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BYU Football Unveils 1996 Throwback Uniforms

This morning, the Brigham Young University Cougars unveiled a new uniform, a throwback to 1996.

As part of the festivities celebrating BYU’s 100th season of college football in 2024, the Cougars will wear throwback jerseys from 1996. They’ll wear the uniforms when they host Kansas State to open Big 12 Conference play on Saturday, September 21, in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

As always these days, we start with the obligatory hype video:

As you can see, the “new” (throwback) uniform features a white helmet, jersey and pants. The 1996 season was chosen because that squad won their Conference (then the WAC) Championship game over Wyoming, and played in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day, defeating Kansas State. They’ll reprise those uniforms against K-State this year.

In 1996, BYU wore a royal blue jersey for home games, and a white jersey (often paired with solid blue pants) for road games. Here’s a closer look at the 1996 jersey (yes, it does have sleeve stripes despite the photo, which you can see on the lineman to the very right of the frame):

The sleeve stripes definitely have a Dallas Cowboys vibe, with two thick royal stripes bordered by thinner black stripes. Jersey numbers were royal blue, with black block shadow.

They’ll wear their white helmets with different striping for the K-State game in September. Two royal stripes will top the helmet running from bumper to bumper, and will feature thin black stripes on the inner portions of the royal stripes. Facemasks will be blue.

The classic oval “Y” logo will be on the sides of the helmet.

Here’s a look at the full uniform:

The jersey is pretty “clean,” to use the popular descriptor. As noted, the jersey will have royal blue numbers with black blockshadow on the front.

The only other ornamentation is found on the sleeves, which will have the set of two thin black/thick blue/thin black stripes. Atop the stripes is the “arrow Y” in royal, with a very thin white outline, followed by a a thick black block shadow.

Other than the makers mark, the only other logo on the uniform is found at the base of the collar, which contains the same arrow Y logo found on the sleeves.

The pants, as mentioned above, are stripeless, as they were in 1996. Unfortunately, no rear views of the new throwbacks were shown, but the 1996 jerseys had royal blue NOB, and the rear numbers were in the same royal/black block shadow style as the jersey front. One can fairly safely assume that the new jerseys will have the same.


Normally, when a college introduces a uniform with stripeless pants — particularly when they’re white and paired with a white helmet and jersey — the new thing is to call it “Icy White” or “Stormtrooper,” but since these are throwbacks, that’s not technically the case here. The end result may be a mono-icy uniform, but in this case they’re doing a throwback, so they can avoid that designation.

I’m not a fan of the plain white pants, but I do like the jersey. Normally, I’m not a fan of blockshadowed numbers, but I like these, and they remind me a bit of UNC’s throwbacks. Black and royal don’t generally mix well, but in this case, there’s just enough color separation to make the numbers “pop.”

And while I prefer almost every possible royal/white combination, as well as some navy ones in their current uniform lineup, for one game — especially against the team they defeated in the 1996 Cotton Bowl — I can absolutely get behind these throwbacks 100%.

Your thoughts?

Comments (27)

    The all-white jerseys could be done. The bibs? Those are never coming back, as I’m pretty sure NCAA regs have since banned such a design.

    Crazy how they banned the bib (as they should have) but they haven’t banned stealth numbers, or red numbers on black with no outline… which is a baby step above stealth.

    No Big XII logo. Very unusual these days.
    Makes me wonder if they’re finalizing the deal with Allstate before the season and releasing a new Conference Logo

    Those 49ers throwbacks look good with that drop shadow though

    Good for a game or 2, but not for every game

    The 2 on the Niners’ drop shadow is wrong, and it annoys me every time I see it. But I respect the commitment to being historically accurate while being aesthetically inaccurate.

    These were horrible in 1996 and still are today. The 90s fascination with drop shadow should never be revisited, let alone the BFBS elements.

    These uniforms are pretty good: My favorites had the pants resembling the Colts’, and the Northwestern stripes on the sleeves.

    To answer Rich’s comment, yes that is Steve Sarkisian. Before he was a coach at Washington, USC, Alabama, and now Texas, he was the gunslinger for BYU.

    Personally I wished they would use the home blues that were used in the Cotton Bowl. This are nice throwbacks. Fortunately in the year they had success, they looked good too. There are other atrocious options that could of been selected like the 1999 “bib” uniforms.

    These would be better with blue pants. Not a fan of monotone football unis.

    Drop shadow clones the size and shape of the original element and just sits off-center from the original, block shadow adds an outline the entire way around the element in addition to the drop shadow.

    While I think the Cougars generally have too many uniform combinations, I love pairing this ’96 throwback for the K-State game. It’s weird that they opted for the white “road” jersey when they are playing in Provo and even for the Cotton Bowl game, BYU wore the royal jersey. The BYU victory over the Wildcats was small consolation for being left out of bigger bowls, but now that they are in the Big XII they have more control over their post-season destiny.

    I wanted the royal blue jersey, but like the article says, these are pretty clean.

    Not-so-fun fact, the only time BYU wore the all whites was against Washington (our only loss of the season).

    In 1996, BYU wore a royal blue jersey for home games, and a white jersey (often paired with solid blue pants) for road games

    I SO much prefer that road combination, even without stripes.
    Wish Penn State would go that route on the road!
    My friend from Utah and I are confused, because 1) it’s a home game and 2) when they beat K-State in the Cotton Bowl, they wore the blue jerseys. So why the whiteout??

    This is not true at all. Vast majority of teams wear color at home, white on the road. The only exceptions I can think of are teams like LSU or Georgia Tech where it’s their thing to wear white.

    I was going to critique the size of the numbers, but they’re pretty close to the small(er) size of the 1996 originals. So, in that respect, they got it right.

    But if the picture at the top from ’96 is what these are supposed to copy, then it’s a fail when the number design is totally wrong.

    The shoulder stripes are really well done. The helmet looks great. But… the black shadow on the numbers… I don’t like them. Maybe I’m crazy, but I don’t like the numbers.

    I’m starting to feel old when a team is wearing a throwback from 1996. That seems too recent!

    The block shadow is different in all three places! I’m ok with the numbers being slightly different style with black stroke and shadow, but the Y logo on sleeve has very thin white stroke and larger black stroke and shadow, while the neck logo has a much larger white stroke and thinner black stroke. I think the neck logo is really good and the sleeve should match it.

    Is there some rule that says teams have to use UK Drill music for any hype video? Cause it sure seems like that.

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