If you want to get college football fans worked up, your search doesn’t need to go much farther than a team’s uniforms. For many programs, the uniforms that they wear are an indelible part of its overall identity. Not every program has nailed it with the college football uniforms, however.
Some teams have looks that have grown outdated or stale. Others have some questionable uses of the schools’ color palettes. And some…are just ugly.
Here are 10 programs that could stand to overhaul their college football uniforms.
Not all of these looks are terrible, but for one reason or another, the team could really stand to go with a new look. These college football uniforms have not been put in any particular order.
The white Arizona uniforms are pretty solid. The red alternate uniforms are okay. The blue standard home uniforms though? I really don’t think they work.
Arizona’s threads were just redesigned ahead of last season. With it, came big numbers, and more use of gradient patterns that Nike has tried with some teams in recent years. The red on dark blue just doesn’t look great, and could use some white accents in a bad way.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets:
Georgia Tech has the ignominious honor of being the only Power Five program to wear Russell Athletic. Only Southern Miss joins them in that fact across all 130 FBS programs. Russell’s uniforms are also quite bland, which doesn’t help matters.
The Yellow Jackets are moving to adidas next year. That should definitely add some cachet to the program among recruits, even if adidas has rolled out some very questionable uniforms in recent years. Either way, Georgia Tech needs a change, and it is coming.
The Big Ten has a ton of programs with some version of red-and-white as their color scheme. Unfortunately for crimson-and-cream-wearing Indiana football, it may be the least noteworthy.
IU has tried to go the Oregon/Maryland route, to a lesser degree, in the recent past. A few years ago, they rolled out a number of wild new helmet options. However, nothing has really stuck out and given Indiana a true visual brand of its own.
Personally, I kind of like Kentucky’s football uniforms. However, a number of players evidently don’t agree. The checkerboard is very controversial in both football and basketball, and just today, athletic director Mitch Barnhart got pretty heated in a defense of the pattern.
At the end of the day, wearing something that players like is extremely important, and Kentucky football isn’t so precious that it can lean on tradition like an Alabama or Penn State. If there is a push from players and recruits to go in a different direction, it should be considered.
Maryland has been the Under Armour answer to Oregon. One can argue that the Terrapins’ many looks are even more daring than what the Ducks have tried. Oregon has definitely developed more consistency in what they wear, even if the combos are constantly changing, while Maryland is even more eclectic.
Maryland’s many uniforms have their fans, especially those who are big into the state flag designs. However, many of us think they’re kind of a mess, and could use a retooling.
San Jose State Spartans:
SJSU changing from Nike to Adidas this year. Old version on left, new on right. pic.twitter.com/MQ2fKHa2Zm
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) August 7, 2017
The Spartans recently made the jump from Nike to adidas. We’re sure that the change makes sense financially, without diving into the new deal. In terms of apparel though? Nah…
The changes were subtle, but the Nike jerseys just looked much better. SJSU should get adidas back on the line and get these reworked.
Syracuse has had a number of recent uniform changes, and there have been more misses than hits. The team did not look good, athletically or sartorially, during Greg Robinson’s tenure. Things made a move for the better under Doug Marrone, but a few years ago, Nike rolled out some pretty drastic changes for the Orange.
The pros: more actual orange, including orange uniforms. The bad: bizarre numbers, horrible dark gray (platinum) uniforms that look like they have a permanent sweat stain, and entirely too many dark, drab combinations. There are some decent looks in here somewhat, but far too many bad ones.
Texas Tech Red Raiders:
— Texas Tech Red Raiders (@TechAthletics) September 25, 2014
Texas Tech has another large uniform set that is just trying too hard. Some of these look pretty cool, and overall the white/black/red color scheme is strong. However, sometimes we get uniforms with giant tattoo-looking logos on the thighs, like 2014’s “White Ombré” threads.
Simplify things, and these could be very strong. However, right now they are all over the place.
UConn used to have some decent, if not great, blue and white college football uniforms. The school recently had a logo change controversial among many Husky fans, and the result has not been good for the football program.
UConn has ditched the strange helmets with a slice of the new logo down the middle. However, the newer uniforms still don’t look great, especially the gray alternates worn last season.
Western Michigan Broncos:
Credit P.J. Fleck. In a few short years, he managed to give a team called the Broncos a completely random brand behind his “Row the Boat” mantra. It never made a lot of sense, but everyone bought in, down to uniforms with oar-based accents.
Fleck is in Minnesota now, “Row the Boat” has gone with him, and WMU is looking for a new thing under second-year head coach Tim Lester. Whatever it is, Western Michigan needs to move past the Fleck years with their next college football uniforms.
Nebraska Huskers/Wisconsin Badgers:
— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) October 29, 2016
As I learned with a post about helmets last week, people are going to be mad at me. I accept this. In that post, I said that I like Nebraska’s full uniforms, boring helmets aside, and I stand by that. Nebraska has solid uniforms. Wisconsin, also has solid uniforms. That makes sense, because they wear virtually the same uniform.
Nebraska and Wisconsin are the two more noteworthy programs in the Big Ten West. If Scott Frost turns things around in Lincoln, that game could become one of the biggest in the country every year. So can we get something to differentiate the two?
Even the awful alternate uniforms rolled out a few years ago were awful for the exact same reason.
Which new uniform do you like best between Wisconsin & Nebraska? We will discuss on CFB Blitz at 4:30pm. pic.twitter.com/l2gbSp68
— ESPNU (@ESPNU) August 8, 2012
We don’t need to totally overhaul one of these designs, but let’s do something so that these two proud programs stand out a bit. Maybe they can play for it over the next few years. Loser gets a redesign.