Oregon Football: 10 Uniform Combinations Ducks Must Sport Again in 2012
As the Oregon Ducks prep for their spring game on April 28th, much attention will be paid in the coming weeks to coach Chip Kelly's personnel, play-style, and coaching decisions. But what about their sartorial options?
All fancy vocabulary aside, n the Ducks' recent ascent to the elite of the college football world, their unique and nontraditional look has become as much a part of their national identity as their rabid pace and fanbase. So it's only natural to speculate how Oregon (and Nike) will elect to push the design envelope this year.
While every fan has their favorite, we at Bleacher Report tried our best to compile the 10 combos that must return from 2009-2012, so that we may have at least one more chance to see our favorite mix-and-match ensemble before the next inevitable redesign.
First used: USC, October 30th, 2010
These uniforms may be liable to cause snow-blindness, but they look great while doing so.
This clean and classic look was the first time the Ducks have opted for the white-out with grey accents instead of the usual bright-green and fluorescent yellow highlights used in other iterations of the all-white treatment.
The Ducks may choose to sport these monochromatic getups in the Civil War on Saturday, November 24th against Oregon State. It's a bit after Labor Day, but Oregon has never been known to be a fan of following tradition.
First used: Arizona State, November 14th, 2009.
All black everything.
The Ducks first trotted these blackout-style unis out against the Sun Devils at Autzen, debuting the current generation's black jersey in the process. Players must have liked the concept, as some took the "blackout" theme even further, opting for long sleeves and, in some cases, full body suit/masks.
Oregon could elect to bring these out next year against Washington on October 6th. The Ducks will look to continue their win-streak against their Pacific Northwest rivals, and the added intimidation factor that comes with resembling a black swarm may be just the extra advantage they need.
First used: California, September 26, 2009
After years of futuristic flashiness, these simplified, retro-inspired duds were a welcome change to Duck faithful.
Announced only a few days before Oregon hosted then-No. 5 ranked California, these throwbacks helped the Ducks to a 42-3 trouncing of the Bears, a big win instrumental in the Duck's first Rose Bowl appearance since appearing in similarly-styled uniforms in 1995.
Look for these as a potential option against Colorado on October 27th. It's homecoming weekend, and it would be an inspired choice as a nod to Alumni returning to Autzen.
First used: UCLA, October 21st, 2010
As a team, sometimes you need to send a message of urgency, and these bright-yellow and black combo certainly does that.
The first jersey to be played in as the AP No. 1 ranked team in the country, these uniforms have the distinction of signifying a remarkable moment for a one-time cellar dweller like Oregon. They helped propel the Ducks to a 60-13 demolishing of the Bruins at Autzen, improving to 7-0 on the year for the first time since 2002.
Oregon has tended to sport this particular combo towards the middle of the season, so the most likely possibility is against Arizona at Autzen on September 22nd.
Throwbacks Pt. 2
First used: Civil War, December 3rd, 2009
These slightly-tweaked retros showed that the mix-and-match philosophy was not limited to current-generation unis.
Worn in the Rose Bowl clinching Civil War victory against the Beavers, this unique combo has a number of interesting features. The helmet, slightly altered from the throwbacks used earlier against Cal, swapped out the block "U of O" logo in favor of the more modern "O" design, and switched in white pants and shoes as well. They seemed to work as well, helping Oregon to a 37-33 win and their first Rose Bowl trip in 15 years.
While the Ducks may not break out this exact combo again, look for them to do a similar mash up of retro and new this year, perhaps this time with an away game matchup?
Grey and Whites
First used: Utah, September 19, 2009
While some fans may wonder when grey became apart of Oregon's color scheme, this odd-yet-attractive combo may be pretty enough to distract from the fact.
Worn against Utah in only the third game of the current generation uniforms, this unconventional combo was the debut of the grey pants, one of the lesser-seen alternatives in the set of options. The understated look worked well for the normally fluorescent Ducks, and they went on to capture the second victory of the Chip Kelly era.
It's hard to make a guess as to where these uniforms could show up in the schedule if they do, but Utah's recent upgrade to conference opponent makes them a logical choice.
"The Fightin' Ducks"
First used: California, October 6th, 2011
The resurgence of Puddles the Duck has been swift since splitting from his Donald the Duck alter ego in 2010, but until last year's game against California, had yet to appear on the team bearing his name.
These "retro-inspired" designs were announced in a similar manner to the 2009 throwbacks, with jerseys bearing the redesigned Puddles quietly appearing in the campus bookstore only a few days before the home game against the Bears. The new design opted for a brighter green that resembled the coloring of older Ducks jerseys, but combined them with the more modern "highlighter" yellow and a flat-black matte helmet.
These uniforms performed incredibly well as merchandise, so Oregon may opt to bring back the supposedly one-off uniforms for another go-round, if only for the profit potential.
Yellow and Grey
First used: Nevada, September 10th, 2011
Recovering from a tough, season-opening loss in Dallas to the LSU Tigers, the Ducks needed a jolt of energy to get themselves back in to championship form, and this lightning yellow and carbon getup was just what they needed.
Worn against the Wolfpack in the home opener of 2011, this combo utilized the somewhat-rare "Carbon" helmet design, which had only appeared twice prior since being announced in 2008. Oregon's players clearly responded to unusual pairing, and punished the Wolfpack with a 69-20 win to give them their first W of a Rose Bowl winning season.
First used: Rose Bowl, January 1st, 2010
While these uniforms may conjure up some sour memories for fans who remember the outcome of the 2010 Rose Bowl, there is no denying that the Ducks looked good in their loss.
Worn in the 26-17 loss to Ohio State in the 2010 Rose Bowl, this obvious but uncommon combo was a surprisingly traditional pick for the Ducks, as some fans thought they would opt for a special new design for the bowl.
It may not have helped lead them to victory in 2010, but this somewhat toned down garb is a nice alternative to the normally complex combos used commonly.
The Mallard Look
First used: Rose Bowl, January 2nd, 2012
It's fitting that a program-defining win like the 2012 Rose Bowl came in a uniform that represented a celebration of the innovative, progressive philosophy Oregon has championed.
Incorporating many different design inspirations, the uniform had several different nods to different aspects of Oregon's culture and heritage, including a newly-designed number system that's iridescent tone was meant to mimic the look of a Mallard Duck's wings. The uniform also featured a newly-designed black finish called "Liquid Metal" as well as a chromed winged pattern that added to the glossy overall look.
Why this combo deserves to be worn again should go without question. The uniforms helped the Ducks to a 45-38 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers, and finally brought verification to a program that had fought for more than a decade to finally reach the elite ranks of college football.
And best of all, they did it while looking damn good.