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Dressed To Impress: Examining the New Uniforms of 2010

A few weeks ago I took a look at this year’s new Nike Pro Combat uniforms burning corneas and exploding HD televisions all over the nation. Needless to say, I thought this year’s crop from Nike (with some exceptions, e.g. Oregon State) was a giant puddle of pathetic design on par with the futuristic uniforms worn by some MLB teams in years past.

The best part from all of the new Pro Combat uniforms is that the designs for the early-season match up between Boise State and Virginia Tech may have been based on a scene from the 1997 movie Starship Troopers, in which two teams play a game called Jumpball.

So, not only was that perhaps the ugliest football contest in human history, but now we have the comparisons to a lame 1990’s movie to tie it all together.

Inspiration at its best!

Maybe next year Nike can match two teams again and base the designs on some costumes from the Fifth Element?

Let’s move on to the wider world of college football and look at some of the changes we’ve seen this year in the uniform department.

First off, Notre Dame made some minor changes to start off the Brian Kelly era. Not a whole lot of a difference, but the ND monogram is back on the sleeves and a lot of talk has surrounded the ridiculously short sleeves sported by the Irish quarterbacks.

The majority of the Irish fan base has approved of the new look and I concur.

Further south in Indiana, the Hoosiers have rolled out a new design of their own. It’s a decent look, but the good thing is that they no longer look like Oklahoma.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Iowa donned 1958 throwbacks a couple weeks ago. The results were positively splendid.

Michigan State got another makeover by Nike and although they have yet to wear all of their three sets, we have a preview of what to expect. It’s a step backwards for the Spartans.

After a couple years with a modern design, Northwestern decided to revert to a more old school look and add Northwestern stripes to their uniforms! With the addition of traditional style stripes on their pants the Wildcats are looking much better.

They are also one of the few Adidas teams to have their school logo at the collar instead of the corporate logo. I wish Notre Dame could have done that.

In New York two teams have made subtle changes for the 2010 season.

Upstate, the Syracuse Orange have removed the shoulder stripes from last year and gone with a simpler look. I really liked last year’s version but this one is fine, if only a small step back from their previous design.

Down on the banks of the Hudson River a certain prestigious military academy has a new wardrobe. I thought Army had one of the more underrated uniforms in the past and I’m not sure these new designs are an improvement at all.

The Black Knights have introduced white pants as well as an all-silver uniform with black helmet that has yet to be worn this year. I won’t endorse that silver uniform, but it should be interesting to see in action.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly has already hinted that the Irish will wear green when the team plays Army at Yankee Stadium in November. Will the Black Knights pull out their new silver uniforms for the occasion?

Across the country Air Force has been active with a couple uniform related changes.

First, the Falcons’ helmet decal was an American flag for their game on September 11th earlier in the season. Then, against Navy last weekend Air Force came out in brand new "Thunderbird" uniforms that brought the Midshipmen to their knees with their spectacular magnificence.

That helmet takes a little getting used to, but once you see the real plane it is obvious how cool of an idea this was. The uniform set is also incredibly sharp.

Elsewhere in Centennial State, the Rams of Colorado State have introduced a new set of uniforms which wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the tiny ram horns on the sleeves making it look like the team has french fries bulging out of their arms.

Also, Colorado State recently honored their original school colors and wore orange jerseys against Idaho. This sounded like a really bad idea but it turned out decent, although this certainly wouldn’t be an appealing full-time look for any college.

Due west, the Utah State Aggies are wearing new uniforms this year that are nothing special, but an improvement over their boring attire from years past.

Over in the Conference-USA, Tulane has joined the growing fad of teams that are wearing white helmets, while you’ll notice the Green Wave have also added a fleur-de-lis at the base of their collar as well. These are nice additions by Tulane, although the white helmet doesn’t look as good with the road uniform as it does with the home uniform.

UCF hasn’t made any drastic changes but did switch from Adidas to Nike for the 2010 season.

In the MAC, the Falcons of Bowling Green made some minor changes but nothing of too much importance to report.

Northern Illinois tweaked their design and is doing their best to look like Texas Tech.

Toledo came through with a very surprising design by Under Armor this year that has some funky striping to it, but is actually a really cool looking total package.

In the Big East, Louisville has put traditional striping on their helmet and pants, while also changing their facemasks from red to white. The striping is a welcome addition, although it does not blend well with the Cardinals non-traditional uniform which they have left untouched.

Louisville also followed in Air Force’s footsteps and wore American-themed helmets during their game on September 11th. That’s one patriotic bird.

In the ACC, Clemson simplified their uniform and removed all of that annoying piping that ruined their old jerseys. That didn’t stop the Tigers from dressing in all-orange against Miami last weekend, which is fine if you don’t want to be taken seriously.

Interesting news out of Georgia Tech this year as the Yellow Jackets unveiled two new white uniforms for 2010, since they wear white at home and thus, almost never wear (or sell) their gold uniforms.

Then, NC State decided to wear white at home last week forcing Georgia Tech to wear their 2009 gold jerseys in their big come back victory.

Virginia made some changes including removing the orange stripe from their helmet, switching the logo on the sleeve with TV numbers and getting new pants among other things. They have also introduced orange pants and have already dressed in complete blue for a game this year.

It’s a fairly big step backwards for the Cavaliers I think.

Down in the SEC, Arkansas was the only team to roll out new uniforms. They tweaked their set a little bit and now are among the many teams to have the discolored arm pit piping. Also, if you weren’t aware Arkansas’ nickname is the Razorbacks.

Anytime you print the nickname of your school vertically on a pair of football pants it is automatically uniform fail. And this from an SEC team!

In Big 12 country, Texas A&M made some changes by putting the Adidas logo at the collar and reducing their pant stripes to a barely recognizable thin line. The Aggies’ pants were among my favorite in college football so this is not something I like to see.

In year’s past Nebraska tried to squeeze stripes and TV numbers onto their sleeves, but now they’ve officially moved the TV numbers to the shoulders. The Cornhuskers are yet another team with the Adidas logo at the base of the collar.

Colorado is wearing throwback uniforms for all home games in honor of their 1990 National Championship team this season. They are a faithful reproduction of the designs the team wore during their last title run, including a different shade of gold helmet.

Now if only the Buffaloes could conjure up another Fifth Down, bogus clipping call on a Rocket Ismail return and win a championship with an 11-1-1 record, they’d be all set.

Kansas has made some minor changes including removing the red stripe from their helmet. Something about it doesn’t seem right and judging by the Jayhawks performance this year I think they should put the stripe back.

Kansas State put TV numbers on their shoulders and new stripes on their sleeves, both very nice touches to a purple uniform.

Texas Tech is yet another member of the white helmet club.

In the Pac-10 UCLA removed all of the baby blue from their road uniform. I’m not sure why they did this and I can’t say it looks better than it did before.

Arizona introduced a white helmet in last year’s bowl game but is now wearing it regularly this season. The Wildcats also removed the piping from their uniforms and have added funky fade away striping to their helmets and pants.

Up in the Northwest, the Washington Huskies went piping crazy this year in what is surely a step back from their previous uniforms. Their jerseys are also the same fabric used by Nike with the Pro Combat uniforms and have that thin fabric near the arm pits and belly, making it look like giant black sweat stains cover the jersey.

Finally, the Uniform Duck Tracker should fulfill anyone’s needs for Oregon-related uniform details. Check back to that site after each game to see what combination the Ducks went with that day.

There were a lot of quality uniform changes this year.

What do you think?