Skip to content

Saturday Morning Uni Watch

By Phil Hecken and the SMUW Crew

“Football Season”

“Duck Season”

Just picture the whole exchange betwen Daffy & Bugs. Ahh, it’s good to be back with the SMUW crew for another season of College Football Uniform Watching.

For those of you new here, “SMUW” means “Sunday Morning Uni Watch,” and yes, I know today is Saturday and the column is entitled “Saturday Morning Uni Watch.” But that’s because everyone had last weekend off, when “Week One” of the NCAAFB season took place over 5 days. So, as has been the tradition for the past several years, we use the Saturday of Week Two to look back at the first week of the college football season, and then begin with our weekly “Sunday Morning Uni Watch” segment starting tomorrow. We cover almost all the unis (new ones and odd ones), the mishaps and shenanigans of the college football season, including the rumor that Sparty will wear this…thing today. So stay tuned…

I’m pleased to announce the entire SMUW Crew, with one exception, is returning: Back again is Terry “TJ” Duroncelet, who brings us the “big” wraps and is the lede post. For those of you unfamiliar with the actual beginnings of the SMUW, one fine Sunday, many years ago, randomly Terry started posting tons of uni observations in the comments section. Immediately I said, “OK, we need to make this the every week Sunday piece” and SMUW was born. Gradually we added the Duck Tracker and the Power 5 uniform tracking and the 5 & 1 so the SMUW is what it is today.

Also returning are my Power 5 uni trackers: Rex Henry (ACC), Dennis Bolt (Pac-12), Kyle Acker (Big XII) and Ethan Dimitroff, who tracks both the SEC and the B1G. New for this year is our new 5 & 1 guy, Michael “Memal” Malinowski, who is replacing Joe Ringham, whose commitment to football refereeing keeps him from being able to continue the bit. Please join me in welcoming Memal aboard!

As far as week 1, which we’ll read about below, I actually didn’t watch too many games, but one I DID see, in its entirety, was the Auburn/Oregon game. That was quite a nightmare for Oregon fans — literally as well as figuratively — you see, Oregon has new uniforms this season (big shock, I know) and one of their “new” colors is, I shit you not, “Nightmare Green.” Now, to me nightmare green is pretty much as dark a green as one can get, and in fact, it pretty much looks black. They went with their nightmare green hat (which definitely looks black) and nightmare green pants, which don’t quite look black, but they’re pretty damn close. So, the team that invented BFBS and (apparently) ditched the BFBS this year, is kinda/sorta wearing BFBS anyway. Such is the state of uniforms for Nikegon.

I don’t want to take up any more space here — there’s plenty below — but Dennis Bolt, who tracks the PAC-12, is ALSO our returning Duck Tracker, and he has plenty to say about Oregon’s new sartorial choices. He emailed me earlier this week: “I did a long extended post about the uniforms that the ducks have lost in since 2015 (which is also an update of my 2009-2014 post of the same theme. Bottom line is that they still tend to tank on the big stage while wearing white, silver, gray and black.” It’s not too long and it’s a good read, so give that a quick look-see and then come on back as we look at Week 1 of the 2019 NCAA Football Season.

Ready? OK, here’s TJ with your…

• • •

Sunday Saturday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.

In the beginning, it was Princeton and Rutgers. Just a couple of manly boys in a simple game of sport. A humble 6-4 score. Who would’ve known that we would be talking about the near-sentient entity that is college football as it stands 150 years later?

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the 150th year of college football! This is going to be quite the jam-packed year, full of surprise looks at every corner (or at least, that’s my guess. I mean, CFB’s gotta pick up the slack for the NFL). I’ve never been one for well-written introductions, so as always, let’s dive right into it…

From Saturday, August 24th:

• We kick things off with Arizona and Hawai’i, where the Wildcats wore USS Arizona tribute helmets against the Rainbow Warriors, a helmet-only reprise of this uniform from 2016. Also note how Hawai’i isn’t wearing the 150 patch (another look).

From Thursday, August 29th:

• What’s a good cure for probably the most unholy month of the year? How ’bout a HOLY WAR?! Always a fun one to watch.

• I know some people haven’t been too keen on Cincy’s uniforms over the last few years or so, and I do tend to be more of a traditionalist, but I personally think Cincy’s got one of the nicer modern looks in college football. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with forgoing convention, AS LONG AS IT LOOKS GOOD. I think the Bearcats achieved that once again with this slightly updated look from last year (which was also a great look for them). As for UCLA, they’ve long since buried the textile demons of their past, and have looked nothing short of sharp over the last few years. That said, I don’t know how to feel about that gold facemask on a gold shell. I mean, I don’t hate it, not at all, but I don’t know if it’s something I’d want to see on a weekly basis. Who knows, it might grow on me. Lastly, the Bearcats join the ranks of Hawai’i in going no-150.

*casually nods at San José State for bringing Gruff Sparty out to party* (hey, that rhymed!)

• I’m ashamed that I don’t mention this more often: Tulane has one of the most underrated color schemes in college football.

• Okay, as bright ‘n’ white as Kent State’s roads are, I actually really like these! Maybe it’s in the “Flashes” name.

From Friday, August 30th:

• The biggest news coming from Wisconsin/South Florida is that the Badgers also rebelled (not sure if you can call it a rebellion, but let’s roll with it) by not wearing the 150 patch. That, and the 49-0 beatdown (sorry, Bulls).

OSU vs OSU. Black and Orange vs. Black and Orange. Uh… Mammal vs. Mammal? (please stop, you’re reaching) Well, at any rate, this gives us a good look at the Beavers’ new uniforms, plus Oklahoma State absolutely NAILED IT with the orange facemasks.

From Saturday, August 31st:

TECH! What the hell?! What was wron– no no no no, NO. LOOK AT ME, BULLDOGS. WHAT. Was wrong. With this. I NEED TO KNOW WHO’S RESPONSIBLE. You had a good thing going, and YA GOOFED. Those stripe segments on the sleeve caps look like decorative utility blades.

• Syracuse looked absolutely outstanding, and best of all, more than just looking like ‘Cuse again, they also feel like ‘Cuse again. Don’t squander this one, Orange, unlike a certain Ruston, LA-based team that shall remain nameless.

• One thing that I appreciate about New Mexico State’s unis is that the UCLA stripe tapers to the proper shape at the end. Not even UCLA’s own stripes (mind you, their uniforms are also made by UA) do this! Not that that’s a bad look, of course.

• Area code nose bumpers for Nebraska.

• For some reason, this is giving me the same energy as this.

• I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: CONTRAST MATTERS. Excellent matchup. It’s almost a shame that Florida State will be switching to white numbers next year. Also, I don’t think this is what they meant when they say “play out of your shoes” (h/t @GriffinTSmith).

• Verdict says: the Boise State template works for Toledo. Also, every time I see Kentucky on TV, this scene pops into my head.

• Ole Miss vs Mem-miss… as in the Tigers missed the memo that this shade of grey is NOT AN ACCEPTABLE DARK UNIFORM (okay, that was a trash joke, let’s move on)

• West Virginia… welcome back. This calls for celebration! They also looked decent against James Madison.

• Another member of the no-150 crew (working title): Temple. Also, #21 (couldn’t tell you which one, there’s 2) looks like he’s about to hit us with the BOI of the season.

• Loved Air Force’s look against Colgate (here’s a better look at the shoulder patches).

• Another for the no-150 ranks: Navy.

Carolina Classics.

• Alright… Baylor looked superb against Stephen F. Austin. That said, a word to Nike all uniform manufactures: can we please stop with the notched numbers already?

• Louisiana’s helmet warning labels look like… uh, Louisiana (h/t to @benjilking).

• Looks like I can’t call Pitt’s uniforms “rad” anymore, because it’d be literally a weekly occurrence now. Good on ya, Panthers.

• That new neck/shoulder decoration on TCU’s new unis reminds me of the costume that Marcus Bridge wore in Northlane’s video for “Eclipse”.

• UNLV pokin’ at the ‘Pack with their ’71 tribute helmets.

• Imagine committing a double-number penalty on the very first play of your season. Way to go, Southern Cal.

From Sunday, September 1st:

• Nothing out of the ordinary for Oklahoma/Houston, but Jalen Hurts (yes, that Jalen Hurts) is now suing up for the Sooners. I think the last time that I can think of that a Quarterback transferred to a school that had a football team with a relatively-similar uniform was Russell Wilson (who endorses Nike), when he transferred from NC State (Adidas) to Wisconsin (ex-Adidas, nowadays Under Armour).

From Monday, September 2nd:

• One more (for now, at least) member of The 150 Resistance: Notre Dame.

WOW, what a helluva first week! 2019 definitely promises to be perhaps the busiest year yet. Not too many helmet mentions, simply because there was so much to cover as it is, but if you need your lid fix, then I urge you to peruse Blaise D’Sylva’s Twitter for all of your collegiate helmet needs (he’s a legend at what he does). Additionally, if you spot something noteworthy (mainly FBS, but just about anything is fine), then please tag me on Twitter (@SimplyMoono). I’m terrible at responding because… well, what are words? How do they work? But rest assured, I do read every post, and with this year being A Big One, I’m gonna need all the help I can get. And to those who have already been tagging me, thank you SO MUCH, your efforts and support make what we do so much easier. And with that, let’s button Week 1 up, and reboot for tomorrow. See you then!

• • •

Thanks, TJ! Great to have you back. And now, for the rest of today’s SMUW…

Joe Ringham 5 & 1

Memal’s 5 & 1

Following in the footsteps of the original “5 & 1,” Jim Vilk, Catherine Ryan after him, and finally Joe Ringham, for 2019 we have a new “5 & 1” (five good looking and one stinker) uni-vs-uni matchups — Michael “Memal” Malinowski. Like Joe, Catherine & Jim, Memal will pick HIS 5 best looking/1 awful matchup, and occasionally have some honorable mentions (both good and bad). 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 Memal

• • •

Good morning to all Who Get It,

I’m excited to take over one of my favorite Sunday morning features this season. It’ll truly be a privilege to share my joy and enthusiasm for college football with you all. I know this piece is truly subjective, but I hope our opinions line up more often than they diverge. With that said, let’s get to the games!


5) Northwestern at Stanford

Stanford came out with their solid white/red/white combo and it contrasted nicely with the Wildcat’s purple/white/purple ensemble. I love traditional looks, and I love stripes, and I’ve Northwestern’s look since they’ve included their namesake stripes across the torso.


4) Eastern Washington at Washington

I love that the Huskies dropped those ugly black shoulder panels, so their gold/purple/gold ensemble looks closer to how they should look. Eastern Washington’s storm trooper look with their red helmets contrasted nicely against their opponents. A good looking display in Seattle!


3) Utah at BYU

The Battle for the Beehive under the lights on opening night looked like a battle of fire and ice as BYU wore white/blue/white against Utah’s mono-red set. Not my favorite look for Utah, but I adore color on color matchups and their mono-red look really spoke to me!


2) Miami vs. Florida @ Camping World Stadium

There was a lot of hype flowing before this game and I drank it all in. Miami’s white/white/orange against Florida’s orange/blue/white gave this game a timeless look that with the back and forth nature of the game took my experience watching it to another level! A better played game would have rated it above the next one, which was…


1) Virginia at Pitt

I’m a sucker for little details and this reaches the top because of the debut of Pitt’s long awaited return to yellow/royal blue/yellow and for Virginia’s dark blue/white/orange combo accentuated by the two contrasting stripes on the helmet and the sleeves and number/logo combo on the helmet. With it being played in the front of the gold seats at Heinz Field, this early ACC matchup against last year’s division champions against the team everyone is picking to win the Coastal this year made for a very appealing game to watch!


And, finally, because somebody has to be the sacrificial lamb…

+1) Northern Iowa @ Iowa State

Iowa State has some good looks, but the red/red/white doesn’t work, with the pants making this combo an eye sore. And Northern Iowa… ugh. Between the sleeve panels(which I hate) and all the colors just thrown on the pants, this was the sort of contrast that makes me cringe and change the channel

There’ll be plenty more great inter-conference matchups this Saturday, so if there’s a game that looks great on the TV screen that might be off the beaten path please let me know at my Twitter address, @Michael519, because I would love to see it!

• • •

Thanks Memal! You can follow Memal on the Twitter and let him know what you think of his choices or make a 5 & 1 suggestion of your own!

NCAA Uni Tracking

Uni Watch will again track the uniform combinations worn by the “Power 5” conferences. All of the 2018 trackers are back!

We’ve got Rex Henry (tracking the ACC), Dennis Bolt (tracking the PAC-12), Kyle Acker (tracking the Big XII), and Ethan Dimitroff (tracking the B1G AND the SEC). Rex, Dennis, and Kyle and are all returning from 2015, and Ethan is back after joining the NCAA Uni Tracking a couple seasons ago. Ethan continues his dual role of tracking both the B1G and the SEC.

Here are the Uni Trackers for the Power 5 Conferences:

+ + + + + + + + + +

Rex is up first today (ACC):

• • •


More Here.
Follow Rex on Twitter here.
And (new for 2019!) — check out Rex’ &1/favorite ACC matchup and Rex Weekly Update.

• • •

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


More here.
Follow Dennis on Twitter here.

• • •

And here is Ethan, with the SEC:


And be sure to check out Ethan’s WVU Mountaineer Tracker.
Follow Ethan on Twitter here.

• • •

And here is Kyle with the Big XII:


Follow Kyle on Twitter here.

• • •

And here’s Ethan with the B1G:


Duck Tracker

Welcome to the 2019 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!

Thanks Dennis!

The Ticker
By Anthony Emerson

Baseball News: The A’s and Tigers continued a previously postponed May game in Oakland yesterday afternoon. As the Tigers were the designated home team, the Coliseum scoreboards played along (from @OR_observer). Though Detroit was the home team, they wore all grey and the A’s had white pants under green jerseys (from Jeff Koenig and Jakob Fox). … Rangers OF Shin-Soo Choo’s jersey had an old Majestic logo, but the MLB150 and Rangers Ballpark Final Season patches during last night’s game. Odd (form Emilio Vialpando). … The Sun Trust Park scoreboard was adorned with Blue Jays logos for the Nationals last night (from Brain Hattab and Brendo Skowronski). … We might’ve covered this before, but the 1971 All-Star Game bases were red, white and blue. … The Nationals have already released their 2020 uniform schedule (from Tom Turner). … Also posted in the hockey section: check out this Ducks/Angels crossover cap (from Justin Kadis). … You ever wonder how in the age before StatCast broadcasters were able to say how far a home run was hit with such accuracy? Well, charts like these were — and evidently still are — used in some cases. That’s from the Triple-A Round Rock Express, affiliates of the Astros (from Vaughn Miller).

NFL News: It appears the Browns will have just their color rush jersey stripes in their endzones and no midfield logo on the field this season (from Nate Rathjen and @DDapsis). … Gosh, Tahir Whitehead’s Raiders jersey looking a little patch-cluttered now that he’s a captain. Also: is that a new captain’s patch? Previous ones had the first-season gold star at the extreme left, and the three other stars there (from @NY_Raider). … Oakland (Tn.) High has stolen the Pat Patriot logo.

College Football News: Iowa has made very slight changes to their helmet logo for this season. … Eric Kohli was watching a rebroadcast of the 1998 Holiday Bowl, and noticed that Arizona RB Chris McAlister had a completely different NOB font than his teammates. … Arkansas State has revealed new white unis and will go black-white-white tomorrow (from Chris Hudgison). … UW has added a gold graduation cap above the nameplate for players that have graduated (from Alex Bolton and Aaron James). … The Indiana University Police have changed their motor unit’s helmets will match the Hoosiers’ football helmets this season (from @DaveGH2P and Dane Warren). … Stony Brook has changed the color of their away uni numbers from red to blue, and are going red-white-red today against Utah State (from Eric Wright). … Miami is going all white (from Jason Lefkowitz). … Virginia Tech will be maroon-maroon-white when they take the field today against ODU (from Andrew Cosentino). … UNC is going blue-blue-white today (from James Gilbert). … Mizzou is going white-black-white against West Virginia (from Jacob Bogage). … Black-white-white for Army (from @coachgerman32). … Houston is going red-red-white (from Ignacio Salazar). … Maine is going with throwback helmets in honor of their Hall of Fame weekend (from Heath Carignan). … Tulane is going green-white-green. … URI is going black-blue-blue (from Kellen Marcil). … The following are all from Phil: Michigan State will wear those neon monstrosities today. … Blue-red-white for Ole Miss against Arkansas. … Oregon is going mono-green in their home opener. … Red-black-white throwbacks for the Gamecocks today. … New helmet decals for the Minnesota Gophers today (from Daniel Kilgore).

Hockey News: The Blackhawks posted a great video of their seamstresses at work on the team’s sweaters (from Adam Badger and @PMBria89). … Cross-posted from the baseball section: check out this Ducks/Angels crossover cap (from Justin Kadis). … The ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers are wearing St. John’s Maple Leafs throwbacks on December 7 (from Wade Heidt). … Also from Wade, Canucks G Thatcher Demko’s new mask features Will Ferrell character Jackie Moon on the back. .

Hoops News: According to the newest edition of NBA 2K, the Magic have gotten rid of their blue unis. … Here’s a look at Kentucky women’s new unis, as well as a discussion about if the men’s team should drop the checkerboard design (from Josh Hinton).

Soccer News: Austria Klagenfurt will play their home matches away from their home ground, the Wörthersee Stadion, after artist Klaus Littmann planted a mini-forest on the pitch to raise awareness for deforestation (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, Borussia Dortmund is wearing “Borussia Verbindet: Gemeinsam gegen Rassismus” — which translates to “Borussia Connects: Together Against Racism” — instead of the advertiser logo this weekend for a friendly against Energie Cottbus, whose supporters, according to Ed Żelaski, are known to shout racist chants. … Also from Ed: There is an artificial pitch in Sochi, Russia, outside of Fisht Stadium. The pitch is white and red, as it’s made out of recycled Budweiser cups left over from the World Cup. … Before last night’s USA/Mexico game, former GK Tim Howard was given a framed jersey with “121” as the number, in honor of his 121 national team caps (from Jakob Fox).

Grab Bag: England’s Joe Root suffered a broken cup during an Ashes match yesterday. Ouch (from Jim Vilk). … A blog has ranked all 50 US state flags by ugliness. MAJOR disagreements with Maryland’s place on this list. And Kansas in the top 10? Writer must be a Kansan (from Chris Buccafusco). … David Lewis writes in: “In Friday’s rainy practice for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Red Bull Racing’s Alex Albon wore a plain white Arai helmet instead of his usual colorful Bell. Albon, who is 6′ 1″ tall, recently replaced the 5′ 9″ Pierre Gasly at Red Bull, and the difference in height affected the airflow into the intake that sits above and behind the driver. Aerodynamics mean everything to an F1 team. Better acoustics for the in-helmet microphone and — of course — marketing also play a part in the choice of helmets. Albon switched back to the Bell for the second practice, but expects to be wearing a painted version of the Arai for the race.” Faaaascinating. … On a similar note, Sebastian Vettel’s helmet for Monza has fake scratches and marks, as a callback to a time when F1 drivers used helmets for up to two years, and became battle-scarred in the process (from Amol Yajnik). … Scotland has officially produced a tartan pattern for its Muslim citizens (from Mark Skog). … The Batavia, N.Y., City Council voted 11 to 1 to shut down a new logo for the city (from James Gilbert). … New athletic logo and mascot for Lakeland Community College (from Mary Lynn Delfino). … DC Metro stations with the incorrect font on signage will reopen with the wrong font, for now (from William F. Yurasko). … Lake Placid’s ski jump lights up indicate to the jumper when to go (from Jim Vilk).

Comments (26)

    Some good looking college football games that first week. Gotta bump Miami vs. Florida to #1 for me when looking at the 5 in 1 selections. Great, timeless college football uniforms.

    Nothing wrong with the Pitt vs. Virginia. Virginia looks good but I subtract praise when it comes to the helmet. I am just not a fan of the logo on one side and number on the other side helmet designs.

    UVA alum and fan here. Couldn’t agree with you more about the helmet. I also don’t think the gray face mask works with the rest of the United.

    “The Nationals will represent the DMV region in eight uniform combinations in 2019, including six jerseys and five hats*.”


    1. The link for Sebastian Vettel’s helmet goes back to the home run distance picture.
    2. URI looks more navy than black but it is awfully dark.

    1) Scotland does not produce tartan patterns for anybody. People and organizations design tartans for themselves, and the Scottish government has a system for registering tartans. Works like our patent system, in that the tartan authority examines new tartans for uniqueness compared to old ones, and registration gives the tartan’s creator rights to exclusive use of that pattern.

    2) The Islamic tartan was registered in 2012. No idea why this story has gone viral on social media this week, but it’s old news. (A beautiful tartan design and a wonderful example of Scottish inclusiveness though.)

    Here’s the tartan’s official registration: link

    My Canadian city has an official tartan (designed for its 25th anniversary back in 1995).

    Its main colour is the one that shall not be named here ;)


    I contacted my ward city councillor to see if they could make up something city tartan related for the coming 50th anniversary; she seemed to think it was a good idea. We’ll see if anything comes of it in 2020.

    I don’t watch much college football, but I’ve always really enjoyed the 5&1 feature. I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with a 5&1 report more strongly than I do with this week’s. Thanks, Memal! Not so much for how much I agree with the rankings, but for the thoughtful explanations of the reasoning behind each. Looking forward to the rest of the college football season’s SMUW reports!

    Tahir Whitehead’s patch looks like the patch style worn on color rush uniforms, so not a totally new style.

    Maybe I missed it today, but I thought Missouri was a noticeable upgrade last Saturday. No? The “3 Stripes” were back. That’s major (no pun intended).

    Nice to see Northwestern in Memal’s very first “5 & 1” pick! I mostly find his “5” to be very nice-looking games, even when I don’t have a vested interest, so off to a good start!

    PROOFREADING: The link to the “neon monstrosities” for Michigan State seems to be wrong, as I get a picture of players entering the stadium in street clothes.

    Good to see college football uni coverage is back. The guys do a great job. Terry you always do a lot of work. Much appreciated.

    The writer of the ugliest state flags article was not a Kansan. He is from New Mexico, which was #1. It was in the 2nd line of the article.

    I’m VERY late to the party, but surprised no one noticed the Grab Bag city council logo was the Batavia in Illinois, not New York.

Comments are closed.