College Football Teams' Funky Uniforms Don't Help Recruiting
Are you over the age of 40? If you're not, do you fashion your opinions after those who are?
If so, you probably hate the recent onslaught of alternate uniforms in college football. Seemingly everyone's got them, and if they don't, they're behind the times—the worst place a college football program can be (other than the Big East, anyway).
At the very least, however, grumpy fans can reassure themselves that the new, creative uniforms dotting the college football landscape are helping in the recruiting wars, right? Because if those decisions help on that front, the more curmudgeonly fans can say, "I'm not the target demographic on this one," and just move on.
And then Michigan has to go and ruin that for everybody too.
Here's what Michigan's own recruiting coordinator told MLive.com:
There is a theory that wearing alternate uniforms helps recruiting—in fact, Michigan has cited recruiting as one reason why it has worn so many looks the past two years.
But Wolverines recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski isn't buying it.
"I think that's irrelevant," he said last week. "Is (wearing alternate uniforms) a part of the game today? Is it part of the day and age? Of course it is.
"But you know what? We got one of the greatest uniforms in the world. We got the most recognized helmet in the world. Not a reason to change. Sometimes if it's not broke, don't fix it."
It's worth pointing out that Ohio State used alternate uniforms during the 2012 season and racked up a monster recruiting class.
Now, raise your hand if you think that class cared one iota about the Buckeyes' alternate uniforms when it came time to make a decision.
Mixing things up for big games is part of the Michigan State look now. Suffice it to say, the 5-star players didn't flock to East Lansing this year.
Here's what Iowa wore for its game against Purdue. And now here's Iowa's 2013 recruiting class. Woof.
Yes, Oregon made alternate uniforms part of its new reality, and recruits have responded well. When you think of alternate uniforms in college football, the Ducks come to mind first.
But Oregon's innovations on that front are emblematic of its program-wide commitment to forward-thinking football. It's swimming in money from Nike. It has run challenging, up-tempo offenses to great success. The uniforms help represent that change; they don't subsist as it.
And yeah, as Hecklinski notes, this is a thing that most schools do now, even if it's just a one-off type of thing. But they're not doing it for the recruiting—not directly, anyway. They're doing it for the apparel sales. They need that money so coaches can go visit those recruits they'll end up needing to woo into the program. So, in that sense, a new uniform helps matters.
But let's be honest, the boon to recruiting ends there. These alternate uniforms aren't here to impress prospective student-athletes, they're made to coax more money out of your wallets.
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