12 times college uniforms tried to imitate Oregon... and failed
On Thursday, NBC Sports Northwest released 'Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football.'
It was after a blow-out loss in the Cotton Bowl that led to a spirited conversation between then head coach Mike Bellotti and Nike Founder and Oregon alumnus Phil Knight.
They established a three-tiered approach that would attract recruits and bring the program success. One of those pillars was uniforms, which Oregon has been on the forefront of innovation and forever changed college football.
Oregon's uniforms weren't always well received. Their innovation, at first, was considered by some as ugly and too much.
But, as Oregon continues to set the tone of uniform fashion, they've often been imitated. And many have missed the mark.
Let's check out all the times college football programs tried to rip off Oregon's innovation... and failed.
Let's start with the most egregious of them all, Maryland.
The Terrapins showcased a helmet that resembled their state flag, but not many people knew that. Then, would you guess that the two players in this photo are actually on the same team?! That's right. Maryland took the field with two separate jerseys sewn together.
Maryland has also displayed helmets with a turtle shell.
Keep trying Maryland, maybe one of these calls for attention will land with something good.
Wayne State University
It's hard to argue with nationalism, until you see this.
Wayne State University Department of Athletics unveiled this football uniform in 2017 and even the football player wearing it knows how big of a mistake it was.
The sentiment was spot on, we'll give them that. The Medal of Honor along with the last name of a Medal of Honor recipient was displayed on the jersey. But, it looks more like a mish-mash of combinations one might be able to make on a video game when creating an avatar character that just doesn't work.
Miami of Ohio Redhawks
The concept of the jersey is thought out pretty well. The helmet kind of resembles feathers, but also kind of looks like a cool bouncy ball.
The terrible thing about this uniform are the shoulder pads.
It says MIMI!!!
The 'A' virtually disappears, leaving Mimi.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Western Kentucky knocked off the silver helmets from the Ducks and they actually look pretty cool.
The issue with these uniforms... is everything else.
The jersey and pants are boring, bland, stale... they leave a lot to be desired. It's as if they blew their whole budget on the helmets and had to buy the most generic, inexpensive things to complete the ensemble.
The question is... what do you think you're trying to accomplish here...?
These Michigan players look less like a Wolverine and more like a bumble bee.
There's so many things one could do to innovate a uniform... and adding stripes ain't it!
Texas Tech has some explaining to do. And a lot of apologies, too.
These red ombre gradient uniforms with confusing helmets look more like someone was trying to do something cool with fonts in Powerpoint and failed miserably.
Oh, and there's white versions of these, too.
Just go away.
Louisville debuted its new "Uncaged Cardinal Primeknit" uniforms in 2015 against Auburn.
It's not that these uniforms are bad... it's that they just fail to live up to the innovation it was intended to have.
Why is there a giant red bird trying to attack the person wearing that helmet? And what's with the small Old English font?
Here were a couple of complaints on social media:
"Did Louisville get the backs of those jerseys done at a mall kiosk? Where else do you get your name on your clothes in olde english font?"
"Louisville lookin like they asked one of the players' moms to sew the names on the jerseys at the last second"
Hopefully the announcers of this game studied up and knew the names of players by number, because there was no way that font was helping identify players.
University of Louisiana-Monroe
ULM looks more like a generic Cabela's sweatshirt than a college football uniform. Louisiana-Monroe wanted a theme for their home opener against Wake Forest, so they went for it. And they won the game.
So, maybe it worked..?
Colorado State Rams
If you're wondering what part of this screams Rams, you're not alone.
And why is there an A on their shoulder pads and pants?!
It's a tribute to the past, once being named the Aggies.
But, if you're going to go with a blast from the past, maybe try and not jump the shark, or in this case, the ram.
Michigan State Spartans
The Oregon Ducks introduced "volt" against Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game, which was met with some criticism.
The follow-up to it? This.
And boy howdy... If you need to know how much these jerseys miss the mark, just look at No. 43.
Cool helmets, though...
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
FAMU's jerseys are screaming FML...
Now, these were an early iteration of this jersey combo and it has gotten better.
So, they've learned from their mistakes... and this one was very much one of those.
Again, another attempt to pay tribute that ends up missing the mark.
Fake blood? Seems like Northwestern and Under Armour could have found something more tasteful to do.