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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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.

Week 10 College football review: Yawn!!

This week’s uniform changes had about as much action as the Game of the Century. Not one team stood out. It seems most of the uniform surprises were saved  for the start of the season.

Hopefully, things will change as the national title game comes into focus.

With that, we will move directly to a decent amount of quick hits:

The Iowa Hawkeyes got a little patriotic for Saturday's victory over Michigan. They also had a striking resemblance to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Photo by Getty Images

  • Iowa probably made the biggest splash in a very subtle way when they defeated Michigan. The changes came in two parts. First, the Hawkeyes made their usual yellow decals into a version of the American flag. The second part was a continuation of the Steelers look-a-like uniform. They did not have anything on one side of the helmet, very Steeler-esque.
  • Oregon State went with an alternate orange uniform with black pants in a loss to Stanford. The look is pretty good overall. I like the normal black uniforms as well. Oregon State games are always fun to watch because of the uniforms.
  • Washington State has a very odd away uniform against Cal. They wore gray pants to go with their usual red helmets and white uniforms. The look seems strange. Red or white pants would have worked much better.
  • Oklahoma State kept the tradition of black uniforms for a night game that is nationally televised. The gray helmets with the black uniforms ans gray pants was odd, but as long as the Cowboys keep winning, I’m sure they’ll stick with it.
  • Boise State went with white helmets on the road. Instead of their odd Pro Combat helmets, these had the normal Boise logo, just added the white factor to the helmet.

Week 7 College football review: Spartans and bumble bees

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson couldn't overcome Michigan State and their new uniforms on Saturday. Photo by Associated Press

The biggest splash in college football uniforms came right off the bat on Saturday. As soon as Lee Corso picked Oregon to defeat Arizona State, ESPN switched to the Michigan-Michigan State game. We’ve known for a long time the Spartans would use a UAB-type look for this game, but Michigan’s throwback look came as a surprise.

The coolest thing about Michigan’s throwbacks was they didn’t warm up in them. The Wolverines were in their usual road unis before that feature maize pants before changing to the 1970s throwbacks for the game in East Lansing, Mich.

I’ll start with Michigan. I was hoping before the game they would go with something similar to the heritage uniforms they wore against Notre Dame in Week 2. The difference here is maize as the prominent color on the shoulder stripes instead of the blue, the number replacing the M on the front of the jersey and no stitch details on the numbers.

It’s a pretty solid look overall. The big numbers on the back of the jersey work well as do the small numbers on the helmets that don’t get in the way of the helmet design.

The only thing that bothers me with these uniforms is the Wolverines basically look like bumble bees. The prominence of maize on the stripes gives off that illusion, and since they are at the shoulders they are always seen by the fans.

Now on to Michigan State.

The Spartans looked totally unrecognizable for this game. The usual green and white combination for home games was totally thrown out for this rivalry game against Michigan.

The color scheme is very similar to that of UAB for home games. Overall, the colors do work together well, but they are not Michigan State’s colors. The gold helmets that had a bit of tint to them in certain places look like real Spartans (since I am clearly familiar with the men of Sparta, Greece.)

Moving on from the state of Michigan, here are your quick hits:

Oregon's Bryan Bennett stepped up for Oregon in a relatively conservative uniform game for these the Ducks and Arizona State. Photo by Associated Press

  • The last game of the night was a uniform special as Oregon and Arizona State faced off. The Ducks’ uniforms were average, nothing too special. Arizona State also looked pretty conservative with their maroon helmets and pants for a road game.
  • Virginia donned some nice orange and blue uniforms for their upset victory over Georgia Tech.
  • I’m still waiting for Oklahoma State to wear white helmets with orange. Their black-on-white-on-black look this week was just all right.
  • Washington State went with an all-gray look against Stanford. The Cougars have been down for a long time, so I guess they were trying to get hyped up for this one. It didn’t work.

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.