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Sunday Morning Uni Watch

OSUM 550

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By Phil Hecken and the Sunday Morning Uni Watch Crew

You think teams would learn by now: You screw with your uniform during a rivalry game and bad things can (and often do happen). The Ohio State University almost learned that lesson the hard way yesterday, narrowly escaping Columbus with a hard-fought, double-overtime victory over arch-rival Michigan. The team tempted fate by ditching their classic gray hats and instead opting for black/gray helmets they recycled from their Nebraska game, when they wore 1916 fauxbacks. They won that game 62-3, so maybe they figured it was OK to tempt the uni gods.

Or maybe it was Le Bron. He was at the game and several of the players had special Le Bron cleats, so with those special kicks, maybe the players thought adding a bit of black (the helmet is gray, but basically looks black) to the wardrobe was fine. You’ll notice they also added a bit of black by reusing the 2014 Playoff jerseys with black tv numbers. The players also went with high black socks and undersleeves. The franken-uni worked, this time.

Other teams learned the hard way you need to wear your school colors in your rivalry game, sadly. Both North Carolina (going BFBS against NC State) and Arizona State University (wearing a gray/bronze combo — neither of which are school colors — playing Arizona) fell to their rivals in their final regular season games on Friday.

Obviously, alternates and pinktober and camopander and throwbacks etc. are a part of the college football uni landscape, and have been for a decade or more. But there should be one *sacred* rule: when you play your biggest rival…wear your regular uniform. You’ve got 12 other games to screw around and play dress-up. At least save your best uniform for your biggest game. Maybe a few more losses in big games will drive that point home. THE Ohio State University almost learned a valuable lesson.

Now that I’ve sent you all off my lawn, I’m gonna turn it over to TJ and your…

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Sunday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

Is it just me, *or* did this week go by simultaneously slowly and quickly? Must be the holidays. Anyway… Rivalry Week. The week that –throughout its history– has single-handedly spawned more fights than between people arguing whether or not pineapple is a worthy choice for a pizza topping. The week where school spirit is at its peak for many. The week that has gives us our annual rites: Michigan/Ohio State, Alabama/Auburn, USC/Notre Dame, Grambling/Southern (although I’ll admit I mainly watch that game for the bands), and plenty more that we all know and love (or loathe in some cases). This week tends to wield an ample amount of memorable moments (like every team from yesterday seemingly treating their respective games like basketball shootouts with video game scores), and from a uni-action standpoint, this year seems to be decently fruitful.

From Tuesday:

• Pretty much every Eastern Michigan home game that involves a decently-vibrant road team looks like a colorized black and white photo. Most certainly the case with Central Michigan wearing their yellow alts (more pics here).

• Ladies and gentlemen: your Hio Bobcats (credit to Sean McLaughlin). Also in that same game, Akron wore some new script helmet decals, and one of them just wasn’t feeling the weather that night.

From Friday:

• Normally I would give any team wearing BFBS a more disconcerting look than the looks people gave Texas when they lost to Kansas in Week 12, but for Black Friday, I’ll make an exception.

• You know, when done right, a uniform that’s heavily white and gold can look really nice.

• I think this might be one of the gloomiest uniforms that Arizona State has worn, if not the gloomiest, ‘specially for a team called, you know, the SUN DEVILS.

• In the mist of Charlie Strong, some may have missed that Bevo (all 15 editions of him) turns 100 this year, and Texas wore a decal for the occasion.

From Saturday:

• In the 120th edition of the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State, the Beavers channeled their opponent and dressed for the occasion (those are the Men of Roses helmets previously worn against Washington State). The Ducks were actually dressed pretty conservatively by their standards.

Jason Calvert spotted digital down markers from the Louisville/Kentucky game (see what I did there?). I’m surprised this isn’t more commonplace.

• Considering Syracuse’s track record, this is about as good-looking of a matchup as you can get between these two (contrast-wise, of course). I could easily just drop a basketball tilt pic here, considering yesterday’s score.

• Central Florida wore helmet decals for their rivalry game against South Florida (called the War on I-4).

• Did anyone catch the rugby match yesterday? (with credit to Trent Knaphus)

• I don’t know how long Virginia Tech has been doing this split-color endzone wordmark treatment, but I like it (both pics courtesy of VT’s grounds crew).

• Florida State wore decals with ‘MB 42′ on them in honor of Monk Bonasorte, the Seminoles’ Senior Associate Director of Athletics, who recently passed away after battling brain cancer. 42 was his number during his playing days with Florida State.

• BYU wore BFBS against Utah State, but this year’s helmets featured blue-chrome facemasks. Here’s a closer look, with credit to Jake Rasmussen for the last pic.

The (other) Game. Fun fact about this game: not only is this the first time that Michigan has played against Ohio State while signed with Nike since 2007 (and their first road game with swooshie since 2006), this is also the first time since 1974 (someone fact-check in case I completely goofed on this) that the Wolverines played against the Buckeyes in mono-white. It would’ve been a mirror-image matchup from 42 years ago… if THE had decided to look normal, but nooooo. No, they just HAD to wear the cannonball helmets “just to see how it looks”. Well, congrats, your greys are having a bigger argument than the golds that plagued the Saints prior to 2012. Also, Michigan QB Wilton Speight had a hand warmer sewn onto his jersey, and if you look here, you can see the outside of it seems to use the same mesh that the abdomen of the jersey is made of. Nonetheless, it was a thriller to behold, as we saw the first overtime in the history of this matchup, one that would ultimately see the Buckeyes pull one out in a nail-biter.

And that will do it for Week 13! What do next week’s championship games have in store for us? Probably not much, but we’ll just have to see. See you next week.

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Thanks, TJ! OK, now on to the rest of your SMUW…

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NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. Most of the 2015 trackers are back, with one new tracker added:

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (now tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is new to the NCAA Uni Tracking this season. Ethan has stepped into the dual role (thanks, man!) of both the B1G and the SEC after one of my previous trackers could no longer provide the B1G.

Here are the Uni Trackers for WEEK THIRTEEN of the NCAA Season.

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

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More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.

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



More here.

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And here is Ethan, with the SEC:

SEC Football Uniform Tracker Week 13


And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.

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And here is Kyle with the Big XII:

Week 13


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And here’s Ethan with the B1G:

B1G Football Uniform Tracker Week 13


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Joe Ringham 5 & 1

Joe Ringham’s 5 & 1

Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, and Catherine Ryan after him, Joe Ringham is back for 2016 to make his “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups. Sometimes he’ll have some “honorable mentions” and sometimes there will be more than one “bad” game. 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 Joe:

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Greetings, everyone! Rivalry Weekend has now come and gone, and it left us with some fine looking match-ups to look at. So, let’s go right to the list.

5) Oregon at Oregon State — The Ducks looked awesome in their green/white/green on the road for The Civil War, going with school colors instead of one of their seemingly infinite number of other color combos. This matched up excellently against the mono-black the Beavers went with at home in Corvallis.

4) Syracuse at Pittsburgh — The highest scoring game in regulation time in FBS history was an absolute beauty of a game, uni-wise. The Orange looked fantastic in orange/white/orange on the road, a combo they should always go with. Pittsburgh looked just as sharp at home in gold/navy/gold.

3) Kentucky at Louisville — Loved the bright contrast of this game. UK looked awesome in blue/white/blue on the road, probably their best looking road set. Paired up against the chrome red/red/white the Cardinals went with made for such a bright and bold contrast. It really did make the game pop and stand out as the two battled for the Governor’s Cup.

2) Florida at Florida State — A week after I put the Gators on the bad side of the list, they redeem themselves on their trip to Tallahassee. Loved the orange/white/orange they went with on the road, one they really should go with full-time. Add to that the usual gold/garnet/gold home set FSU went with, one that I think is always one of the best looking home uni’s in the college game, and you have one fine looking game.

1) Nebraska at Iowa — By far, the best looking game of the holiday weekend was Friday in Iowa City. Always have been a fan of Iowa’s home uniforms, as those who frequent this know. Pair it up against the Huskers classic white/white/red road set, and you can see why this was a sure-fire number 1.

And, finally…

+1) North Carolina State at North Carolina and Arizona State at Arizona — This week, we have a tie for the bad side with the most simple of reasons. If you’re going to play your rival, the very least you can do is wear your school colors and not go gimmicky. I’m looking at you UNC and ASU!!!

Enjoy the week, everyone, and I’ll see you for Championship Saturday!

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Duck Tracker

Welcome to the 2016 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 week’s Uniform Combo for the Ducks (you can click to enlarge):


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

This is the final weekend of the Duck Tracker (for 2016), as the Ducks season is now (mercifully) over and with a record of 4-8, even in this era of expanded bowl bids, the Webfoots will be home for the holidays.

I want to thank Dennis for continuing the Duck Tracking tradition here on Uni Watch. I haven’t decided whether it will return next year — in a way it’s superfluous with the PAC-12 Tracker (which Dennis also does) and with the Ducks now just one of several teams who wear different costumes each week. But we’ll cross that bridge next fall, when we come to it.

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Uni Watch News Ticker
By Phil

Baseball News: If you’re making a Jim Thome Christmas Tree ornament, “you definitely need to go with the drag-bunt pose” (from Jimmer Vilk). … Got some downtime on the holiday weekend? Spend it dreaming up the next great Milwaukee Brewers t-shirt design! (h/t Johnny Okray). … Yesterday in 1960: The relocated Washington Senators become the Minnesota Twins & their new logo was revealed (via Bruce Menard). Also, be sure to check out Todd Radom‘s excellent logo study on this logo.

NFL/CFL News: “The CFL championship game is [today] featuring the Calgary Stampeders,” writes Ryan Houdayer. “Out of respect for their teammate Mylon Hicks who was shot and killed in a Calgary nightclub mid season, the team covered crossed gun patches. The black jereseys are the alternates but became the main as the season went on. Here is a link to the team with the patch covering their crossed guns logo.” … “Watching the U Sports, (Canadian University Sports) Vanier Cup, which is the Football Championship,” says Jason Perrier. “It was a red on white battle with Laval Rouge et Or and Calgary Dinos. Calgary is in red and Laval in white. Laval also has the shiny gold helmet.” Here’s another look at that hat. … Brian Griese never quite attained the fame in the NFL that his father did. But I never knew he played wide receiver for the Jets (nice spot by Wes Smith). … The Collector’s Corner doesn’t normally run until Tuesday, but here’s a couple that Brinke asked me to run today: Check out this vintage NFL Alumni 1960s/70s Zippo Money Clip Knife; also check out this draft questionaire for college seniors headed to the pros.

College Football News: Tweeter Chris Brueckner seems to think that Nick Saban’s pullover looks like a certain puffy shirt Jerry Seinfeld wore in a certain famous episode. He may have been the first pirate comedian. … From Matthew Weller, via UT snapchat, Vandy stadium still has the old SEC logo painted on the wall. … “Big Ten Network is still using adidas logo on Wisconsin graphics despite switching to Under Armour this season,” says D. Hemple, who adds, “Boo laziness.” … Oh man, as if Virginia’s season wasn’t disappointing enough (from James Gilbert). … Here’s a look at every Oregon Duck uni combination for the past five years (from Glen Macklin).

Hockey News: The Calgary Hitmen had their “Teddy Bear Toss” yesterday. According to Mike Styczen, these are their Christmas uniforms (Look at the crest). Here’s a closeup. Here’s a couple more views (the backs have a snow cover over the numbers). Pretty cool. … The Orlando Solar Bears wore some Maple Leafs-esque jerseys last evening (from Orlando Solar Bears). … This new Vegas Golden Knights billboard is up on The Strip in Vegas. Ted Chastain wonders if they’re not allowed to use the NHL logo yet.

College Hoops News: Rice and Oklahoma State played a color vs. color game yesterday (via Brad Blunt). Looks like Okie State was wearing their “N7” uniforms. … Jimmer Vilk would really love the huge numbers on the Colgate hoops team (h/t Hockey in the ‘CAC). … Was Northern Illinois wearing Chicago Bulls unis yesterday (from Zach Dietmeier). No, they’re not quite Bulls unis, but obviously based on them (from Chris Feminis). … Marquette and HBU hooked up in a little color vs. color yesterday (via Chris Mycoskie). … Hmmmm: BYU’s alternates have some tiny weird numbers (from Chris). … Tweeter Teddy also noticed a similar small number problem for the Michigan Wolverines.

Grab Bag: A rugby(?) match between Ireland and Australia featured a referee wearing Batman shoes (from Craig Ackers). … Here’s a “funny” cricket video (from Jimmer Vilk), showing some of the new unis — but it’s really just an adidas ad in disguise, innit? … Holy shit, check out these German volleyball unis even Jim Vilk will hate (from Ryan Patton).

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And that will do it for today. As always, big ups to and for the SMUW Crew — Paul thanked them for me on Thursday, but I want to again give props to a great set of dedicated guys: Terry “TJ” Duroncelet, Joe Ringham, Rex Henry, Kyle Acker, Dennis Bolt and Ethan Dimitroff. Great work again today, gents!

I’ll be back next Saturday (wow — it’ll be December then…2016 is. almost. over.) but until then you can …

Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.


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“[Ohio State’s] black numbers by themselves wouldn’t be so bad, but the helmets, with the added black socks and undershirts, just really wreck the look. It’s BFBS without actually wearing a black jersey.”

— Rob S.

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Comments (29)

    I was at a Gator bball game last week in Orlando and Canyon Barry had some similar small numbers going on. Looks like Nike has a new “racer back” (at least that’s what they call them for the ladies) cut that dictates smaller numbers or else they’ll be really low or really narrow and long.


    Yes Terry, The Men of Roses Beaver sticker was mostly black/gray/white with orange eye, but the Civil War gray helmet had their normal Beaver sticker.

    The Brian Griese card made me look. I found

    -I like the Oregon Ducks uniform this week. That would be a good regular road uniform for them if they ever decide to give up the new uniform routine (or silliness) every week.

    -Speaking of traditional college uniforms, I love the simple beauty of the Nebraska Cornhuskers classics. Regular striping. Red and white. Just a small capital “N” on the helmet, which is nothing fancy. It is one of the schools that have iconic college football uniforms I respect. We see too many costumes each week.

    -Was surprised yesterday to see the shiny gold helmet worn by the Laval Rouge et Or in the Vanier Cup. It is an alternate helmet which I had not seen before. Usually, they wear a standard gold helmet with their logo on it.


    -The Calgary Stampeders have worn an alternate black jersey each year since 1994. They are committed to keeping it. Unfortunately, their 3rd helmet they wear with the jersey these days is hideous. Guess they admire the Jacksonville Jaguars helmet, and then want to add extra clutter on top of that.

    If they need to change the 3rd uniforms to get rid of the cross pistols – please get rid of this helmet at the same time.

    The one nice thing about the Swooshtikas sucking this year (other than the actual sucking part), is that they seem to have toned down the silly costume shenanigans as the season went on. Thank goodness no bowl game, thus no more Duck Tracker this year. Can we end it permanently now?

    Rivalry games should be sacred and don’t screw with the uniforms. Ohio State has one of the great CFB uniforms and I couldn’t believe they played with the other lids. And I prefer the maize pants instead of the white for roadies for Michigan. The all time screw up for a rivalry game was when ucla wore all white, even though they and the Trojans had just gotten back the year before the tradition of both USC and ucla wearing their colors. The result was a Trojan victory, 50-0.
    The only good time to have an alternate uniform for a rivalry game is when Notre Dame breaks out the green against USC. This was the original alternate, and was used very infrequently. One time they worn blue the first half, and then came out of the locker room after the halftime in their green.

    The black helmets worn in the buckerine/wolveye game seemed to make the fellows’ heads look especially big and round. Not a good look.

    When are people going to stop saying wearing a certain uniform is what causes you to lose? Yes Ohio State almost learned their “lesson” by beating a team in 2OT that was truly probably the better team in the matchup.

    Yes, the uniform didn’t cause them to (almost) lose – how about they just not wear it because it looked like crap? Does that work for you?

    Sports fans are superstitious, in case you hadn’t noticed.

    That was not a good look for Ohio State. Makes me wonder why the heck they did it. The jerseys are the best. Those helmets just didnt go right with the jerseys.

    Arizona State in my opinion has the best multiple uni combos. Most any combo they wear I like. But the one they wore vs Arizona was bad.

    So busy watching Ohio State and later Youngstown State, I did not look over Leos CFL installment in depth. I will do so today and enjoy it.

    Thanks, Phil! I’m with you on the “For a rivalry game you wear the uni that most represents your team” bandwagon. I missed seeing the silver helmets filled with buckeye leaves.

    Special-event uniforms for rivalry games strike me as borderline bad sportsmanship. For fans of both teams, the fact that the other team is the opponent is part of what makes the game a special event. They’re not rivals because anybody hates the opponent, they’re rivals because everybody loves to play that opponent. Dressing up in a costume that makes your team look less like itself robs fans of their connection to the game slightly. It’s a small bit of moral or spiritual theft, almost, sort of like hedging and saying, If your team wins, you won’t really have beaten the real rivals, just this other team in funny almost-but-not-quite costumes.

    Then again, do most college football programs even have “regular” uniforms anymore? I’ve almost given up complaining about college teams failing to wear school colors, because the way they wear uniforms these days, I’m not sure there really are school colors in college football now.

    Having been at the ASU/UA game, walking into the stadium and seeing ASU in a drab gray was a bit shocking. My dad and I both remarked how it was combination that could’ve easily been three other teams: Wazzu, Colorado, or Oregon.

    And yes, that would be the official (a touch judge) wearing those kicks, watching a Scrum, the forefather of the set play in American Football.

    The Baylor uniforms on the Big 12 tracker is incorrect. They swapped out the gray face masks for gold ones this week.

    Oregon did NOT wear school colors in The Civil War game. Their official school green color is a much darker shade of green than the spring green worn on Saturday. It’s like saying grey is a school color of Iowa when the official color is black.

    Northern Illinois’ Bulls inspired uniforms looked good. It should be noted that their baseball team wore uniforms with the White Sox Batterman logo last spring too.

    When i tweeted the Calgary Hitmen uniforms to Phil I was still at the game and hadn’t seen the video yet.


    I don’t think me or my kids have ever had a better time at a game.

    It pains me to see Ohio State mess with those iconic uniforms. Even more so when it’s done in arguably the biggest rivalry game in college sports. On another negative note; the “costumes” worn by Arizona State and Arizona just about sum up the problem that is the current trend in NCAA football uniforms.

    I have declared the Calgary Stampeders to be the Arizona Cardinals of the CFL. Took a simple beautiful uniform and done killed it.

    Syracuse should be ineligible for the 5 & 1 for as long as they sport that numeral font. (Unless it’s the 1)

    RE – VT split color endzones. First time they’ve done it. (They have been mixing up the color all season, though)

    I was at the game, looked good in person.

    Typo – In the “Bevo turns 100” piece, the line reading “mist of Charlie Strong” should be corrected to “midst”.

Comments are closed.