When Oregon faces Texas in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30, the Ducks will be doing one of the things they do best: wearing a new uniform.
That news came today from Nike, which unveiled Oregon's new uniform set. The new design will make its on-field debut in the Alamo Bowl and then become the team's standard look next season.
Nike's promotional photos show two color combinations -- black on black and white on white -- although green and gold components will almost certainly be added to the mix next autumn. Oregon is the designated road team in the Alamo Bowl, so the Ducks will presumably be wearing the white set for that game.
Once you cut through all the Nike marketing chatter about "an all-new chassis" and "laser perforated mesh," the design feels like a fairly natural step in the evolution of Oregon's various wing-based jersey concepts. The feathers will now cover the entire upper area of the jersey, from sleeve to sleeve -- a true wingspan! -- with a new two-tone effect on the feathers that looks a lot better on the white jersey than on the black one.
The most interesting information in Nike's press release is that the jersey's armholes have been "rotated forward for a more articulated fit and better range of motion" -- a potentially significant structural adjustment that could ripple throughout the football uniform design world if it's judged to be successful. (Of course, the jerseys sold at retail will have real sleeves, not armholes, but will the sleeves also be rotated forward, too? Hmmmmm.)
For my money, Oregon's best wing- and feather-based design is still this one, but this new version isn't bad. Enjoy it while you can, because you know the Ducks will be switching to something else soon enough.