During the past few years, the NCAA has cracked down significantly on eye black, making it illegal to wear painted messages or wedge blocks. But nothing is stopping college football players from smearing the stuff on their face with no discernible rhyme or reason.
A few UCLA players on Saturday took eye black to a new level, painting their faces in unusual patterns for the Bruins' rivalry game against USC.
— CollegeFootball 24/7 (@NFL_CFB) November 23, 2014
Defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes one-upped Mengel with this "design":
Will someone please take the eyeblack away from UCLA?! pic.twitter.com/5IHONCa9rg
— Nate Williams (@NateWilliamsFS) November 23, 2014
Excessive eye black has been somewhat of a tradition for UCLA under head coach Jim Mora. Before a big game against Arizona two years ago, Mora told his assistants to apply eye black as war paint. The Bruins crushed the Wildcats 66-10. They did the same for this year's matchup with Arizona.
Mengel went with a different look for a game earlier this year:
— Steve Cheng (@skoshibruin) November 2, 2014
When asked about the eye black following UCLA's 38-20 win over USC, Mora played dumb.
"You know, the lights," Mora said. "The guys just wear eye black. I don't know."
The looks got some funny responses on Twitter:
Please tell me some UCLA player has eyeblack cat whiskers
— Peter Berkes (@peterberkes) November 23, 2014
UCLA's eye-black budget has to be insane.
— Robert Mays (@robertmays) November 23, 2014
I'd be more OK with UCLA's complete misunderstanding of how to use eye black if everyone was also wearing Mario Williams contact lenses.
— Ben Glicksman (@BenGlicksman) November 23, 2014
UCLA's Eddie Vanderdoes apparently fell down a coal shaft before the game.
— Pacific Takes (@PacificTakes) November 23, 2014
When you try to put on eye black without a mirror pic.twitter.com/3SyhRa5fO0
— NFL Humor (@NFootballLHumor) November 23, 2014
Whatever the reason for the paint, no one's complaining about the eye black because UCLA beat USC for the third straight year. The Bruins now control their own destiny heading into the Pac-12 championship game. Should they beat Stanford this week, the Bruins will play Oregon for the conference crown.