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Five Wide Fullbacks: The Questioning College Logo's Edition

Critiquing Oregon State's new logo and finding other colleges who need a new logo.

Tartan print on the gloves!
Tartan print on the gloves!


1. Florida State recently announced a home-and-home series with Boise State for 2019 and 2020. We always talk about new teams and/or neutral site opponents we'd like the Irish to play, but what are some more interesting high-profile games you'd like to see other teams play?

I'll answer that by looking at the game's most prestigious programs and matchup those who haven't played each other in many, many years.

  • Oklahoma vs. Auburn (1 meeting in 1971 Sugar Bowl).
  • Ohio State vs. Tennessee (1 meeting in 1995 Citrus Bowl).
  • Nebraska vs. Alabama (5 meetings, none since 1978).
  • Texas vs. Michigan (1 meeting in 2004 Rose Bowl).
  • USC vs. Florida (2 meetings, none since 1983).

College football is so much better when these teams are playing each other in September. One of the good things about the coming playoff is that we'll begin to see more of these matchups, but it would be nice if the program's scheduled more regular season games on their own.

2. Nike recently unveiled it's new logo and uniforms for Oregon State athletics. Let the critique begin.

Here is a page from OSU athletics with pictures of the new re-brand. Here are some high resolution photos from the live unveiling from Oregon Live. Also, Nike, Inc. adds a slideshow with a few more additional aspects to the redesign.

First, the new logo well...Nike ya done messed up. Sure the Beavers old logo was no great shakes (especially when paired with the script below it) but this 2013 version doesn't look like an improvement.

It reminds me a lot of the scorned Buffalo Sabres "Buffalsug" in the sense that it just looks warped and confusing. We'll get used to it over the years but right now it takes a few seconds to make out that this is actually a beaver. That shouldn't happen for a logo, ever. This is another example of a "cutting edge" design drowning out the possibility for a readily distinguishable logo---the latter concept is always paramount.

I will say this though, the new logo does fit on a football helmet rather nicely. Their old logo was a mess on the helmet thanks again to the script.

When you're dealing with a logo of an animal it seems like the smart move is to either go with a full head-on design or with a full body side shot. A beaver has two identifiable characteristics and the tail is left out of the new logo and the teeth are squished in to the bottom corner. That doesn't seem like a smart decision. sums up the new logo rather nicely:

That new logo is weak - not quite cartoonish enough, not quite photo-realistic enough. By trying to have it both ways, they end up having it neither way.

Get that weak stuff out of here!

I'll stick to the football uniforms and say that I generally like what Nike did there. Part of that is Oregon State looking pretty bad with their uniforms for years.

It's interesting that they went with a logo-less helmet (black), a helmet with Alabama numbers (orange), and a helmet with the new logo (white). I can live without the orange helmet---although it might look better paired with the white uniforms. I especially like the black helmet because it (along with the whole black set) evokes the throwback uniforms they wore a couple years ago which I think is one of Nike's best work of the last 10 years. I'm a fervent opponent of team's wearing the same colored pants and jersey (white being the exception of course, shut up Mouth, Texas and Penn State look good) so I hope they match their black jerseys with white pants and white jerseys with orange pants often.

The continuation of the helmet stripe in to the facemask needs to die quickly. It was neat at first but I hope Nike doesn't do this to every new helmet. Apparently the white stripe coming down to the facemask on the black helmet is supposed to mimic a beaver's teeth, but that seems pretty silly and doesn't explain why they did the same thing on the other helmets without the color of white. Also, I don't know why they made the facemask on the orange helmet to be black---now the other two helmets have the visible 3 stripes down on the facemask while the orange helmet just has the tiny speck of orange on the facemask.

I do like the arching stripe on the shoulders of the jersey, plus the bronze trim on the numbers adds a nice little touch. The all-orange uniform is in desperate need of white trim though. Per modern custom the pants stripes are truncated (which sucks) but at least they went with a nice thick striping pattern in the first place.

I'm not sure why the white jersey was the only one to get the "Oregon State" script across the front, but that's not a big deal. It was pretty cool that they added the phrase "Hip Hip Hooray" on to the socks since that's what head coach Mike Riley yells after the Beavers win. Speaking of Riley, he really got in to the unveiling and explained why:

Mike Riley ain't no fool.

3. What other colleges need to update or outright change their logos?

I did a quick sweep through the D-1 football level and came up with this list, although I'm probably missing a couple bad ones. Keep in mind I'm talking about the team's primary logo in these examples.


I think Stanford and even Michigan State before I think of Syracuse with the big block "S." The school has had several different and better logos in the past (here and here) but I'm lobbying for a nice plump orange as their new logo---similar to what SB Nation's Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician uses. Heck, an outline of New York State with an orange centered on the city of Syracuse would be pretty neat and help out their new campaign to tell everyone they are "New York's College Team."


Can it get worse than this in college athletics? They've completely ruined the gold and blue color scheme. Even all of their panther logos stink, so they really have no option but to go back to the blue and yellow colors with the more identifiable Pitt script.

Wake Forest

There's a common theme with many of the teams on my list. Unless you're one of the famous schools (Oklahoma, USC, Auburn, etc.) you can't get away with simple letters as your logo. A less cartoonish version of the Demon Deacon would be something to think about.

Georgia Tech

See above, plain letters aren't working here. Use the yellow jacket to your advantage.

Iowa State

Such a helpless cause. Terrible color scheme, a nickname difficult to portray, and a cardinal thrown in there just for fun. The cyclone bird didn't work, so I would suggest a modernizing of a cyclone logo like this---but a lot more fierce of course. Heck, the mascot could even be a crazy cyclone similar to that wacky tree from Stanford.


Boring letters again. Baylor is the only D-1 football team named the Bears and their secondary logos using the animal aren't half bad. Why not switch?

Texas Tech

A smaller "T" inside a larger "T"? Good thing Kliff Kingsbury is on the case, but he's probably not going to change the school's main logo.


This should be permanently retired in favor of the horned frog logo. You have a blood squirting reptile as a mascot and you want to use a generic made for a B movie university logo?


Same issue as TCU---bad block lettering logo that's used instead of a pretty decent secondary logo designed around the school's mascot.


I have no answers, but this drunk vandal is a better option.


Their logo should look like Arsenal's but instead of a cannon it will be a rifle.

Air Force

Once again, pretty solid secondary logo (that needs some re-working) that isn't used in favor of block letters. That is a national travesty when you have an eagle and lightning bolts at your disposal.

Arizona State



Is it controversial that I put this one on my list? It's okay but I feel like UCLA can do better. The script does "fit" and the color scheme is great. I don't ever see them using the bear as a full-time logo but this one has me wanting something more from a tradition rich school.

South Alabama

Not the worst cat logo in the world, that's not saying much though. This looks like an animal that wants to growl but has peanut butter stuck in its mouth.

Boston College

The eagle obstructs the letters in the background, so drop the letters.

Eastern Michigan

Without the bird a stand alone "E" would be pretty unique. I'd be all for that.

4. More logo talk, can you draw logos well from memory?

I used to be real good at it for someone who wasn't an artist and could look at the logo while drawing, but that was many years ago. As this SB Nation thread from Bill Hanstock shows, it's really hard to pull off from memory alone.

Do I dare challenge everyone in the comment section to try and draw the Notre Dame leprechaun from memory only?

5. Let's talk about Charlie Weis. Is there any hope for him at Kansas?

I really doubt it.

If you define success by winning 8 games in a season (which is fine for Kansas standards as it has happened only 4 times since I was born) then there is a chance, but even that seems unrealistic.

Weis has the crutch of taking over a terrible program---that's why his 1-11 first season in Lawrence really hasn't received much media attention.

The Jayhawks haven't won a conference game since beating Colorado (then still in the Big 12) 52-45 on November 6, 2010. You have to go back to October 10, 2009 (Iowa State) before Kansas won their last conference game against a current member of the conference. That's a 2-32 conference record since the start of 2009 and 0-18 over the past two seasons. Traditional league members in Baylor (3 games), Oklahoma State (3 games), Iowa State (4 games), Kansas State (4 games), Texas Tech (6 games), Oklahoma (8 games), and Texas (11 games) all have winning streaks against KU.

So yeah...that's really bad futility.

At some point though, the crutches will be removed and Weis is going to have to start winning some conference games. It's not going to be easy with the league playing 9 games---that's one less cupcake for Kansas to feast on. For 2013 they start with South Dakota State, Rice, and then Louisiana Tech.

After that they play in descended order of competitiveness:

Iowa State

Texas Tech


Kansas State

West Virginia


Oklahoma State



3 wins in conference and 6 total would be a huge success, but honestly 1 win or even being shut out for the 3rd straight season seems more likely.

This is Weis' fate to follow in the foot steps of Gerry Faust. The latter finished up at Akron following a disastrous career at Notre Dame and Weis is going to be fired at Kansas after a bunch of 2, 3, and 4 win seasons. He won't have rebuilt Kansas in any lasting way but will be credited with improving the program following the Turner Gill era---similar to the way he did so in South Bend after Tyrone Willingham.