Virginia Tech and Tennessee are playing a football game at a racetrack on Saturday. And when you play a football game at a racetrack, you clean up nicely.
The Hokies designed new uniforms for the game (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), and they’re a top-to-bottom nod to an important part of their school’s history.
The uniform is adorned, from its helmet to the detailing on its pants, with images of Hokie Stone. That’s the native, Virginian rock that the school uses for many of its buildings and has hanging atop the tunnel players walk through on their way from the locker room to the field at Lane Stadium. So, these are a nod to the school’s past, albeit with a futuristic, sleek Nike look for 2016. Pretty cool.
Here’s a pretty full look at the uniform for the Battle at Bristol:
In his preseason accounting of new college football uniforms for this year, Zito Madu showed little mercy to Virginia Tech’s mildly updated regular uniforms. But these alternates got high marks.
I'm not sure what's going on with the dirty, gray, camouflage thing here, but I do know that whatever it is, and whatever the idea is supposed to be, it's excessive.
This is a black uniform. They are best when they're left completely black. It's cool, it's sleek, it's intimidating. Adding all of this extra noise, especially by the chest -- which makes it look like a very tacky, hipster vest -- is like covering a black panther in foliage to conceal it more at night. You're missing the entire point.
Still, black uniforms are automatically great.
The uniforms rated 3.5 fire emojis out of a maximum five (Air Force broke the scale and got six). That’s not through the roof, but it’s a respectable evaluation for a jersey that might only be worn once.
The game’s a big event. Kenny Chesney will be there, and the field itself is the remarkable realization of what it looks like when you put a football field on top of a racetrack in a stadium that seats 160,000 people. The game should shatter college football attendance records.
What a spectacle, if nothing else.