BCS of uniforms: Big 12

Oklahoma State's Richetti Jones and the rest of Oklahoma State went with this look for their biggest victory of the season over Oklahoma. Photo by Getty Images

As we approach New Year’s Day, we’ll start to move deeper into this BCS of uniforms. Today, the Big 12:

1. Oklahoma State

The Cowboys made a huge splash this season by wearing a different uniform combination for every game. Turns out it worked for them as they won their first Big 12 title and are headed to the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2.

I always preferred the normal white helmet with orange uniform, but at least the Cowboys showed  a great effort this season for uniforms, and it’s hard to argue with the success they had in them. The best part about the changes was they did not abandon the primary OSU logo or introduced new colors into the scheme.

2. Baylor

Maybe it’s because the Bears got a little more exposure this season with Robert Griffin III, but I just began to notice how good the primary Baylor uniform looks.

The combination of the gold pants and helmets with the green uniforms is very clean and neat. Nike even introduced a new uniform line for the Bears before the season. The Alamo Bowl uniforms were a bust, but I can forgive them.

3. Texas A&M

The Aggies don’t try to get too flashy with their uniforms, and that works for them. Maybe it’s because my elementary school wore maroon, but I find the combination of maroon and white to be very cool.

The logo works because of the big T that is complemented by the A and M around it. My favorite is when the Aggies host Texas and wear all maroon.

4. Texas

These are classic college football uniforms.

Anytime you see burnt orange, you immediately think Texas and that shows the uniform has done its primary job of identifying a team. The orange is complemented nicely by the white helmets, and the road all-white look is a solid one.

5. Oklahoma

Again, these are classic uniforms. If there was ever a change with the Sooners’ uniforms, I’m sure there would be a riot throughout all of Norman.

There’s really not much to the uniforms, but since they have been around so long and are iconic in college football, they get a decent ranking here.

Jeff Woody and the rest of the Cyclones had a tough time getting going against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl. Photo by Getty Images

6. Iowa State

Recently, the Cyclones have gone to a retro look that certainly works for them. The combination of red with yellow pants is a nice look and the stripes along the shoulder are nifty, but it’s still a somewhat boring look.

If the helmets could improve here, perhaps they would move up in the rankings.

7. Missouri

The Tigers have a decent uniform, but there is simply too much going on with all the trimming in the uniform. Plus, the helmets are pretty boring.

8. Texas Tech

Again, there’s too much going on here, even more than Missouri. The lines that go up the shoulders are unnecessary, it’s far too distracting for a football uniform.

9. Kansas State

There’s not enough going on here. The purple with the silver is very boring. The part about this uniform that gets me the most is the logo which has been around forever, but could definitely use some work.

10. Kansas

Yawn! Could that helmet get any more boring? The Jayhawks aren’t even trying to do anything smart with the KU. They’re just written on the helmets. Much more effort is needed here.

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Look at Oregon’s helmets

The Ducks are going to make another uniform splash on Monday when they take on Wisconsin during the Rose Bowl. Check out this video of the helmets.

 

BCS of uniforms: Big East

Syracuse's Prince-Tyson Gulley looked very nice this past season while running for Syracuse. Photo by Associated Press

As we lead up to the big-time bowl games, and I do not mean that as an insult to the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl, I will be going through my own lead up to the big game between Alabama and LSU on Jan. 9, and it all starts today.

I will go over each BCS conference and rank the uniforms of the schools in the conference. From there, I will put together a nice bowl system to find your national champion of uniforms.

We will start with the worst conference on the field, the Big East.

I will get to the chase right away, the top team in uniforms in the Big East is … the Syracuse Orange.

1. Syracuse

The Orange have undergone some changes in recent years since going away from the plain look of the 80s and 90s. Now, the white and blue stripes over the orange helmet and block S really makes the helmet stand out from the others.

When we get down to the uniforms themselves, the combination of orange and blue, which is always a stellar combination, gives the Orange a stellar home and road look.

2. Pittsburgh

The Panthers have a very simple, but effective look for both home and away uniforms. The combination of navy blue and gold on the helmets and the uniforms is clean.

The high ranking of this look, also speaks to the mediocrity of the Big East when it comes to uniforms. The block lettering on the helmet is also quite impressive.

3. West Virginia

The Mountaineers also have a classic look as well. However, in recent years, the yellow alternate with yellow pants have taken away from the usual home uniform.

It’s really a shame because West Virginia looked very cool with the yellow pants and blue uniforms. The West Virginia logo is a good look as well.

4. South Florida

This season was a big step for the Bulls in the uniform department. They had employed an alternate white helmet to go apart from the usual gold helmet.

The Bulls introduced a green helmet and green pants for their away uniforms, and it got off to a roaring start with a victory over Notre Dame.

The logo is average at best. It’s hard to really tell what they are getting at. It’s clearly supposed to be a bull from a U, but I don’t think it really works.

5. Cincinnati

Here is where we get into the real dregs of the uniform world that is the Big East.

There’s not much about the Bearcats’ uniforms that will get anyone excited. The home uniforms are all back to go along with the black helmets, but the bear claws on the side take away from the simpleness of the uniforms.

It's doubtful many of the members of the Rutgers football team will be celebrating their place in the Big East rankings.

6. Rutgers

Again, the Scarlet Knights go with a simple look of red with white pants most of the time, but the all-black alternates from this season have taken away from the uniforms.

7. Lousiville

There’s not much to say here, these uniforms are quite terrible. There’s nothing special to them, it’s like they’re stuck in the 80swith their uniforms.

8. Connecticut

The Huskies have nothing special going on here. The basketball uniforms are so much better than the stupid football look. There is simply nothing to speak of here. The trimming along the sides doesn’t belong.

So there it is, Syracuse will be moving on to the Orange Bowl of uniforms. They don’t rank among the best in the country, but just like in real football, the Big East doesn’t earn as much in terms of respect nationally.

NFL Week 15 review: Nice to see them back

Kellen Clemens and the rest of the Rams put up a good fight against the Bengals in these throwbacks on Sunday. Photo by Getty Images

There were two major items to discuss from this past week’s NFL action, and they both were of the short-of throwback variety.

Both have been discussed here and fantastic uniforms options that teams have abandoned as their primary uniforms.

We’ll start with the St. Louis Rams went went with their yellow-and-blue throwbacks for a close loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. For the second time this season (the other coming in a victory over the Saints) the Rams played over their heads while sporting these phenomenal uniforms.

There was even a bit of talk on Twitter about the possibility of making these fantastic uniforms the primaries for the Rams in the years to come. That would be a great move for the franchise.

Ryan Mathews looked stellar sporting the best uniform in sports on Sunday night. Photo by Getty Images

The second great uniform move came when the Chargers broke out their powder blue alternates in a dominant victory over the Ravens. While these uniforms always look good, they look even better for night games because of the way the blue shines in the lights.

It clearly helped San Diego on the field as they rolled over the Ravens and put themselves back in playoff contention, just like the Chargers do every season.

Hopefully, that is enough to hold you over until for a bit. Over the Christmas break, I will start to gather information on the BCS of uniforms for when bowl season really starts to kick into gear.

Until then, enjoy the football on Christmas Eve.

What is to come?

Michigan will sport these special uniforms for the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech this January.

First of all, I would just like to apologize for how sporadic the posts have been the past few weeks. With Christmas coming up and the lack of excitement in the uniform world, it’s been tough to find the time of subject matter.

But anyway, here is a bit of a preview regarding what will be coming during the winter season.

To wrap up the college football season, I’ll give a breakdown of each conference, awarding a bid to one school from each conference to the BCS of uniforms. This will all be done by the time they kick off in New Orleans for the BCS Championship.

Right around that time, the NBA will be starting up its lockout-shortened season. Throughout the season, I’ll provide weekly reviews of the uniforms that have been displayed most prominently that week. With the condensed schedule, there should be no shortage of uniforms changes to talk about.

We’ll also move some of our attention the the world of college basketball as that begins to move to the forefront of our consciousness.

Baseball will also be starting around the spring, and perhaps a look at Spring Training uniforms may be in order before the games start to count.

Any other ideas or suggestions are more than welcome. Hopefully, we can start to find a few more avenues than football for this blog.

Army-Navy review

Kriss Proctor was the primary runner for Navy, and he was the quarterback. Most of the ground action looked pretty neat in Nike Pro Combat uniforms. Photo by Getty Images

Let me first say I love the Army-Navy game, absolutely love it. Call me old-fashioned, but to me, there’s something special about all the cadets and midshipmen entering the stadium in formation and the president switching sides of the field at halftime.

The game is simple, it’s what college football used to be, and to me, that is very cool. The triple option is the only play run and while both teams are not playing for a BCS game, their fans (and the players) are truly emotionally invested in the outcome.

Now, this season the game was given a little extra boost when the teams ran out of the tunnel. The uniforms were different than the usual.

The best part of these uniforms came in the details. And we’ll start with Navy, who made the biggest splash.

The Midshipmen usually have a simple look of blue with gold pants and a simple gold helmet. They have changed up the look in recent years for the Army game, but nothing like the drastic change they made to the helmet this year.

Navy came out with a white helmet featuring the Navy logo in gold. There was also a thick stripe down the center of the helmet, giving it that signature Pro Combat look.

It was a little stunning to see Navy come out looking slightly different than usual, but it was definitely something I got used to as the game progressed. The logo was neat to see prominently displayed, and the tapper at the back of the stripe was kind of neat too.

Perhaps the best feature to this uniform was the one that went unseen by those watching on television. Under the uniforms was a stars-and-stripes shirt with the words, “Don’t Tread on Me” written across the chest. Army also had a similar shirt, but it was far more simple.

Army quarterback Trent Steelman looked cool with this awesome font in Saturday's Army-Nay game. Photo by Associated Press

Now on to Army’s uniforms. I always liked Army’s uniforms in general. They are simple and the black with gold always is a nice combination. The Black Knights have gone to a camouflage for a recent Army-Navy game, and frankly, that just seemed a little strange for a football game.

For Saturday’s game, I really like the font for the numbers on Army’s uniforms. The thick black stripe on the matte-finish gold helmet was cool to see.

The best part of the uniform was the shoes. Army was sporting these gold shoes that went very well with the gold pants they had. Here’s a closer look at everything the Black Knights chose yesterday.

The Army-Navy game always has just the right pageantry for a college football game, and in this case, the uniforms struck just the right chord to match the game.

Week 13 NFL review: Creamsicles

Tampa Bay running back Mossis Madu, who has an awesome name, looked like the Bucs of old in these uniforms. Photo by Getty Images

As the NFL season starts to wind down, uniform change becomes a thing of the past. Teams have used their alternates earlier in the season, and any change that might have happened in the offseason has lost its novelty.

Therefore, most of the excitement comes from throwbacks, like the Bucs this past weekend, making them pretty iconic throwbacks at that.

The Creamsicle orange uniforms that we saw on Sunday were worn by Tampa Bay from their founding in 1976 until 1998 when the team chose to go away form Bucco Bruce on the helmet and totally revamp their look.

Considering the futility the franchise experiences while wearing these uniforms, the move was understandable. The Bucs certainly displayed that same futility on the field on Sunday in a blowout loss to the Panthers.

These uniforms have become one of the most well-known in NFL history, mostly because of how absurd they look. It is nice however to see them make a return once per season.

Tampa Bay also does a good job of displaying the uniforms by completely changing their field and end zones to match these uniforms. I have talked about this before, and it just makes the game seem more cohesive when watching.

That’s all we really have at the moment, there were not many changes in the rest of the NFL, here’s hoping we see a bit more as the season reaches its final weeks.

Championship Week College football review: Numbers game

Southern Miss's Khyri Thomton has three ways of displaying his number as he hit Case Keenum on Saturday. Photo by Associated Press

Although the college football schedule was cut down significantly on Saturday, there was no absence of uniform intrigue. Mostly coming from two teams displaying a subtle, but effective, uniform quirk.

One came from a team that has been using it all season, but finally came to light on Saturday when Southern Miss stunned Houston in the Conference USA Championship Game.

Astute observers would notice that one of side of the matte-finish helmet the Eagles were sporting was the typical Souther Miss logo, but on the other side was the player’s uniform number.

It was pretty cool to see when I first noticed it while watching the game. It’s unusual to see the number on just one side of the helmet while the logo goes on the other, but another team went with the same combination Saturday as well.

Boise State who has changed up their helmet many times this season, went with their nifty Pro Combat helmets, but added a twist as the numbers were featured on one side of the helmet. This one was pretty surprising to see since it is a truly new addition to the helmet.

I have always liked when teams decide to put the numbers on their helmets. It’s not because I need another way to identify the players on the field, but it is a bit of a throwback to the retro helmets when more teams featured numbers.

This season, Michigan has decided to make numbers on the helmets a permanent feature and it has looked great all season. Obviously, Alabama has featured the numbers on the helmets for as long as I can remember.

For two seasons (2005 and 2006) Syracuse experimented with numbers on their helmets before going to a block S on the helmet. It was my favorite feature of my alma mater’s football uniform and I was very sad to see it go.

We only have one quick hit this week, as Oklahoma State continued to change up their uniforms and may have found the perfect combination (for them at least) as their black helmets on orange uniforms with black pants resulted in the program’s biggest victory.

AL East Retro Party

The Blue Jays will go back to featuring blue as their primary color when play begins in 2012.

I know I’m very late to this party, but with football winding down and no more crazy Maryland football uniforms to discuss, it’s time to look at a few changes made in baseball over the offseason.

We’ll start with the AL East where the Orioles and Blue Jays have decided to turn back the clock in their uniforms for the upcoming 2012 season. In both instances, there are slight variations and the looks get the Style Points seal of approval.

The Blue Jays have ditched the space-age type look they employed in recent times to use this more retro look.

Tornoto had chosen to use a retro look for select home games recently, but these new permanent uniforms. The biggest difference here are the hats. The thick white stripe (if you can even call it a stripe) in the front of the hat will not be featured next season, but the same logo will be used.

The logo on the uniform will also move from the middle of the jersey to the side, making it look cleaner and more organized.

Overall, this is a very smart move by the Blue Jays. The black and silver look just never felt right. They are called the Blue Jays afterall, and the return of blue as the primary color is definitely a welcome change.

The Orioles will introduce a new orange alternate and a retro hat for home games this upcoming season.

Meanwhile, the Orioles have gone retro as well.

For a while, catcher Matt Wieters has featured a retro catching helmet. The one with the white middle and the cartoon oriole featured as the logo. I always thought it was really neat he was allowed to go that and now the rest of the Orioles can.

For home games, Baltimore will go back to the white and black hats with the cartoon bird, and for road games, they will go with a neat black hat with an orange bill that features this cartoon bird logo.

The road hat is my favorite because it combines the retro hat with the black hat that was used with the actual oriole in recent years.

Both of these changes should make play in the AL East very interesting this season, considering these two teams haven’t actually contended for a division title in the past decade.