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Sunday (Saturday) Morning Bowl Watch 2023: Part Four

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Good morning Uni Watchers. I hope everyone has had a good first week of 2024. Anything big happen this week?

Today will be the final SMUW (well, SMBW) for the 2023 season, which — if you read Paul’s post yesterday on calendar creep — is also referencing the calendar year 2023, despite it now being 2024. We’ll hear from Terry, Jimmer and the trackers today as we bid SMUW farewell until next fall. So, if you’ve enjoyed SMUW this season (or for the past decade-plus), please take a brief moment down in the comments to thank TJ, Jim, Rex, Dennis and Zach (and also Wade Heidt who brings us the Canadian University UW) for their outstanding efforts these past four-plus months! Their time, energy and dedication to making SMUW great is unmatched and I can’t thank all the contributors enough. Thanks guys!

ICYMI, TJ and the crew covered all the bowl games played up through December 30 in Part I, Part II, and Part III. There were five final bowls (excluding the Natty, which takes place this Monday night) to conclude Bowl Season, all of which took place on New Year’s Day. TJ will have the rundown on those, while Jim will have his second and final Bowl “Five and One,” and the trackers have completed their uniform tracking for every Bowl game in which the teams from their respective conferences played.

If you didn’t watch (or don’t remember) the NYD Bowls, three of them were very competitive, including the two CFP semi-finals between Michigan (#1) vs. Alabama (#4), which went to overtime, and Washington (#2) vs. Texas (#3). Today’s splash depicts victorious Michigan, who defeated Alabama in overtime in the Rose Bowl. Washington defeated Texas in the Sugar Bowl, so Monday night will pit undefeated Michigan vs. undefeated Washington for the National Championship. This also marks the end of the four-team playoff — next season the field will be expanded to 12.

Let’s do this. Here’s TJ with your…

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Sunday Morning Bowl Watch, Part IV
by Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

Welcome one and all, and Happy New Year! I don’t know what it is, but 2024 has this air to it, and I’m just gonna let it ride out. Should be a fun one, like these games were. Let’s dive right in…

Monday, January 1, 2024

Citrus Bowl

|Tennessee vs Iowa| Our first handegg contest of 2024 proved to be a theme-appropriate one, with the Volunteers of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the classic white/orange/white, and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes in black/white/gold. The game proved to be a one-sided affair, with sweet oranges for the orange-shirted Vols, and the most bitter of lemons for the yellow-trou’d Iowa squad.

Fiesta Bowl

|Oregon vs Liberty| If you’re gonna play your final game in a geographically-appropriate conference, you might as well MAKE IT A STATEMENT. We have the Liberty University Flames in navy/white/navy, facing off against the University of Oregon (a.k.a. the original Oregon State University) Fighting Ducks in THE GREATEST DUCKS UNIFORM OF ALL-TIME. Oregon really wore their Sunday Monday best, and posted a convincing victory against Liberty. Now it’s time to bring that Green and Gold Grandeur to the B1G.

ReliaQuest Bowl

|LSU vs Wisconsin| Guys, gals, and Nonbinary pals… WE HAVE OUR CONTRAST MATTERS WINNER OF THE 2023 SEASON, only mere hours of 2024 settling in. This visual delight features the University of Wisconsin–Madison Badgers in white/white/red, and –say it with me now– the Bengal Tigers of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College (I swear, LSU’s government name has this energy), in the oft-seen gold helmets and pants, but the seldom-seen purple jerseys?!?! WHAT IS HAPPENING??????????? Whatever it is, I love it, and is by-and-large my favorite-looking game of the season. It also helps that LSU actually won their game, unlike the team below… *sigh* let’s just get on with it.

Rose Bowl

|Michigan vs Alabama| What’s better than THE bowl game of all-time? (I did not miss a word BTW, that was intentional) How about THE bowl game of all-time featuring one of my three cheered-for schools, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide? (who actually won the last Rose Bowl contest they played in against Notre Dame 3 years back, though the scene was… lethargic-looking, due to the COVID restrictions at that time that forced the game into a dreary dome, and –for the right reasons– saw stunted attendance) There was just one problem: the final run play only proved to run Bama into the ground, LITERALLY. Damn. Well, nevertheless, it was a stunning visual spectacle (which is par for the course for the Tournament of Roses), with Alabama wearing their classic road uniforms, and the University of Michigan Wolverines in their classic home uniforms, complete with maize pants, and a little shoulder-situated homage to a bygone time (more info here). This bowl game is a special one for me, and proof that even if the results disappoint, the game never does.

Sugar Bowl

|Washington vs Texas| If I told you that a football team who wears gold helmets (most of the time) would be playing in the Superdome on Monday night, and it wasn’t the Saints, you’d probably look at me and go “Yeah, the Sugar Bowl’s tonight, we know what Washington’s wearing.” At any rate, the New Year New Orleans bout for 2024 was between the University of Washington Huskies, who wore gold/purple/purple, the Longhorns of the University of Texas at Austin in what might be college football’s best all-white set. Like the Rose Bowl, a one-score difference and driven defensive stop puts Washington in the winner’s circle. For Texas, those Roman numerals on the right side of their chests are now a thing of the past, as they (and arch nemesis Oklahoma) hang their Big XII hats up to finally air out, and prepare to join the SEC for the 2024 season. As for Washington, they will bear the Pac 12 patch for one final game, and how fitting is it that the first CFP championship game was between a B1G school (Ohio State) and a Pac 12 school (Oregon)? And now this year’s tilt will be the same: a B1G school (Michigan) and a Pac 12 school (Washington). All of this with the knowledge that these two programs will soon be frienemies in the same conference a mere 8 months from now.

And with THAT, we come to the end of the 2023 college football season. What a ride! 2024 is gonna be weird, seeing so many “new faces”, old tilts renewed (like the Lone Star Showdown [I think that’s what it’s called???] between Texas and Texas A&M), West Coast football being turned on its head, super-conferences, an expanded playoff… but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it, won’t we? Firstly, I’d like to give a monumental thanks to the legend, Blaise D’Sylva, for his tireless helmet-tracking efforts. I don’t know how he does it, but no one does it better IMO. A HUGE thank you to Paul for giving me a space to talk about college football’s quirkiness with all of you, and I’m glad to have been part of Uni Watch since I was a senior in high school reading upon the new Lions/49ers/Jaguars uniforms at that time in 2009 (your post-career is gonna be KILLER). I GOTTA give a shoutout to Phil, who’s been the best support after all of this time, and for taking a chance on me when I was only 20 years-old, and seeing how SMUW has grown (and congrats on that promotion!) And lastly, I’d like to thank you guys for your continued support, all the compliments, and it really makes all of this worthwhile. I would sleep after a long 2023 season, but I have work today, and as a menswear stylist, the obsessive study of aesthetics never ends for me. Good thing I enjoy it! Once again, I hope your New Year’s was good, and I will catch you next time.

• • • • •
Thanks, TJ — and thanks once again for a fantastic effort covering all the college football uni action for yet another season!



Five and One Bowl Edition (Part II)

Jimmer Vilk’s 5 & 1

Welcome to the Five and One — Special Bowl Edition!

The concept of the 5 & 1 is simple: Jim will pick five good matchups (not necessarily the five best anymore… he will have categories that will change from bowl to bowl) and one awful matchup.

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.

Here’s Jimmer with your 5 & 1 Bowl Edition Part the Second:

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Not only do I miss bowls without sponsor names, I miss when bowls actually mattered. Know what else I miss? Co-national champions. The playoff may have done away with those, but I’m bringing it back (sort of) in this final list of the season. For the first time, I’m going to have co-Simply The Bests! After looking at photos, then videos of my winners, the selection committee in my head just couldn’t pick a clear-cut champion. So, I opted out of deciding. Before we get to that, though, a couple more thoughts.

Of the 16 bowls I care about, I got to see the one that matters…my Sun Bowl!

Unfortunately, they didn’t make The Five because of the helmets. OSU looked like orange Tootsie Pops, and the shiny Irish really need to go back to the 1964-2010 gold.

Make that 17 bowls I care about, if you include the Candy Bowl, where my son and I play paper football on New Year’s Day for a candy-filled trophy. I lost. Again. Anyway, let’s get on with the Five and One for the Dec. 27th to Jan. 1st bowl games!


5. The “Why Are Both Teams Wearing Penn State’s Pants?” Bowl:
Ole Miss/Penn State

If the Rebels wore their gray pants with red and blue stripes, this would have been ranked either 2 or 3.


4. The “1982 Peach Bowl, With Sunshine” Bowl:

I preferred the cloudy higher scoring game, but this year’s rematch in the Citrus Bowl was very nice.


3. The “Yes, The Helmets And Pants Both Match” Bowl:

Still, I would have preferred the Flames in their red helmets.


2. The “This Game Should Be In The Actual Cotton Bowl” Bowl:
Missouri/Ohio State

Few teams can pull off head-to-toe black like Mizzou, and they looked even better against a team not wearing white.


1. Simply The Best(s):
North Carolina/West Virginia AND Wisconsin/LSU

SO glad the Tar Heels didn’t go full mayo, and with the Badgers on Red Pants Alert, I got a real 1983 Orange Bowl vibe (yes, I know that was Nebraska/LSU).


&1. The “Deepwater Horizon” Bowl:
Virginia Tech/Tulane

Between the “Green” Wave’s oil spill look and the Hokies’ hard-to-see helmet logos, this was one man-made disaster of a matchup.

And that…is that. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. Thanks!

• • • • •

Thanks Jim! And thank YOU for another outstanding year of the “Five and One.”



Bowl Uni Tracking

Now that we’ve reached the Bowls, our trackers have the rundown on all the unis worn for teams who have reached the big dance. New this year is Zachary Wooldridge, who is tracking the SEC, with long-time trackers Rex Henry (tracking the ACC and the B1G this year), and Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12) returning for another season. For the Bowls, I told the trackers they could either include the final bowls separately from last weekend (when they covered all the bowls through 12/30), or combine them into one “final” tracking. Rex updated his, Dennis created a new graphic with the NYD bowls, and Zach did both! How’s that for variety.

• • •

Rex is up first today (ACC):

More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

• • •
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12 (Part 2):

Part 1

Read more about the PAC12 uniforms on Dennis’ blog.

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Here’s Zach with the SEC:

NYD Bowls:

All Bowls:

You can follow Zach on Twitter here.

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

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Welcome to the Final 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 the Fiesta Bowl 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 once again, please join me in giving a huge THANKS to all the trackers: Rex, Dennis and Zach. Fantastic job once again fellas!!!



Guess the Game from the Scoreboard

Guess The Game…

…From The Scoreboard

Today’s scoreboard comes from James Trickington.

The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).

Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):

Please continue sending these in! You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.



Guess the Game from the Uniform

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 Chris Hickey.

Good luck and please post your guess/answer in the comments below.



Uni Tweet of the Day


And finally...

…that’s gonna do it for the early article. Once again, please take a few seconds to thank the entire SMUW crew for their outstanding efforts this year! You guys are all aces!!!

I may have a second post later this morning, as well as a Ticker, and of course if any big uni news breaks, I’ll cover it here as well.

You guys have a great Saturday and I’ll catch you back here tomorrow.



Comments (32)

    30 Dec 2018
    Steelers beat Bengals 16-13, then sit with 63,874 fans and watch to see if the Browns can beat the Ravens to secure a playoff berth.

    Cleveland drives to Baltimore’s 39, but Baker Mayfield gets picked with 1:06 left and the Ravens win 26-24 and the Steelers are eliminated.

    I remember that Browns game. I’m glad that they lost so the Steelers didn’t make the playoffs.

    21 Oct 2012
    Vikings beat the Cardinals 21-14.

    Rookie Harrison Smith is running back John Skelton’s second pass of the second half back for a 31 yard pick-six that proves to be the winning score for Minnesota.

    Skol, Marc!
    They played each other several times wearing those duds for duds, but this was the only matchup that (creature-)featured Nike’s take on that horned-up MN template…which I must admit I hate to love, a uniform guilty pleasure that’s so bad it’s good.
    The yellow faux-neck roll – gone too soon!

    Much-overdue appreciation for Jimmer, TJ, Zachary, Rex, Dennis, and Wade, for making weekends an information-packed bonanza every week! College football is a long festival, and your flair for organizing it and breaking down the details is a joy to read every Saturday from August to January. My hat is off!

    Both college playoff games were classics (both in play and uniforms), but I was bummed that the final year of the Pac-12 (as we know it) wasn’t Big Ten Champ vs. Pac-12 Champ on January 1st in the Rose Bowl.

    Great job once again on your tremendous coverage of the 2023 college football season, SMUW Crew! In particular, I want to say that TJ, I’ll miss your wit and clever writing until the start of next season. And Jim, I’m eager to see your increased contributions a bit later this year. Until then, cheers to another great season of SMUW!

    Wow! That GTGFTU was… painful! I’m glad Marc already got it so I don’t have to subject my eyeballs to any further damage by researching the answer.

    A uni-successful college football season. I enjoy seeing a return to simpler times, uni-wise, from the far reaches of the NIKE PRO COMBAT early 2010s.

    I must say, the prose style of the uni-recaps, all season, has been abysmal and corny. It is hyper-current and detracts any attention one might otherwise rightfully grant to the uniforms themselves. The links to unpopular memes and anime are truly bizarre and do not, in my mind, having followed this site for a decade, match the viewership or the prior tone. I don’t mean to sound like a stick in the mud, only that it is such a rude departure from previous reporting, I can only feel alarmed. I enjoy reading about the aesthetics of uniforms, not TikTok-style children’s speak.

    But, that’s just my opinion. I wonder if others, long term readers of the site and those not as rapt by hyper-modern subcultures, would agree.

    Sorry that you feel that way, Grant. But Terry has been doing these SMUW recaps for more than a decade, and this has always been his writing style. I don’t think it’s changed much over the years, so it’s not like this year has been a radical departure from year’s past. Each voice on here is different. I don’t sound like Paul, Terry doesn’t sound like Jim, etc. I love the variety and fantastic contributions from the readers. YMMV

    Can we please, please, please stop with the “YMMV” acronym on this site. The use has become increasingly tiresome. It comes off as amateurish, almost childish. You guys are writers, dare I say authors. Use your words to make a point.

    As Phil points out, prose style is always a matter of taste. I disagree with Grant‘s critique.

    The writing has become more playful and irreverent over time, a welcome development in my view. The links and memes do not feel like distractions.

    As a college professor, I can say that students’ writing has been getting worse, in part due texting and styles drawn from social media. SMUW doesn’t have any resemblance to current usage styles. I don’t know exactly what you are labeling hyper-current, hyper-modern, or “tik-tok children’s speak,” so would welcome concrete examples.

    Grant. I’ve been involved with Uni-watch as Duck Tracker and Pac tracker for almost a decade now and we are all volunteers here, who spend multiple-dozens of hours a week and more (on deadline on a weekend) I did notice that this weekend the Terry commentary was extra colorful and cute, but in general I’d say that all of the writers for the site are spot on in their tone. This is not Nuclear Physics, and hence I find colorful and pop-cultural to be an appropriate writing style for us “grown” men commenting about 20-somthing’s socks, jerseys and helmets. You might volunteer to Phil some of your writings to help us out as Uni-watch moves forward.

    Jimmer…not sure about you’re credibility without having that Michigan-Bama Rose Bowl at #1 (and not even in your top 5!).

    Classic contrasting uniforms on that Rose Bowl field, with the Sun setting…Thwat was easily the best looking game of the year!

    No one has the credibility to satisfy everyone’s taste.

    Now if you want to know my reasoning, crimson/red-helmeted teams don’t look right to me with white road pants (with the exception of Oklahoma and the recently departed New Jersey Generals). If Michigan was blue/white/maize and Bama was crimson/crimson/white, that would have made my list.

    Or Bama could consider crimson road pants, right, Phil? ;)

    Fair enough – tho I think Bama looks so intimidating in their red-white-white look – its the look every SEC team fears coming to their house in the fall. Plus, you know all the national titles.

    But maybe I’m letting the results cloud my judgement!

    The Steelers appear to have some number spacing inconsistencies. 22 and 29 appear much further apart, i.e. 2 and the 2, than most of their other numbers. Anyone else agree? Sun Bowl is great, it’s not on ESPN, instead CBS, normally sunny weather, I always expect the late Lindsay Nelson to be doing the commentating for some reason

    Lindsay Nelson…yes!
    He was/is the voice of the Sun Bowl and the Cotton Bowl for me.
    One of my earliest bowl memories is playing with my new electric football game while Lindsay and Irv Cross are calling North Carolina and Texas Tech in El Paso.

    I am so glad the game is still on CBS. If only the Liberty Bowl and Rose Bowl would go back to ABC!

    And maybe we can bring back the late Jim Simpson for the Liberty and the late Keith Jackson for the Rose Bowl

    I remember Chris Schenkel (he of the Pro Bowling Tour) calling the Liberty Bowl.

    And I have to include Ray Scott calling the Astro Bluebonnet Bowl on the Mizlou Network! I miss that even more than ACC basketball on the Jefferson Pilot Network.

    The end of the college football season is always sad to me because it signals the end of SMUW. Thanks to the whole crew!!

Comments are closed.