BCS Standings Report Card: Grading the Uniforms of the Top 25 Teams
The BCS standings are in full effect with just over a month remaining in the college football regular season, and teams are swapping in and out of the rankings like mad. One thing, however, that does not change for most of these teams is their uniforms.
With the exception of a school like Oregon, whose uniform changes weekly, most of the schools in the Top 25 of the BCS uniforms remain the same throughout the season.
We will countdown the uniforms of the Top 25 from worst to best regardless of their actual BCS ranking. The uniforms here range from gorgeous and creative, to Pop Warner caliber jerseys or jerseys you would find at your local high school team's locker room.
25. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (25)
One of the lone mid-majors in the BCS Top 25 this season is the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. Apart from the uncanny resemblance of their logo to that of Buffalo Wild Wings, the Southern Miss uniforms are nothing special, and could be the same as your local high school team's.
The matte black helmets are a nice touch, but several other teams including Oregon and Oklahoma State have matte helmets this season, so this doesn't separate their uniforms from the rest of the group.
Their uniforms are simple which is all right, but it doesn't make them stand out either.
24. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (23)
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It would be nice if the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets stayed true to their namesake and had some yellow in their uniform. Instead Tech goes with gold, navy and white, which does not make much sense. With other schools like Notre Dame and Navy having the same sort of scheme, the Yellow Jackets don't stand out.
The awful striping across the chest and down the leg doesn't help their cause either. These uniforms are very bland and could use an upgrade or a switch backwards to the original yellow, black and white scheme of the original logo.
23. Kansas State Wildcats (14)
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The Kansas State Wildcats find themselves having a fantastic season in 2011, but their uniforms don't make the cut. The purple and silver may have historical significance to the students of Kansas State, but the overall look itself isn't the most beautiful thing to be seen on the turf.
The Wildcats uniforms aren't completely awful, but they also aren't anything special, which is why they are ranked 23rd on this list.
22) Houston Cougars (13)
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The Houston Cougars are the 13th ranked team in the BCS and highest ranked mid-major school so far this season. With a record of 8-0 they are deserving of this placement.
Their uniforms, however, do not stray far from the other mid-major on this list in Southern Miss, as they are a carbon copy but in red and white instead.
21. Clemson Tigers (11)
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The Clemson Tigers have easily one of the most recognizable logos and color schemes in college football, but the simplicity of their uniforms comes as a drawback. The flat orange on their uniform with no sort of structure on the jersey is too simple and could easily be a blank template for a Pop Warner team.
Although the orange pops on the field, the wow factor of these uniforms isn't the biggest in football. Other teams who utilize orange with other colors better (Oklahoma State) do a far better job in making their uniforms stand out.
20/19. Wisconsin Badgers & Nebraska Cornhuskers (20/10)
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If it weren't for the home crowd of the Wisconsin Badgers on Oct. 1, then it would have been hard to tell the Badgers from the Cornhuskers in that game. We don't know what Adidas was thinking when they mocked up these uniforms, but they are pretty much identical.
Other than thicker striping on the shoulders of the Cornhuskers jerseys and the logo on their helmets, these jerseys are identical. The fact that the jerseys of two teams in the same conference are nearly identical takes the creativity and originality away, so these two are near the bottom of the pack.
18. South Carolina Gamecocks (9)
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Under Armour seems to have a knack for strange jersey templates. The South Carolina Gamecocks uniforms are fine until it comes to the striping on the front of the shoulders. It just doesn't look right.
Other than that, these uniforms are very nice, and their black third jerseys are gorgeous.
17. West Virginia Mountaineers (24)
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The West Virginia Mountaineers are another team that seems to have issues with their striping patterns. The striping on the front of their jerseys goes along the side as though it is going to connect to the shoulder striping, but then veers across the shoulders into the neck. These stripes have no aim it seems, and takes away from the jerseys themselves.
The pants are fantastic and WVU has a great logo. It is too bad these jerseys seem to confused to complement the rest of the uniform.
16. Georgia Bulldogs (18)
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The Georgia Bulldogs are the first team with a Nike Pro Combat uniform to grace this list. We all know how Nike likes to put their own spin on these uniforms, but frankly the regular Georgia uniforms are better.
Nike tried to do something new and creative with the striping on the collar of these jerseys, and it came out cartoonish and looking out of place. The helmets are also a disappointment here with the large red stripe in the middle and silver outer shell.
Now these aren't the permanent Bulldogs jerseys, so the originals come into play as well. The regular uniforms help to balance out the poorly designed Nike jerseys the Bulldogs wore against Boise State.
15. Arizona State Sun Devils (19)
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The ASU Sun Devils came out in 2011 with completely revamped uniforms. Apart from the strange collar striping similar to Georgia, and the gradient numbering, the Sun Devils uniforms are fantastic.
The use of trident as the striping on the shoulders matched with the trident logo on the matte black helmet make the Sun Devils appear to be a menacing opponent. Their 19th overall ranking backs that up.
14. Arkansas Razorbacks (7)
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The Arkansas Razorbacks find themselves stuck in the middle of the pack among the BCS Top 25 uniforms. The Hogs have great uniforms, but they aren't special enough to break the top 10.
The all red shoulders with the all white everything else and metallic red helmets look great and clean on the field and make the Hogs look like a fast team. The Razorbacks uniforms are something to be adored, but there isn't any one aspect of them that puts them above other teams.
13. Auburn Tigers (22)
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It is a rarity in college football that when a major sponsor takes over for designing a schools uniform to make minimal changes. Since Auburn has teamed up with Under Armour, the brand has done just that.
Keeping the Tigers uniforms simple, and complementing the white helmet with white pants nicely, Auburn is left with one of the cleaner looking uniforms in the Top 25.
12. Stanford Cardinal (4)
The second Nike Pro Combat uniform to grace this list is that of the Stanford Cardinal. Nike didn't stray too far from the original uniforms, but replaced much of the white striping with black and added the creative complements of spikes to resemble tree branches on the numbering.
The matte black helmet with a maroon stripe adds to the uniform, making the Cardinal look much more menacing than they would on a normal day in Palo Alto.
11. Michigan State Spartans (17)
Yet another Pro Combat uniform in Michigan State makes an appearance on this list. The Spartans uniform is absolutely gorgeous. The dark green strays away from the lighter green and the gold numbering differentiates from the regular Spartan style.
The addition of black on the sides of the shoulders and gold helmet is a very good look for the Spartans, and in addition to the regular uniforms, the Spartans have some of the best uniforms in college football.
10. Texas Longhorns (21)
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The Texas Longhorns have one of the most distinguishable color schemes in all of sport. The burnt orange and white uniforms have remained unchanged since their introduction in 1977.
The tradition that goes along with these uniforms is unparallelled in the state of Texas, and the Longhorn logo is a staple in college sport.
9. Oklahoma Sooners (6)
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The Oklahoma Sooners, like the Texas Longhorns, have a storied history in their unchanging uniforms. The focal point of the Sooners uniform is their helmet. The maroon color shimmers in the light, and the staple OU logo that dates back to 1967 remains stamped on the side.
These uniforms are very clean, whether they be the home or away version, and belong in the top 10 uniforms in the BCS rankings.
8. Virginia Tech Hokies (12)
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The Virginia Tech Hokies made a smart decision when they ditched what seemed to be Nike's staple template of thin piping throughout the uniform for the more traditional double-striped shoulders on their jerseys.
The Hokies look like a football team again. Gone are the jerseys that one could confuse with a sleeved basketball jersey and in are these traditional uni's. These uniforms look fantastic on the field and the play of the Hokies this season doesn't hurt.
7. LSU Tigers (1)
The only aspect of the nation's No. 1 ranked team in the LSU Tigers and VA Tech's jerseys are the Tigers Pro Combat uniforms. LSU and Nike teamed up to put together one of the better Pro Combat uniforms we've seen since their inception a couple of seasons ago.
The uniforms don't stray far from the traditional LSU white home uniform, but added is UCLA striping, a Tiger head crest on both the collar and helmet, and a subtle use of tiger striping on the numbers.
The main attraction of these uniforms are the gloves. When placed side by side the gloves join to form intimidating and glowing purple eyes of the LSU Tiger. These uniforms are excellent alongside the regular Tigers uniforms.
6. Boise State Broncos (5)
This season was the first season where the Boise State Broncos were disallowed to wear their all blue uniforms on the smurf turf at home. So instead, Boise went ahead and wore all blue everything with orange or white jerseys, or their blue jerseys with white or orange everything else.
So far the MWC argument that the all blue uniform provided the Broncos with a "competitive advantage" has proved false as the Broncos are still running over teams at home.
In addition to the new looks the Broncos have displayed at home, they too were graced by Nike with Pro Combat uniforms to start the season. The all white uniform is stunning and unlike any other Pro Combat uniform we have seen this season. The clean look, combined with subtle creativity has Boise State ranked in the top 8 on this list.
5. Alabama Crimson Tide (2)
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The Crimson Tide of Alabama have played with the same uniform since 1960. Prior to that point, the Tide wore white helmets and had stripes on their shoulders. With the subtle switch to red helmets and stripe-less jerseys, the simplicity of the uniform is pulled off by the Tide mostly due to the historical significance of the uniform.
So much has been accomplished in these uniforms, and they are one of the best uniforms in college football. The number on the side of the helmet has remained on the heads of 'Bama players since 1957 and will surely remain for the rest of time so long as football players still use helmets.
4. Michigan Wolverines (15)
The Michigan Wolverines came back in 2011 in style both on the field and in their appearance. The new retro uniforms introduced by Adidas are gorgeous with the yellow "M" gracing the front of the jerseys and Wolverine striping complementing the helmet with stripes along the shoulders of the jerseys.
Some find these jerseys ugly, but they are truly something new and different, and they stand out on the field. The Wolverine striping of Michigan is something that is unparalleled in college football, and Adidas took full advantage on these uniforms.
3. Penn State Nittany Lions (16)
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The players of Penn State helped long time head coach Joe Paterno to his record 409th victory this past weekend, and they did so in the pristine uniforms that have remained mostly the same and been worn by Nittany Lion players since 1938.
With the exception of the introduction of helmets, the Nittany Lions uniform has remained unchanged for most of the school's history. The dark navy with the white is one of the most traditional uniforms in all of sport, and never seems to lose its luster.
The Nittany Lions' lack of a logo on their uniforms adds to the tradition of the jerseys and keeps them in the top three uniforms in the BCS.
2. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3)
Nike's redesign of the Oklahoma State Cowboys uniforms is absolutely stunning. Whether it be the gray uniform, white or black, all three jerseys are gorgeous. Accompanied by orange pants, white pants or grey pants, as well as multiple different helmets, the Cowboys uniforms are among the best in the Top 25, and even college football in 2011.
In total, the Cowboys have 48 possible combinations they can use. The all black uniform is stunning and makes the Cowboys an even scarier team to match up against.
1. Oregon Ducks (8)
Of course the Oregon Ducks have to be at the top of this list. With Nike founders Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight alumni of the University of Oregon, it hasn't been hard for the Ducks to find a uniform sponsor. In total the Ducks have 80 possible combinations for the season.
The best of these uniforms has to be their opening night digs. The Ducks wore all black uniforms with neon green highlights. These uniforms are downright frightening, but could not save the Ducks from losing to LSU. These uniforms are gorgeous and cannot be contested as they are the best uniforms among the Top 25 this year.