Notable college uniform changes

Originally Published: July 31, 2013
By Paul Lukas | ESPN.com

Uni Watch's annual college football season-preview column -- a massive enterprise that's sometimes so big that we have to split it up into two pieces -- is still a few weeks away. But with kickoff now looming on the horizon, here are a few uni-notable news items that have been making the rounds. Think of them as an appetizer for the feast the season-preview column will eventually provide.

1. adidas is now the official outfitter of stretch marks

Adidas has used a variety of super-stretchy fabrics in past years. But the company's latest generation of jerseys -- officially called Techfit ShockWeb -- features a series of feathered stretch marks that might have players and fans instinctively reaching for the loofah sponge. Check it out in the new UCLA jersey, the new Tennessee jerseys and Nebraska's new black alternate, which will be worn on Sept. 14 (for all of this column's embedded tweets, you can click on the photos to see larger versions):

Maybe the stretch marks will catch on. But early reaction from Uni Watch readers has been pretty negative.

2. Penn State has made a tiny change

For any other school, this wouldn't be a big deal. But this is Penn State we're talking about, so we have to apply Uni Watch's Third Law of Uni-Dynamics, which states that any Penn State uni change has roughly 10 times the impact of a conventional uni change. With that in mind, check out the little PSU logo they're adding to their chest this year (click on the photo to see a larger version):

Shocking! Scandalous! Or, if you're a fairly rational human being, no big deal. Then again, nobody ever accused college football fans of being rational human beings.

Oh, and in case you were wondering: The player names on the jerseys, which were added last year in the wake of the Paterno/Sandusky scandal, are being kept this season. Shocking! Scandalous! And so on.

3. And speaking of new chest logos...

Down in Texas, the Longhorns are adding a longhorn icon to the base of their jersey collar:

It's a great logo -- always has been -- but it adds a bit of needless clutter to the jersey. Also, as you can see in that last photo link, the Longhorns have moved their TV numbers from the sleeves to the shoulders, which seems like a smart move.

4. Oregon is, you know, being Oregon

The Ducks haven't worn a solid-yellow uniform in years now, but that's apparently going to change in 2013, as you can see in the following two photos:

Yowza! It's hard to keep track of Oregon's various uniform machinations, but Uni Watch believes the last time the Ducks went yellow-over-yellow was in 2006. Man, remember when that design was considered outlandish? Looks almost tame now.

5. Indiana (yes, Indiana) now has six (count 'em, six) helmets

You know this whole multiple-helmet thing is getting out of hand when a no-frills team such as Indiana goes from having one helmet to six:

You can read more about these designs here. Not what you'd expect for a school like Indiana, right? And hey, the Hoosiers aren't even outfitted by Nike!

A different helmet for every week of the season? We're not there yet. But it no longer seems like such an outlandish possibility. You can decide for yourself whether that's a good or bad thing.

OK, that'll have to hold you for now. Lots of additional college football uni news to follow soon.

Paul Lukas' annual college football season-preview column will run on or about Aug. 27. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his daily Uni Watch web site, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.

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