By Phil Hecken with Jim Vilk
At Uni Watch, aside from our love of uniforms, we like to critique them, tweak them, discuss them, and even make them. With the College Football Season now in full swing, I’m joined by Mr. “5 & 1″ himself, Jim Vilk, who often finds himself at odds with many of us in his sartorial sense, for our attempt to ascertain just which NCAA FBS (that’s the old Division 1-A) conference has the best uniforms. And you’re going to choose, too.
Jim and I will be grading each team from each conference (we’ll start with the automatic BCS qualifying conferences now), and then pronounce an overall grade for that conference. You can use our individual grades as a guide for each team in the conference. Once we’ve finished that, we’re going to follow it up with a poll.
Here’s how Jim sees it:
“Every year, college football fans get into the same debate: who’s the number one team in the land? Of course, the BCS system has taken SOME of the meat out of that discussion, but another conversation is going stronger than ever: which conference is number one? What we’re going to do is take that discussion and tweak it a bit to involve the uniforms.
“Next to each team you will see my grade, followed by Phil’s. Suprisingly, our grades are pretty similar so far, with Phil being just a little more strict. I sort of graded on a curve, though, so today’s list and the next one will include one failing grade apiece.”
After that, we’ll each give you our own tweaked 5 & 1, and our next poll, which immediately follows the 5 & 1. Don’t forget to vote!
Atlantic Coast Conference:
Conference Grade: B / B-
Big 12 Conference
Conference Grade: B+ / B
Big East Conference
Conference Grade: B / B-
Big 10 Conference
Conference Grade: B+ / B
Conference Grade: B+ / B+
Conference Grade: A- / A-
OK then, now that you’ve seen the unis and our grades, here’s the meat and potatoes:
Jim’s Five & One (his best looking five home uniforms and one worst):
5. Michigan — Gotta love that helmet.
4. Alabama — Basically the same as Oklahoma, but I gave ‘Bama the nod for sticking with helmet numbers.
3. Ole Miss — Script logo, great striping and the blue/red helmet/jersey combo add up to a winner.
2. Penn State — Fifty years from now, I hope JoePa and these unis are still going strong.
1. LSU — I don’t really root for them, but I could watch them every week.
And, of course, my worst uniform: Oregon — Topping the list of reasons: worst number font ever.
5. Oklahoma — I can’t stand “Boomer Sooner” but the unis are O-K with me.
4. Auburn — Ever to conquer — never to yield.
3. Texas — We may not freestyle Texas Fight…but yea orange…yea white.
2. Penn State — Hit the line, roll up the score…JoePa will coach 20 years more.
1. Alabama — I heard Mr. Young sing about her.
And my WORST uni: Mizzou — Don’t send my boy to Kansas.
OK, folks. That’s what Jim and I think of the BCS conferences. But we’re only two votes. You guys will now have the ultimate say. So, naturally, I’ve contacted the UW Pollster, Jimbo Huening to set us up. You can use any methodology for reaching your grade. Take your time, be methodical, or just give it your best college try. Just be sure you fill in the little circle completely, or the scanner can’t read your vote. You’ll be asked six quick questions (grade each conference) and then you’ll be asked for your OVERALL favorite uniform for one team. Once you complete that, come on back and give us your own personal “5 & 1″ in the comments. OK? OK!
The Poll is below…
Still have a backlog of uni tweaks, so let get right into it. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way. OK? OK! Here’s what’s on tap for today.
Those who’ve already sent in tweaks, they’re fine the way they are, but in the future, because many of you seem to enjoy elaborate write ups, can you possibly try to keep them to 50 words tops per team? Thanks!
Starting off the show is Tim Wharton who has tweaks for the Vols, the Pokes & the Titans:
Hi Phil and Uniwatch,
Love the site. Here are some tweaks of mine (attached). Thanks for the link for me to waste my time on this. I’m hooked now.
I live in Nashville. I’m not particularly a Titans fan, but I tweaked their unis because they are quite ugly and have pretty much always been since moving here. I’ve included UT Vols tweaks ’cause I hate the black they use, although it’s spread to the basketball team now. I like brown instead of black so they don’t look like Ok. State or Oregon St. I’ve also included the light blue as a trim color that they used to have on the basketball unis and still use for the Lady Vols. Lastly, THE COWBOYS. I have read your comments on the different shades of blue they use. I agree except when you start tweaking the unis you realize you need those different shades to make it work. anyway, for them no change on the home whites (I didn’t include). No real change on the (occasional) road blues (I didn’t include), except maybe for the numbers. I have included the alts I tweaked. Home and Away or the ‘special game’.
Keep it rockin’
Next up is Jeff Martin, who has a couple tweaks, and a LOT of explanation:
Have been a Uniwatch fan for a while now and love the Uni-Tweaks so I thought I’d send you some of my ideas. I’m a big fan of the sleeveless vest jerseys. So I came up with what I would do with current uniforms and also threw in a couple of alternates if they had the “vest look”
Here are the first of my creations starting with the National League East…
I grew up a Mets fan so I figured I’d start with them.
I went pretty basic with the home and away jerseys but insisted on the pinstripes for the home jersey. Alternate 1, I thought the NY logo would look great on the crest and I liked the way this came out. Alternate 2, I used the Mets script in white with the orange trim… (They had a batting practice jersey with this look in the 80’s similar to this.)
The Cap tweaks – my idea came from my HS baseball cap from wayyyyyy back in the mid 1970’s. We had white bills with the white button and white eyelates on Garnet, (maroon).
I went with white bills for the Home uni’s and Gray bills for the away uni’s. I think this gives the caps a “classy look”.
2 notes of interest – There is no BFBS on my tweaks and all have STIRRUPS, which is how baseball uniforms were meant to look.
Next up with my Uni Tweaks – The Phillies…
Pretty much the same deal as I did with the Mets with the home and away.. Stayed basic and kept it simple. For the Alternate 1 tho, I took a 1947 Phillies uniform and basically removed the sleeves and gave it a blue undershirt. The cap is the one worn in 1947 as are the stirrups. No reason to tinker with either the cap or stirrups cos I think they’re perfect.
I had a little fun with Alternate 2 (&3). I was feeling a little 70’s retro and did up the 70’s uniforms as sleeveless. The caps are my personal signature white bills with white button on top for Home and gray for the Away cap. I got positive responses from the Phillies Phans here at the Jersey Shore on Alternate Cap 2.
Here are my Braves Tweaks…..
The Braves are a natural for sleeveless…. The away grays look real good with the navy blue undershirt. For the Alternates – I took the “Tomahawk A” from their alternate cap and put it on the crest. (kind of an Oakland A’s-ish from the late 60’s effect). Some of my uni’s have the numbers on the opposite side of the logos, some don’t. I’m still trying to figure which I like best – with or without numbers…
The Braves caps tweaks – I wasn’t too sure of. But, my 22 year old son, a devout Braves fan all his life, loved them so I guess it’s thumbs up for those… Yes, a Mets fan and Braves fan in the same house… It gets better – his girlfriend is a Phillies fan!
Time for the Marlins……
I always liked their first season uniforms and I’m fortunate enough to have gotten one the year they came out. I even got the rare “Carl” patch on the undershirt, in memory of the Marlins first President, Carl Barger who passed away at the 1992 Winter Meetings, just months before the Marlins played their first game.
So I went with the teal pinstripes and teal sleeves for the home uni and gray with the teal sleeves for the away. I think the teal sleeves is a fresher look. I did go with black stirrups altho I battled myself to stay away from the teal stirrups. I guess I could throw in a teal stripe on the stirrups. But would that be Teal for Teal Sake?!?!?
For alternates 1 and 2, I took the “Marlin F” logo from the caps and put it on the crest. It makes a nice crest logo. I guess I’m a little guilty of BFBS on Alternate 2 – note the black sleeves and black bill and button of the cap altho I believe this was the cap they used in their first year or two of existance..
Had a little extra creativity that day and did up Alternates 3 & 4. Alt 3 is pure Black for Black Sake and I guess is worthy of the black billed cap from Alt 2. Alt 4 is basically away gray with the “Marlin F” logo on the crest. With the gray billed cap – it’s really a nice look.
Also included the Cap Tweaks. I’m curious whether people like the white or gray better on the bills of the caps.
…and last but certainly not least….
The Washington Nationals……. Formerly the Montreal Expos…..
I went with the red for the sleeves and cap of the home jersey, (white bill and button of course on the cap.) I went with their navy for the sleeves and cap for the away jersey. The DC on the red sleeves is on white while the DC on the blue sleeves is in red…
Now for the alternates…. I always had a soft spot for the Expos. Maybe it was seeing those great (IMHO) red, white and blue caps on opening day 1969 vs. the Mets. Plus all the talent they grew and developed and gave away to all the other MLB teams – I’ve always had a soft spot for them. So it was a natural for me to pay homage to them with my alternates. Actually, if I owned the Nats – this is what our uniforms would look like. (No disrespect to the Nat’s Curly Dubya”.)
I just flipped over the expos “M” (which also has an “E” and a “B” for Montreal Expos Baseball) and made it a “W”. I have to admit – it was fun Photoshopping that…. Used an old Expos uni from the 70’s and replaced “expos” with “nats” underneath the new found “W”. I tinkered with the idea of changing colors but hey, red, white and blue! How could I change that!?!?!? I tried it with the blue scheme (sleeves, stirrups) and the red scheme. I think I like the original blue scheme better.
Well, that’s my National League East tweaks….. Gonna get to work soon on the NL Central… Hope you enjoyed.
That’s all for today. Again, I never want to censor or cut down on the number of words you folks use, but if at all possible, can we keep the descriptions down to say…50 words or less per team? Thanks. Back next time with more.
Missives From Ben
It’s been almost two months since Bootheel Ben Traxel has annoyed me. But in between, he did grace us with some wonderful lookbacks at the old Kansas City Municipal Stadium, so I guess I can cut him some slack. Well, the party’s over. Here’s Ben:
• Baseball card of the week: Dressed to the Nines has no record of these Pirates Unis.
• Venue of the week: Anaheim Convention Center. Briefly home of the Anaheim Amigos of the ABA. Not those Amigos. Perhaps the move was due to the number of fans in the place? Anyway, during the riots in LA a few moons ago it also held a playoff game or two. Love those modern molded forms. Kinda has a Candela feel.
Other stadiumesess that have eye catching interest…
• The very loud and large Husky Stadium is mostly going away soon to a complete remodel, (whatever $250 million buys). Something architecturally bazaar about that place.
• London’s Olympic spaceship is going up. I think I like the birdsnest better. The Olympics just bring me down anyway. I just can’t stand two solid weeks of nothing but gymnastics, bookended by happy cheery evening festivals.
• Sorry. Old time basketball uniforms just look creepy. Give me the willies. Always have, always will.
Nobody should wear this. Ever:
• Sorry Boston. That’s just wrong.
• A little, shall we say, friendly?
• A little better, interesting design.
• My money’s on these guys. Anywhere, anytime.
• If the coach were alive they might have a chance.
• I have no story for this, but I love it.
• Ever wonder what team these guys were on?
• The Notre Dame bookstore has football pins for every game this season.
• Okay. These football shirt tails have been bothering me for too long now. I cannot stand it when these guys go three quarters of the game with their ragged tail dangling in the breeze when they act like it has to be shrink wrapped to begin with. It just looks crappy sloppy. There are other options out there but I can’t imagine they are all that comfy. There are different types of jersey tails. The “half moon over the moon” is quite popular. There is the “nail pouch” look. And lets not forget the “cover your ass”. Once upon a time it wasn’t a problem. I kind of liked the half jersey option. Now it did come with other issues. But I say bring it back. And let’s start looking a little snappier. Here’s a good side by side example.
That’s enough for now. No complaints accepted. That means you LI Fill.
Well, I have nothing to say then.
will be back may return soon at some later date with more ramblings and other assorted quips and quibbles.
OK folks, that’s all for today. It’s a college football Saturday on UW, and the highlight game is definitely going to be Iowa vs. Ball State. “What?” you say. Well, it’s the game to watch because Iowa will be partying like it’s 1958. Those are the throwbacks they’ll be wearing today to celebrate Randy Duncan’s 1958 squad, a team which was arguably the greatest team in Iowa history. That year, the Hawkeyes won both the Big Ten title and the Rose Bowl, and were voted #1 in the Football Writers poll. Before the geniuses who came up with the BCS nonsense, that was one measure of your #1 status in college football.
Enjoy the games today, and try to get yourself in front of a tube for the Iowa game.
M is rectangular, W is trapezoidal. Unless an equipment manager is careless, clueless, or simply out of one letter or the other, M and W SHOULDN’T be confused. — Mike Engle