Sons of Style: Ranking the 130 FBS Uniforms - The Bottom Feeders
This one is a little late getting out, but you can blame the Wahoos for that.
In fact, I was so taken aback by how bad a few of these actually were that I starter to wonder if I could simply have a 7 or 8 way tie for last place. I know many of you were waiting with bated breath for the second installment of this series and I know my excuse of having to wrap my head around the sheer ugliness of some of these won't cut it. I would also like to point out that I currently have no coffee machine in my house at the moment. And let's face it, I can't work under those conditions.
But in the end, tough decisions were made, and we have some bigger programs on the list of the next 13. Read 'em and weep.
#117 Central Michigan
Central Michigan has two staples to its uniform set: the 'C' logo helmet and the drop-shadow font. Both of these suck. To be honest, I think the athletic department could use a complete rebranding. Although the maroon and gold color combo is a classic and looks great on the field, the logo is just so horrendous it's tough to work with. I also don't understand the dedication to the drop shadowed font on the jerseys. It's very out-dated. Some things are retro and cool, and other things would be better left to history. Drop shadow font is one of those things.
I do like the look of the maroon and gold on the all white uniform set with the marron helmet. It's a clean look. The yellow facemask is also classic look and brings some Washington Football Team vibes (in more ways than one for the Chippewas) to MACtion. Overall though, the logo and drop shadow just make for a really bad look that needs to be changed. Unfortunately, the CMU Athletic Department is in such shambles financially, that I don't think a change is imminent.
This one hurts. But hey, you can't expect the good people from Northside Chicago to be that smart and have style.
I just want to know which one of you at Under Armor was like "you know what would look really cool? Let's put horizontal stripes on their chests." I mean what are we doing here? And look, the colors are fantastic. Purple, black, and white look as clean as they come. The 'N' logo is recognizable and the simplicity of the helmets and pants match well with a B1G Ten team. I'm just confused as to why they made the decisions that they did.
Now let's talk about the 'Gothic' uniforms. These get a lot of credit for being creative and the style does a great job of representing the school's architecture. Not sure about outlining old gold numbers with purple against a black jersey, but I get what they're going for. It's a niche alternate uniform that I think is meant to be more of a piece of art than an every Saturday uniform.
Now before you jump to conclusions, this isn't me being bias. The 'Hoos have simply butchered their entire athletic closet with that "revamp". Why is the cross-sabers logo two shades of orange now? Is it supposed to be 3D? Why is the logo on one side of the helmet and numbers on the other? Was that some kind of compromise? And that number font. Yikes. I'm not even going to talk about the shield logo on the collar.....jk of course I am!
First off, a cavalier is a term for either a mounted swordsman or a pompous follower of King Charles I and Charles II of England in the English Civil War. I don't think 17th century horsemen carried shields, and I'm pretty sure you can't carry a sword into the English Parliament. So not only is it historically inaccurate but it just looks plain ugly with that two toned hat.
The there was also the fiasco surrounding the details on the sword handles that were originally designed to mimic the serpentine walls found on campus. Excuse me, 'The Grounds'. Turns out, the walls were used by Thomas Jefferson to keep his slaves separated from the student population. UVA removed the detail from the new logo citing that they weren't fully aware of the wall's sinister purpose, even though in 2018 UVA themselves published a report on the walls and the school's complicated past with the Jefferson estate.
Truthfully, it's a bit disappointing from a school that for a while had a really clean look. Change for change's sake is often a miscalculated maneuver. In this instance, every was done incorrectly. Not a good look for the Hoos in Hooville.
Illinois and Nike played it really safe with this one. While it works on some levels, it does leave a bit to be desired in the personality department. The block 'I' logo is classic, and due to the nature of Illinois's mascot they can't really do more than that. The modern numbers font is nice and they steer away from tradition with no outline. I think that keeps the look looking fresh. Overall, the home and away combos are good enough to not make you want to turn the channel. Although, that shade of orange can be a bit too much at noon on a rainy Saturday in the Midwest.
The issue is really in the grey alternate uniforms. The dark grey and muted navy blue is about as colorful as a 50 year old man's quarter-zip collection. The sides of the jersey have this weird line pattern which is very random. The jersey and the back of the pants are also textured to look like mesh and the knee and thigh pads are outlines in "stitching". I'm just not sure why any of these decisions were made. There's no orange in this set at all. I am also very confused by the black facemask on an otherwise decent helmet. Black and navy? Blavy? Not what I would've chosen.
#113 UT - El Paso
Outside of a great logo on the helmets, there's not much going on for UTEP here. The whole-shoulder stripes actually somewhat work here, but there's just a sense of flair missing. The chest font is about as basic as it comes, so I'm not sure what was going on there since that font doesn't match the font on the helmet. The orange is a bit much as well. With white numbering, white shoulder stripes, and a white facemask it looks a bit more like a Flintstones sherbet push pop. UTEP already sucks, so why not go all out and really try to rep your school or city? Put like a taco on the helmets. Who cares? No one's watching you play football anyways.
Fun fact: Every school in the University of Texas system is colored navy and orange except for UT-Austin which of course is just orange and white.
#112 New Mexico State
These aren't good in really any way, but neither is the team wearing them. The grey works somewhat with the color scheme, so I can't blame them for that. Really, the only good thing about these uniforms is the use of the double pistols. Every school nicknamed the 'Aggies' has a different idea of what they want their educated farmers to look like. For NMSU, their farmer is a strapped-up cowboy with a mustache that says "This town ain't big enough for the two of us."
Some fundamental issues with this classic uniform set.
The helmet stripe is thicc. So so thicc. Lordy. Also, the shade of orange on the jerseys is different than the shade of orange on the helmet. Both shades are ugly. It's a bummer that Nike never really helped the Volunteers out with the "Smoke Grey" jerseys that were so popular amongst the fanbase. But that would mean that Tennessee would do something right as a program. And let's be real, that's never going to happen. I think Sandra Bullock's character in The Blindside speaks for all of us.
#110 Texas State
File these in the high school uniforms category. I mean if you're gonna sponsor a college football team in Texas, at least make it look like you put more money into your program than Allen High School. The issue for me is the helmets just seem a little dull for a team that has gold in its color pallet. I also can't get over the fact they did a golf photo shoot for one of their games. Unreal.
#109 Michigan State
I am honestly shocked, appalled, and downright depressed that I'm ranking the Spartans this low.
It really doesn't get better than forest green and white. So clean, crisp, and looks great on TV. Group that with a really nice font style and an iconic Spartan logo that has been copied by teams across the country. Really awesome look.
This issue comes with these alternate uniforms. Oh my god. I am disgusted. Why oh why would you attempt to put that puke colored neon green on your jerseys? Did South Florida lend you some practice jerseys? Why is the font so big?
This just goes back to my point that what really makes this bad is that not one but mostly likely multiple people sat in a conference room and decided that this was a good idea. Truly remarkable. I also don't think it's a coincidence that Michigan State has been a mediocre at best team since they debuted these monstrosities. No team could ever win wearing that.
The throwback look is really nice, which shows me that there is at least some hope for this uniform set in the future.
Oh look, another smart school that didn't take any time to worry about what they wore. Let's face it, no one really cares about Rice football. It's really the 3rd biggest football program in the greater Houston area (Houston and Sam Houston St. get probably twice the fans for home games.)
And look, just like I said with Texas State, you got to put some effort into this. I don't hate what Rice did with the Texas state logo on the helmets, but I feel like that's been done before. Get creative with it! You have nothing to lose. Well, except every football game you play...
#107 Louisiana Tech
These uniforms haven't changed in a while. In fact, they look about the same from when Terry Bradshaw was playing for the bulldogs. (By the way, take a look at Bradshaw's NFL stats...not great at all.)
The shade of blue used is a nice take on the classic red, white, and blue color scheme. It pops a little bit more than a classic navy which relies heavily on the red to give the uniforms some life. I also enjoy the classic state of Louisiana logo with the block 'T'. It's nice, but they need a secondary logo on there. Bulldogs as a mascot is pretty basic, so there needs to be some pizzazz somewhere. Simply putting 'Bulldogs' across the chest in a vintage varsity style font doesn't really do it for me. I'm also not a fan of the shoulder stripes, which don't match the stripes on the pants and on the helmet. They're a bit unnecessary.
#106 South Alabama
Oh look, it's the logo from the hit 90's show J.A.G. Yeah that's right, don't think you could pull a fast one on me, South Alabama. The 'JAGS' on the helmet is in the same font as the title for the show.
Aside from that, the uniforms are just okay. Again, a classic red, white, and blue look. I like the clean look of no stripes, but it does seem a bit unfinished. Again, you are not a classic program. Don't try to dress like one. The font on the chest is nice. the issue is the helmet stripe is just wild. I'm not really sure why they decided to go with that look for the helmets. Also, the numbers on the shoulders don't have an outline, while the numbers on the front and back do. That's just a lazy mistake.
I've watched, and bet on, a good number of Nevada football games. It's sometimes hard to see them on the field. The color scheme is just so dark for the home uniforms. And it's already 11pm EST. the grey color of the pants is their classic look, but maybe they should rethink that. Not all traditions are good ones.
And again with the numbers on one side and the logo on the other. Why? Especially when the script 'Pack' is so freaking cool. Nevada also has one of the best wolf-related logos in college football. It looks like a Game of Thrones banner. Why not use that? What does a number on the side of the helmet, the shoulders, and the jerseys accomplish?
Back to the pants, I really like the script 'Pack' logo on the front hip. That's a cool touch. I just wish the font on the chest matched that a little better. In fact, it looks like the font style for the script 'Pack' logo, the numbering, and the chest print are all different. A shame for a team that has a great logo and mascot.