Shades of gray for Syracuse?

Jim Boeheim might be surrounded by lots of gray instead of customary orange in the coming weeks. Photo by Getty Images

The great Paul Lukas, who made it OK to take on this uniform obsession with Uni-Watch, has started up a bit of an uproar today when he said there is word the Syracuse Orange may opt for a gray look in the upcoming weeks.

Rumors are it could come against archrival Georgetown on Feb. 8.

The Orange have not been shy about changing uniforms in recent years as they were one of the first to go with the space-age type silver lining along the shoulders. The variations have always been slight, with the exception of a blue alternate the team wore against Notre Dame a few years back.

The fact this change may come against Georgetown may only upset the fanbase more because of the Hoyas’ inkling toward that plain color. We’ll reserve judgement until the uniforms actually make their debut on the court.

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Miami Marlins: Not that bad … but pretty bad

We showed you a bit of a preview of what the Miami Marlins might look like when they take the field in April a few weeks ago. Well, now the official uniforms have been released and some of the most offensive features are gone, but there’s still enough there to make you cover your eyes.

Most of the uniforms here are only slight variations from what the Marlins used to wear (and no we are not talking teal.) The only one that really caught my eye was the orange home alternate.

How could one possibly think this would be a good uniform for a game played outdoors and in the summer. It’s just so bright and wrong.

At least Miami had enough sense to not use an orange hat with a yellow brim to go along with this, the black hat at least offsets the loudness of the uniform just a bit.

One last thing, I always find these sports fashion shows pretty hilarious. Really, why doesn’t Ricky Nolasco walk the runway all the time, he’s clearly found his calling based off this video.

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.

Please let this be false

These standard Miami Marlins unifoms are tame compared to the alternates.

The Miami Marlins will open up play when baseball resumes next spring.

This will come with a complete makeover. Everything from the stadium to the team name to yes, the uniforms.

When the Florida Marlins first came into the baseball world, they made teal a baseball color. They quickly went away from that color, but frankly, it would be better than the amount of orange the Marlins might introduce.

Now, these uniforms have not been confirmed by the team, it is just scuttlebutt, but let’s hope Miami can come up with a better idea by the time the season rolls around.

The orange alternates here might be the worst uniforms in baseball if they are actually worn by the Marlins this upcoming season.

The orange alternates are simply gross. There is no way the Marlins could think these are viable uniforms. They could be offset with a black hat, possibly, but the orange and yellow brim is just wrong.

The black alternates aren’t too bad, but the orange brim on the black hats ruin the look. Let’s hope this is all false, but if not, expect some very bright games in Miami this season.

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.

Week 4 College Football Review: Cowboy Down

Oklahoma State cornerback Brodrick Brown helped the Cowboys rally in the second half on Saturday with this interception, but they sure looked bad doing it. Photo by Getty Images.

Stillwater, Okla., is a different sort of place for someone who has spent the vast majority of his life in the Northeast.

In two trips there, I have learned a few things, and here they are.

The state of Oklahoma is very flat; apparently using forks to eat barbecue and cake is the sign of a wuss; in life, I should “play the game,”; getting a first down is nearly as exciting as a touchdown; and chief among them … Orange Power.

The chant of “Orange Power” reverberates through the stands of Boone Pickens Stadium on most Saturdays in the fall. There are even shirts in the various gift shops, displaying this very phrase, and it all comes from the orange jerseys their beloved Cowboys wear for home games.

However, this season, it seems like Oklahoma State has abandoned that very concept with their uniforms.

The Cowboys did make a roaring comeback to defeat Texas A&M on the road in the game of the day yesterday. OK State could now be on their way to its first Big 12 title, but that doesn’t really matter here, let’s examine their uniforms.

Before the season started, Oklahoma State announced they would be introducing a new line of uniforms, complete with this uni-builder. While some of the combinations have their merit (mostly because they include orange), the gray-white-gray combination they went with Saturday was terrible.

Oklahoma State has seemed to totally abandon orange in their uniform scheme. Granted there was orange in the lettering of the helmet and in the numbers, but it’s not enough. The standard Oklahoma State uniform should have orange shirts for home games and orange pants for away games.

This season, the Cowboys have yet to wear orange of any sort in their first four games. The first game saw a gray jersey for a home game, the second, a black jersey for a Thursday night home game, the third, black pants for an away game and then yesterday’s monstrosity.

The results thus far have been more than productive, but I have to wonder what the chants of “Orange Power” sound like at Boone Pickens Stadium when the team has clearly abandoned this concept.

A few other teams made a splash in the uniform world on Saturday and here are your weekly quick hits:

Virginia Tech running back David Wilson looked like a member of the Cleveland Browns against Marshall on Saturday. Photo by Associated Press

  • Virginia Tech resembled the Cleveland Browns in their victory over Marshall. The Hokies went with this same look in the Orange Bowl last season. It’s a little jarring, but overall the look works.
  • Arizona State continued to change every week, but this week’s ensemble was more of a return to their usual color scheme. It certainly worked as they dominated USC for a huge Pac-12 victory.
  • Oregon went back to what could be considered their standard road uniforms of white shirt and green pants with a green helmet. The Ducks must have read this blog where I begged them to go back to a green helmet at some point, much appreciated.
  • West Virginia’s all-yellow look was fine, and it seems like the Mountaineers might be going with the yellow shirts as a permanent look since that is all they have worn at home so far this season. Just no yellow helmets please.
  • Staying in the Big East, I like what South Florida is doing this season. Saturday’s look was no exception. It was a good idea to go with black on gold pants and the gold helmet. Definitely looks better than the white helmet.
  • I sure was wrong about that Maryland game. Those yellow jerseys should be thrown away after the debacle against Temple. Bernard Pierce ran all over them.
  • Lastly, I’m going to miss these all-blue Boise State jerseys. Once they get into Mountain West conference play, they will not be able to wear these against the blue turf in Boise.

College Football Review: It’s Bright in Here

A pretty neat view of Clemson's all-orange statement victory over Auburn as Dwayne Allen gets upended by Erique Florence.

Week 3 of the college football season did not see the outrageous fashion statements we saw in the first two weeks, but it was a banner day for schools who chose to stand out from the crowd with their bright colors.

The biggest victory of the day outside of Oklahoma’s road win over Florida State was Clemson ending Auburn’s 17-game win streak in Death Valley, that had Clemson coach Dabo Swinney a little too excited after the game. But in terms of the uniform selection for the teams, Auburn, who always looks good in all white, was put up against a stark contrast in the all-orange threads of Clemson.

Coming from an orange school that made a splash yesterday with a move to the ACC, I tend to find orange uniforms like this more appealing than the average observer. The all-orange uniforms for Clemson works for me. I like the fact they chose orange pants to go along with the helmets and shirts of the same citrusy color, it is distinct and unmistakable they are the Clemson Tigers.

Clemson has been known to occasionally go to a purple outfit, that might hype up fans but definitely is a downgrade from their usual orange uniforms. There’s no indication of purple in a tiger, and I simply don’t understand the need for the uniform.

Another one of the marquee games Saturrday featured two schools who could be in some serious trouble with the NCAA with Miami and Ohio State.

Besides those obvious overtones, Miami continued the trend of orange uniforms in big games Saturday. Miami usually has the choice to go with a green home uniform, which has it merits, but the Orange definitely suits the hurricanes better.

Being from the south in Florida definitely helps Miami look good on the field in orange.  It helped yesterday as the Hurricanes dominated on the way to a strong victory over the overrated Buckeyes.

A few other bright colors that made an impact on the national scene yesterday were Tennessee and Minnesota. The Vols continued to get dominated by Florida but did win in the uniform department with this improvement to their road uniforms with orange pants.

The orange pants go well with the orange T on the helmet to make this uniform really pop off the screen. I could do without the white stripes along the side of the pants, but overall it is an upgrade from the all-white look the Vols used to employ.

Minnesota also used a bold look with a yellow look complimented with maroon pants Saturday when it dominated Miami of Ohio at home. It’s definitely something different and I really hope the Gophers were using it as to not be too hot in their usual all-maroon in the late summer. I do hope they go back to the maroon when things start to get colder and the season progresses, it simply fits Minnesota better.

A few more quick hits from the uniform world after Saturday’s action:

Oregon could have done better on Saturday. It's nice to see a bit of green, but the gray helmet ruins it.

  • Oregon went with a pretty simple look in a layup game against Missouri State going back to its roots of green uniforms and green pants, but I don’t understand the need to go with the gray helmets all the time. Just once, I would like to see the ducks actually wear green helmets which used to be the standard.
  • Like I showed here earlier this week, Maryland went with an all-black look without anything on the side of the helmet against West Virginia. It didn’t look too bad on the field, but actually worked well for me. We’ll see how things go for the Terps next week.
  • Virginia Tech went with a throwback helmet and white for a home game which I am never really a fan of. The helmets go back to a look the Hokies wore from 1974-77.
  • Arizona State continued to change things up with an all-white uniform in a loss to Illinois. I usually don’t mind all-white like what Boise wore against Georgia, but these just didn’t work for me. I would have never know it was the Sun Devils if I wasn’t told so.
That’s about it for this week, hopefully we’ll have a bit more in the way of fashion statements for next week. If it seems like I missed anything or you want to add your own thoughts, feel free to let me know.