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The (Not So) Great Uniform Debate Part I: Bad Football Uniforms are Bad

Can we all just agree that this alt-uniform craze is getting out of hand?

Yes Oregon, we blame you.
Yes Oregon, we blame you.
Ronald Martinez


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Thanks! The Management

Last night, MNWildcat sent an email to our team with a link to Lost Lettermen's tweet:

Once again, the design team at Adidas decided that they were going to add at least four new helmet designs because, well, why not? Of course, that rhetorical question quickly sparked a conversation among our writing team because the answer to 'why not?' is simply, 'because what the hell man.'

So, to commemorate all of the bad uniforms we have seen over the past few years, I have made an arbitrary ranking of the 14 worst (I am including Rutgers and Maryland because OMGTHEHORROROFUAUNIFORMS). Feel free to argue, but this is my post and I'll do what I want.

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

1) Maryland State Pride Reds - Under Armour

I'm really sure that if I were to poll the greater part of the football watching population, we would all say these were the most obnoxious uniforms in major college football. I get that there are some other appalling uniforms, but these were just kind of the worst.

Photo Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

2) Northwestern Wounded Warrior 'Weathered' Flag Uniforms - Under Armour

Because they were ugly to begin with. Because they caused a bunch of anger across lots of different groups. Because they have an American flag on the helmet that looks absurd. Because there is literally no school color on it which is a little absurd.

Photo credit: Leon Halip

3) Michigan Bumble Bee Uniforms - Adidas

You know, when you go on the road and have white uniforms with bumble bees on your shoulders, you just look ridiculous. These should have been axed on the design table. I have no idea who greenlit this, but they should be fired.

Photo credit: Eric Francis

4) Nebraska Whatever Exactly You Nickname These - Adidas

The absurdity of this uniform gets pushed a notch for the stupidity of putting a blank N on the front that emulates that time you put electric tape on your car in the shape of your initials. It wasn't cool then either.

Photo credit: Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

5) Wisonsin Wearing their version of the same thing - Adidas

See: Nebraska

Photo credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

6) Rutgers Terrible Mirrored Helmets - Nike

Rutgers gets slated here on the merits of stupid looking helmets. I'm sure someone out there likes that 'R' too, but that 'R' on the mirrored helmet is not good looking at all. Speaking of bad helmets...

Photo credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

7) Indiana Mirrored Stripes - Adidas


Photo credit: Leon Halip

8) Michigan State Go Green Go Bronze - Nike

I like that Nike used Michigan State's primary colors when... oh wait.

Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

9) Ohio State Pro Combat Stripes and Such and Things and... - Nike

There are so manuy stripes on this helmet and jersey, which is fine I guess, but it looks a little weird. Honestly, in the scheme of things, they could've been a lot worse. Of course, that ignores the fact that they too decided shiny was actually cool looking. Am I weird in thinking shiny looks awful?

Photo credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

10) Minnesota Pretending to be Wyoming - Nike

Count me among those who think that Nike generally did well with Minnesota's uniforms. The White helmet though? I think it looks kind of ridiculous.

Photo credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

11) Illinois Uses its State Outline, Chicago Continues to Ignore Illinois - Nike

I'm going to assume that the think tank on these helmets was something like:

Designer 1: How about we put the Illinois State Flag on the helmet. You know this! [brings up image on powerpoint]

Designer 2: Damnit... Let's just throw the state outline on the helmets and call it good.

Photo credit: Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE

12) Iowa Throwback to a time where bronze was a color - Nike

Okay, I'm reaching here because a good part of this is apparently based off some previous iteration of uniform. However, I'm still not too impressed with the effort. I prefer yellow over using metallic colors all over the place, but hey, that's why I'm just the critic here.

Photo credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

13) Purdue Choo Choo Black Helmets - Nike

Honestly, at this point, the uniforms are less awful. The Choo-Choo thing is a little ridiculous, but the color scheme - and the reality that it's a pretty obvious visual play - fits. I hate the Nike flare thing at the collar, but whatever.

Photo credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

14) Penn State...  - Nike


But seriously, Penn State doesn't have time for your alternate uniform crap.

So there you go. Tell me where I'm right, where I'm wrong, and whatever. Oh, and this signifies that sad time where we fill football articles with all the ideas we didn't finish during the last offseason. Only #AllTheDays until football starts again everyone.