I have long been a fan of Paul Lukas’ Uni Watch website, a collection and study of the minutiae of sports uniforms and logos. Inspired by his work, I got to looking at Nebraska’s 2012 schedule and decided it needed a power ranking based on the uniforms Nebraska will be facing. Please keep in mind, this is intended to just be judging the uniforms that will (at least by best guess) be worn against Nebraska, not the teams' entire wardrobe.
So here, from worst to first, is my sartorial analysis of the upcoming Nebraska season.
Hey, you know what would make Iowa State’s uniforms look better? Make them black and orange, like Halloween!
Idaho State was a last-minute addition to Nebraska’s schedule. While the Bengals helped Nebraska to fill out the 2012 schedule, Idaho State’s arrival in Lincoln won’t be easy on the eyes.
Nebraska will open the season against the Golden Eagles, and end it against Iowa, two teams with similar color schemes and logos. But Southern Miss, with the helmet stripes and the mismatched typefaces on the helmet and jersey, are a poor second to the classic look of the Hawkeyes.
When Arkansas State rebranded itself as the Red Wolves, it also adopted a new block-letter “A-State” logo for its helmet and accentuated the red in its color scheme of red, black and white.
Unfortunately for its road uniforms, the Red Wolves share Texas Tech’s problem of a shiny black helmet and red pants. Add to the road uniform’s woes are the plain shirts and numerals, and the Red Wolves bring a plain and uninspired look to Lincoln.
Sorry to burst the bubble of the B1G’s fellow NU, but purple and black is a brutal color combination. TCU and, to a lesser extent, the Baltimore Ravens have put enough blue in their purple to make the contrast a little less painful.
Northwestern hasn’t managed that trick, and Nebraska’s trip to Chicago means that Northwestern will break out the full purple.
The Golden Gophers did a big redesign of their uniforms in 2012. Unfortunately, Goldie is still stuck with maroon and yellow as a color scheme, so there’s only so much that can be done.
To Minnesota’s credit, the new matte helmet and block numerals (as well as the abandonment of the all-yellow look) are an improvement from previous years. But it’s still maroon and yellow, and it still isn’t terribly attractive.
Last year, Michigan State’s athletic department entirely rebranded itself, with a new typeface and funky numerals for the jerseys and the adoption of the Spartan helmet and wide-to-narrow stripe on the helmet.
Michigan State’s road jerseys feature a unique green yoke across the shoulder and bronze accents, but the home jerseys they will wear against Nebraska are much plainer and much more saddled with the funky numerals.
Because Nebraska and Wisconsin bear so many similarities in their uniforms, Nebraska fans were resorted to a “black out” in an attempt to differentiate themselves on their trip to Madison last year.
The primary difference between the two teams is that Wisconsin will frequently go “stormtrooper” (or, white pants and white shirt) on the road. It’s hard to know if the Badgers will do so in Lincoln, but it does make for a distinctive look.
The Buckeyes are have one of the most iconic uniforms in college football. The logoless silver helmets with the buckeye pride stickers are unique and distinctive, and the scarlet shirts and silver pants are unmistakable.
Never mind the Trojans, nothing quite says California like the powder blue and gold of UCLA. The varsity stripes and the script helmet help complete the iconic look.
If UCLA would have retained the script numerals instead of the standard block varsity variety, they would end up much higher on the list than they are.
Any time a school considers the removal of white trim from the sleeves as a major overhaul, you know they’re serious about their tradition. That’s just what you get from Penn State, who will come to Lincoln with their plain white helmets, plain white shirts and plain white pants.
The Nittany Lions were the original stormtroopers, and they still make the look work.
Why do Wolverines need wings? To produce the most unique helmets in all of college football, of course. The addition of the player numbers to the helmets last year made those iconic helmets even more interesting. Unfortunately, sartorially speaking, Michigan will be visiting Lincoln this year, meaning the white shirts and yellow pants.
That knocks Michigan out of the top spot—unless they use the faux-throwbacks the Wolverines broke out last year. Should that be the case, Michigan would rocket to the top of the list.
The Hawkeyes take their cue from the Steel Curtain era Pittsburgh Steelers, down to the yellow pants and striped sleeves. The farm crisis added the ANF (American Needs Farmers) sticker to the top of the helmet. I’m not entirely certain why the Hawkeyes make their helmet numbers visible from space, but it’s the only real blemish on an otherwise fantastic uniform.
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