College Football Teams That Have Taken Uniforms Too Far
It's hard to remember a time when Oregon was one of the few teams in college football that was making noise with its constant uniform changes.
Even back in 2007, we thought the Ducks' tire-tread uniforms were extreme. Now, Oregon can run out in grey, black and chrome uniforms, and we take it as the norm.
Since the uniform explosion began a few years ago, more and more teams have decided that adding extra garments is necessary. For some schools, uniform changes are becoming a weekly happening of Duck-esque proportions.
Greys, blacks, extra helmets, facemasks and even various helmet decals are making the integrity of an identity moot. No longer are teams known for having great, transcending uniforms. Now, you are behind as a program if you aren't walking out in something new, week-in-and-week-out.
For Oregon, this practice is authentic. It is, in fact, what makes Oregon Oregon. But, for other schools, the practice is becoming nothing more than an annoyance.
Here are the most guilty offenders when it comes to taking uniform changes too far.
Boston College Eagles
Boston College is one of many Under Armour teams that have worn strange special game uniforms. These oddities were worn a few weeks ago against Maryland.
While the Eagles don't change their uniforms on a regular basis, these uniforms were way too cluttered and forced.
Many teams have worn American flag decals on their helmets to honor the country—so many that it's not even worth tallying in this list because it would become too long.
But, slamming the American flag into a uniform is taking it too far.
Duke Blue Devils
Duke took a nice opportunity to add some black to its uniforms this year, removing it further from its Indianapolis Colts knock-offs that it has worn for the past few years.
But, the black helmet has become a mystery. Duke added a glossy black 'D' decal to a matte black helmet, and a glossy black helmet stripe that looks more like a strip of electric tape.
Duke is also one of many teams that switches helmet decals on the reg. Against Clemson, they wore blue decals on the black helmet with a black stripe. It looked a tad better, but a more complete-looking black helmet would be nice.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech has always had such a classic look, so it's a shame that they stooped so low this year with these uniforms.
From a tacky number font, to a distracting pattern that appears more like bubble wrap than the intended '"honeycomb" pattern, to really bad side-panels and inserts, the Yellow Jackets uniforms are already being considered one of the worst in football history.
Maryland has been changing on a regular basis for a few years now. These black versions of the "Pride" uniforms are pretty distracting, but on the flip-side—kind of neat to look at.
Maryland will wear black-ops uniforms this weekend, which follow white out uniforms they wore earlier in the year.
The Terrapins actually toned down their regular uniforms from last year, but have kept themselves in the discussion with their alternates.
North Carolina Tar Heels
This just does not look like North Carolina.
A primary navy blue uniform with a chrome helmet? Meh. The helmet actually looked really cool, and the tar heel logo slapped on their pretty well, but the overall uniform really deviates from North Carolina's identity.
UNC has impressed with a white helmet, but they have worn it with a white and navy blue facemask, which is an annoying inconsistency.
Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech is another team that cannot figure out its best looks. It will wear a different helmet stripe, different helmet decal, and different set of white pants on a regular basis.
In fact, the Hokies have become notorious for always wearing one element in a uniform that makes it bad each week.
Why Virginia Tech can't find one look and stick with it is beyond me, but its variations it has worn in in the meantime have been baffling.
It even wore camo uniforms earlier this year, and helmets with chicken feet decals.
Louisville made a goofy move a few weeks ago with its white-out uniforms.
It wore the regular road get up, but added a washed out helmet decal. It did nothing but make the Cardinals look cheap.
These are the type of uniform changes that are too ticky-tacky and strange to be justified.
Iowa wore throwback uniforms earlier this year.
These are them.
Does anything really even need to be said here?
Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State surprised us against Michigan with chrome helmets from HGI, a company that has perfected the chrome-finish lids we've seen on more and more teams as the weeks ago on.
These helmets just didn't match up with the rest of a pretty classic looking uniform. Also, the black facemask was an unnecessary detail.
Nebraska and Wisconsin met earlier this year in one of the oddest looking games in recent memory.
Both teams wore alternate uniforms, which made sense considering their regular uniforms are almost identical.
So, it was funny to see that the alternate uniforms weren't much different either. Both teams found ways to unnecessarily wear black.
Nebraska wore red, but with glossy black helmets and hints of black on the jerseys and pants. The new uniforms looked cheap.
Also, for a team that has 'The Blackshirts' as an unofficial nickname, it was disappointing to see the alternate jerseys weren't in fact black.
Northwestern already blew our minds with their new jerseys for 2012, which feature stripes that run across the chest and behind the jersey numbers, but these alternates really blew the top off their progression.
Northwestern accompanied black jerseys and black pants with a new matte-black helmet that featured a pretty neat oversized wildcat.
Here's Wisconsin's uniforms from the game in Lincoln.
Not only was the 'W' logo really generic and underwhelming, but the black facemask really killed the uniform.
Adidas didn't try at all with these, and it's sad the teams signed off on them.
Baylor has had bad uniforms for a few years now. They have been wearing a Nike catalog get up, with Cal bear pants stripes, annoying flywire on the jerseys, and alternate green pants that don't even match the rest of the uniform.
So, how did they make it worse?
Baylor wore black earlier this year with green numbers, which was very distracting.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State unveiled new grey jerseys this preseason, which we thought was enough.
Enter two new helmets. One is a black helmet with the old-school cowboy decal. The other is an orange helmet, which has featured the cowboy decal and the regular logo.
Here's a version of their uniform they wore against Kansas State. It's not bad, but it's been hard to keep up with Okie State this year.
TCU Horned Frogs
TCU has worn some really inconsistent uniforms for the past few years, combining all sorts of regular jerseys with Pro Combat Rivalry garments.
This season they have added chrome, frog-skin helmets to the lockerroom.
They look good, but this is only to hoping that they can stick to a few different looks instead of a handful.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech might have some type of inferiority complex, being in the state with the most FBS schools.
But, slapping a Texas themed uniform into the mix was a little pretentious.
West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia already has uniform problems with the fact their circa 2007 look is already looking tired.
How did they cope? Instead of running out in an updated look, WVU elected to simply add grey helmets, jerseys and pants to the closet for 2012.
Here's one of the more interesting combinations. They have already worn yellow and navy blue decals on the helmet. Decal changes, again, or annoying at best.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Tulsa has looked awful for a few seasons now.
Adding to its distracting Nike catalog uniforms, the Golden Hurricane keep distracting us with questionable helmets.
Here's a pretty bad look.
Toledo has been a major offender lately.
The Rockets have switched over to a 'UT' logo that is identical to Tennessee's, which kills the identity. But, they've also added matte anthricate helmets, matte gold helmets, and grey jerseys and pants.
The grey is really unnecessary and really distracting.
Boise State Broncos
Boise State might have an excuse. They aren't allowed to wear all-blue at home, per the Mountain West Conference headquarters. That might change when they join the Big East next year, but for now the Broncos have to find different uniforms to wear in conference home games.
Their latest? All-black.
The combination of black, blue, orange is grey is actually really, really cool, but these uniforms are only a better example of Boise's crazy amount of uniform options, that includes multiple white helmets, blue helmets, and even grey jerseys.
Wyoming's colors are gold and brown.
They have multiple Nike catalog uniform options, all of which are awful.
They have switched helmet decals on multiple occasions in two years.
Oh, and they also have this as an alternate.
Yes, Oregon makes this list even though its Oregon.
It's been nearly impossible to keep up with all of the crazy new uniforms the Ducks have worn this year.
These all-black unis were pretty crazy, which included carbon-chrome down the center of the helmet and clear chrome on the sides.
Does that even make a lick of sense to readers? Hopefully.
Oregon's white-out uniforms were nice, as were the bright yellow and kelly green uniforms from the season opener.
The rest of their looks, however, have been eh.
Washington is a main offender of a mistake uniform geeks have dubbed BFBS, which means black for black's sake.
With a beautiful white helmet and a neat color scheme, the Huskies already have a nice look. But, they had to squeeze black jerseys and back pants in the mix.
These simply look really forced.
Washington State Cougars
Washington State is another horrible example, except they have gone with anthricate for anthricate's sake.
Anthricate is Nike's word for a really dark grey.
These uniforms from the Cougars have come in the wake of grey jerseys and grey pants, along with the regular cherry jerseys, white jerseys, and two helmets.
This combination looked particularly bad because the white facemask stood out like a sore thumb on a uniform that had white nowhere else.
Arizona's colors are red, blue, and white.
Here's the Cardinals with copper helmets.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Arizona State is another team that has started to wear different decals on different helmets.
Not only does this multiply uniform possibilities to the point where you feel like your brain is going to explode, but the gradient numbers and necessary black is also annoying.
Here's the Sun Devils' all-black look.
What in the?
UCLA has not been able to decide on a shade of blue through its entire history, so seeing these uniforms was overkill.
The worst part was the gold facemask, which made the helmet look really cheap.
UCLA does need to return to this number font, however. It's far superior to the block font it currently wears.
Utah has added matte-black helmets.
Oh, and also all-red and all-white helmet decals. Just like the deal with Louisville, these washed out decals never look good.
Back in 2007 the Razorbacks had classic uniforms that looked great. Even in 2010, their uniforms were pretty darn nice.
Gradient numbers. Gradient helmets, even. And anthricate jerseys and pants?
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State celebrated the rematch of the Snow Bowl, which was comical enough, considering it didn't even snow, with these all-white home uniforms against TAMU.
The oversized bulldog was definitely a deviation from the norm, and the grey numbers on the white jerseys were hard to see.
Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M looked really good against Alabama in all-white.
It also looked really bad against Mississippi State.
These black uniforms were accompanied with a black-to-maroon gradient, flake-paint helmet. The facemask also appeared grey on the front, at times, as the paint color changed.
The oversized helmet logo was nice, though.
Black for black's sake.
That is all.
Missouri wears black and anthricate at the same time.
It's really, really awful looking.
Their road uniforms even feature black numbers on an anthricate shoulder panel, which is one of the most aesthetically annoying uniform elements in college football.
The Tigers' gold-out uniforms they wore against Georgia were magnificent. Their road jerseys, however, are an abomination.
South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina, as an Under Armour school, has worn a lot of bad special game uniforms.
These grey jerseys and camo pants really killed the Gamecocks' look.
Their uniforms aren't that great to begin with, either.
South Carolina could really use a makeover.
Vanderbilt, or Idaho?
Vandy's regular home and road looks, even with the black and white helmets, are nice.
But, this alternate with the Nike catalog fill-in-the-shoulders, makes for one of the cheaper-looking uniforms of the season.
Brigham Young Cougars
Here's a really bad black for black's sake situation from BYU.
The helmet actually looked really nice, but overall this change was unnecessary and cheap-looking.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
And, finally, we have Notre Dame, who ironically while having one of its best years in recent memory wore one of the worst uniforms in recent history.
The jerseys actually were great, but the pants stripes and helmet ruined the look.
Yes, the Irish did in fact wear a helmet that was two-thirds gold flaked and one-third blue, with a white stripe offset, and an oversized, white fighting leprechaun decal.
Here's to hoping this never happens again.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!