Update: Oregon's complete fall ensemble is wonderful, and Notre Dame's Miami game outfit is perfectly horrible. Also, Central Michigan's are Minnesota's, and Kentucky's already black and blue. UCLA's changes are not going over well.
Your college football team probably has some new uniform thing going on this year. I say this with confidence, since every college football team is always fiddling with its uniforms, and it might actually be swifter to just show you all the ones that are the same. Thank you, Texas Tech, for probably not switching up your uniforms this year.
However, with the season now just over two weeks away, we're going to need to adjust our eyes to this fall's hottest new ensembles. There are a few still to come, like Mississippi State's Snow Bowl tribute and Penn State's drastically minor change and whatever Georgia Tech's got going on for Labor Day, and I never really feel like we're out of the Pro Combat* woods, but we've got a good idea, and at least none of these has happened yet.
* Prepare yourself for more of that by enjoying this series at Black Heart Gold Pants.
First, a list of the new uniforms I don't like, followed by the ones I do like. You can then make your own list, please.
UNIFORMS I DON'T THINK I LIKE
Somebody should start a meme where a uniform designer man just keeps yelling "DARKEN" at his subordinates. That seems to be what these guys do most of the time. You know, it would be like the ENHANCE meme. How do you start a meme?
Duke: There's the DARKIFY fad, and there's also the matte fad. I have just had e-doggone-nough of both of them, especially when they collide.
West Virginia: They're dark monochrome but not black, which is a start, but nobody liked Oklahoma State's gray uniforms last year. Every Air Raid team has to wear gray at some point, I guess. These gray WVU outfits were pretty good though.
Arkansas State: ASU sometimes wears all black anyway, so that's not really the problem here. Just think those shoulder scratches don't fit the otherwise by-the-book presentation. Scratchy numbers me!
UMass: GOOD GOD, NEW GUYS
When Nike's at its best, can't nobody touch it. It is responsible for the very best in this kind of stuff, and it has made some great visuals for this year. But it has a very specific fallback look that just keeps showing up all over the place.
Minnesota: By themselves, these are pretty good. Minnesota has eleventy different outfits to wear now, too. But that damn zig-zaggy front collar thing ... every team wears it. It's so strange. It's like we're supposed to think it's a solar panel or Iron Man apparatus. Why is that a thing that every team has to wear now?
Army: Oh hey, there it is again.
TCU: Oh hey, there it is again.
Rutgers: Oh hey, there it is again
Baylor: Oh hey, there it ... maybe it's not there, but there is the lie detector shoulder thing Nike made for Florida in like 2009.
Marshall: Green and white might be the prettiest uniform combo. I don't like Marshall's green, though. There's nothing anyone can do about it. I'm very sorry.
Maryland: Did you ever do that thing where you told your dad you failed a class, but only to prepare him for the actual news, that you got a C-? Maryland's 2011 flag uniforms were that pretend F, and now we have the real F. There is no C-. (DISCLOSURE: I kind of think these are fine, and am mostly just mad about the non-black turf thing.)
Northwestern: Having watched this video on the creative process behind these, I feel kind of bad, but
These new Northwestern uniforms look like a pee stick indicating that you're not pregnant.— sir broosk (@celebrityhottub) July 26, 2012
YANNO, usually in a space like this, we just make fun of Under Armour, but it's clear Under Armour just tries really, really hard. Adidas, on the other hand, is the offseason's absolute terrible uniforms champion for trying to make a chemical equation out of a Big Ten game when everybody knows the only chemicals that matter in the Big Ten are integrity and football integrity.
Nebraska and Wisconsin: N wnw'n wnwn wnwn wnwnw nw nwnwn wnwn. Wn'wn wnwnwnw nw n wnwn wn wnwnwnw nwnw wnw nwnwnwn wnw nwnw, nwnw nwn nwnwnwnwnw nwnwn wnw nwnwnw nw nwn wnwnw. Nwn wn w "N," wnw nwn wnwnw nw n "W." Nw Nwnwnw'n wnwn wn wnw nwnw nwnwn wn wnwn, wn wn Wnwn Wnwnwnw'n. Wnwn Wnwnwnw nwnw nwn wnwnwnw. Nwnw nwnw Nwnwnw'n wnwnwn wnwn wnw, "Nw," nwn Wnwnwnwnw'n nwnwn wnw, "Nwn wnw nwnw nwn wn wnwnwnw nwnw nwnwnwn wnw nwnwnwn wnwn." #wnwnwnwnwnwn
Mississippi State and Texas A&M: Above, two new conference rivals with similar color schemes got the same fish-flickin' uniforms from Adidas. Thus:
But had A&M wanted to really stand out, there would've been a steep, steep price:
Sumlin told me he loves new uniforms, and for those who don't, 'You should have seen some we turned away.' He said one was khaki.— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) July 17, 2012
Houston: Elsewhere in kind of looking like Texas A&M, Houston's stirred up a BevelGate of its own, and you can't spell bevel without almost spelling Bevo, and I don't know why this is on the bad list now.
UNIFORMS I LIKE
I think white helmets are prettier than black helmets. (DISCLOSURE: The only team I root for wears black helmets, but we all wish they'd just wear their red helmets.) When I was a teenager, I would've said otherwise. But way back in my day, everything was teal or purple, so crying out for black helmets had a hungrier tone to it back then.
Arkansas: If not for the white hats, the new Hog duds (#hogduds) would've gone in the Nike Gonna Nike section above. These boys are gonna look like some darn Christmas ornaments this year. Also, I showed this whole list to my 4-year-old daughter, and this red helmet is the only thing she liked.
Vanderbilt: One of the primary darlings around these parts (thanks to Herb Hand, James Franklin, Robbie Caldwell, and letting us roam around behind the scenes) also happens to boast my favorite look of the year among a range of color options (via):
North Carolina: /sprains something from whistling too much
Eastern Michigan: Yes, it's pretty much just directional, lightly attended Oregon, but it still looks nice. And it inspired Matt Sussman to do this sort of thing.
Charlotte: We might never figure out just how Charlotte scored an invitation to a decent FBS conference before so much as holding a single football practice, but the answer might be its wisdom in opting for delicious white helmets. White helmets will no longer be cool in 2015, sadly.
UTEP: Don't really care one way or the other about the fashion here, but am highly impressed with the swag deployed by defensive back Derrick Morgan in broadcasting live from what might be a Rooms To Go:
Appalachian State: Eligible for inclusion after becoming an honorary FBS program in 2007, the 'Neers violate several of the decrees contained within this list but just look so nice doing it, so.
Iowa: I'm told these are different somehow.
Ball State: Also allegedly different.
Wyoming: What can you hide from while wearing yellow camo? Well, hello, they're the Cowboys. Cowboys both hunt cows and hide from cows, and cows are color-blind (so many facts all at once). The yellow is for safety, so that the Cowboys don't get shot by the Deerboys.
Missouri: I love Arizona State's hellfire-and-coal combo. Just keep doing that, and it'll keep looking neat!
Utah State: Now we're damn talking. Weird collar thing and all. World's best dressed Aggies for sure.
Toledo: Tim Beckman camped out in West Virginia's parking lot with nine assistants in order to steal this color scheme. Tim Beckman's at Illinois now, but if I made a joke about Toledo's current coach, you'd be like, "I don't know that guy."
Illinois: There's really no way Tim Beckman didn't steal this from Ron Zook somehow. Not Illinois Ron Zook, but Florida Ron Zook. Florida has absolutely worn something this hideous before. I love it.
Southern Miss: Congratulations! You are now pregnant with a Trans Am. It's a boy who is already a man.
Michigan: A Michigan man will correct you if you compliment his team on just wearing a streak of yellow for the Alabama game instead of those bumblebee stripes. He will correct like every word of that, one by one, but it matters not that your original remark was about Michigan. He would've done this anyway.
Virginia Tech: The undisputed uniform champions, working both your body ...
That's it. Your turn!
While we’re here, let’s watch some of the many fine college football videos from SB Nation’s YouTube channel: