We've officially reached the desert of the offseason, the middle point between the end of spring football and the start of fall football where college players won't step back on the field in earnest for a few more months.
Accordingly, there isn't much tangible news to talk about. Save the occasional injury, arrest, suspension, dismissal or transfer, news from May, June and July won't have a massive effect on the 2014 season.
So instead of talking hardcore, hand-in-the-dirt football, let us focus on the trappings of football—the uniforms.
A number of teams have unveiled jersey updates for the upcoming year—the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put together a nice slideshow compilation for your perusal—and here are five of our favorites.
5. Mississippi State Bulldogs
I can forgive the shameless "Hail State" branding across the front, even after being enlightened by Dan Rubenstein of SB Nation that it sounds an awful lot like "Hail Satan."
That is but a nitpicky reason to dislike the new MSU uniforms, which will be worn in the season opener against Southern Miss on August 30 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Scott Field.
The cut is a nice throwback to the 1990s, and the logo on the helmet is cleaner than what the Bulldogs traditionally wear.
It wouldn't work against Texas A&M—a team whose uniforms these are almost an exact replica of—but for how MSU plans to use it, this jersey-helmet combo is one of the best new additions of 2014.
4. BYU Cougars
BYU unveiled a set of three alternate uniforms earlier this week, and although they don't mark a drastic departure from some of the Cougars' recent alternates, they are all clean and appear to look good.
The blue, in particular, finds a cool nexus between classic and modern. I'm not a huge fan of black jerseys in general, but this one I can tolerate, and the white looks sharp with the all-white gloves.
Full photos of the jerseys can be seen at the official BYU athletic website. The white uniform will be worn September 20 against Virginia, the royal uniform will be worn October 3 against Utah State, and the black uniform will be worn November 15 against UNLV.
3. Florida State Seminoles
The awful new logo is separate from the uniform and not taken into account for this ranking. However, in what was a neck-and-neck race with the No. 2 team on this list, it did function as a pseudo tiebreaker.
But once you get past that cartoonish excuse of a joke of a Seminole, the rest of Florida State's uniform update is nice. The stitching around the neck is a cool new update and feels appropriate for the history and culture of this program—making it a strong counterbalance for the new, yawning logo.
I am a bigger fan of the garnet and white outfits than the black, and not just because I am always salty on black. From the color scheme to the pattern, it feels a little too much like Arizona State for my pleasure.
But, all in all, this seems like a chic new set of unis.
2. Miami Hurricanes
Miami still calls itself "The U," a nickname that was branded in the late 1980s and early 1990s when it was considered the pinnacle of cool in college football—sort of like Oregon is today.
It hasn't dressed like the pinnacle of cool these past few seasons, however, wearing surprisingly restrained jerseys that do not match the tenor of the program. As the team has slogged through some down years in the wake of the Nevin Shapiro scandal and subsequent sanctions, it has felt like a zombie of its former self.
There is hope on the horizon, though, and with a team that many in Coral Gables think might compete for an ACC title in 2014 comes a much-needed uniform update that should push Miami back into the future.
Hey, UM players? How do you feel about the jerseys you'll be wearing?
1. Oregon Ducks
Oregon jumped the gun with these jerseys, debuting them in the Alamo Bowl victory over Texas instead of waiting for 2014 proper.
However, they are still technically new for the upcoming season, and they are exceedingly sharp. The new shade of green works well in the white uniform—the one it wore against UT—and the shoulder designs are classic Phil Knight but with a twist.
Have a look-see at both:
Also in classic Knight form, the uniform release came with all sorts of pomp and circumstance. The jerseys are dubbed the Nike Pro Combat "Mach Speed" uniform, and per their release in December 2013, here is just a few of the things they claim to do:
The uniform features an all-new chassis including the latest in lightweight fabric innovation built for maximum speed, ventilation and comfort. Drawing inspiration from some of the fastest athletes in the world, Nike has applied research and design across multiple sports to create one of the fastest uniforms on the field. Taking insights from Nike’s Swift Suit technology, the new Nike Mach Speed Football uniform fabric construction features an articulated fit to match the athlete’s motion of play. Ultimately this allows the athletes to move with the uniform fabrics, rather than against them.
Built for optimal thermoregulation, the new uniform features three distinct woven mesh fabrics. Each panel on the jersey and pant is matched specifically to the pads underneath in order to promote maximum airflow.
That's just a brief sampling, by the way. There are more supposed benefits to the uniform if you follow the link above.
I am a skeptic of all things "jersey advantage," but I don't care if a school wants to espouse being on the vanguard of technology. So what? Looking sharp on Saturday is all that matters.
And Oregon is no stranger to looking sharp on Saturday.
Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT
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