Have we all recovered from seeing Maryland's uniforms on Labor Day? Yes, the Terps' threads were as ugly as you saw on TV, no matter how many times you tried to blink them away. Sure it was cool to honor the state flag, but we wanted to wave a flag of our own -- a white one.
While Maryland's uniforms Monday top our list of the five worst uniforms, the five best uniforms -- well, besides Oregon -- all have simplicity to them. In this era of glitz and glamor, subdued and traditional seems to win this beauty contest.
Real men wear orange. Well, burnt orange. For 34 years, the Longhorns have kept it plain and simple, and their helmets have become legendary in their own right. The rest of the uniform is just flat out cool. When you see it, you feel like taping your forearms and leading Bevo onto the field.
4. Penn State
The Nittany Lions have the most basic uniforms in college football. Plain jerseys, white pants and white helmets with a single navy stripe make PSU as old school as JoePa. And in an era where uniforms often outshine the player in them, Penn State's threads are simple yet distinguished, and reflect its coach.
What's more intimidating than seeing those Wolverines helmets come out of a tunnel? (Anywhere except Ohio Stadium, maybe). In person, the maize pops off the blue, while the ghosts of Schembechler and Desmond's Heisman pose come to life before your eyes.
For almost 65 years, the Crimson Tide have given college football one of the most unique helmets in all the game. They first put the numbers on the sides of the helmet in 1957 and haven't changed since. The uniforms, basic and elegant, are the Penn State of the South, and are oozing with tradition. Besides, Crimson looks good with houndstooth.
Rarely, if ever, can one team don some of the best and worst uniforms in its respective sport. But when you have about 500 options, at least one is bound to look good. While the Ducks have trotted out in a few eye-catching get-ups, their all-blacks against LSU on Saturday night were exceptionally sharp and spiffy.
Notre Dame: There's no denying the Irish uniforms just ooze tradition. Even the green jerseys look good.
Georgia: Understated, red or white with the black trim, the Bulldogs look sharp every game. (Well, almost: See below.)
USC: The stripes on the shoulders just make the Trojans look like warriors.
5. Virginia Tech/Florida
Sometimes there are ideas that go awry. Horribly awry. In 2005, Nike rolled out Virginia Tech and Florida in jerseys with two-tone shoulders. Florida's primary jersey was blue with an orange left shoulder. The Hokies' had similar shirts, but brown with an orange shoulder. The collage of colors hadn't been popular since the 1980's. Yet again, another example of an idea that didn't work.
If the Georgia faithful were up in arms about the black jerseys last season, you can only imagine what they were saying about the Bulldogs' uniforms Saturday night against Boise State. You probably can imagine, but this is a family website. Too high-tech, too space age, too everything, especially for a school steeped in tradition. Overall, too ugly.
Did somebody forget to turn out the lights? Oh wait, it's just Oregon's neon yellow get-up. Matching pants and jerseys are typically a risk and even more so when 1991 comes asking for its neons back. Oregon is usually good about making its hundreds of combinations work, but this was a major miss.
While not as bad as the Creamsicles that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers donned in the 1970s, Florida's throwbacks to the 80s should've stayed in the 80s. They're an eyesore and they don't match the bright orange Gators' helmets, which makes for even sorer eyes.
Where to start? How about the state flag essentially draped over both shoulders, and then the helmets covered in the flag. Doesn't sound too bad? Look to the left.
Utah: Red pants aren't a good look. Anywhere.
Cincinnati: The jerseys are nice, but the claw marks on the pants are made for 10-year-olds.
Miami: You should never mess with a good thing, and the Hurricanes did in 2010 by going with green helmets and orange uniforms.
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