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.

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Week 6 College football review: Black all over

Rutgers rolled over Pittsburgh in a statement victory on Saturday, and they look pretty good in all-black uniforms doing it. Photo by The Star-Ledger

This week’s choice in college football uniforms was about as exciting as the games. Which is to say there was a very limited amount of excitement to be had.

The biggest splash of the day might have come from the local team as Rutgers decided to ditch its Scarlet-ness and go with an all-black look on a hot day in Piscataway, NJ.

When I first saw these uniforms on ESPN’s famous Uni-Watch before the season began, I was very disappointed in the Scarlet Knights’ decision to become the Black Knights for a day. I was also concerned the players might pass out from heat exhaustion  because of the 85-degree temperatures throughout the Garden State on Saturday.

  • However, as the day turned to night and I started looking at more photos of the game (and probably because of how well Rutgers played) the uniforms grew on me. Guys like Rutgers’ best player Mohamed Sanu looked pretty cool in the uniforms, especially with the pink accents with the mouthguards.

I am usually not a fan of the matte finish on helmets, but over time I think it looks good depending on the circumstances. They seem to me that it would make the player’s head more hot because it looks like the surface of a road, but I guess it worked for Rutgers.

The only thing that bothered me about this uniform was the red Rs on the helmets. It was pretty obvious it was a decal, but I am glad they went with red instead of the usual white R on the helmets.

Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas looked pretty nifty in these uniforms on Thursday night. Photo by Getty Images

There were some other schools who went with black in their helmets and with that, we’ll start the quick hits:

  • Oregon went with these “Fighting Ducks” uniforms in its victory over Cal on Thursday night. These were new looks for the Ducks, but the matte finish on the black helmets and the black pants had been seen before this season, in a loss to LSU. Perhaps the best touch of this uniform was the ducks on the shoulders. It was a bit corny, but it was fun.
  • Oklahoma State wasn’t slowed at all by what must have been a hot day for them in black-on-black-on-orange uniforms in a romp of Kansas. I’m still waiting for them to go with their usual home uniforms once this season.
  • Northwestern kept the all-black trend going with their night loss to Michigan.
  • Arizona State looked like the old Arizona State with these yellow helmets and pants for a road game at Utah.