Blues with white over navy on the road. Not really any doubt who would win. York possibly could be one of the worst U Sports football teams of all-time defensively this season.
• Some interesting uniform happenings in Hamilton. Not from the hometown McMaster Marauders though. They wore maroon over maroon. The Waterloo Warriors surprised the CUUW with the helmet logo this weekend. They wore white over black. However, they replaced their usual helmet logo featuring a yellow warrior helmet with the school’s athletic logo. The logo worn this weekend features a black warrior helmet on a shield along with the team’s name. This is the third time through the course of the season Waterloo has made helmet changes. They had started with a yellow mask earlier in the season before switching to black.
That’s it for this weekend! Looking forward to some snow games hopefully later in the fall as the weather gets colder. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to the Canadian readers and a great Columbus Day weekend to the U.S. readers!
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Thanks, Wade! Happy Thanksgiving to you!
Jimmer Vilk's Five and One
Jimmer Vilk’s 5 & 1
Welcome to the Five and One for 2023!
Once again, Jim “Jimmer” Vilk (the original “5 & 1” decider) has returned.
The original concept of the 5 & 1 was simple: Jim picked five good matchups and one awful matchup. He’s still calling the project “5 & 1” but with a new twist.
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.
If you have a game you feel is “worthy” of consideration for the 5 & 1, please either post it in the comments below or tweet Mr. Vilk @JVfromOhio.
Here’s today’s 5 & 1:
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Recently I was reading a Wall Street Journal article titled, “Why Giving 85% of Yourself Gets a Ringing Endorsement.” The idea is, just like an engine, you can’t realistically run your life at 100 percent all of the time (or 110 percent, you darn overachievers). Studies have shown that 85 percent effort actually makes you more productive. That reminded me of my whole “optimal contrast is better than maximum contrast” philosophy. Seeing too many maximum contrast mono vs mono matchups burns me out very quickly. Now, a game doesn’t have to be right at 85% to achieve optimal contrast for me. Every now and then I don’t even mind pushing it to the limit. For the most part, though, I’m looking for a colorful legible matchup that hits the sweet spot. Let’s see who did it for me this week, shall we?
5. The “Script Helmet Alert!” Game:
Western Michigan/Mississippi State
I also like State’s number font a lot.
4. The “Remember When I Used To Like Texas/Oklahoma Better?” Matchup:
I’ve come around to liking this combo much more.
3. The “Hey Saints, Pay Attention!” Game:
Who dat lookin’ better than New Orleans?
2. The “Red Pants Alert!” Game:
Western Kentucky/Louisiana Tech
Those helmets are the tops, Hilltoppers!
1. Simply The Best:
Two alerts in one uniform, and I don’t know the percentage but this is optimal contrast.
&1. The “And I Can’t Even Blame Nike” Matchup:
By the way, UCF can thank Kansas’ stunning blue/blue/red for keeping them out of a second consecutive &1. Get it together, Knights, and have a good week, everyone!
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Thanks, Jim! OK readers? What say you? Agree or disagree with Jimmer’s selections? Let him know in the comments below.
Power 5 Uni Tracking
Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by college football conferences. New this year is Zachary Wooldridge, who is tracking the SEC. If anyone with some extra time and graphical skills is interested in tracking the Big XII, please get in touch with me (Phil.Hecken@gmail) and we’ll set something up.
Long-time trackers Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), and Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12) are returning for another season. Following the tracking, Dennis again returns with his Duck Tracking (which is the longest continuously-running feature on SMUW!).
And in a new surprise move, Rex will now be tracking the B1G in addition to his regular ACC tracking!
Since the Oregon Ducks were idle yesterday, there will be no Duck Tracker for today. But following this section, stay tuned for a special post from Dennis and also from Rex!
As you guys are likely aware, the Oregon Ducks recently announced they’ll be wearing a “new” throwback sometime during the 2023 season.
Dennis has taken an in-depth look at this and some past throwbacks as well. Click here for more.
And in B1G tracking, our new B1G tracker, Rex Henry, has now completed a list of all uniforms worn this season, broken out by week. Click here for more!
MLB Playoff Jersey Tracking
MLB Playoff Uni Tracking
Longtime MLB Playoff jersey tracker Alex Rocklein is again back covering all the jerseys worn by each and every Major League Baseball playoff team/game this year, as he has for the past several seasons. With the expansion of the Wild Card (to six teams — three in each league) in 2022, his graphics have gotten more complicated, but they’re still great.
I mentioned yesterday that we wouldn’t have a Playoff Jersey tracker today as Alex was going to be out of town.
Luckily for us, his plans changed and he was able to chart all the jerseys for yesterday’s Divisional Series games. Please note the Dodgers/Diamondbacks game didn’t end in a 0-0 tie — Alex just sent me the graphic before the game was completed.
Here’s how everyone looked:
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Thanks Alex! Looking forward to this once again throughout the playoffs and World Series!
…that’ll do it for today. Big thanks, as always, to the entire SMUW crew: Terry Duroncelet, Wade Heidt, Jimmer Vilk, Rex Henry, Dennis Bolt and Zach Wooldridge! You guys are aces!
Closing down the family summer place this weekend, so this will be your last sunset photo for a while.
Everyone have a great Sunday and I’ll catch you back here next Saturday.
Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends/readers, and a Peaceful Indigenous Peoples’ Day to all.