So college football started this weekend. Before March 4 2011, such an occasion would have meant absolutely nothing in my life, but alas I am dating one of the most sports-obsessed (and knowledgable) men on the planet and he has me caring about this stuff. So why not have a little fun with it via my usual fashion policing?
Best Colors: Auburn Tigers
Blue and orange are complimentary colors, so this already works in theory, but they use a super-sophisticated navy blue with the subtlest of orange stripes and a good deal of white to balance it all out. Well done Tiger folk.
Worst Colors: USC Trojans
The combination of red and yellow will never bring to mind anything but a Big Mac, not because I’m a fast food junkie but because those golden arches on red background have been engrained into my mind basically my entire life. The Trojans may be the second-best team in the nation, but these uniforms are a little too do-you-want-fries-with-that for my taste.
Most Modern: Oregon Ducks
When you first look at this bright and odd combination of neon green and not-quite-neon yellow you might think “Ew”, like I did. But when you look at it again you might think “Oh, that’s kinda cool”, also like I did. These uniforms are extra special because of Nike CEO Phil Knight (who ran track at Oregon and, you know, created Nike) wanting to put actual MIRRORS on the helmets and face masks. (Isn’t that going to, like, trip up their opponents a bit? Or is that the point?) The only problem I have with these futuristic outfits is the font for their numbers — too pointy. This isn’t a Halloween party invitation.
Most Classic: Alabama Crimson Tide
There is absolutely nothing wrong with some classic red and white, especially when it’s a nice deep red and not that tacky bright red. This color only reinforces the fact that Alabama players are consistently the biggest, scariest, fastest group of non-professional athletes ever; I wouldn’t want one of them running toward me, with or without a football.
Most Unique: Maryland Terps
The Terps are known for having arguably the ugliest football uniforms in the country, but I totally love how they incorporated the state flag into these. It’s even on the helmets! I may be a little biased because I went to school in Maryland, but they just have a cool flag. (I wouldn’t feel the same way about, like, Rutgers incorporating the NJ state flag into their uniform; in fact that would be heinous and embarrassing.) If that’s not pride in where you come from (or where you currently have a scholarship to play), I don’t know what is.
Best Use of Pattern: Wyoming Cowboys
I would have expected a team like West Virginia or Nebraska to use something as tacky and hickish as camo, but Wyoming beat them to the punch. And it looks fabulously ridiculous. Like it’s almost kind of tough, but then absurd at the same time.
Sexiest: University of Illinois Fighting Illini
I may be demonstrating some bias here too because that sports-obsessed boyfriend actually played at Illinois, so I often picture him in this uniform and it’s a lovely image, but these are actually pretty fierce. Similar to Auburn, the Ni also use a distinguished shade of blue, subtle hints of orange and even subtler hints of white, as well as super-thin stripes that highlight exactly where some nice muscle tone would be underneath the uniform. Grrr.
Coolest Helmet: Florida State Seminoles
Helmets are a fairly important part of football uniforms so I felt compelled to include a special category for them. This particular piece of headgear is one of the coolest things about this sport I’ve seen thus far: A) It’s gold, B) it has arrows on both sides and C) it has TOMAHAWKS on the front! How FIERCE is that?! It reminds me of this one time, at camp…
Most Feminine: TCU Horned Frogs
I just can’t take seriously any man who is wearing that shade of purple. Certainly not one who calls himself a “horned frog”.
Biggest NFL Copycat: Western Michigan Broncos
So this supreme hick school in — surprise surprise! — Michigan has almost the exact same logo as the NFL’s Denver Broncos. I guess originality is not common in the middle of the country. (And um did these logo designers have bad experiences with horses or something? They are supposed to be kind creatures!)
Most Unique Mascot: Stanford Cardinal
This isn’t technically a uniform, per se, but I just wanted to point out that one of the best colleges in the country has a TREE for a mascot. I thought my high school’s was pretty laughable — please tell me what is intimidating about a Mountaineer — but a PLANT? Come on now.
Best Overall: Michigan State Spartans
Similar to Alabama’s but with a deep green instead of red, the Michigan State uniform is the epitome of simple yet effective. Also, they are Spartans. You don’t mess with Spartans.
Worst Overall: Boise State Broncos
Anything involving orange pants (unless it’s Illini orange) is just not okay.
Look out for my Best and Worst Dressed: Pro Football Edition in the days following this week’s official NFL kickoff — ha, get it!? — with Giants vs. Cowboys, because I care about that now too!