Good morning and Happy Thumpday, Cougs! I'm sorry I wasn't here on Humpday as usual and sincerely hope your mid-week routine was not impaired in any way. I assume you all got along just fine. Thanks to some quick thinking by the blog's Senior Good Idea Analyst, Longball, I am now coming to you on Thumpday. Being that everyone is already over the hump, this post should find you in good spirits, especially with a holiday weekend looming. I hope to not ruin those spirits, but if this post goes like last week's, I'll antagonize some people at the very least. It turns out Pac 12 fans are pretty sensitive once things start getting ranked. I think today's topic, in particular, figures to ruffle a few feathers, because people really, really, really give a crap about their teams' uniforms. I'm sure you're all eager to see where the Cougs (and the other teams for any visitors we may have) stack up and more importantly if I can successfully count to 12 for the second week in a row, so let's get it...
A quick note before I get into the list, I based my rankings on teams' full collection of uniforms, but they won't all be pictured here. I didn't particularly want 847 pictures of Oregon uniforms cluttering up the post. Speaking of those ducks....
I know, I know, but I think they look cool. Sorry, Internet.
I have a feeling I'm going to catch a lot of crap for ranking the Ducks #1, but what they've done (with a lot of help from Nike, obviously) is nothing short of remarkable. Having cool jerseys has almost surpassed hot co-eds as the number 1 recruiting tool in a school's arsenal. I will grant that some of the combinations that they come up with are ridiculous looking, but more often than not, I begrudgingly concede that they look awesome. At this point there is no denying that the many possibilities for Oregon jerseys have played a role in their ascension into a big time national program. It seems like a fairly absurd notion, but it's accurate.
"We're number 2!"
The combination of the talent and these jerseys in the mid-2000's always made me think, "Holy crap, those guys are going to kill us" whenever USC took the field. It's an absolutely timeless look. The colors, the helmets, the white shoelaces on black shoes, everything about this screams football.
Say what you will about Paul Wulff, but he looked dynamite in a suit.
In my totally biased opinion, Wazzu has the best color pallet to work with and after years of some of the most bland jerseys possibly, Nike finally stepped things up for us last year. The new gray jersey is basically my favorite thing ever. If you don't believe me, then clearly you've never seen LucasCoug wearing one. What I'd like to see moving forward is to mix up the combinations a little more frequently. When I play a dynasty on NCAA 12, I try to never repeat a uniform combination. Also, I have no life.
"Isn't it about time for a bad movie reference?"
Much like their LA counterparts, the Bruins have a timeless look that is quintessentially "college football". Going with a modern look works for some schools and I can obviously appreciate it based on who I have number 1, but tradition is also a big part of the college game and some schools just shouldn't mess with their look too much. UCLA is one of those. Also, there are bonus points here because the jersey reminds me of the movie "Summer School". I can't be the only one who sees them and thinks of Mark Harmon, right? Just me? OK.
If they come out with alternate uniforms where they dress like Ralphie, you might see a new #1.
I tend to have an irrational distaste for black and gold, mostly because of the Pittsburgh Penguins, but it works for the Buffaloes. Whether they go black-on-gold or black-on-black or combine with the away whites, they always look cool and a little bit mean. You can't really ask for much more than that.
I'd like to congratulate Cal's uniform designer on his award for Effective Use of Isosceles Triangles
Cal actually would have been higher on the list, but they insist on wearing yellow jerseys from time to time and they look legitimately awful. Everything else they can roll out there looks real sharp...well, except for Zach Maynard. He usually looks erratic.
The band dresses like a bunch of weirdos so the team plays it straight.
A simple look doesn't have to be a bad thing. I find it appropriate for Stanford. I don't mind the black alternates that they roll out from time to time and the Pro Combat look that Nike rolled out for them ended up looking pretty cool, even if the Pro Combat concept is ridiculous attention whoring. That's just what Nike does so there isn't much sense in getting worked up over it.
Not all of the helmets come with beautiful flowing locks coming out the back.
White helmets: Good. Blue jerseys: good. Away jerseys with any pants: fine. Blue helmets: Bad. Red on red: Eek. There's just not a whole lot to get excited about here. You know what I am excited about? Searching for pictures of their jerseys by searching for Nick Foles and seeing a picture of Tom Petty come up. That's pretty funny.
9. Oregon State
Not a great looking, jersey, but a great looking player. Just ask Paul Wulff.
Being a Bengals fan, I have a soft spot in my heart for orange and black, but the Beavs just aren't making it work. This lookis just makes me yearn for the days of standard definition televisions, although with some of the fog bowls that have been played at Reser, the look does seem quite practical.
"Can the red be any redder? I feel like we need more red."
It just feels like Under Armour didn't really have their hearts in it when they designed Utah's jerseys. I think they just told some intern to make sure there is a whole lot of red and maybe throw some stripes on near the shoulders or something. "Should they fit well?", the intern asked. "No."
11. Arizona State
The Fightin' Poseidons
I'm already on record as being against The Fork so I'll just go all the way with annoying the Sun Devils' fan base. The colors are bad, the thinly veiled excuse to put a big swoosh on the shoulder is bad, the black version is bad. Everything about ASU's look is ugly to me. Other than all that, they're pretty great.
Sorry, Husky fans. Except not really.
Before you accuse me of just being completely biased against the Huskies, I'll counter with, "Yeah. I know." In all seriousness, though, I think UW could have a great look that could keep them out of last place on the list, but they insist on getting in their own way. The picture above illustrates all of this perfectly. I understand that having black jerseys is cool and the players like it and all that, but why does it have to be ugly? Putting purple lettering on a black jersey is just a bad design. On top of that, I don't get the white pants thing. It works a little better with the white helmet, but the gold helmet, purple jersey, gold pants look is classic. Why do away with that? Also, the collar and piping on the jersey just muck things up even more. Husky fans love to talk about their tradition, but the uniforms in recent years have ventured further and further away from it.
What other teams do you think will come out at least once during the season to wear that ugly Nike gray - unless Nike has a new pet color? We saw Boise State in football, No. Carolina and Baylor (girls) in gray during basketball with no history or tradition of gray... and looking ugly.
For WSU, there is at least a reference point, but the gray looked ugly on us, too.
@Robert K. I love the grey's.
@Soze gray or grey is okay for us, I guess, but only if it is unique to us and the schools that have that color. The numerals would be much easier to read if crimson, though - especially from beyond the 50 yd. marker.
I am convinced it was a fashion statement by Nike, however, as evidenced by Boise, NC, and Baylor. I talked to NC fans in Atlanta during ACC basketball tournament. They disliked the grey/gray.
I hope we have better things to write about in 90 days or so.
"what they've done (with a lot of help from Nike, obviously)"
Ha! What they did was say "uhhhh, yes" when a billionaire asked if they wanted the world's top athletic apparel company to design and brand their entire program and create an endless supply of one-off exclusive uniforms, helmets and styles with fabrics and technologies Nike offers to them before anyone else. And then market the hell out of them. Gratis. Not exactly a bold move if you ask me.
Honestly, given their bottomless war chest and ridiculous access to Nike I'm surprised how often the combos suck. They nail it with some of the helmets and various throwbacks but a lot of their uniforms look terrible but still get jocked because of the incredible brand identity of being Nike U.
Utah's is better than ranked here. The ALL-RED look is not the regular look. The default look is red jersey, white pants at home... and white jersey, white pants at home.
Look at their unis during last year's USC game and that tells you their uniforms are much better than you give them credit for.
@DougGWare I would agree with your DougGWare. Their different combo's are pretty decent, but I think Huddy was focusing more on jerseys than anything else with this post. But I do like some of what I've seen out of Utah's combo's.
@DougGWare A large part of any uni is the helmet. And the logo as I state on Huddy's previous ranking of logos looks a lot like a small school football helmet. They need to use the same elements of the logo and modernize it a little. Utah is blah uniform-wise.
Shouldn't Cal get knocked for that awful, awful all-white "stormtrooper" look they tried to pull last year against Oregon and UCLA?
@TuanScott Agreed! I think these are what you are talking about?
I really like Cal's dark blue helmets and think they offset anything jersey-wise (except the mustard!). But the all-white, eh.
I think you captured UW's color palette very well with the purple you choose to type "12. Washington". Bravo.
I think I had a brain aneurism after seeing #1. Oregon's uniforms are the antithesis of good taste; they're the stylistic equivalent of an '88 Monte Carlo with 26" rims and hydraulics and enormous subwoofers. Yes, they draw attention, but in a wtf-is-that way.
Also, is there any reason why #6-9 are pictures of the Away jerseys? Seems like it would be better to compare apples to apples, i.e. home jerseys and home jerseys.
I'm not sure how I would rank them, but I wouldnt put them #1. They looked really good when they wore their throwback Unis, actually using the school colors. Other than that, I think they usually look terrible just trying to do too much. I like WSU of course, as I am biased, but also like that we stay with school colors. I like Stanford, OSU, Colorado, UCLA & USC for the same reasons, classic, simple and stay with school colors for the most part. Not a fan of the bfbs
Oregon is a tough call. One week you get construction reflector yellow accents. And the next you get the Darth Vader or carbon helmets. I guess you are bound to hit the target a couple of times using the shotgun method of uniform design.
Arizona's is the worst uniform. Numbers too small and skinny. Red pants is atrocious. The white helmet is traditional--I'm OK with it, but white is generally wussy so you have to offset it with a strong uniform. The A is pretty dumb and wimpy too. They need to go back to bolder numbers, and that dark blue uniform. Saw the copper helmet and it is terrible.
I hate Oregon's unis (tire-track shoulders, wing shoulders, or highlighter yellow jerseys) but you have to give points for the creativity Nike money can buy.
Utah is blah.
WSU is maybe #5 at best. I like the silver helmets better. The gray looks like a cheap plastic toy. Numbers could be bigger & bolder too. I agree with Bob Rob there.
Black and Gold Colorado is better than it's ranking.
I'm not convinced that USC's is that great.
ASU is horrid, but not as bad as Arizona.
UCLA is classic. Should rank higher. (Only their powder blue homes. Their road unis suck).
Cal is OK, especially the darks.
Stanford is basic. Clean. They'll be thought as stupid again once the program begins to crumble back to the cellar over the next four or five years.
Oregon State is good. Basic. Better than Stanford. About Wazzu ranked.
Washingto is also middle of the pack when they where their traditional combination.
Legendary, Huddy. for me, if you ditch that fricking dreadful white helmet, the Dawgs are tied with #3 with us. I also like the Beavs more than Zona, and I think the Devils are better than Colorado which I would place in front of the Utes. But your top 2 I am totally sold on: Oregon is totally número UNO and SC stands as a SOLID number two. GREAT JOB!!
@UWJasonUW Only because that's a lot of reading for a Husky grad for one day.
@UWJasonUW Get ready for an AWFUL YEAR, J...Next year will be (vomit) really good for you, but 2012 will be AWFUL.
I would give UW higher marks if they rolled the traditional gold helmets, purple jerseys and gold pants, and then went to gold pants on the road (not that I care, of course!). But I do like their classic home look when they wear it. I would agree on Oregon, I mean they are just constantly setting the bar across the conference. And I love SC and their classic look. I do like Cal's new look but not a fan of the gold jerseys! One other look I like is Stanford in their black jerseys. It is a very clean look with a flare for the next gen, and it just works. On the Cougs, I would like an all-white look on the road with the gray helmets, or the look we had in the Apple Cup last year. And I like the gray helmets, crimson jerseys and gray pants. If we do go all gray, I do like the crimson helmets as a contrast! Good work Huddy!
I'm glad the Cougs don't switch up combos constantly. I am a big fan of a consistent look and building a brand.
That said, I miss the striped pants of the Alex Brink era. They may be retro, but I always liked em.
Also, have you seen Arizona's new helmet? Yes, it is copper:
@GeoffONeil I agree on the Brink-era uni's, the total overall look of the home uni's I really liked. Conservative, but they looked pretty good.
When you step back and look at it, we really have changed up the uni's quite a bit, just in the last 10 years. We may need to do a full-blown UNI WATCH post and look at the combo's we've tried to roll out the last decade or so!
@GeoffONeil I support any helmets that can conduct electricity.
And have to be kept under lock and key because have you seen the price of copper lately? Ridiculous.