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Adidas’ college football uniforms are no longer universally terrible

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I’m not sure exactly how to deal with this.

There was a time when an Adidas alternate signaled peril for college football fans. Adidas uniforms tried too hard to be futuristic and turned out just plain bad. And when I say they used to be bad, folks, they used to be an abomination:

Miami v Notre Dame Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Seriously, look at what Adidas did to UCLA’s gorgeous color scheme for the regular set:

BYU v UCLA Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

And the alternate look will make any man, woman, or child shudder. (Thankfully, Under Armour has since fixed UCLA’s threads.)

Washington v UCLA Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

They did this to Texas A&M:

Adidas also committed this war crime against both Nebraska and Wisconsin in the same game:

Wisonsin v Nebraska Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images

The brand has seen some defection from its ranks in recent years

Adidas has for quite a while been just a step above Russell Athletic in the uniform hierarchy, when you ask just about anyone, but lagging far behind the top two apparel behemoths in the cool factor. Nike reigns supreme, and Under Armour’s come into its own lately.

UCLA, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Michigan, and Wisconsin have all left for either Nike or Under Armour. Leaving Adidas was something greeted with some celebration by fans.

Our resident Notre Dame fan on staff, Jessica Smetana, shared literal text rants with her dad about Adidas’ aesthetic scourge upon her program:

Who/what/why/how those designs ever get made/approved/manufactured/sold is mind-boggling. It’s almost like the Adidas designers were so creatively stifled by the usually boring Notre Dame uniforms that they said to themselves, “What is the most shit we can get on one uniform at one time?” and then layered 18 disconnected designs on top of each other and called it a day.

But Adidas has clearly turned a corner of late, making some great threads. Schools that stuck around are being rewarded.

Miami will have a couple of alternate uniforms this fall, including all-green “Miami Nights” ones worn on Sept. 23 vs. Toledo, and an all-black look that will be worn on Oct. 12 vs. Georgia Tech.

Adidas/@MiamiHurricanes
Adidas/Miami Athletics

Rutgers got some sick all-black uniforms from Adidas for its upcoming game against Maryland from Yankee Stadium.

Adidas also unveiled these extremely good Nebraska alternate uniforms for the next time the Badgers and Huskers meet:

It’s really subtle and really simple. It’s also really cool. The number fonts are designed to mimic the old mesh material that college football teams wore before the high-tech era of uniforms began.

Lawrence Phillips Nebraska

These Indiana alternates pay tribute to a former coach. The jerseys and helmets are nice, but the pants might take some getting used to.

Miami was once among Nike’s crown jewels, but after Florida and Florida State were given extensions to their Nike agreement, The U took its business elsewhere and embraced the three-stripe life. Miami fans were less than pleased.

But they’ve been rewarded with this sweet fauxback set:

Kansas got some cool alternates last season:

Kansas Athletics

Texas A&M got a pretty sleek uniform set as well:

NCAA Football: Nevada at Texas A&M Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Rutgers is one of Adidas’ new teams for 2017, and the Scarlet Knights got a uniform set much more stripped down then their Nike look last season.

They went from this ...

NCAA Football: Indiana at Rutgers Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

to these:

The military look wasn’t awesome last year by Adidas, but it could be much worse. At least there were no Army fatigues or gaudy overly patriotic colors.

Gone are the days of the Louisville angry bird. It seems like Adidas is headed for a more conventional simplistic fauxback path, and that’s very good. It seems to be a broader trend across college football. Hell, even Oregon is toning down the crazy colors a bit:

"We're going to try to stick to more traditional colors this year," Kenny Farr, UO's football equipment administrator, said via the Oregonian, though Oregon’s new uniforms aren’t out yet. "Trying to kind of simplify a few things but still keep it modern and keep it looking really good."

This isn’t just about football uniforms, but Adidas’ entire business is doing well.

Sales are up:

The company expects net income from continuing operations to rise 26 percent to 28 percent for the full year, up from as much as 15 percent, it said late Thursday. The shares climbed as much as 7.4 percent in early Frankfurt trading on Friday.

Adidas is benefiting from booming demand for retro shoes and a steady stream of new models that made the brand a hot commodity in the U.S., helping it regain ground it earlier lost to industry leader Nike Inc. The German company is also capitalizing on a growing middle class in China, which is adopting a more active lifestyle, and strong demand for more fashionable sportswear worn outside of gyms.

You’re doing well, Adidas. Now don’t mess this up.