Army-Navy review

Kriss Proctor was the primary runner for Navy, and he was the quarterback. Most of the ground action looked pretty neat in Nike Pro Combat uniforms. Photo by Getty Images

Let me first say I love the Army-Navy game, absolutely love it. Call me old-fashioned, but to me, there’s something special about all the cadets and midshipmen entering the stadium in formation and the president switching sides of the field at halftime.

The game is simple, it’s what college football used to be, and to me, that is very cool. The triple option is the only play run and while both teams are not playing for a BCS game, their fans (and the players) are truly emotionally invested in the outcome.

Now, this season the game was given a little extra boost when the teams ran out of the tunnel. The uniforms were different than the usual.

The best part of these uniforms came in the details. And we’ll start with Navy, who made the biggest splash.

The Midshipmen usually have a simple look of blue with gold pants and a simple gold helmet. They have changed up the look in recent years for the Army game, but nothing like the drastic change they made to the helmet this year.

Navy came out with a white helmet featuring the Navy logo in gold. There was also a thick stripe down the center of the helmet, giving it that signature Pro Combat look.

It was a little stunning to see Navy come out looking slightly different than usual, but it was definitely something I got used to as the game progressed. The logo was neat to see prominently displayed, and the tapper at the back of the stripe was kind of neat too.

Perhaps the best feature to this uniform was the one that went unseen by those watching on television. Under the uniforms was a stars-and-stripes shirt with the words, “Don’t Tread on Me” written across the chest. Army also had a similar shirt, but it was far more simple.

Army quarterback Trent Steelman looked cool with this awesome font in Saturday's Army-Nay game. Photo by Associated Press

Now on to Army’s uniforms. I always liked Army’s uniforms in general. They are simple and the black with gold always is a nice combination. The Black Knights have gone to a camouflage for a recent Army-Navy game, and frankly, that just seemed a little strange for a football game.

For Saturday’s game, I really like the font for the numbers on Army’s uniforms. The thick black stripe on the matte-finish gold helmet was cool to see.

The best part of the uniform was the shoes. Army was sporting these gold shoes that went very well with the gold pants they had. Here’s a closer look at everything the Black Knights chose yesterday.

The Army-Navy game always has just the right pageantry for a college football game, and in this case, the uniforms struck just the right chord to match the game.

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Week 13 College football review: Who are they playing?

Andrew Luck and Ryan Hewitt had a moment in this all-red look against Notre Dame Saturday night. Photo by Getty Images

It’s never a good thing when that question has to be asked at the start of a game. Usually that means the uniforms for one teams have failed in doing their jobs of identifying the team.

For two game played on the West Coast Saturday night, this question was brought up in The Star-Ledger newsroom. The first instance came when Stanford took the field in an all-red Pro Combat uniform for their easy victory over Notre Dame. The second was when UCLA abandoned the best uniform in college football for a sloppy white look that matched its play on the field.

We’ll start here with the Cardinal.

For Andrew Luck’s final home game, Stanford was, as one friend put it, “looking like they were going to a burgundy party.” I’ve personally never been to one of those, but if everyone looks like Stanford did last night, count me out.

The black, matte finish helmet made Luck look somewhat mean on the field, but it must have worked for the Cardinal, who probably locked up a spot in the Fiesta Bowl and their second straight 11-win season.

The look for Stanford was not nearly as offensive as what UCLA went with.

UCLA's Shledon Price played and looked miserable in a blowout loss to USC. Photo by Getty Images

I have said this for a long time and I will continue, UCLA has the best uniforms in all of college football. The powder blue home jerseys with gold stripes on the shoulders to go along with the gold helmet just looks regal.

For some reason, the Bruins decided to abandon much of the gold in their uniforms and switch to an unrecognizable look. I understand the game was on the road, but the Bruins could have still stuck with their stripes on the shoulders, gold helmets and gold pants that make their uniforms so distinguishable.

I was sorely disappointed in the Bruins for this, their play on the field in a 50-0 blowout to archrival USC was perhaps their punishment from the uniform gods.

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.

Helmets like White Elephants

Here we have another entry from Alex. This one regarding the emergence of white helmets in football.

Auburn has employed the white helmet for a long time. Always looking good at home and on the road.

But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?”

– From “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway

Indeed, there was a time, particularly in pro football, when white helmets were considered a white elephant, or rather, a fashion faux pas. When the Houston Texans were born in 2002 and they introduced white helmets, many alleged “experts” bristled at such a uniform statement.  Arguably, an expansion team should have made a better impression on the league with a better helmet idea, or could have actually made the playoffs once in their first nine seasons.  With neither feat accomplished, perhaps the Texans were on to something with their white helmets. Today, the trend toward the white helmet, in the NFL and even more so in college, is quite prevalent.

More and more teams have gone to the white helmet because it offers that classic look. With the constant uniform changes happening in college football, many teams have either opted to keep or have opted for the white helmet. This weekend, LSU, wearing their not-as-deplorable-as-it-could-be Nike Pro Combat looks, opted for a white helmet with purple “LSU” on each side, went up against Auburn in a rare white helmet vs. white helmet matchup.

Also this weekend, Oklahoma State, in their victory over Mizzou, looked good with an all-white getup that included white helmets.  A revisit to the Oklahoma State Combo Creator reveals that OSU, in addition to their gray and black helmets, actually have two white helmets, one that features an orange “OSU” and another that features that same logo in black.  Of course, OSU has always had white helmets, but it was nice that, when they did decide, for whatever reason, to redo their football unis, they kept those two white helmets, rather than discarding for something that looks like this.

Barry Sanders sported a white helmet with Oklahoma State in the late 80s. The letters on the helmets were bigger, but the helmet has largely remained the same.

Like the Cowboys, many schools have had white helmets as far back as anyone can remember, making the white helmet not a burden to an team’s look, but rather an enhancement. Penn State and Stanford have never deviated from their white lids (although Standard will feature a black helmet on November 27th, when they Pro Combat for a primetime game against Notre Dame). Many other schools have also gone to the white helmet in recent years, with even Oregon finding room in their cornucopia of unis for a classic, white topper.

But this trend is not only limited to the college game. In addition to the Texans, the Jets, Cardinals, Dolphins, Colts, and Titans (formerly the Oilers) all sport white helmets. Additionally, both the Bills and Chargers have made the move from their old helmets to white helmets.

Clearly, the white helmet is (and has) made a comeback.  And, rather than being like white elephants, are embraced by teams looking to return to a more classic, and overall better look.