10 Worst College Football Uniforms of the BCS Era

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistJuly 28, 2013

10 Worst College Football Uniforms of the BCS Era

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    What on Earth happened to the good old days?

    Uniforms used to be minimalist and menacing. But now they've become more about peacocking and posturing, an attempt to trend on social media no matter the cost to the viewers' eyes. 

    Notre Dame's helmets have NO LOGO and are still considered among the best in football history—NFL included. The understated and the nuanced become classics while the ostentatious become punchlines.

    But some people never learn.

    Note: Only the jerseys pictured on each slide are being assessed; a team with traditionally good jerseys was not immune to the list if they had one bad one. 


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    If you could take any two colors on the color wheel, combine any two letters from ROY G BIV's name, orange and violet would probably be the least palatable option.

    The Tigers' jerseys in this combo aren't violet, but actually a darker, uglier, less complimentary shade. It looks more like blue mixed with purple mixed with black.

    Also underrated: The orange paw on the shoulders but white paw on the helmet. What, exactly, is the point?


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    This one falls under the maxim of: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

    Georgia's normal uniforms are classic, beyond classic, cherished icons of the sport of college football. The helmet does less with more, blending colors and logos into one easy-to-swallow image.

    This is the opposite of that. The famous "G" on the helmet looks wrong set against silver, and also—why the hell is there silver to begin with? This isn't the year 2050 in some low-budget sci-fi movie: Metallic tones don't need to be part of every team's color palette.

    Normal Georgia uniforms = Icons. These Georgia uniforms = Iconoclasms.


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    The jury is still out on the left-hand uniform. It's bold, but let's wait to see how it looks on the field. The one to its right, however, is objectively atrocious.

    The helmet looks like one of those metallic Pop Tart wrappers—not even the aesthetically pleasing solo packs, but the ones found inside a box of six or 12 from Costco. 

    Which means it's literally molded in the image of trash. Don't mold your helmets in the image of trash.

Maryland Pride

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    Marylanders claim to have the best state flag, which is an odd source of pride because most people don't even know what their state flag looks like. It's flat-out random, like, I don't know, bragging that your state has the highest percentage of its workforce in tourism (I see you, Nevada).

    This one hits close to home—full disclosure: I attended UMD for two years—but honesty is the best policy.

    These jerseys should be re-brandished "Maryland Shame."

Miami (Ohio)

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    There's nothing to say about these jerseys. Some things honestly make fun of themselves.

    The shoulders read MIAMI, but when players crouch into a stance, it looks like the word MIMI. That's the name of a girl, and a meek-sounding one at that.

    The helmets look like a meteorology reading from Jupiter, and the back has, most likely, the least necessary text in football's esteemed history.

    Like B/R's Adam Kramer, I am usually a firm proponent of all things #MACtion. But that only makes this eyesore sting greater. 


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    Even Ted Williams struck out every once in a while.

    Oregon has, for the most part, been one of the few good things about progressive uniforms. Some of their combinations are downright legendary, and though their designs have spawned some of the other mutants on this list, Phil Knight & Co. can't be blamed for the failings of their disciples.

    But before they perfected their craft, the Ducks went through some growing pains. Most notably the era where they wore these jerseys, thinking that aluminum-inspired shoulder patterns were cool and that black somehow went with dark green.

    Don't get me wrong: Oregon is still the best. But there was a time when it was also the worst.

Oregon State

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    These are Oregon State's new helmets for 2013, complete with tri-colored stripes down the middle and facemasks. The updated unis, Oregon State's first in 15-plus years, are part of a younger, hipper rebranding process in Corvallis.

    According to coach Mile Riley, this rebranding is about three things:

    1. Recruiting
    2. Recruiting
    3. Recruiting

    Hopefully the Beavers' top targets are color-blind. 


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    Syracuse gets a LITTLE slack since, you know, their team name is technically The Orange. It would be be disloyal to change their color scheme to something less orangey. 

    But instead of masking the orange with a complementary color, this uniform throws it in your face to prove they aren't ashamed—like the fat kid in high school who used to wear that "I'm in shape...Round is a shape" t-shirt and think it made him hilarious.

    They look just about as bad as him too. 

Virginia Tech

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    The "HokieBird" is an imaginary descendant of a turkey. Virginia Tech's old mascot used to be an actual turkey called "The Gobbler," which is just about the only animal less intimidating than the fictional bird.

    And the only thing less intimidating than both a turkey AND a HokieBird? A picture of the latter's footprints set about a white background.

    Why? Just why? 


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    Wyoming's school fight song, "Ragtime Cowboy Joe," was composed by Lewis F. Muir and Maurice Abrahams. But in order to properly epitomize their uniforms, they ought to commission an updated version by The Clash.

    The whole ensemble, when ingested at once, looks like a banana split after three days left on the table—the gross, brown, subpar hot fudge melting and coalescing with the rotten yellow fruit to form a puke-colored monstrosity.

    Bonus points (in the wrong direction) since, unlike many of the jerseys on this list, Wyoming wears this every. single. week.