By Phil Hecken & The SMUW Crew
I’m going on record now: The Tigers will win the FBS Championship on January 13, 2020.
Take it to the bank. It’s a Joe Namath-esque guarantee.
I say that because the Clemson Tigers (in an absolute thriller) and the LSU Tigers (in an absolute blowout) both won their semi-final playoff games yesterday, and will meet for the Championship in just over 2 weeks. Tigers v. Tigers. Tigers will win. Guaranteed.
Ohio State, who played valiantly in a close loss, whipped out their 1968 throwbacks for the game, and it appeared to bring them some good mojo for more than half the game, but in the end, Clemson pulled it out. If those uniforms looked familiar, they’ve broken them out before: the 2015 BCS Championship Game against Oregon. The Buckeyes won that one. While trying to explain the Bucks unis on Twitter yesterday, someone unearthed a tweet of mine from 2015, answering the same question. LOL. History does repeat itself.
One of the best things about Clemson winning, other than well, Clemson winning, is the fact that the Natty will feature LSU in Gold/White/Gold (their traditional home uniform) vs. Clemson in mono-orange (IMO the only team that can pull that look off). We only saw Clemson in their all orange unis once this year…so while it will be 2020 when next we see them, it will still be for the 2019 season. It might not be the best looking game of the year (they’ve played before, with Clemson wearing white pants then), but it will still look good.
At this point, I’m gonna turn this over to TJ, who’ll bring you up to speed on all the Bowl games so far. Here’s Mr. Duroncelet with your…
Sunday Morning BOWL Watch
By Terry Duroncelet, Jr.
And just like that indigestion from eating too much turkey/ham, I have returned. Hope everyone had (is having) a great holiday season, and now we enter the postseason, where there’s a game almost everyday, and I’ll be honest in saying: I’m exhausted. I’ve been working my day job far more than I ever had, and I have had NO. TIME. to just sit and watch the bowl games from start to finish, so if I seem cut, dry, and to the point in this first wave of bowl games, it’s simply because I need to be time-conscious (and just as well: I tend to be long-winded sometimes, and don’t want to put you guys through an unnecessary gauntlet of rambles), but nevertheless, I always enjoy covering these games every year, and with the decade about to end, let’s cut the chitchat and get into it.
*PLEASE NOTE: as tradition would have it, I reference each school by their full name, and my source is Wikipedia, so if there are any errors in names, I’m simply going off of Wikipedia. Also, apologies to those who have made me aware of a school going by a different name than what is posted and me forgetting year-after-year*
From Friday, December 20th, 2019
|Buffalo vs Charlotte| We begin our bowl season… funny enough, on a Friday (the last ones over the last few years have started on a Saturday), and here we have The State University of New York at Buffalo
Buffaloes Bulls in all-white, and The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers in gold/green/gold with gold-chrome helmets. A surprisingly nice-looking game on the eyes, and a good way to start off the postseason.
|Utah State vs Kent State| Up next, we have the Utah Sta— … um… WOW. WELL, at any rate, we have the Utah State University Aggies in black/grey/black, and the Kent State University Golden Flashes in… something golden and flashy. Kent State looked fun, but Utah State? Apparently nobody told them that black and navy don’t mix with most outfits, and this is the latest example of why. Hopefully they never wear this again.
From Saturday, December 21st, 2019
|Central Michigan vs San Diego State| It ain’t the Sun Bowl, but there were copious amounts of sunlight in this matchup between the Central Michigan University Chippewas in maroon/white/white, and the San Diego State University Aztecs in red/black/black.
|Liberty vs Georgia Southern| Georgia Southern came attire-appropriate. This game features the Liberty University Flames in red/white/navy, and the Georgia Southern University Eagles in navy/navy/white.
|SMU vs FAU| This game had about as much visual variety as an 18 mile-long caravan of fried food, and ALL. YOU SEE. IS DARK BEIGE. Definitely ‘meh’ in my book, but at the same time, what do you want these two teams to do? Wear a non-school color? But then I’ll roast them for that! (okay, I gotta stop talking about food) Anyway, this game was played between the Southern Methodist University Mustangs in one of the nicest all-white uniforms in college football, and the hometown Florida Atlantic University Owls in white/red/white.
|Boise State vs Washington| In the matchup of two schools back West, this one was pleasant, if a little heavy on the cool tones. Here we have the University of Washington Huskies in gold/purple/gold, and the Boise State University Broncos in white/white/blue.
|Appalachian State vs UAB| Nothing like a bowl game in the Dome, and this tilt is one of… what, 3 this season, I think? Here, we have the Appalachian State University Mountaineers in white/white/black, and the The University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers in white/green/green, which is not my favorite look of theirs, and could’ve added some visual diversity by going with the classics, or if they must do mono-green, at least have a green helmet.
From Monday, December 23rd, 2019
|UCF vs Marshall| I’m not an “I hate Mondays” guy, but if you live by The Boomtown Rats and our favorite
orange coral-colored cursed cat, and you’ve been wondering what Monday would look like in the form of a college football bowl game, today’s your lucky day. Here, we have the University of Central Florida Knights in black/grey/black, and the Marshall University Thundering Herd in white/green/black. The verdict?
From Tuesday, December 24th, 2019
|Hawai’i vs BYU| Before we go any further, let’s talk about the new logo for this bowl game. It’s… okay, but clinical in comparison to what came before it, and simply put: nothing compares (except, well, the sponsorless version). Anywho, this game features The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Rainbow Warriors in black/white/black, plus the State outline helmet decals, and the Brigham Young University Cougars in the royal blue version of their home uniforms.
From Thursday, December 26th, 2019
|LA Tech vs Miami (FL)| Post-Christmas college football, yay! The first game on tap features the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in all-white, and the University of Miami (FL) Hurricanes in white/orange/white.
|Pitt vs Eastern Michigan| That post-holiday feeling is the biggest sigh of relief for some, and a sucker punch for others (or rather, a slap across the face). Here, we have the University of Pittsburgh Panthers in gold/white/gold, and the Eastern Michigan University Eagles in green/green/white.
From Friday, December 27th, 2019
|USC vs Iowa| There a things few and far between that can outdo the classics. Between the University of Iowa Hawkeyes’ Rooney Special, and the cardinal/white/gold] of the University of Southern California Trojans, it’s hard to say that this was unattractive, albeit it was heavy on the gold pants. Also something of note: I don’t know if this applied to multiple players, but Iowa Junior DE A.J. Epenesa’s bowl game patch was purged of its bottom corners (here’s what it normally looks like). Was it because the placement of the patch on his jersey cut would’ve proven to interfere with the B1G logo in its proximity?
|Oklahoma State vs Texas A&M| Next up, we have the Oklahoma State University–Stillwater Cowboys in all-white (a clean look, but I think they made a mistake by going with the white facemasks), and the Texas A&M University Aggies in maroon/maroon/white.
|North Carolina vs Temple| Spiffy. Here, we have the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tar Heels in blue/white/blue (a.k.a., one of the Top 10 best road uniforms in college football), and the Temple University Owls in white/cherry/white, with new helmets for the occasion.
|Michigan State vs Wake Forest| Up next, we have the Michigan State University Spartans in green/white/white, and the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons in gold/black/black, and gold-chrome helmets.
|Air Force vs Washington State| What an OUTSTANDING-looking game! This matchup was between the United States Air Force Academy Falcons in all-white (and damn, do they make it look good), and the Washington State University Cougars in crimson/crimson/grey.
From Saturday, December 28th, 2019
|Memphis vs Penn State| The Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions looked about as… well, Penn State as you would expect, but a tiny change to the helmet was this decal on the back, honoring Wally Triplett. He and Dennie Hoggard were the first African Americans to ever play in the Cotton Bowl (and both happened to be Nittany lions). Meanwhile, The University of Memphis Tigers were feeling a bit… grey, to say the least.
|Notre Dame vs Iowa State| A game that had a lot of visual potential, but one team had to heck it up. Here, we have the University of Notre Dame du Lac Fighting Irish in gold/white/gold (and the best helmets in college football, IMO), and the Iowa State University of Science and Technology Cyclones? Black/cardinal/cardinal. Pheh. [Note that Notre Dame went NOB — a bowl game tradition for them! — PH]
|Oklahoma vs LSU| …Yeah, that was a beatdown. But hey, it was a perfect game, uniform-wise. The University of Oklahoma Sooners in crimson/crimson/white, and (deep breath)… the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Tigers in gold/white/gold. Only one game left for Burreaux and Ceaux.
|Clemson vs Ohio State| Opposite of LSU vs Oklahoma, this game came down to the wire, coming to an end on a last-second route change. The Clemson University Tigers wore orange/white/orange, and THE… Ohio State University Buckeyes wore grey/scarlet (throwback)/grey.
That will do it for the first part of the bowl game coverage. And also the last post of the decade. Tune in next week for that New 202 Content (why am I treating this like a proper pronoun?). Thank you all for reading throughout the season (and seasons), and I will see you next deca– NO! We are NOT cracking an almost-definitely worn-out joke! See you next week *waves*
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 with his 5 & 1, Bowl Edition, Part I
I’m happy to report the first part of the bowl season looked really good! Most teams stuck to their normal uni templates and avoided reaching for statement sets that usually wind up in contention for the &1, which should only amp up your excitement for the great slate of games still to come!
5. Washington vs Boise State
The Broncos and the Huskies met in Las Vegas in Chris Peterson’s last game as a head coach and wore pretty standard uni-sets; Washington gold/purple/gold and Boise State white/white/blue. A nice match up between two teams wearing their best!
4. USC vs Iowa
As often as I go on about contrasting uni-matchups, sometimes a small difference makes for a great looking uni-matchup, such as this one between the Trojans in cardinal/white/gold against the Hawkeyes in black/black/gold. I lived for four years in Iowa just an hour away from Iowa City and quickly grew to appreciate what Hayden Fry meant to football throughout the state and I thought removing the tigerhawk logo was a great tribute.
3. Pitt vs Eastern Michigan
The Panthers met the Eagles in their standard away, which created a wonderful contrast of colors, green and silver vs royal blue and yellow. Add to it how it was a fun game to watch on the recovery day that is December 26th and you have great looking of the first half of the bowl season.
2. Temple vs UNC
The best looking bowl from this first week was Temple in their home reds against North Carolina in blue/white/blue, a Carolina blue vs cherry matchup that was contrasting enough, but the match up of argyle against the Owl’s unique stripe pattern put this game near the top!
1. Clemson vs Ohio State
The second playoff game Saturday featured the Buckeyes throwing back and the Tigers sporting their championship orange pants. The clash of orange and white vs scarlet and gray uni sets looked great under the lights in the desert. Not only did it look great, but the game lived up to the hype and was one of the most entertaining games of this part of the bowl season, earning it the top spot!
And because somebody has to be the sacrificial lamb…
&1 Marshall vs UCF @ the Bad Boys Mower Gasparilla Bowl
This might be my favorite name of a bowl game ever, which combined with nasty weather you would think this would be a sure bet for the top 5! However, UCF packed gray tops, which, featured against the white/green/black combo from the Thundering Herd, made for a terribly underwhelming uni-matchup. I wish the Golden Knights would go back to looking more like their nicknames!
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
Now that we’re into the Bowl Season, it’s time for the trackers to show off the uni combos worn by the Power 5 conferences in the Bowl games so far. I like how each of the trackers takes a slightly different approach to their tracking graphics.
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):
And now, here’s Dennis with the PAC-12:
And here is Ethan, with the SEC:
And here is Kyle with the Big XII:
Follow Kyle on Twitter here.
And here’s Ethan with the B1G:
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: “The 1979 TV movie The Kid from Left Field features a game with a White Sox uniform that was never worn before by the club,” writes Marc Viquez. “There is also two Expos logos on the outfield wall for some reason—perhaps blocking out another MLB logo.”
NFL News: Need help ID’ing the year for these NFL pencils: Manny Reyes writes, “Came to visit my momma in Huntington Park…and found these gems!! I would say circa 1993 or 1994??” Twitter seems to think 1993, due to Phoenix Cardinals & Flying Elvis (w/gray mask), as well as the Raiders still being in LA. … The Iggles need a win to clinch a playoff berth,
and they’re playing the Giants, so that’s a given, so they’re gonna wear their lucky green pants. … From Who Dat to Who Dey? Looks like someone is already making Joe Burrow Bengals jerseys (from Coach KT).
College Football News: ICYMI: because Bowls are important, you should always wear your school colors. Unless you’re ASU, then you go black jersey/pants for your Sun Bowl appearahce (from Cole Streeper). … Don’t forget, for all your college bowl needs, be sure to check Josh Hinton’s account. … Here’s the logo for the neutral site opener next fall between USC and Bama (from Chicago Gump). Bama by 1 million. … Also from Gump, there was a Memphis St. basketball uniform spotted at the Cotton Bowl. … Here’s a look at the last 20 years of West Virginia Mountaineers football unis. … Gotta love LSU trolling ‘bama, but oh, that apostrophe catastrophe (from Robery Hayes). … Prior to yesterday’s semi-final against OSU, here is a look at Clemson’s bowl record, by uniform, since 1981 (from Clemson Uni Tracker). And here’s their record in the CFB Playoff. … The great Blaise D’Sylva continued his NCAAFB helmet countdown yesterday by featuring Auburn’s history. … Looks like K-State will wear white hats (and pants?) for the Liberty Bowl on Tuesday (from Josh Hinton). And yes, the white pants are confirmed. … Good spot by Jakob Fox who noticed “the @cheezit commercial that is running during this bowl season is using a little league baseball helmet with the face mask in place of a football helmet.”
Hockey News: I’m not really into college hockey, but I’m pretty sure I just found a favorite team (that’s Canisius, btw). Via Paul. … Check out the details on Anton Khudobin’s Winter Classic mask by Sylabrush (from Clint Dickinson). … Nothing says you’re a Division Champion like custom cap (from SpisakOnline). … For the rest of the 2019-20 season, the Minnesota Gophers hockey club will wear this patch honoring late coach Doug Woog (via Paul). … The Indy Fuel wore Spiderman sweaters last night on what would have been Stan Lee’s 97th Birthday.
College Hoops News: Some color vs. color games are really hard to watch. But this game between Memphis and New Orleans, which is almost white vs. white, is pretty awful too (from Chris Lather). This was also noticed by Donald Wine, in a separate tweet. And one more (from boswell). … Looks like new uniforms for Louisville basketball yesterday. Says submitter Josh Hinton, “Seems like they always break out new threads against Kentucky.”
Soccer News: Here’s a look at this weekend’s Premier League matchups (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh, the Germany Euro2020 away kit has leaked. … For any other soccer kit news, be sure to follow Josh’s feed. … I’m pretty sure soccer hasn’t adopted tear-away jerseys, and yet here we are (from Joshua Dryer).
Grab Bag: I don’t often get tweets identifying a Ticker section, but there’s always room for one: “Grab Bag: Picked Newport, RI this year for the annual family Christmas getaway. Visited the mansions & saw the bust of Cornelius Vanderbilt, the namesake of the Vanderbilt Commodores, in The Breakers.” (from Timmy Donahue.) … “Quality Control for NLL referee jerseys needs to be improved. Left is correct, but the right….. uhhhhhh yeah nice try” says BlueMaple.
This is my last post of 2019, so I wanted to thank all the readers and commenters for their support throughout the year. And of course I want to thank all of the SMUW Crew (TJ, Memal, Rex, Dennis, Kyle & Ethan), and everyone who’s contributed to my articles (too many to mention, but you’re all great). It hasn’t been a great year personally, but it did have a pretty good ending as I got my grad school grades for the fall term…
Yay me. Anyhow, as the final days of 2019 tick away, let me wish everyone a great end of this year, and a happy, blessed, safe and peaceful 2020. You’re all aces!
Cheers and peace.