The Problem With College Football’s Explosion Of New Uniforms
July 27 / Glenn Davis / SportsGrid
Today, adidas revealed alternate uniforms Nebraska will wear against Wisconsin on September 29. Well, first they revealed them a bit too soon, then re-posted the video when they were more ready to go live (or after they realized everyone had already run with the prematurely-posted video). The uniforms look like this:
Now, of course this is a big departure from Nebraska's normal attire, which is among the most-traditional in college football - and not, in our opinion, in a bad way. But the problem here - and, by extension, with more and more of college football's new radically-altered uniforms - isn't that they look so different from anything that's come before, but that more and more of them are starting to look the same.
NU's duds have already been mocked for their similarity to Northern Illinois (here's what NIU wears), and we couldn't help but notice another striking resemblance: Stanford's Pro Combat uniforms from last season. The red, the black numbers/helmets: either one helped inspire the other or there's just not much left to do with "modern" new uniforms for a red/white/black color scheme.
It doesn't stop there: look at Georgia's Pro Combat uniforms worn against Boise last season. And when you're finished noting the similarity of Georgia's outfits to Stanford's and Nebraska's, note their even stronger similarity to Rutgers' new uniforms, especially helmet-wise. And as the adidas Nebraska uniforms prove, it's not just the Nike duds that are starting to look a little homogeneous.
Maybe not all the new designs will catch on, but if there's anything that Nike's ongoing Oregon experimentation shows, it's that they're not afraid to just keep upping the weirdness quotient further and further over time. And if we're on an inexorable march toward weirder uniforms, here's our plea: go all-out. Don't do what's happened to varying degrees with Nebraska, Stanford, Georgia, and Rutgers.
Mess with the traditional uniforms if you must, but don't make the result look like every other instance of messing with a traditional uniform. Because now, these uniforms aren't looking very new or experimental. Spectacularly ugly, when dealing with uniform changes, is almost forgivable, since at least it's something interesting to gawk at. But there's nothing redeeming about messing with a perfectly fine status quo just to be boring.