Week 8 College football review: Uniform sanctions

The Mountain West's uniform restrictions for Boise State finally took effect Saturday against Air Force. Photo by Getty Images

The offseason was filled with scandal in all of college football. From Ohio State to Miami to Oregon to even Boise State there were scandals and sanctions galore.

One of the sanctions to Boise State that went unnoticed was the Mountain West immediately putting some restrictions on their newest member by telling Boise it could no longer wear its blue jerseys for conference home games. The trademark blue turf in Boise, Idaho, made for a camouflage look for the Broncos.

Boise finally ran into this problemĀ on Saturday when they hosted Air Force.

Boise has been changing their uniforms a bit over the past few seasons as it has become a consistent national title contender. They’ve gone with all-white at the start of the season against Georgia and used a new helmet for their bowl game against Utah last season.

Yesterday’s look was similar to what they wore to defeat Virginia Tech in the season opener last year. The only difference is the helmet Boise wore yesterday is similar to the helmet they usually go with.

Personally, I was hoping Boise would decide to go with its orange look it employed for a game last season. It would certainly accomplish what the Mountain West was looking for in that they would stand out from the blue field.

At the very least, this adds a bit more intrigue to the uniform selection for the Broncos every week. They might be falling a bit in the BCS standings, but the uniforms should keep us on our toes.

With that, we’ll move on to our quick hits:

A host of LSU defenders dominated Auburn all game in these alternate uniforms. Photo by Getty Images

  • Top-ranked LSU turned some heads with its uniform selection in a blowout of defending champs Auburn. The white helmets and white pants are the primary departures from the normal yellow here. There is also gold weaved into the stripes on the shoulders and the helmets. Overall, the look is fine, nothing too jarring and not that far from the norm.
  • Virginia Tech went with an orange throwback look against Boston College. The Hokies have started to mix in some surprises in the uniform department recently. For the most part, they work.
  • Both Oregon and Oklahoma State went with all-white in road victories yesterday. Sometimes it’s nice to see a simple look from these teams.
  • Rutgers went away from being Scarlet again on Friday night. They chose black helmets, white jerseys and black pants in a loss to Louisville. The only difference between this and the look they wore at home against Pitt was a white R on the helmet instead of the red seen against Pitt. Maybe Rutgers didn’t feel as fierce with the white R and that’s why they lost.

Week 5 College Football Review: What’s that say?

The pattern inside the numbers cause problems for South Carolina and the officials Saturday.

There was an event yesterday in the uniform world that I had never heard of happening before. If you watched the South Carolina-Auburn game Saturday, you might have noticed the Gamecocks helmets and pants looked different than normal, but their shirts were pretty much the same.

Well that comes from a decision made by the officials prior to the game. South Carolina was wearing their “Wounded Warriors” uniforms for Saturday’s showdown with Auburn, which it eventually lost, 16-13, in pretty dramatic fashion. The Gamecocks have gone to these uniforms in the past as have other teams.

Basically it is supposed to honor our armed forces by putting names like “Courage”, “Honor”, “Pride, and “Serve” on the back of the players’ jerseys. A very good idea in theory, although it lends itself to inevitable, “there’s a lot of guys with the same name on this team” jokes.

South Carolina has done this in the past, but the numbers have looked just the same as always.

Anyway, the names were not the problem Saturday, but rather the numbers. The patterns inside the number made it very difficult to read, and that is why officials told the Gamecocks to change back to their regular jerseys after coming out for warm-ups.

As a friend of mine with a history of working in athletic departments said, “It’s about time they started considering their sports information people.”

I completely agree with this. The point of a uniform is to identify what team you play for and who exactly you are. That’s why there are uniforms in the first place, to figure out which team is which just by sight, otherwise, there would be mass confusion in every single game.

Identifying the player is also very important to the uniform. While those of us watching on television can do that by reading the names on the back of the uniform (in most cases) those who are actually working the game (the officials and score keepers) rely on the numbers, and that is what caused the biggest problem on Saturday.

Illinois wide receiver Spencer Harris matched the orange end zone Saturday in this orange uniform. Photo by Associated Press

And with that, here’s your quick hits:

  • Illinois went with an orange look in their comeback victory over Northwestern. I think the look works pretty well since the rest of the field and the helmet has copious amounts of orange in it.
  • Stanford went with their alternate black uniforms. At first sight, I was not a huge fan of these uniforms, but after further review. They actually do look pretty nice. The red and black works for me.
  • Arizona State did a bad job Saturday after a nice look the week before. The white helmets with the red jersey and white pants, makes it look like a practice jersey.
  • It was interesting to see Michigan go back to the helmets it used to defeat Notre Dame in Week 2. I really like how the helmets have the numbers on them. They are not that noticeable and work well for me.
  • Air Force wore a nice uniform against Navy Saturday. I believe the color is supposed to look like the suit an Air Force member would wear. It’s nice.