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ACC Football: Ranking the Best Uniforms

David LutherFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2012

ACC Football: Ranking the Best Uniforms

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    It began with Oregon several years ago. College football has become a fashion show.

    Each season, more and more teams unveil new uniforms—some last for only a week, while others last all season.

    The ACC was home to a few of the more interesting uniforms of 2011, and we're sure to see more of the not-so-same in 2012.

    We thought it would be fun to rank the top—and not-so-top—uniforms in the ACC.

No. 12 Maryland

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    The Terrapins certainly had the widest collection of uniforms in 2011, and while many people liked the change of pace, the uniforms were truly an eyesore.

    Maryland's foray into the fashion world only served to underline the fact that the Terps were absolutely no good in 2011, finishing with an ACC-worst 2-10 record.

    In its collection of worst-ness, Maryland can now add the worst uniforms to being the worst team in the ACC.

    It's also worth noting that Maryland not only subjected us to one bad uniform this season, but at least three awful designs. If we could have ranked the Terps any lower than 12th, we would have.

No. 11 North Carolina

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    At least the Tar Heels have gone all nutty with their uniform design.

    Tar Heel fans will be up in arms over this selection—not to mention our reasoning—but a football team running around in baby blue just doesn't instantly intimidate.

    Neither does a 3-5 conference record.

No. 10 Wake Forest

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    There's nothing wrong with all-black uniforms.

    There's nothing wrong with black helmets.

    But the white and gold trim on Wake Forest's unis just looks somehow unappealing and bland.

    Kind of like the brand of football we usually see from the Demon Deacons.

No. 9 Duke

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    We know that Duke is in no way a football school. Basketball is king, pretty much in the entire state of North Carolina. So we can understand why there's not a whole lot of thought put into how the football team is dressed.

    But the folks at Duke should be able to come up with something better than what they currently have. You can do a lot with royal blue.

    So start doing something with it already!

No. 8 Georgia Tech

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    Gold, white, and black have been done. Some schools pull it off decently enough.

    Georgia Tech does not.

    The gold is a particularly bright shade of gold, and it looks washed out next to the white. The addition of a little black piping gives the uniform a distinct 90's look—which was cool then.

No. 7 Virginia

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    Purple isn't a bad color in and of itself. In fact, there are plenty of programs around the nation at all levels of college football that pull it off fairly well (TCU and Northwestern being good FBS examples).

    But when you mix in a little orange to the uniform, you're just asking for disaster.

    Virginia's logo also looks fairly dated. Perhaps if the Cavs were any good on a consistent basis, we'd view is as “traditional” rather than “dated,” but the Cavaliers haven't enjoyed any sustained success in any major sport for a while, so “dated” it is.

No. 6 North Carolina State

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    We often talk about the best and the worst. It's the folks in the middle who get ignored the most—folks like N.C. State.

    In terms of football uniforms, N.C. State ranks about where it ranks in football: somewhere in the middle.

    The Wolfpack have opted to go with a traditional, unassuming white on red combination that won't upset or shock anyone, but won't wow us, either.

    No complaints, no accolades.

No. 5 Boston College

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    Boston College is another program with fairly simple, unassuming uniforms.

    While the Eagles have clung to the 1980's motif (the thick triple stripe) a little longer than most, the uniforms got a much needed yet subtle update with new numbering typeface.

    Because of the new font, we're giving the Boston College uniform a slightly better than average ranking.

No. 4 Clemson

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    There are a couple of things to like about Clemson's uniforms.

    First, they're pretty traditional. For the most part, Clemson's uniforms haven't changed a whole lot over the years, and traditionalists really like that.

    Second, Clemson uses the color orange to an advantage. Unlike so many other orange-colored programs, Clemson didn't try to go and muddle it up with the addition of tertiary coloring, crazy piping, or designs. It's just a simple orange uniform, with white highlights and purple outlines.

    Yes, we've berated the purple-plus-orange scheme, but it seems somewhat less visually offensive when orange is the primary color, rather than purple.

No. 3 Miami

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    Miami's uniforms have undergone quite a few changes over the years, and the Hurricanes have been—at times—on the cutting edge of uniform design.

    But while the overall design and scheme of the uniform changes, you can always instantly identify the Canes, no matter who you are or where you live.

    Part of it has to be the 1970's-era logo Miami clings to like a security blanket. The other part is that the Hurricanes, even with their newfangled, modern uniforms, never change things so drastically as to confuse the college football-watching public.

    A traditional, easy-to-recognize logo (ironically representing the word “university” and not “Miami) and comforting new, yet recognizable uniform designs place Miami in our top three.

No. 2 Virginia Tech

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    There's likely only one college program in the nation with the colors of “Chicago Maroon” and “Burnt Orange” together on one uniform.

    Surprisingly enough, that program isn't in Chicago or Texas.

    Virginia Tech's color scheme and easy-to-recognize logo, prominently displayed on the helmet (without embellishment, we might add), give the Hokies a leg up in one of the most important aspects of uniforms: recognizability.

    After all, isn't that the point of uniforms?

    That the Hokies have been reluctant to change things much over the years also gives them a bit of traditionalist street cred.

No. 1 Florida State

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    We've seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

    Now, it's time to see the best the ACC has to offer when it comes to uniforms.

    The Florida State Seminoles have always had a classic uniform design that everyone across the nation could instantly recognize. But perhaps the best change to any traditional uniform has come with the alteration of the Florida State helmet design.

    The changeover from the traditional Seminoles logo to a forward-facing spear gives the complete uniform a more fearsome look with only a very subtle change.

    Whoever decided on that change needs a pay raise. It has to be one of the best changes in college football uniforms in the last decade.

    FSU probably has the coolest pride stickers in the country, too.

    The Seminoles now look the part. If they can manage to live up to expectations on the field this season, they'll have the complete package in Tallahassee.

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