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Big Ten Football: Ranking the Best Uniforms in the Conference

Kyle WinklerContributor IIIDecember 14, 2016

Big Ten Football: Ranking the Best Uniforms in the Conference

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    All the buzz last week was centered around Nike finally releasing their new NFL uniforms for the upcoming 2012 season.  Fans around the country were excited to see if any changes would be made to their teams' uniforms.  

    The same fascination of uniforms exists in college football as well.

    Obviously playing good on the football field is the most important thing but looking good at the same time doesn't hurt. Let's see where each team stacks up in the Big Ten when it comes to their uniforms.

Indiana

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    Similar to the actual football standings in the Big Ten, Indiana is at the bottom of the conference with their uniforms as well.  The logo on the helmet looks like a candlestick and the rest of the uniform does not improve the look either.

    The uniform is incredibly boring with no flare at all.  An all crimson jersey with a "Hoosiers" writing above the numbers is as creative as the uniform gets.  

    It is understandable for the simple look with the basketball uniforms, given the history of the Indiana basketball program.  The football history is nothing to brag about though, so Indiana could use some style improvements to give the football program a little excitement.  

Minnesota

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    Minnesota will be releasing new uniforms in 2012 but unfortunately they will not be much of an improvement from the previous ones.  

    Some of the combinations actually look pretty decent, like the maroon tops with the white pants.  The uniforms with the predominant mustard yellow color are absolutely hideous though.

    Perhaps if they used their actual school color gold instead of that mustard yellow hue, they could heading in the right direction.  Until this happens, they will continue to be at the bottom of the conference in the looks department. 

Nebraska

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    The Cornhuskers of Nebraska have opted to go for the classic look in their uniforms. This historic program should have older-styled uniforms, but they also have some room for improvement.  

    As the newest member of the Big Ten, they need to do something to distinguish their uniforms from those of Wisconsin.  Nothing drastic, but at least something.

    Another part of the uniform that could use some improving is the helmet.  The arial font "N" is not exactly intimidating by any means.  The Cornhuskers should use the block "N" that is seen in their logo on their helmet. 

    It is not their fault that they look so similar to Wisconsin, but unless they make some kind of distinguishable change to distance themselves from the Badgers' style or change that helmet logo, they rank towards the bottom of the conference.

Wisconsin

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    Wisconsin has an old school look that represents the history of this program.  These uniforms do a great job of balancing a simple look while remaining somewhat modern.  The uniforms will not "wow" many fans across the nation, but they will not disgust them either.

    The simple red top, some stripes on the sleeves and pants, and the plain "W" logo on the helmet provide a simplistic yet effective appeal.  The uniforms are not bad, but there are just too many other uniforms in the Big Ten that look better.  These middle-of-the-road uniforms put Wisconsin at number nine in the rankings.

Northwestern

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    You have to give Northwestern some credit for actually making the color purple look pretty good on a football uniform.  It is not the toughest color by any means, but the Wildcats put together a good looking uniform.

    The helmet looks good, but the addition of the Wildcat logo with the block "N" would help.  The uniforms have added some black and white accents that also improve the style of the uniform.  For doing so much with a color rarely used in football, the Wildcats crack the top ten at number eight in the conference in the uniform rankings.  

Iowa

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    The Iowa Hawkeyes may be mistaken for the Pittsburgh Steelers at times, but this uniform looks good out on the field.  The logo on the helmet is very unique and the black jerseys add a little bit of an intimidation factor.

    The only improvement could possibly be switching the color of the pants.  If the pants happened to be mostly black with a yellow stripe, instead of the other way around, the all-black uniforms would look incredible.  With a great logo and good color scheme, the Hawkeyes find themselves at number seven in the rankings.

Penn State

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    Penn State made a big mistake by changing a small part of their uniforms.  Until this year, the home jerseys featured a white trim around the neck and sleeves.  Now, the white trim is gone and instead the jerseys are entirely blue.  This is not a huge change, but it really downgraded the uniforms in the rankings. The trim really complemented the mostly blue jerseys very well.

    These classic uniforms are still one of the best looking ones in all of college football though.  The uniform as a whole is very simple but a program as historic as this one does not need a creative look.  Penn State has one of the best logos in the conference that might look good on the helmet but is not necessary.  

    Penn State ranks right in the middle of the conference at number six.  Bring that trim back to the jerseys and the Nittany Lions rival the top uniforms in the conference.

Illinois

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    The home uniforms that Illinios wear have a great color scheme that really stands out.  The blue and orange complement each other well and is a rare sight in college football.  The blue jersey has some orange trim along with white accents in the perfect spots and produces a stunning jersey.

    The helmet is not overly impressive with a simple "Illinois" written across it, but the orange helmet with the blue and white stripe down the middle works.  The white pants look good with the dark top, giving the whole uniform a distinctive style.

    The Fighting Illini make the top five in the rankings. 

Purdue

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    Purdue has some great looking home uniforms.  The perfect mix of black and gold put the Boilermakers towards the top of the Big Ten in the uniform rankings.  The golden helmet looks great with the black jersey and the gold pants is a great touch.  

    The alternating color scheme produces a great look in West Lafayette.  Perhaps the locomotive logo would look better than the "P" on the helmet, but the current setup is a solid one.  The program may have been mediocre in recent years, but the uniforms are anything but.

Michigan State

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    Michigan State recently changed their uniforms and it was a definite improvement.  The old jerseys were very plain and only featured one color.  The new jersey has more white accents on the shoulders and sleeves with a thicker stripe on the helmet.  The new green and white uniforms are fantastic and the Spartan logo on the helmet is money.

    The Spartans' new look is a big upgrade from their previous uniforms and earns them the three spot in the rankings.  Lookin' good, Sparty.

Michigan

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    The other school in the state of Michigan wins the uniform contest against their rival from up north.  The Wolverines have one of the best uniforms in all of college football as well as the most recognizable.  A majority of football fans that see the winged helmet will immediately think of Michigan.  

    The maize and blue uniforms are both historic and stylish.  They embrace the prestige of the program while also producing a good looking product out on the field.  The numbers on the helmet this past year looks a little out of place but does not hurt the uniforms in the rankings.  

    This uniform results in a solid number two for the Wolverines.

Ohio State

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    The best uniforms in the Big Ten belong to the Ohio State Buckeyes.  The sparkling gray helmets that accumulate buckeye stickers throughout the year look fantastic.  These stickers that are earned for different achievements, give each player their own distinct uniform.  

    The scarlet tops that adorn the same stripes on the sleeves that are on the helmet match the gray pants perfectly.  Everything about these uniforms just seems to click together.  The most successful program for the past decade in the Big Ten also tops the list for the best uniforms.  

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