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Good Sunday morning, Uni Watchers! I hope everyone enjoyed a peaceful Saturday.
Weekend posts on Uni Watch are generally just one-article-plus-Ticker per day, but both yesterday and today were and will be chock full of news and articles. In case you missed it, yesterday we learned the Utah Jazz had apparently leaked the Seattle Kraken’s Winter Classic jersey. I also began what will be a series of NFL uni-protocol proposals, which I’m calling the 2+3+2 (+3) Project. That covered the AFC East, and today I’ll add another installment on the NFC East. Finally, news broke later yesterday afternoon with another Winter Classic jersey leak, this time for the Vegas Golden Knights. So if you missed any of those, or you only checked UW in the morning, feel free to catch up. Aside from the NFC East 2/3/2/3 Project, I’ll have an additional posting today, from Kary Klismet, who continues his own “Dressed For The Season” series, just in time for Thanksgiving. So be sure to check back often.
Yesterday, USC and UCLA once again engaged in their (now) annual tradition of playing a color-vs-color game, although this will be their final meeting as long-time members of the PAC-12 Conference. They will resume the tradition next year, when both are new members of the B1G Conference.
The annual UCLA/USC tilt always means then end of the NCAAFB regular season is nigh, and many of us consider the color-vs-color matchup to be the pinnacle of such contests. Indeed, the cardinal and gold of USC strikes a nice contrast with the “UCLA blue and gold” of the Bruins.
It’s a great matchup, to be sure. But as far as color-vs-color games go, it’s far from perfect. True, the cardinal and UCLA blue jerseys contrast exquisitely, and the cardinal and UCLA gold helmets work well. But the closeness — but yet still distinctly different shades — of athletic gold and metallic gold of the pants isn’t optimal. In fact, they clash rather than complement.
Both teams have stellar uniforms on their own (though I have some quibbles about UCLA’s current shades of blue and gold), but when paired together, it’s close, but still not-that-close, to perfection. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll sign up for this uni matchup any day of the week, and I’m glad this game will continue as a rivalry game for the foreseeable future.
• Washington State/Colorado: WAZZU decals for the Cougars (closer look). I like ’em, but I wish they had a small “LITTLE” next to it, just as a fun shoutout to all of the Tenchi Muyo fans out there (myself included).
• Idaho/Idaho State: I wish I could mention more FCS schools, but at the very-least, this one bears a mention, however: Idaho wore black ribbon decals on the back of their helmets in recognition of the 4 people who were murdered last year (closer look). Additionally, this game was color-vs-color.
• James Madison/Appalachian State: A cautionary tale worthy of a movie: Jame Madison had a perfect season going for them, AND were ranked #18 in FBS play. Impressive for an FBS newcomer. They then proceeded to wear BFBS like the other 2,456 zillion schools from Week 12… and then proceeded to LOSE THAT GAME. How’s that crow tasting, Dukes? (side-note: please don’t eat actual crows, that’s fucked up)
• LSU/Georgia State: LSU wore their purple tops with white helmets and pants against Georgia State. For those wondering about LSU’s purp shirt protocol: they only wear the purple tops at home against non-conference opponents, with the exception of neutral site games, and the very-first home game of the season, IIRC (I’m probably wrong).
• Texas A&M/Abilene Christian: Full-maroon for the Aggies (I think for the first time since 2014??). And in a move of pure spite, Aggies WR Moose Muhammad wore sleeves in a killer performance, a move that would’ve gotten him yelled at by the previous coach, who’s no longer in the picture.
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Thanks, TJ! Now for the rest of your SMUW.
Canadian University Uni Watch
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!
This is the fun time. The conference champions remain. The national semifinals happened on Saturday. The Uteck Bowl and the Mitchell Bowl. Great to see some interconference action and see how the teams stack up against each other.
A little refresher about how it is determined which teams play in each game. The teams and host sites for the Uteck Bowl and the Mitchell Bowl rotate on a six-year cycle. In the cycle each of the four conferences hosts and visits every other conference once. The Uteck Bowl is held in the easternmost of the two venues. Easy-peasy to keep track of, right!
This season the Uteck Bowl had the Ontario champion visit the Quebec champion. The Mitchell Bowl had the Atlantic champion visit the Canada West champion. From east to west the CUUW will travel as usual.
• Teams usually stay away from uniform variations once they get this deep in the playoffs. The Montreal Carabins have switched the combos up a lot this year but kept the same look as they had last week. Mono-blue from head to toe. The visiting Western Mustangs wearing a usual road combo of white over purple.
• The Atlantic champion St. Francis Xavier X-Men had the massive road trip. Going across the country and dealing with a four-hour time difference. They brought their white over white combo on their trek out west. The UBC Thunderbirds stayed consistent with their home combo during the playoffs. It was navy over navy.
Both home teams walked away winners. The Vanier Cup national championship game will pit the UBC Thunderbirds against the Montreal Carabins in Kingston, ON. This is a rematch of the 2015 Vanier Cup won by UBC. UBC won that one and it was the last time both of the schools made it to the big game. Montreal last won the Vanier Cup a year before in 2014.
We are going to take a look at the 115th Canadian Bowl. This occurred Saturday, November 11.
The Canadian Bowl is the championship for Canadian junior football. The champions of the Canadian Junior Football League. There are 19 teams that make up the 3 conferences in this league.
Think of it like junior hockey. These are not school teams. The young players range in age from 17 to 22. This is not a main feeder system to Canadian pro football like the Canadian universities or U.S. colleges, but players do make their way to the CFL after a junior football career.
It was predetermined this year’s Canadian Bowl would take place at the home of the British Columbia Football Conference (BCFC) champion. As a result, the game was on Vancouver Island in Langford, BC (Greater Victoria). Home of the BCFC champion Westshore Rebels. True to the CUUW’s mandate, we continue to travel west even from Vancouver!
This game was played in the driving rain. The Westshore Rebels were underdog BCFC champions. Defeating the defending national champion Okanagan Sun to get the BCFC title. The Rebels wore mono-red at home. The visitors were the Prairie Football Conference champion Saskatoon Hilltops. The Hilltops wore their usual road look of yellow helmets, white jerseys, and blue pants.
The Saskatoon Hilltops are the Canadian Bowl champions! Saskatoon is a powerhouse in Canadian junior football. The Hilltops have existed since 1947 and the team has won 23 national championships.
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Thanks, Wade! Great stuff as always.
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 @JimVilk.
Here’s today’s 5 & 1:
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It’s that time of year when I start to get antsy. No, it has nothing to do with Christmas…I’m in full Thanksgiving Mode right now. Instead, I’m anxious about two other things:
1) What are Army and Navy going to wear when they face each other?
2) Who’s going to my favorite bowl game, the Sun Bowl?
While I toss and turn over these thoughts, here are some other things rolling around in my head…
• This should have been a sure-fire no-brainer Top Five matchup. Yet there is absolutely no way I’m going to reward that tiny, abysmal, unreadable font. Even when you do something good like replacing the dumb toothed cardinal with a wonderful script helmet, you leave us with…that jersey. Do Better, Loolville.
• I don’t have as many rules as I used to, although one iron-clad rule of mine is this: if your name has a color attached to it, you can’t go BFBS. I’m talking to you, Blue Raiders and Red Wolves!
OK, let’s reward Five Good Matchups now, beginning with…
5. The “No False Advertising Here!” Game:
The Black Knights looked very appropriate, and they matched so well with all that teal.
4. The “I Could Bear-ly Contain My Excitement” Matchup:
Cal carried the load, but the Cardinal brought just enough to make this game a real looker.
3. The “Red Gray Pants Alert!” Game:
And I love the contrasting sleeves on both teams!
2. The “Don’t Blame Me, Blame The Bruins” Game:
After growing up with this wonderfully contrasting matchup, I can’t call this game a slam-dunk number one anymore.
1. Simply The Best:
Royal rules, and I’m glad the Sooners are back to looking like the Sooners.
&1. The “Don’t They Teach Contrast 101 In The MAC?” Matchup:
Kent State/Ball State
Thanks, Jim! OK readers? What say you? Agree or disagree with Jimmer’s selections? Let him know in the comments below.
Power Five (and Duck) 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. And joining the SMUW crew to track the Big XII is Matt Tomelleri, so we again have all Power Five conferences tracked this season.
Long-time trackers Rex Henry (tracking the ACC and the B1G this year), 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!).
**[Please note this is last week’s tracking. As of 2:00 am this morning, I hadn’t received Matt’s tracking. I’ll update this once I receive it — PH]
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Welcome to the 2023 Oregon Ducks Uni Tracker. This little project was originally begun way back in 2008-09 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.
Based on the suggestion of long-time reader/contributor Jimmy Corcoran, we’ve introduced a new “game” on Uni Watch, which is similar to the popular “Guess the Game from the Scoreboard” (GTGFTS), only this one asked readers to identify the game based on the uniforms worn by teams.
Like GTGFTS, readers will be asked to guess the date, location and final score of the game from the clues provided in the photo. Sometimes the game should be somewhat easy to ascertain, while in other instances, it might be quite difficult. There will usually be a visual clue (something odd or unique to one or both of the uniforms) that will make a positive identification of one and only one game possible. Other times, there may be something significant about the game in question, like the last time a particular uniform was ever worn (one of Jimmy’s original suggestions). It’s up to YOU to figure out the game and date.
Today’s GTGFTU comes from Charlie Schick.
Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.
…that’s it for the early article. My continued thanks, as always, to the entire SMUW crew (Terry, Wade, Jimmer, Rex, Dennis, Zach and Matt) for their contributions to these weekly college football uni reviews.
As I mentioned at the top, there will be at least two additional articles today (plus the Ticker), so please be sure to keep checking back!
Everyone have a great Sunday and a better week — and a Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating — and I’ll catch you back here next weekend.