College Football Preseason Top 25—Uniforms!
With college football season just around the corner, yet seemingly so far off, I sit here bored and pray that falling asleep means waking up the next morning to kickoff weekend-not going to happen, I know.
So because I have to let my mind mingle into things and keep me busy for the next month, I decided my latest article would be something different. All previews and predictions are out the door.
Instead of doing my top 25 teams like everyone else out there, I am going to be the only loser to do the top 25—uniform edition. I have a keen eye for anything from facemask colors, to outfitter templates, to the type of number font teams use.
With hundreds of college football teams out there, it might be more controversial to pick the "best" 25 football uniforms from around the country. Everyone I'm sure has their own opinion, but here is mine. Enjoy!
25. San Jose State Spartans
San Jose State might have had one of the worst uniforms in sports history during the late 2000's, but a recent change in style places them in my top 25. Most college football fans rarely get a glimpse of these beauties, but the Spartans rock one of the most aesthetically pleasing uniforms in sports. The colors are a unique lighter blue and gold combination, and the color balance on the newer uniforms are fantastic.
The only issue is that the spartan helmet logo would look better than the full logo as a helmet decal, and the WAC patch is in a very odd place. Also, it appears that the Spartans switched uniform templates somewhere in the middle of last season.
The team gets so little coverage I could not find enough dated photos to figure out when. Either way, the overall look stayed the same and the result, for both templates, is a beautiful uniform.
24. Texas A&M Aggies
TAMU is an easy pick for the top 25 list. Their uniforms are simple, but effective thanks to that deep maroon and their helmet. For some reason I really like the look of plain jerseys with contrasting cuffs (cuffs are the bands at the end of the sleeves). TAMU shows off their maroon through the collar and cuffs rather than using excessive striping and piping. I love the word mark across the chest, and the addition of grey in the pants stripe.
Just an awesome, classic looking uniform.
23. Virginia Tech Hokies
I'm not a traditionalist when it comes to uniforms, but while Virginia Tech's new uniforms from last year looked cool, the template looked terrible from the back and looked clunky. What places Virginia Tech in my list is their throwback style alternate they wore often last year (shown in the picture.)
Again, I am not a traditionalist, but there is no doubt that VT's combination of their throwback jersey and pants with their modern helmet became a huge hit among uniform nerds. The newer uniforms barely had orange on the road set, while this set is a perfect balance.
I'm pretty sure Hokie fans want to see a colored jersey version of these uniforms for 2009, however there has not been any word of a full change yet.
After having some ridiculous uniforms in the past few years, these threads have potential to become gems.
22. San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State might not be the best team in the land, but their uniforms are as intimidating as it comes.
The Aztecs have maybe the best brand of any college out there; The name is unique, their logo's have tons and tons of character, and the colors are awesome.
The shiny, dark cherry helmet color is very original, and something about the uniform stripes is incredible to me.
This team would be even farther up my list had they not ditched the two-tone helmets, which were by far a favorite of mine.
21. Hawaii Warriors
I love Hawaii's uniforms. Their latest uniform, which is a product of Under Armor, gives the Warriors one of the best identities in sports.
The unique number font, wordmark, helmet stripe, and the diamond patterned sleeves gives opponents a real taste of Hawaiian culture.
Seriously, you know you have a good uniform when nobody else could use your template and get away with it. The only negative is the stupid horns coming from the collar.
20. Penn State Nittany Lions
Penn State's uniforms are classic, but maybe too plain for my taste.
A plain gold helmet looks a bit more finished than a plain white helmet. While the look is certainly timeless, their uniforms tend to bore me more than the rest on this list.
I know plenty will disagree with me on this one.
One cool thing about the Lions though is that Schutt uses them as the poster team to show off their latest helmet designs (last season just about every player wore the latest Schutt Ion.)
19. Colorado Buffaloes
Once again, I'm not like most football uniform watchers. Colorado has one of the strangest uniforms in college football, but I give points for doing something different.
For one, the combination of gold and silver is something unseen in sports, but the Buff's latest uniforms feature gold trim and silver numerals- and I like it. The pants have a unique look to them, but once again are pretty foreign looking.
And, they are the only team crazy enough to have textured padding on their jerseys. If you look closely at the shoulders you can see dotted shoulder padding. I have no clue what it is for, but again, I like seeing something different.
18. Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State has a simple uniform, but it still screams modernization. The numbers are unique, and so is the pants stripes, but overall it gives a clean look. I love the helmet logo, despite the fact some people feel the "OS" logo would be more suitable.
Also, the orange jerseys are definitely a favorite.
17. Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State has a very clean, classic look, with a modern touch. I love when teams do this.
The K-State script on the chest is a thumbs up in my book, along with their recent addition of alternate purple pants. I love the simple stripes as well.
One thing that does bother me is the odd vertical cuff stripes, which has become a newer element in some uniforms in the past two seasons.
16. Navy Midshipmen
Navy's uniform might remind you a bit of Notre Dame, but the huge "NAVY" wordmark across the chest gives them that undeniable look for some reason.
15. Rice Owls
Rice went from some crazy uniforms to a very classic looking set two years back. The newer look dropped gold in favor of an awesome dark blue and white look. The jerseys and pants are simple, but the best part is the helmet and the helmet logo.
14. Georgia Southern Eagles
The Eagles may get overlooked for being in the FCS, but their uniforms are great. They are one of the few times that wear numbers on the side of the helmet, and feature completely plain jerseys and pants.
The only knock is that these are basically navy blue versions of Alabama's uniforms, though GSU did add blue pants to the mix last season.
13. North Carolina Tar Heels
This is another team that lets the simplicity of a great logo and good uniform colors do the work, but there is a tasty twist.
At the same time, UNC mixes it up a bit with now pretty awesome looking navy blue pants and a navy blue jersey. I always wanted to see them do that, but never thought it would actually happen.
The modern pants stripe is actually pretty good in my book too. It is simple, but unique.
12. Clemson Tigers
I love Clemson's uniform, but as long as they are wearing orange. The white on purple road look is pretty cool for a change, but when they start wearing purple jerseys at home is when they get into trouble.
The purple jerseys look awful with purple, orange, and white pants.
11. Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue overall might remind you a bit of Vanderbilt, but the double gold stripe and double black stripe on the jerseys and pants respectively is unique and gives Purdue a very finished and simple uniform. I also love the "P" logo.
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame has an awesome look, and better yet improved it by staying away from green jerseys and stupid gold side panels in recent games. A nice deep blue is used, and you gotta love how incredibly perfect each helmet looks at the start of every game (the helmet shells are painted gold fresh every week.)
9. Ohio State Buckeyes
This one is simple. Ohio State has classic uniforms, which were even improved a few years ago when they shrunk the numbers to a regular size and made the sleeve stripes match the pants and helmet. The striping pattern gives a very bold look.
And of course, the excess of large circular helmet decals that eventually can cover the entire shell is the most recognizable part of their attire.
8. Oregon Ducks
Didn't see this one coming did you?
Most people give the Ducks loads of you-know-what for continuing to push the limits with their uniforms. Sure, their school colors are green and gold, not green and silver-sorry, chrome. And, having that many alternate combinations is silly.
Or is it? I think it is awesome, and I acknowledge I might be in the minority.
They will now have a green helmet, black helmet, white helmet and a "carbon" helmet. I showed the carbon helmet on the slide show's opening page (definitely the most outrageous thing in uniform history.) They even will have a band on that helmet that reads "Go Hard Go Ducks."
Okay, yeah, it is a bit weird. They even sport two (yes, I said two) white jerseys. One has the silver numbers to go with the carbon helmet.
I give credit to the unique and enjoy uniforms that, as said, push the limits. From the wing design, to the ability to change helmet decals depending on what you are wearing with the alternate helmet, Oregon again keeps us entertained.
Most say the Duck's uniforms are terrible, and are getting worse, but for some reason when I read that an Oregon football game is airing, I might just watch to see what they are going to wear this time.
If that type of pull isn't worthy of a top 25, than this wouldn't be fun at all.
7. USC Trojans
USC is one of the many teams who have gone for a more classic look with a uniform change than a modern look, resulting in one of the best uniforms in sports.
For those of you who do not know, their uniform has changed plenty over the years, and the look they sport now is nothing of age.
But it appears that way. The color combination and the simplicity is "perfecto!"
I love the shoulder stripes, and the use of vertical pants stripes instead of something to mock the shoulder stripes (a lot of teams try to mock striping in all areas of the uniform- ex: Ohio State.)
No alternates, no updated helmet decal, no fancy piping, just a good old eye popping uniform.
6. Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia is another example of a team that doesn't try to duplicate, and the result is a very exclusive looking uniform.
You have a solid white helmet stripe, black cuffs on the jersey, and the very unique red-white-black stripe on the pants.
They also have one of the best looking helmets, combined with the original "silver britches."
And, beyond that classic look, the black jerseys look just as good. Rarely is the announcement of an alternate jersey such a big deal that it is reported on the news.
5. Michigan Wolverines
Michigan's uniform has to fall into the top 5 here. The helmet is immediately recognizable, the jerseys and pants are as plain as can be, but the colors are amazing!
The only thing that keeps Michigan from being No. 1 is the excessive maize piping on their road uniform. I think the return of a plain white jersey is in order.
4. Auburn Tigers—War Eagle!
There is something about the perfect balance of white, deep blue, and that intense orange that makes these uniforms stick. I love the striping, and the classic helmet decal.
I do think however that they could use some deep blue pants for road games.
3. Texas Longhorns
Texas' uniforms are just plain classic. The pants don't have anything on them, the helmet is as plain as an egg (but rocks one of the most recognizable logos—scratch that, symbols in the country.)
I love the shallow double stripe on the sleeve, and I'm also pretty sure Nike has not updated the actual fabric orientation of the uniform in a while. Those jerseys still seem to have a lot of holes in them compared to the newer sleeker jerseys a lot of teams have gotten in the past few years.
2. Alabama Crimson Tide
Another simple, but too classic to kick uniform.
The helmet numbers say it all. The jersey doesn't even have TV numbers on it, and the double stripe on the pants is particularly thin compared to most used.
All in all this uniform is unique, and immediately identifiable.
And unlike Georgia, the state of Alabama would go into riots of someone claimed they were wearing an alternate colored jersey.
They also get extra points for wearing a houndstooth collar for a game a few years back (would not mind seeing that come back.)
1. Florida State Seminoles
Florida State wins my award as having the best uniform in college football. The numerals are unique, the cuffs and collar have that awesome design on them, they look good in garnet, gold, and white pants. And, the helmet is by far the best in football.
They are not afraid of mixing this up either. They wear plain pants in garnet and gold, but have an awesome stripe pattern on the white pants to make the uniform look complete.
And, you cannot ignore how awesome their all-black "unconquered" uniforms are, simply because no team with that classic of a uniform features that drastically different of an alternate.
A lot of variety, but always a good look at Florida State.