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.

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Week 11 College football review: Uniform games

Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd sported the Irish's new green look as Maryland's Trenton Hughes and the rest of the Terps didn't show much Maryland Pride. Photo by Associated Press

As the college football regular season begins to wind down, most of the games do not mean all that much to the national title picture.

As much as it pains me to say it, Notre Dame has participated in many of those over the past years, and Saturday night against Maryland was an example of that irrelevance (unless you’re into placing for the Champs Sports Bowl.)

Instead, this game was about the uniforms.

We had known for about a week the Irish would be wearing a Shamrock helmet with a different background than the helmets they wore against Michigan earlier this season. We also found out last Wednesday that Maryland would be going back to their Pride uniforms they wore earlier this season to defeat their only FBS school in Miami this season.

Clearly, most of that Maryland Pride has worn off for a 2-8 team, that got absolutely no lift from these special uniforms. In my humble opinion, special uniforms like these only work once a season, if even that often. When the Terps came out on the tunnel on Labor Day in those special uniforms, the home crowd got pumped up, and it helped Maryland pick up one of its two victories this season.

However, Saturday night’s game was more of a Notre Dame home game even though it was played in Maryland. The team is down and if these uniforms are used too often, they will have little to no effect on the team.

The same goes for the Irish who wore green uniforms last night. Wearing green at Notre Dame used to be a very rare and special occasion. Usually, this coach would not say anything about the uniforms until the team came out on the tunnel for the game. It was special.

After wearing green against Army last season, and again Saturday night, it’s no longer as special.

Besides the green, the helmets were a little offensive. First of all, with the reflection of the lights at FedEx Field, the helmets looked like golf balls. The facemask was also black instead of the usual gray for the Irish. That bothered me.

The look as a whole was seemingly very futuristic, a departure from what the Irish are usually all about.

Now, let’s move to our quick hits:

It was a tough night for Boise both on the field and in the uniform department. Photo by The Idaho Statesman

  • Boise State had some blinding orange alternates in an upset loss to TCU. The Broncos went with these all-orange uniforms before, but this time, they went with a white helmet to compliment it. They looked very strange, and obviously it didn’t help them in the loss.
  • Texas Tech went with a very patriotic uniform for Veterans Day. The stars and stripes on the helmets were a nice touch to go along with the camouflage on the shoulders.
  • Oregon’s uniforms were very interesting for their victory over Stanford. The helmets looked black from one angle, but when the lights hit it in a certain way, you could see the green. The Ducks also chose to have their names on the back of the jerseys in white so it takes ultra concentration to see. That’s weird.

BREAKING: Maryland Pride is back

Maryland will be going back to these court jester-like Maryland Pride uniforms against Notre Dame this weekend.

They’re baaaaaaaaack. Maryland will be making waves again in the uniform world this Saturday against Notre Dame. They broke these out first against Miami in the season opener. And they will make a comeback at FedEx Field this week.

The move was announced on coach Randy Edsall’s Twitter page Wednesday night.

Hide the women and children for this game. The Irish will also be wearing a new helmet as part of their Shamrock Series. It has a very strange background pattern and a larger shamrock than what was seen when the Irish took on Michigan in September. This is getting out of hand.

What’s Maryland wearing this week? Week 10

Maryland will go with a pretty conservative but sharp look on Saturday against Virginia.

As the Terps’ play on the field continues to decline (see their 2-6 record,) their uniforms continue to get better. Let’s be honest there was no choice after the Maryland Pride debacle.

This week, Maryland will host a resurgent Virginia squad in a uniform that look very similar to their old jerseys. The look is very clean. I believe “sharp” is the best way to describe  it.

The turtle shell helmet with the white pants looks very nice, and overall, it just might remind Maryland fans what a football uniform actually looks like.

In other uniform news, Ohio stepped outside the box for a Wednesday night ESPN game. The MAC is loving the NBA lockout the most considering all the national TV time they are getting because of it.

The Bobcats had a striking resemblance to Hawaii with the designs on the shoulders. Overall, I was left feeling uninspired by the uniforms, nothing special really.

What’s Maryland wearing this week? Week 9

Maryland will sports these uniforms for a home game against Boston College on Saturday.

The differences in the Maryland uniform are getting hard to tell. This week’s look for an ACC pillow fight with Boston College looks very similar to past home looks from the Terps.

The black jerseys have been worn twice before, but those two times there were black and yellow pants to compliment the black.

If Maryland was trying to be the Oregon of the East Coast with their uniform combinations, they are failing. Outside of the Maryland pride jersey for the opener against Miami, all their jerseys have been pretty low-key and not necessarily in a good way.

Oregon has been going with extravagant uniforms for years now and consistently find ways to keep us guessing. It seems like the Terps have nearly run out of ideas just nine weeks into the season.

Besides Maryland this Saturday, look for Ohio State to make a uniform splash, and here’s a little preview of their helmets.

What’s Maryland wearing this week? Week 8

Maryland will wear white on the road for the first time this season against Florida State.

The Terps will travel for the just the second time all season when they visit Florida State on Saturday. They will debut their white helmets that look like a turtle’s shell for the game along with this white-on-black look.

I’m glad to see some design on the helmets after weeks of a plain black look and a brief glimpse of the Maryland state flag made into a helmet.

The white jersey with the black pants are pretty standard, but the weird designs up the back of the legs are weird. So are the multi-toned numbers on the jerseys, but nothing too crazy for Maryland this season.

What’s Maryland wearing this week? Week 7

Maryland will go with all-red uniforms and the plain black helmets they have used all season for this week's tough matchup with Clemson.

In what is the Terps’ toughest test so far this season when Clemson invades College Park, Md., on Saturday night, Maryland will go to a look that is very similar to one that worked well for them earlier in the season.

The only difference between this look and Week 5’s look in a 28-3 victory over Towson is the red pants. I actually like the fact that Maryland will go with all red, it’s a pretty normal look for a team trying to always make a splash with their uniforms.

Beating the undefeated Tigers will be no easy task, so perhaps the Terps want the focus to be on the way they play on the field and not what they are wearing.

What’s Maryland wearing this week? Week 6

Maryland will go with this black-on-black-on-yellow look for a trip to Georgia Tech, who wears white at home.

The Terps will finally take their show on the road this week with a trip to undefeated Georgia Tech, but in an odd quirk, they will still be able avoid wearing a plain white road jersey.

The Yellow Jackets are one of only a few college teams (also LSU) to regularly wear white at home. This means Maryland is able to choose from more options for this week’s game, and their selection is very similar to their Week 3 look.

The yellow pants are just fine, and in fact it took me a few seconds to notice that was the difference between these uniforms and Week 3’s edition. It’s likely we won’t see a true road Maryland uniform until Oct. 22 when the Terps travel to Florida State.

We’ve already seen a white uniform (for a home game) and it wasn’t pretty, so here’s hoping they can come up with something better.

What’s Maryland Wearing This Week? Week 5

Maryland will go with a pretty simple look of black-on-red-on black against Towson on Saturday.

I apologize for the delay in getting this post up, but with the madness in baseball Wednesday night, there was no time.

Coach Randy Edsall announced last night that this, to the left, would be Maryland’s uniform choice this week.

The yellow jerseys against Temple clearly did not help, so the slight change to red was inevitable.

The choice on red goes back to what Maryland used to wear before they decided to become the Oregon of the Northeast. That is a nice thing to see. Also, the small black stripe on the side is not as noticeable as the red one was on the yellow uniforms, and that is a good thing.

The black helmets and black pants have become a staple over the past three weeks. It’s hard to imagine that will stay consistent for the rest of the season.

Overall, it’s a fine look. Nothing too special to it, keeps in simple in what should be an easy victory for the Terps. Of course, I said that last week, and look at what happened.

Gray Power?

Here we have it, the first post from a contributor. This one comes from a good friend of mine, Alex, who can give a better perspective on the Oklahoma State uniform situation. He attended the school for two years for grad school. Here is his deeper view on the Cowboys’ recent uniform changes.

Oklahoma State receiver Michael Harrison helped the Cowboys begin their gray trend this season in the opener against Louisiana-Lafayette. Photo by Associated Press

Before the 2006 NCAA football season, the University of Oregon unveiled its 384 different uniform combinations that would forever change college football.  Call it jealousy, or just an overwhelming desire to be the same as their peers (a character flaw that is prevalent in our society), but since then, other college football teams have decided the simple distinction of “home” and “road” uniforms were obsolete.  This has led to a rash of teams trying to outdo (see Arizona State) or out-weird (see Maryland) other teams.

That brings us to my alma mater, Oklahoma State, who, backed by seemingly unlimited funds from oil-tycoon-turned-wind-power-guru T. Boone Pickens, unveiled a uniform combination that, while not as egregious as Oregon’s, is still nonetheless perplexing.  Using the Oklahoma State Combo Creator, fans can choose between four sets of pants (gray, black, orange and white), four different jerseys (gray, black, orange and white), and three different helmet colors (black, orange and gray).  While some regard this as a way to put OSU on the map (as if an AP #5 ranking doesn’t do the trick), lost in the cornucopia of uni-combos is the idea that Oklahoma State (and arguably along with other teams), have lost their identity.

You don’t have to attend grad school in Stillwater to know that the town simply loves orange.  The color is as common as dandelions in the spring. At any and all OSU event, the cheer that is most common is simple: one side of the stadium yells “Orange!” while the other side attempts to outdo them by yelling back “Power!”.  Students are not encouraged but expected to wear orange to games, and wearing any other color, no matter what the weather, makes one stand out (and not in a good way).  So, what is curious to me (and to perhaps many other OSU fans) is why Oklahoma State’s uniforms, with all their national attention, a Top 5 ranking, and an offense that can seemingly score points even while sleep, has yet to feature orange in 2011.

Two seasons ago, Oklahoma State football debuted an all-black look for their Thursday night ESPN showdown with then-conference rival Colorado.  The black jerseys and pants, coupled with white helmets with the black “OSU” were met with mixed results in Stillwater, but looked neat nonetheless under the lights in front of a prime time audience.  But OSU followed the tradition of orange over white at home, and white over orange on the road that season, with the exception of their all orange look for Homecoming (which is, as advertised, the best Homecoming celebration in the country).  In 2010, OSU again donned the all-black getup for their yearly Thursday night game, this time against Texas A&M in a 38-35 thriller.  Despite their 2-0 record in the black, OSU stuck with its regular road home combination.  That is, until their game at Kansas, when they wore their road whites with black pants for the first time since 1994.

Justin Blackmon and Oklahoma State kept up their tradition of black on a Thursday night earlier this season against Arizona. It was slightly different from past years because of the orange numbering and lettering on the helmet. Photo by Getty Images

And thus, it started.  The idea that the orange and white simply was not good enough and that black and gray needed to take a more prominent role, giving birth to the highly questionable uniforms they sport in 2011.  Let’s review:  their opening game against UL-Layfette saw the debut of gray jerseys with white and pants and helmets.  Game two, on ESPN’s Thursday Night prime time slot, featured the return of the all black and the white helmets.  Their third game against Tulsa, played in the early hours of the morning thanks to Oklahoma’s signature tornado warnings (I actually survived a few when I was out there) saw the Fighting Gundys in white helmets and jerseys matched with black pants.  The gray helmets and pants, matched with white jerseys, made their debut in College Station last Saturday against A&M.

So, where’s the orange?  Sure it’s in the numbers and trims, but that still doesn’t mean it’s featured.  Even in what the Oklahoma press called Mike Gundy’s signature win, OSU’s signature color, orange, was hardly visible.

Sure, new jerseys are great, and they certainly create a buzz for a program, but at what cost?  A team’s mainstay is their uniforms, which in turn, helps to create their identity for fans, alums and a national audience.  Besides, a team doesn’t need all kinds crazy uniform combinations  to garner national attention.  Just look at these two teams.