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Akshay Eye for the Uniform Guy: 2019 Week 1

Game quality this week? Meh. Uniform quality? Pretty, pretty good.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 29 Georgia Tech at Clemson Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Orange and purple isn’t a great color combination...especially when you leave Death Valley surrounded by it.

Let’s get a quick check on how Georgia Tech shaped up this past week—what’s that? Tech didn’t play last week? Cool, cool. [ignores any recollection of Thursday night whatsoever, nope, nope it didn’t happen]

Minor delusions aside, that was rough, but at least, Tech looked good in its standard primary kit of Gold/White (gold numbers)/Gold?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 29 Georgia Tech at Clemson Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Small victories, folks. Here are your updated Georgia Tech uniform records:

2019 Uniform Records

Criteria Record Opponents
Criteria Record Opponents
Gold Helmets 0-1 L @ Clemson
White Helmets 0-0
Standard Sets 0-1 L @ Clemson
Onyx Anything 0-0
Navy Anything 0-0
White Numbers 0-0
Gold Numbers 0-1 L @ Clemson
White Pants 0-0
Gold Pants 0-1 L @ Clemson

With that out of the way (and conveniently ignoring Clemson’s orange uniforms from Thursday), let’s dive into what you may have seen elsewhere around the country.

Please note: I am no trained uniform connoisseur; I call them like I see them.

Honorable mentions: Arkansas State, Baylor, Oregon (duh), Oregon State, Virginia


Kit: Orange/Navy/Orange

Result: W 42-3 vs Akron

NCAA Football: Akron at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois is basically midwestern ‘Cuse, but these are pretty nice. [patiently waits for Jake Grant to tell me about how Illinois was the first to wear navy and orange]

That aside aside, these are pretty simple but get the job done quite nicely. However, I wish there was some sort of design or stripe on the pant-legs — even a simple navy stripe would look great. It probably also needs something else to make it look less template-y and more “Illinois”, but again — not bad as it stands.

Grade: A-


Kit: Black/Black/Black

Result: L 17-35 vs #9 Notre Dame

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a couple of things that strike me as very strange about these blackout uniforms from Papa John’s University Louisville:

  1. What’s up with the location of the TV numbers on the shoulders? They’re not centered on the top of the shoulder and are complemented by some weird red seemingly-just-taped-on stripe.
  2. I dig the angry Cardinal outline helmet — I really do. It’s just a bit too big on these; if you paid close attention during the game last night, whenever the skycam panned over Louisville players’ helmets, it looked like the tops of the Cardinal stickers on both sides of the helmets were touching (or at the very least, almost touching).

I’m not the biggest fan of the LOUISVILLE logo and number font on the jerseys themselves, but that’s more of a personal nitpick.

Grade: B-


Kit: Maroon/Gold/Maroon

Result: W 28-21 vs South Dakota State

NCAA Football: South Dakota State at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve talked about Minnesota’s uniforms a few times before in this column, but you know, they routinely put out some very solid stuff — there’s really not that many ways you can combine gold and maroon and make it look awful (well, except when you mix them with gray).

The matte helmet AND the “Row the Boat” oar pattern inside the helmet stripe just make this look even better. However, while this column frequently ignores the shoes and accessories that come with these kits, this is one case where the visual transition between uniform and accessories is a bit jarring. If our man here had worn, say, gold socks and maroon cleats, it would have completed the look much better.

Grade: A-

Oklahoma State

Kit: White/White/White

Result: W 52-36 vs Oregon State

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Man, this game featured a great uniform matchup despite both teams sharing a color palette. Oklahoma State’s uniforms the last few years have been routinely great, and I love all of the little details mixed into them: the little serifs on the number font, the sheriff’s badge on the collar, the “cowboy”(?) pattern on the collar and underside of the jersey — it all screams Wild, Wild West and is very on brand for the Cowboys.

Grade: A+

West Virginia

Kit: Blue/Blue/Gold

Result: W 20-13 vs James Madison

NCAA Football: James Madison at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The first reply to WVU’s uniform reveal mentions that these looks like “Traditional Michigan”, but you know, I don’t really see a problem with that. There is not a lot of innovation you can do with navy blue and gold, but WVU wasn’t afraid to mix it up with their uniforms and keep things fun (just like their teams were with Pat White and Steve Slaton back in the day).

There weren’t really any serious problems (at least, not that I know of) with their now-former uniform sets (despite my personal reservations about two-tone shoulders), but the Mountaineers decided to revamp their athletic brand this offseason, debuting a new font and new football uniforms for their spring game in April. The new font keeps some of the angularity and “sharpness” of the old “pickaxe” font, but straightens the number and letter shapes out to make them more square and standard-looking. There’s something to be said about no longer thinking you can rip one of the numbers off of a jersey and using it as an actual pickaxe (given their incredibly pointy nature), but honestly, this new font isn’t too much of a departure from the old. I think it’ll work just fine.

Going back to the WVU uniforms at hand: gold numbers on a navy base is always a win in my book. Tack on a matte helmet (with a 3D “TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS” bumper on the back, no less) and matching footwear, and now you’re cooking with gas.

Grade: A+

Got more uni thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!