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Power Ranking the 25 College Football Teams with the Best Fan Gear

Jonathan McDanalContributor IIIMay 6, 2013

Power Ranking the 25 College Football Teams with the Best Fan Gear

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    College football fan gear readily identifies a fan's allegiance with one glance. If designed properly, jackets, T-shirts and other gear will set your group apart from the crowd.

    Ranking was accomplished by scoring two things: The team's national championship coat (if available) and its most eye-catching piece of apparel.

    Scores were given in three categories: Colors, overall design/layout and uniqueness. If bonus points were awarded in any case, that will be noted in each slide. There was a maximum of 10 points possible in each major category, and the bonuses were no greater than five points in either direction.

    Here are the 25 college football teams with the best fan gear.

25. Tennessee Volunteers

2 of 26

    Colors: 7.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 9.0

    Uniqueness: 7.0

    Bonus: -3.0

    Total: 20

    Tennessee's color scheme is already great. While there are certain times that adding other splashes can enhance the experience, this particular jacket patch is reminiscent of the Harley-Davidson logo.

    Tennessee's orange and white scheme is awesome, and the black patch here accents it well. The shape of the blackened area just needs to be altered. As the biggest representation of the success Vols fans are looking for, the designers have to get this kind of piece exactly right.

T-23. Texas Longhorns

3 of 26

    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 7.0

    Uniqueness: 8.0

    Bonus: -3.0

    Total: 22

    Even though all the jackets have the national championships listed in the same order, with the most recent at the top, something about the Texas 2-and-2 layout just makes it look like it's incorrect.

    Even jackets like the Florida Gators' (with three championships) look better. It could simply be the missing football behind the numbers that contributes to the awkwardness, but something is off.

    On top of that, the football design on the back of the jacket falls a little short. It's almost like a caricature of a football, and the laces and stripes also interfere with the Longhorns logo.

    Every line on the jacket is sharp, the logos are crisp and the colors are right. The lackluster football takes away from what is otherwise a clean, well-executed coat.

T-23. USC Trojans

4 of 26

    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 7.0

    Uniqueness: 5.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 22

    While plenty of other teams have a piece like this, USC's edition is especially crisp. The white, red and yellow combine to make one of the most recognizable schemes in the country.

    Trojans fans are disappointed that they don't have 2012 national championship gear to peruse, but their plethora of excellent options ensures that they never have to settle for supporting their team.

    There is just enough of each color to make this one great. Any more (or less) of any of them would have totally messed up the look.

T-20. Syracuse Orange

5 of 26

    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 7.0

    Uniqueness: 6.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 23

    Syracuse's jacket could be confused for an Auburn jacket from behind. While that's not necessarily anyone's fault, a simple "Orange," "'Cuse" or "Orangemen" right under the center of the collar on the back of the jacket would have eliminated that as an issue altogether.

    Layout and uniqueness both took a hit on that one. Other than that, Syracuse has a good catalog of options to sport year-round.

T-20. Oklahoma Sooners

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    Colors: 9.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 9.0

    Uniqueness: 5.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 23

    Oklahoma's jacket puts Tennessee's into perspective. The patch is the same shape, but the Oklahoma edition doesn't look like a Harley logo.

    This is especially curious, because Oklahoma's patch background could have been completely black without looking like some other logo. Oklahoma is crimson and cream, and the black would have actually done a lot to break up the field of red.

    It wasn't necessary, as this layout looks quite good already. The front of the jacket could have used a little more accent, though. Even cream edges on the front pockets would have been enough to score the jacket a 10 in layout.

T-20. Appalachian State Mountaineers

7 of 26

    Colors: 5.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 8.0

    Uniqueness: 10.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 23

    Appalachian State is moving further and further away from the 2007 victory over then-No. 5 Michigan, but the Mountaineers can still claim the biggest victory in the history of FCS football. (When ULM beat Arkansas, the Razorbacks were ranked No. 8.)

    If this line of gear got to count for Ohio State, then the Buckeyes would be higher on the list than they are. As it stands, Appalachian State gets to crack the top 20 on its own.

    If the colors and font were better, this shirt would be the catalyst to a much higher position for the Mountaineers.

19. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Colors: 9.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 9.5

    Uniqueness: 5.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 23.5

    Ohio State has one of the best jackets on the list. Through no fault of the university, the jacket does look rather ho-hum. It's the same basic pattern as the rest of them, so the points for uniqueness are low.

    The colors are bold and highly complementary. Ohio State has more to work with than what is on the jacket. A buckeye leaf (or actual buckeye) wouldn't have hurt the design at all, and the helmet sticker is a huge part of Ohio State lore and fandom.

    The Buckeyes did get some major color-scheme points for this hoodie as well, which finished in the top two for Buckeyes gear.

T-17. Georgia Bulldogs

9 of 26

    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 7.0

    Uniqueness: 7.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 24

    Georgia, who hasn't won a title since 1980, has an available national championship jacket. Yes, that's partially due to the fact that Georgia memorabilia is selling right now, but it's still impressive. (Auburn doesn't have a championship jacket available, and it just won the 2010 title.)

    Georgia's logo covers up the majority of the football on the back of the jacket which was a bone of contention on the Texas slide. The color scheme is spot-on, and the layout is good. Since it's basically the same design for all teams this season, the uniqueness does suffer.

T-17. Arkansas Razorbacks

10 of 26

    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 7.0

    Uniqueness: 7.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 24

    The Hogs have a distinct logo that is instantly recognizable by sports fans. Arkansas may not have a huge scroll of national championships to throw around, but the color scheme on the pullover is impeccable.

    There is just enough white to highlight the wearer, but not enough that it overwhelms the red. (That is exactly how the Razorbacks' red uniforms work, too.)

    Arkansas fans have much to look forward to in the coming season, but they don't have to wait to look good.

16. Florida State Seminoles

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 8.0

    Uniqueness: 8.5

    Bonus: -2.0

    Total: 24.5

    Florida State's selection is wonderful, but the arrow logo that could accompany Chief Osceola on every piece of clothing is severely underused. It doesn't need to be on all the apparel, but it should definitely be on more than 10 percent of FSU merchandise.

    Overall, Florida State fans have a lot of good merchandise, but the specific shortcomings keep them from cracking the top 10 here.

T-13. LSU Tigers

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 7.0

    Uniqueness: 10.0

    Bonus: -2.0

    Total: 25

    LSU's championship jacket is great, but this one has much better saturation of both the purple and the yellow. The LSU colors are excellent complements to one another, and the design is good, though there is a similar piece for other teams.

    The negative bonus is for the fact that the national championships could all fit on one sleeve. Later on, you will see that the company did it for the Florida edition. It doesn't make sense to do this with inconsistency.

    That's not LSU's fault, but it still dings the score a bit.

T-13. Clemson Tigers

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 8.0

    Uniqueness: 7.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 25

    They may not look the best together, but no one will mistake you for anything but a Clemson fan in this. The purple and orange combo is definitely polarizing, but it's safe to assume that Clemson fans are on the "like it" side of the line.

    Clemson has a lot of fan gear, and all of it is distinctly its own, except for pattern. The design for all teams is the same each season, but no matter what, orange and purple belongs to the Tigers.

T-13. Auburn Tigers

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 10.0

    Uniqueness: 10.0

    Bonus: -5.0

    Total: 25

    The negative bonus is for the fact that this jacket is no longer produced, nor is it old enough to qualify as "vintage." You can find it out there and purchase it used, but that's of little consolation to Auburn fans who might like to have it.

    Other teams have championship gear available for decades after their last title. It's been three seasons for Auburn, and the jacket is already discontinued. That's not right at all, especially for a jacket this sweet.

12. Florida Gators

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 8.0

    Uniqueness: 8.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 26

    Florida's championship jacket also helped its score here. While it's tough to get the brilliance of royal blue out of leather, the placement of the championship patches is excellent.

    With three titles, the Gators' patches all fit on one sleeve. That leaves a blank sleeve on the other side for personal customization.

T-8. ULM Warhawks

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    Colors: 8.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 7.0

    Uniqueness: 10.0

    Bonus: 2

    Total: 27

    The two-point bonus is for the impact that this game had on the 2012 football season. The Warhawks took down a Top 10 team in its own house. A week later, they took Auburn to overtime. This is a shirt of the biggest moment in ULM history to date.

T-8. UCLA Bruins

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 10.0

    Uniqueness: 7.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 27

    UCLA has distinctive colors, and this shirt showcases them in perfect concert. There isn't too much yellow or blue, and the scheme is one of the best in the country. There are other pieces like this for other teams, but none of them pop quite as well as the Bruins'.

T-8. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 9.0

    Uniqueness: 8.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 27

    Texas A&M has one of the sharpest-looking sets of these shoes, and there are only 15 teams in that competition. A&M's trip through the SEC in its first season was incredibly successful, and the future looks extremely bright for the Aggies.

    With gear like this already rolling around, the Aggies may move up this list faster than anyone else in the country over the next few seasons.

T-8. Miami Hurricanes

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 8.0

    Uniqueness: 7.0

    Bonus: 2.0

    Total: 27

    Miami has the pleasure of having one of the best teams in the history of college football in its past. The layout of the jacket also puts that 2001 team right in the face of anyone walking behind the wearer.

    It's an exquisitely subtle reminder that Miami fans are simply waiting for something special to come around again, not just for the first time like many other programs.

7. Michigan State Spartans

20 of 26

    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 9.0

    Uniqueness: 7.0

    Bonus: 1.5

    Total: 27.5

    Bonus points were awarded to the Spartans for having a championship jacket available almost five decades after their last title. The Spartans have a great color scheme, and its lack of overwhelming brightness is a big plus when designs like this are implemented.

    The soft look of the design stands in stark contrast to the Spartans' logo of a profiled helmet. It didn't score them a lot of extra points, but it was enough to get them into the No. 7 spot.

6. Michigan Wolverines

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 9.0

    Uniqueness: 7.0

    Bonus: 2.0

    Total: 28

    Obviously, the layout of championship jackets is going to be similar from season to season, but Michigan's color scheme helps the footballs on the sleeves look less adolescent.

    Michigan State's did the same thing, but Michigan's 11 national championships fill the jacket out much more than the Spartans' six does.

5. Maryland Terrapins

22 of 26

    Colors: 9.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 9.5

    Uniqueness: 10.0

    Bonus: N/A

    Total: 28.5

    Maryland has a unique color scheme. The Terrapins will not be duplicated, because they use the Maryland state flag in their design. Whether you love the design or hate it, it is unmistakable.

    Maryland fans have a lot of gear that's about state pride as much as it is about school pride.

4. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 9.0

    Uniqueness: 9.0

    Bonus: 1.0

    Total: 29

    Penn State's jacket is the best-looking one on the list. Without national championships as a factor, this would be the No. 1 school hands-down.

    The Nittany Lions' logo is simple, timeless and elegant. The design incorporating the logo and the alternate paw-print logo on the reverse is a nice touch. That is where the one-point bonus came in.

    If Florida State had done the same thing with its arrow, then the Lions might have tied for this spot with the Seminoles. As it stands, Penn State blows almost all the competition away.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 7.0

    Uniqueness: 10.0

    Bonus: 5.0

    Total: 32

    Alabama's jacket is the only one with 15 championship patches, and the colors ring true. Unfortunately, the design leaves a lot missing on the front of the coat. There's just way too much empty gray for the eye.

    If it were the other color option, white, it would just look bright and the crimson accents would set it off enough. The gray simply leaves something to be desired.

    The back is perfect, even without the mile-long list of championships as appear on other teams' versions of the piece.

    The five-point bonus is because Alabama fans have a section of back-to-back championship gear to choose from right now, and the Tide are the only team to have done that during the BCS era.

    It doesn't get Alabama the top spot on the list, but it gets the Tide close.

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

25 of 26

    Colors: 10.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 10.0

    Uniqueness: 10.0

    Bonus: 3.0

    Total: 33

    Notre Dame's pictured jacket is perfect in every way, and the only reason the Irish aren't No. 1 on this list is largely coincidental.

    Notre Dame has a jacket that's unlike any other out there. The Irish color scheme is striking and impressively simple for something with so many lines.

    Notre Dame's national championship jacket is equally excellent, and it's bold without being overdone in any way. Their colors help with that, but it's easy to take a color scheme like this and destroy its integrity quickly.

1. Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Colors: 9.0

    Overall Design/Layout: 10.0

    Uniqueness: 10.0

    Bonus: 5.0

    Total: 34

    Nebraska's layout has zero flaws. Due to the way the championships laid out, Nebraska fans have a unique display. On one sleeve, one of the most legendary squads in history appears with its back-to-back national titles.

    On the other sleeve, the other legendary 'Huskers squads' results appear as three national titles within four years. Other teams have splits, but none have so much impact as the grouping on Nebraska's gear. That's easily worth five bonus points.

    The 'Huskers may not have won a BCS title yet (it's still possible in 2013), but they won the best gear award right here.

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