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Sunday Morning Uni Watch 2023: Conference Championship Edition

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Good Sunday Morning, Uni Watchers. I hope everyone had a good Saturday (unfortunately I’ve been really under the weather for most of this week fighting the flu). I hope you and yours are all in good health.

Now then.

Let the chaos begin!

With Alabama’s upset of Georgia in yesterday’s SEC Championship, there’s going to be a real scramble for the 4 College Football Playoff spots, and we’ll find out later today who gets the bids. We know this much: Michigan is in. Washington is in. But who will round out the final two spots? Each of the next three schools (Alabama, Texas and undefeated FSU) has an argument. Alabama knocked off the #1 ranked team (UGA), ending their 29 game winning streak. Texas beat Alabama earlier this year, for Alabama’s only loss. And FSU is undefeated — no undefeated Power 5 school has ever been kept out of the College Playoff. But one of these three teams will not make it, and we’ll find out in a few hours which team is the odd one out.

But it’s all about the uniform obversations here, not which team(s) deserve to be in the playoff, so I’m going to turn it over to TJ right now.

• • • • •

Sunday Morning Uni Watch: Conf. Champs Week
by Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

This rundown will be the Power 5 Uni Watch equivalent to Spongebob literally becoming speed.

From Friday

• Washington/Oregon: A mono-v-mono game that definitely could’ve benefited from some fun trou. Here’s to ya, Pac 12, and your oddly-placed sponsor, as if it were an afterthought 3 minutes to logo debut.

From Saturday

• Texas/Oklahoma State: I would say that mono-white was the vibe for Championship Week, but Texas just lives like this. Though granted, they were the designated HOME team while wearing one of the best all-white unis in the game.

• Alabama/Georgia: No Wizard wins for YOU, Dawgs! Someone’s gonna get screwed for the CFP as a result of this game. I’m talking screwed like a reverse-thread screw going into a traditional-thread hole, or something. Cross-threading was the word I was looking for. I’m totally not trying to pad out words for this completely normal-looking game.

• Florida State/Louisville: I REEEEEALLY needed the toothy bird bois to win this game, but then I forget that we live in the same timeline that had a killer hornet/wasp scare in this country 3 and-a-half years ago, so that was just me setting myself up for failure. And waddayaknow; it’s a game where Louisville ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE LOUISVILLE.

• Michigan/Iowa: Appropriate mono-whites for the Wolverines, because they dusted Iowa for their third straight B1G title.

And that’ll do it for this week! Everyone PLEASE take care of yourselves, the flu’s going around, and a lot of people are getting mollywhopped by it, including my team in my department at work. Here’s hoping I don’t start yakking lung anytime soon. See you next time!

• • • • •
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 — which is today.


• • • • •

Canadian University Uni Watch
by Wade Heidt

What time is it? Time for some university football uniform watching Canadian rules style! It’s time for the CUUW!

Well, not watching anything new this week. The 2023 U Sports football season wrapped up last weekend when the Vanier Cup was handed to the Montreal Carabins. Canadian football generally ends before December arrives. Most likely reason because it’s darn cold in most of the country by December.

As uniform aficionados, we are always eager to see what new uniform changes are on the horizon. I always appreciate the quirky, unusual uniform details that place a certain set apart from the rest. Always hopeful to see something new and unusual when 2024 U Sports football season starts.

In the meantime, we can look back and celebrate some quirky, unusual details from old uniforms worn in U Sports football.

• Ever wonder what the San Francisco 49ers uniform from 1996-2008 would have looked like with scarlet pants? Here it is! The Concordia Stingers gave us a look as seen here in 2006. The Stingers going with logo on only one side of the helmet as well.

• Holy moly, these are large TV numbers! Though I do believe Jim Vilk would confirm they are proper size TV numbers. It was a winning look for McGill. They won the 1987 Vanier Cup with the massive numbers on the shoulders.

• The Guelph Gryphons have a recent history of wearing multiple helmets and have not been afraid to experiment with their looks. Including it appears paying homage to a different sport. Wearing helmets that have the bowling ball look about a half decade ago.

• This quirky uniform detail was signature to the Western Mustangs for many years. The jerseys had nameplates. However, it was the school’s name in the nameplate and not the player’s name. Also notable Western had the logo on one side of the helmet during these seasons. “UWO” on the helmet when the school was officially known as the U. of Western Ontario.

• Remember when football pants used to have stripes on the back of the legs? This old-timey style rarely ever seen even on throwback uniforms. However, the Saskatchewan Huskies made this style part of their regular uniforms in the last decade. Don’t see that often. Here is a look during a 2016 playoff game.

This is the CUUW Grand Finale for 2023. We will enjoy the remainder of the U.S. college football season. Over and out until next year. Keep striving for those touchdowns in life, but take the rouges if you can get them!

• • • • •

Thanks, Wade! Great stuff — thanks so much for another great season of Canadian University Uni Watching!



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:

• • • • •

Yesterday I had a craving for something I haven’t had in a long time: mashed potatoes with creamed corn and a dash of black pepper. So simple, yet so good. Now, you may say, “That’s a little bland, isn’t it?” I say it was like Five-Alarm Chili with a side of Lobster Mac and Cheese compared to…this. Seriously, Texas was the home team and could have worn their burnt orange jerseys, and OSU could have gone with orange or white helmets and/or orange pants. Instead, we got yet another predictably gorgeous mono-tonous matchup. At least they didn’t stray from school colors, which is why I didn’t &1 them. But I was tempted.

Before you find out who was worse, let’s celebrate my Five Good Things beginning with…

5. The “Yes, It Was A Slow Week” Matchup:

Great helmets, though, and I have to give the Ducks credit for their properly sized numbers.


4. The “I Love It When The Green Wave Wears Green Jerseys” Game:

And I’m really glad the pants weren’t green.


3. The “Apples To Apples” Matchup:

If Nike knew how to make proper silver britches, I would bumped this up the list.


2. The “At Least The White Pants Had Stripes” Game:

And thank you, Hawkeyes, for staying with the gold pants!


1. Simply the Best:
Appalachian State/Troy

Flat, light gray numbers on a dark jersey…I can get behind that.


&1. The “As Always, Contrast Matters” Matchup:
Boise State/UNLV

Shiny silver numbers that sometimes you can see and sometimes you can’t…that’s another story.

Enjoy the Holidays, and I’ll see you for the bowl roundup!

• • • • •

Thanks, Jim! OK readers? What say you? Agree or disagree with Jimmer’s selections? Let him know in the comments below.



Uni and Duck 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.

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!).

Just one game each for the ACC, B1G, SEC and Pac12 as it’s Championship Weekend!

• • •

Rex is up first today (ACC):

More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

• • •
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:

Read more about the PAC12 uniforms on Dennis’ blog.

• • •

Here’s Zach with the SEC:

You can follow Zach on Twitter here.

• • •

And here’s Rex again, this time with the B1G:

• • • • • • • • • •

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.

Here’s this weeks combo for the Ducks:

You can read about this uniform, and MUCH MORE, by checking out the Duck Tracker here and the color combo spreadsheet here!

Thanks Dennis!



And finally...

…that’s it for the early post this morning. My sincere thanks, as always, go to the dedicated folks who comprise the SMUW team: Terry, Wade, Jimmer, Rex, Dennis and Zach! Great regular season guys, and we’ll see you all again during Bowl Season.
Except for Wade — his season is over. Please give him a nice shout in the comments for all his terrific work bringing us uni highlights from the Great White North. Thanks Wade!

Everyone have a good Sunday. I’ll have one more article this morning. No ticker today (sorry). I was just too under the weather yesterday to compile one.

Catch everyone next Saturday.



Comments (21)

    While I don’t get Tulane’s bubble bath helmet, the rest of the uniform was a great and unique look. That Troy uni looks outstanding

    I know it was an FBS game but you missed a DOOOOOOZY with the Delaware at Montana FCS Playoff game. Delaware/Adidas really need to work on their uniforms but the game still looked fantastic in snow.


    I thought that was the winner— the snow helped!! FCS had a number of good looking games!


    Unfortunately, they still look like crap.

    Forgot to add this to my intro:
    “Not only is Florida State a lock for the playoff by going undefeated, they should also get in for keeping the worst font in college football and those superfluous teeth out of a New Year’s bowl game. Thanks, Seminoles!”

    Wade, those were some great looks you shared!
    Well, except for Saskatchewan. I never got the whole stripes on the back of the leg thing.
    And you’re spot on about those properly sized TV numbers! McGill reminds me of one of my all time favorite unis: Cornell from the late 70s/early 80s.

    Very similar. The Cornell helmet logos were unique.

    I wish Western would go back to school name in the nameplates and logo on just one side of the helmet. Was such a signature look for them for a long period of time. They belong in that. Now, they have player’s names in the nameplates and logos on both sides of the helmet. So ordinary.

    Since Texas was the “designated HOME team”, why did they wear white? I don’t remember seeing them do this before? Also, what about Georgia and Michigan? Do these conferences determine the home team by ranking, or is it alternating every year by division as I suspect?

    For the SEC: “The designation goes to the East champion in even-numbered years and the West champion in odd-numbered years.”

    For the B1G: In 2023, “The champion of the West Division will be the designated home team for this year’s contest and will face the champion of the East Division.”

    Thanks, SMUW Crew, for another great edition (even with the limited slate of games). And a big thanks especially to Wade Heidt for a fabulous season of Canadian college football coverage!

    I loved today’s trip down Memory Lane (well, admittedly not my memories, but it was fun to add some of those unique Canadian uni sets to my memory banks). Wade, if you felt like covering any other U SPORTS uni news, I’m quite certain you’d have a receptive audience around here!

    Thanks! I appreciate the kind words! A good idea to consider some uniform subjects for other university sports in Canada. Always good to keep the writing ideas percolating for when August rolls around.

    Why can’t Nike make silver pants, again?

    Oregon actually looked decent but I’m so tired of the shoulder “wings”. It’s not the idea of wings on the shoulder that bug me but the fact that, much like the Seahawks shoulder treatment (and trim pattern), Nike seems to think they’ve hit on something that looks so good that it’s now a timeless design. Nope. Time’s up. The ducks helmet wing looks (just) ok, but the shoulders (as with the Seahawks) don’t really look like much of anything as currently executed. Tweak it, redesign it, or ditch it altogether.

    I’m sure Nike could make silver pants, or any other metallic color. The material used today differs from that of a decade or so ago, when teams routinely used dazzle twill, which gives the pants that metallic sheen. They either can’t (or more likely won’t) use the dazzle twill in their current iteration of pants, so every set appears matte. That’s not necessarily a bad thing (I happen to like the matte look), but agree that for teams like the Cowboys, Raiders, Panthers, etc., the gray they wear no longer mimics the helmet finish — which is what the dazzle twill allowed them to do.

    But as we’ve seen, Nike is too big to fail, unable to make the proper shade of Eagles midnight green for so long they were forced to wear their white or black jerseys/pants for a half season before swooshie finally got the shade right (I forget the year, but it was maybe five years ago?).

    I’ll give Nike credit for one thing (although they should have been able to do this from the start). They have worked to get colors “right” — witness the new shade of Process Blue for the Panthers this season, or returning Old Gold to teams like Vanderbilt. Baby steps, but maybe they’re turning a corner.

    I doubt we’ll ever see the return of dazzle twill again, but maybe Nike can come up with *something* to make the pants look ‘shinier’ in time.

    It’s not so much the matte-ness that bothers me. It’s that their matte silver (if there is such a thing) is way too close to white.
    Same with Ohio State’s pants, but they’re the Scarlet and GRAY, so they *should* have gray pants… and helmets.

    Raiders and Cowboys still wear dazzle twill, gotta get that out there. But re: Georgia, those pants weren’t even gray (which would be fine I think), they were closer to dishwater.

    Nike sources the dazzle twill pants for the Raiders and Cowboys from a different manufacturer – I’m pretty sure those pants come from Ripon, who was the supplier during the Reebok years (and once was known as Medalist/Sand Knit). I believe the Packers uniforms also are made by Ripon.

    Not 100% on this but I think that the Packers’ pants are matte Nike pants, their jerseys are the old design though.

    How about an honorable mention for the rain-soaked SWAC Championship game, Prairie View A&M at Florida A&M? The Rattlers were giving me old time Miami Hurricanes vibes with their orange jerseys and green trim. These are much easier on the eyes than the garish clown unis they used to sport.
    Game summary of the Florida A&M Rattlers vs. Prairie View A&M Panthers NCAAF game, final score 35-14, from December 2, 2023 on ESPN. link
    via @ESPN App link

    Great work crew! Even with the slim pickings this week, Oregon v Washington doesn’t deserve to be in the 5&1. I like the Oregon’s helmet but the uni is still a stinker. Plus, the all purple of U-dub is their worst look. How about Liberty v NMSU?


    I know Jimmer, Liberty’s numbers are too small, but for overall aesthetics, I’ll take it over OU v UW.

    Michigan – Alabama in the Rose Bowl should be an epically gorgeous game, assuming (and praying) Michigan doesn’t screw it up by wearing blue pants.

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