Rutgers looking more like Knights

Rutgers football will have a brand new look this upcoming season. It is a move toward looking like the Scarlet Knights they are named after. Photo by The Star-Ledger

Over the past few seasons, Rutgers football started to cause a stir in the uniform world with some black alternate jerseys, but Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights took it to another level.

Rutgers showed off their new threads in a televised uniform reveal in the SNY studios in New York City, and they’re significantly different than anything they’ve worn before.

Director of Athletics Tim Pernetti explained the uniforms as a move to look more like knights. Without that explanation, you might think it looks like Rutgers is ready to jump in a spaceship and head to the moon.

The silver helmets might give the opponents a hard time during day games because of the intense reflection of the sun. They’re supposed to look like the helmets of knights, and with that explanation, the helmets are not as offensive as first thought.

The primary problem I have with the helmets is the thick stripes that go over the top of the helmet. They’re unnecessarily huge and have become the trademark of these new Nike college football uniforms.

The uniforms themselves aren’t  too bad. I like the all-white for road uniforms and all-red for the home garb. The numbers bother me a little bit just because silver numbers can become distracting while watching games.

It should be interesting to watch these uniforms in action this fall.

Here’s a full photo gallery of the uniforms courtesy of The Star-Ledger.

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Bowl review: Helmets like solar panels

LaMichael James and the rest of the Oregon Ducks probably gave Wisconsin fits with their extremely reflective helmets for the Rose Bowl. Photo by Getty Images

Now that we’ve had a week to reflect on the college football season after a dominant performance by the Alabama defense, we’ll take one last look at the uniforms for these special games.

It comes as no shock that I’ll lead off with Oregon and its very shiny helmets for the Rose Bowl. It’s a wonder Wisconsin did not complain it couldn’t see as the Ducks ran out in the Pasadena sun light wearing what more closely resembled solar paneling than a football helmet.

Overall, I thought the look was neat and innovative for even Oregon. The use of “liquid metal” for the helmets and facemasks was cool to see. It added another dimension to the beauty of the setting for the Rose Bowl.

It was also very cool to see the reflection of the field and the mountains surrounding the Rose Bowl whenever ESPN gave the audience a close-up view of the helmet.

Oregon’s helmets worked for the most part, but the one drawback was the helmet had virtually nothing to do with the uniform. I understand it would require a completely silver uniform for the Ducks that might have blinded the 100,000 in attendance, but it’s justa  pet peeve I’m airing here.

Wisconsin also brought a subtlety to the game with the helmets. If you look really close, you can see the pattern of a rose in the W of the Badgers’ helmets. It’s stuff like that, that makes the Rose Bowl great.

The game presented a contrast of style in both style of play and general style. It was neat.

There was plenty of other fashion statements made over the bowl season, and here are a few highlights in our final installment of quick hits for this season:

Virginia looked pretty gross when they took on Auburn in the Chick-fil-a Bowl and it showed in its performance on the field. Photo by Getty Images

  • Virginia went with a frighteningly bad look in a blowout loss to Auburn in the Chick-fil-a Bowl. I have no idea what the Cavaliers were going for. Maybe they thought since the game was being played on New Year’s Eve night, everybody would be too drunk to notice. Luckily for this blog, I work on Saturday nights so I noticed.
  • Oklahoma State went all-black in their Fiesta Bowl victory over Stanford. I still wish they would go with orange and white one time. This look made it seem like it was Halloween, not New Year’s.
  • Baylor more closely resembled the old New York Jets than the Baylor Bears in the Alamo Bowl, but I guess it helped them score a lot of points so that’s great.
  • Notre Dame wore names on the back of their jerseys for the Champs Sports Bowl so there’s that.

BCS of uniforms: Pac-12

The UCLA players are pretty pumped to be named the best uniform in college football according to this blog. Photo by Associated Press

So even though the college football season has come to an end, we’ll have one last look at a major conference before reviewing the style displayed in the bowl games this season.

1. UCLA

These are the best uniforms is college football. The combination of a gold helmet, with purple lettering and a light blue uniform that features gold and white stripes on the shoulders. The uniform is completed by gold pants that complete the uniform in a perfect way.

2. Oregon

The Ducks have to get some credit here for being the pioneers behind this uniform revolution. It’s very difficult to pick one uniform combination because there must have been about 100 over the years. The general idea of green with yellow is cool, and again major credit going to Oregon for starting this craze.

3. USC

This is another example of a classic college football uniform that still works. The stripes on the shoulders are a bit different than the usual, but the combination of red and yellow still works.

4. Colorado

I like black with gold, and the logo on the helmet is subtle, but still works since the buffalo is neat.

5. Oregon State

These are pretty simple uniforms, but still solid. Orange with black is pretty cool, and I am a fan of the font used for the numbers.

6. Washington

The Huskies have a pretty regal look with gold and purple featured most prominently on the uniform. The W on the helmet is a good look.

7. Stanford

It’s a simple look for the Cardinal, but it goes along with the persona of the team. They never try to do anything too flashy and the uniform displays that.

8. Arizona State

The Sun Devils tried to liven up their uniforms this season, but it didn’t quite work that well. I enjoyed the old yellow helmets, but I understand what they were going for with the change.

9. California

If not for some unnecessary changes to the helmet that saw a paw and a weird stripe added to the helmet. The general color scheme is good, but there’s a little too much going on there for me.

10. Arizona

The Wildcats can’t really decide what they want their helmets to be. Sometimes they are blue, sometimes they are white, and I can’t find a rhyme or reason to it.

11. Utah

It’s a look that could be more simple if they wanted to improve it. There’s no need for some of the piping along the sides are crawling up the uniform.

12. Washington State

The Cougars don’t do much to get creative here. They even added some gray uniforms which was completely unnecessary and just looked weird.

BCS of uniforms: SEC

The Auburn road all-whites are just about as good as their home blues. Overall, just a stellar look. Photo by Getty Images

Things are getting very tense right now with the National Championship just on the horizon, so here is my best attempt at finishing this in a somewhat timely manner. Now going to the best conference in the nation on the field, at least.

1. Auburn

The Tigers have a great combination of navy blue and white helmets. The orange accents along the numbers and the pants add a very nice touch, and the interlocking logo is very neat.

2. Alabama

There is a huge dropoff here from Auburn to the rest of the SEC, it starts with the Tide. These are classic uniforms and only become noticeable considering the historic success of Alabama.

3. LSU

The Tigers are one of the few teams in college football to wear white at home, along with Georgia Tech. The stripes along the shoulders are the best part of this uniform. The helmet could use some work and creativity.

4. Ole Miss

My favorite version of the Rebels’ uniforms come with their red home alternates. They are very nifty. Also, the primary road uniforms are stellar.

5. Kentucky

There’s nothing too special about these uniforms, but someone has to be ranked among this countdown. The Wildcats are a pretty solid blue most of the time, and blue is a good color.

There's a whole lot of creamsicle-like orange going on when Tennessee gets ready for its team photo. Photo by Knoxville News Sentinel

6. Tennessee

I usually really like orange, but the orange the Volunteers go with see a little too creamiscle-like to me. I do however, like the white helmets and the large T on the helmets.

7. Arkansas

One cool feature of this uniform is how small the Razorback is on the helmet. It works.

8. Vanderbilt

The star with the small V inside it is all right. The general color scheme of gold and black is a good idea but they go with an all-black look too often.

9. South Carolina

The Gamecocks have a cool combination of maroon and white, but it is very difficult to tell what is going on in a complicated logo when it is so small on the helmet. There’s a lot more going on there than with Arkansas.

10. Georgia

The logo is basically the same as the Packers. Plus, I had to subtract many points for their debacle against Boise State to begin this season.

11. Florida

The Gators along the helmets are kinda bland. I always found it a little odd.

12. Mississippi State

Too plain, plus the logo is nothing to get too excited about.

BCS of uniforms: ACC

The players at North Carolina are clearly pretty psyched to be ranked at the top of the ACC.

Ok, so we are getting down to the wire here, but for time concerns, we will keep this brief when breaking down some of the fashion from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

1. North Carolina

Carolina blue has become iconic with the Tar Heels, but mostly on the basketball court. The football Tar Heels employ the interlocking N and C on their helmets. The Carolina blue in the home uniform is one of the best colors out there. The only thing that keeps this from being among the elite is the small and sometimes thick blue stripe on the side of the pants.

2. Virginia Tech

In recent years, the Hokies have gotten more creative with their uniforms. There have been some throwbacks and stripes on the shoulders added on to what used to be a pretty boring uniform.

3. Clemson

The Tigers have an all-orange look for home games, but unlike some other teams that go with all bright colors, the look isn’t to offensive, but it actually works. The Tiger print on the helmet is also pretty cool.

4. Miami

The Hurricanes have taken on the city of Miami’s bright color scheme for a long time. Now the Marlins are adopting the same look (maybe since they’re playing at the site of the old Orange Bowl.) The iconic ‘U’ on the helmet has been around for years and makes the helmets a solid look.

5. Florida State

The red and gold the Seminoles use is a good combination. The arrow on the helmet and the helmet stickers of the same design give them the details to make the uniform fun.

Virginia, who usually goes pretty conservative with their uniform choice, had a swing and a miss in this year's Chick-Fil-A Bowl

6. Virginia

The best part of the Virginia uniform is the helmet. The V with interlocking swords is very cool.

7. Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets are one of the rare teams in college football to wear white at home, most of the time. It’s not like their colors are dark anyway, a gold uniform could be used as road look if they really wanted.

8. Maryland

The Terps tried to become the Oregon of the east coast this season, but it simply did not work. The uniform combinations were not all that inspiring and couldn’t match the Ducks.

9. Duke

The saving grace for the Blue Devils here is their white helmets and stripes on the shoulder. I’m a sucker for both.

10. Boston College

I don’t know, this is a pretty plain look. It’s a classic uniform, but they haven’t had to success on the field to make it iconic.

11. Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons have an extremely boring helmet which really hurts these uniforms, all they have to do is perhaps get a little creative with the logo.

12. N.C. State

Nothing too much to talk about here. The small N and C in the big S are pretty neat though.

BCS of uniforms: Big Ten

It's not easy to see, but adding numbers to the Michigan helmets has taken the uniform to a new level this season.

First of all, I hope everyone enjoyed the New Year’s Day bowl games, even if they did come a day later than usual. Today, we’ll look into the Big Ten’s uniform rankings, where tradition reigns supreme.

1. Michigan

The Wolverines have always had a classic, yet intricate look, but this season, they added a new feature that took the uniform to the next level. The addition of small numbers on the helmet to go along with the Wolverine claws is quite cool.

The home combination of blue and yellow is always a good look with one dark color and one light. Also, those colors are synonymous with Michigan considering all the success and tradition in Ann Arbor.

2. Ohio State

Again, the best part of these traditional uniforms comes in the details, but it is nothing new. The Buckeye helmet stickers given out by the coaching staff makes an otherwise plain helmet an interesting part of the uniform.

Again, just like the Michigan uniforms, the colors of Ohio State (scarlet and grey) are iconic in college football.

3. Illinois

The Illini don’t have the same tradition as some other Big Ten schools, but again, the combination of orange and blue works for me.

The recent addition of some unnecessary trimming along the jersey bothers me a bit and the logo of “Illinois” with an underline is a little boring, but overall, the look is stellar.

4. Wisconsin

While, the uniform might be very generic, and as my brother said, “a typical uniform for a team that wears white and red,” it is still aesthetically pleasing. The big W on the helmets fills enough of the helmet to make it cool, and the red trimming along the white pants makes the uniform work.

5. Penn State

These are the most classic or classic football uniforms. The Nittany Lions wear blue at home and white on the road. It’s that simple. If Penn State did not have any success, these uniforms would be considered boring, but now they are iconic.

Michigan State and Michigan made the biggest uniform splash of the Big Ten season in October with these two uniforms.

6. Michigan State

There’s a little bit more going on here for the Spartans. They have switched back and forth on their helmets over recent years, but the general combination of green and white has stayed consistent, save for one game against Michigan this season.

7. Nebraska

It’s still weird to include the Huskers among the Big Ten, but might as well get used to it. These are basically the same as Wisconsin’s uniforms, the only difference, the N on the helmet is small and they wear red pants on the road.

8. Northwestern

The Wildcats don’t have the tradition of most of the schools in the Big Ten, and they wear purple, so there’s that.

9. Purdue

Nothing too special here. The Boilermakers made a change to their uniforms this season (gold numbers) along with most Nike teams, but it didn’t make the uniform any more special.

10. Iowa

The Hawkeyes look like the Pittsburgh Steelers, but with the logo on both sides of the helmet. It’s not bad, but not that creative at all.

11. Minnesota

The Gophers have never really been any good. They wear maroon with yellow. It’s an all right look, but the addition of lots of trimming along the jersey has made it complicated in recent years.

12. Indiana

It feels like the Hooisers have tried to create a traditional uniform for years now, but have never been able to find the right combination. They also use a darker red than their basketball team, who has excellent uniforms.

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.

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.

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.