by Phil Hecken
Growing up in New York, and going to a small upstate school that played Div III football, and attending a grad school where they don’t play anymore, I never *got* big-time college football — until Uni Watch, that is. Oh sure, I remember watching The Play and The Game, and I distinctly remember seeing Hail Flutie, but still — college football was just something that was on when the pros weren’t playing. I never understood how college football rivalries could literally result in a house divided.
I never knew so much was at stake. People fought (and literally died) over their rivalries. People divorced over their rivalries. Hell, people refused to go to relatives’ weddings because rivalry games were being played. Who know people took this stuff so seriously? Well, now I do.
So, here it is — the big rivalry weekend. In the past, with the able assistance of fans or alumni, I’ve spotlighted a few of these big rivalry games: Ducks vs. Beavers, Panthers vs. Mountaineers, The Game…ahem, THE Game. There’s a ton of these games today, and I’m going to take a look at an eight-pack of them for your pleasure, and list what’s at stake — for a few of them, it’s quite a lot. So, thanks UW and all the great readers who’ve turned me into a huge fan of NCAA football.
The Iron Bowl: Alabama vs. Auburn.
What’s At Stake: For Auburn, the end of a painful season. For Alabama, a chance to play for the national title, as they’re currently 10-1 and ranked #2 in the BCS rankings. Should be an easy win, but these are always big games, even when one (or both) schools have nothing to play for. Bama needs this one to play for the SEC Championship next weekend, and if they win out, it should be a trip for them to the Orange Bowl (BCS Game) on January 7, 2013.
The Uniforms: Gorgeous! Alabama has (IMHO) the best uni in the NCAA versus Auburn. Should be a “Top 5″ in the 5 & 1. Why do I like Alabama’s unis so much? Well, they remind me of my old school.
Where & When? Today, 3:30 pm ET, on CBS. The game’s in Tuscaloosa and ‘Bama is a 32½ point favorite.
Battle of the Palmetto State: Clemson vs. South Carolina
What’s At Stake: #13 South Carolina (9-2) and #12 Clemson (10-1) both have lots to play for. The Tigers play in the ACC and while they’re 7-1 in the Atlantic Division, FSU is also 7-1 and has clinched the division, handing the Tigers their only loss. The Gamecocks play in the SEC, and they’re 6-2 (behind both Georgia and Florida) in the SEC Eastern Division (Georgia has clinched the division). So neither team has a division title on the line, but hey, it’s the Battle for the Palmetto State and a bowl selection on the line.
The Uniforms: Good & Bad. Clemson usually goes orange/orange/white, although they have been known to go mono-orange, while the Gamecocks are as likely to wear white over garnet as they are to sport something else.
Where & When? Today, 7:00 pm, on ESPN. The game’s in Death Valley and Clemson’s a 3½ point favorite.
Sunshine State Rivalry: Florida vs. Florida State
What’s At Stake: Well, for one thing, this beautiful trophy. But there’s more. Florida is 10-1, ranked #4, and is 7-1 in the SEC East. Unfortunately, their one loss is to Georgia, who have won the division. However, a loss by Georgia (and some help) and it’s not inconceivable the Gators could have a shot at the National Championship. FSU, ranked #10, is also 10-1 and has wrapped up the ACC Atlantic. They, too, are hoping for a big win, but their prospects for anything more than an Orange berth are probably slim. Still, a BIG win over the Gators and the ‘Noles (with a lot of help) may have an outside shot at the big game.
The Uniforms: NICE! Despite a propensity to go mono-blue at home, the Gators will likely go orange/white/white while the ‘Noles will most assuredly (unless Nike has an am-pac uni in the works) be in their usual gold/garnet/gold. Another 5 & 1 candidate for sure.
Where & When? 3:30 pm ET, on ABC. The game’s at the Doak, and the Seminoles are 7 point favorites.
The Civil War: Oregon vs. Oregon State
What’s At Stake: I’ve written (with Mike Princip) about this game before, and for the Ducks, the stakes are still very high. A win (and some help) and they’re back in the BCS Title Game picture, and a loss and they might not even win the PAC-12 North (the Ducks are 7-1, with their one loss to Stanford, who also sit at 7-1 play at UCLA today — a win by Stanford or a loss by the Ducks means they will be sitting home next weekend). But the Ducks can’t be concerned with that game down south, they need to take care of business in their own Civil War. There’s much less at stake for the Beavers, who sit at 6-2 behind Stanford & UO. Still, they’re bowl bound and would love to crush the hopes of Eugene’s finest.
The Uniforms: Hoo boy. About the only certainty is that Oregon will wear a white top. After that, it’s a crapshoot. But so far this season, they’ve worn gray pants, black pants and white pants…will they break out the yellows today? OSU is another crapshoot — they’ve gone orange/white, orange/black and black/black, so who knows what they’ll wear. And who knows if the University of Nike has special costumes in store for either or both?
Where & When? 3:00 pm, PAC-12 Network. The game’s in Corvalis and the Ducks are 9 point favorites.
Bedlam: Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State
What’s At Stake: Oklahoma’s at 8-2, 6-1 in the Big 12 behind 7-1 Kansas State, while OSU is 7-3 (5-2) sitting just beneath Oklahoma in the Big 12. Bedlam is the name of this game, and with the Sooners ranked #13 and the Cowboys ranked #21 in the BCS, the Sooners are in the drivers’ seat. Here’s where it gets interesting: Oklahoma is one of four conference teams that have a chance of tying Kansas State for the 2012 conference crown. At present, Kansas State still leads the league standings with a 7-1 overall record. OU is at 6-1 and Oklahoma State and Texas are tied for third with a record of 5-2 in the conference. For a four-way tie to happen, however, Oklahoma would have to lose to Oklahoma State, Kansas State would have to lose next weekend to Texas and Texas and Oklahoma State would have to win their final two regular season games. So yeah, there’s a lot at stake.
The Uniforms: Um, yeah. We know what we’re getting with the Sooners: Crimson and cream. It will look great. As far as OSU…they have white, gray, orange and black for both helmets and pants. At least we’ll know ahead of time they’ll be in white jerseys…right? It could be a very good looking game…
Where & When? 3:30 pm ET, on ESPN. The game’s in Norman, and the Sooners are 6½ point favorites.
The Game: Ohio State vs. Michigan
What’s At Stake: Sadly, not much this year. In case you weren’t looking, THE Ohio State University is 11-0, and were this any other year, they’d be competing for a spot in the BCS bowl. But, because they misbehaved under Jim Tressel, they’re playing only for pride. But still, they’d like to make new coach Urban Meyer’s first season a perfect one. The Wolverines (8-3 overall, 6-1 in the B1G) sit in second place in the Legends Division of the B1G, behind first place Nebraska, who have locked up the division and will play Wisconsin next weekend for the B1G championship. Still, this is THE Game, and that alone is enough.
The Uniforms: Hmmmm. Ok, we know Nike is giving the Buckeyes new costumes for this rivalry game. Paul wrote a bit about the in the second section of this article. I’ll need to see them in action before passing judgment, but I have some likes and dislikes. UM may also get a special rivalry costume from adidas as well. They’ve had some good looking alternates in the past though.
Where & When? 12:00 noon ET, on ABC. The game’s in the ‘shoe and the Bucks are 3½ point favorites.
Clean Old Fashioned Hate: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech
What’s At Stake: Despite being 6-5 overall, and 5-3 in the ACC Coastal, Tech has clinched the division and will play FSU for the title. Unranked in the BCS, Tech nonetheless will be playing for a date in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day, although it’s more likely they’ll be playing in the Russell Athletic Bowl on December 28th. Still, there is this Georgia pride thing. The Bulldogs, on the other hand, have been a pleasant surprise this year (10-1 overall, 7-1 and SEC East Champs), and find themselves (likely) squarely in the hunt the BCS game — currently ranking #3. But there is still this game to be played, before the (likely) battle with Alabama (or LSU, but that would take a miracle) for the SEC title. It’s almost a certainty that the winner of the SEC championship will be in the BCS game…almost. Georgia must take care of business first, and then worry about that other thing.
The Uniforms: Good vs. Ugly. Barring some crazy new uni (doubtful) by Nike, the UGA will be sporting their classic red/red/silver-gray combo. GT, on the other hand, wears Russell, and since they’re so far behind adidas, Nike and UA, they’ve decided the only way to get their schools noticed is to put them in clown suits. That’s actually not too bad, but the beehives & other patterns just aren’t a good look.
Where & When? 12:00 Noon ET, on ESPN. The game’s in Sanford, and the Bulldogs are 14½ point favorites.
“Conversation Between Wives”: Notre Dame vs. Southern California
What’s At Stake: Pretty much everything. OK, why is this game a “conversation between wives”? Read all about it. Then go and read the whole article, and you’ll know pretty much everything you need to know about this rivalry. And it just so happens that Notre Dame is 11-0, and ranked #1 in the BCS rankings. So a win today and they’re going to play for it all. But it’s not going to be a cakewalk, and the game is a road game for the Irish, who’ve had some real close games this year. Unfortunately for the country (aka, all non-ND fans), USC limps into this game at 7-4 (5-4 in the PAC 12 south and not in contention for that title), and are playing without their star QB, Matt Barkley. Still, if the Trojans don’t need the ability to knock Notre Dame out of the BCS game to motivate them, then perhaps the added bonus of playing for the Jeweled Shillelagh will.
The Uniforms: Should be good. USC will sport their classic cardinal and gold, while ND should be in their shiny golden domes, white tops, and gold pants. They’ve had a few alternate unis in the past few years, but look for them to look “normal” for this one.
Where & When? 8:00 pm ET, on ABC. The game’s in the Coliseum and the Irish are 4½ point favorites.
There you have it, folks. Are you ready for some football???
50 Years Ago…This Weekend
Last year, Rick Pearson took us “back in time” to bring us his look at the featured television college football match-up from 50 years ago. (If you’re not familiar with it, this was the inaugural post of “50 Years Ago” from last year — after that, it became a recurring feature on UW for the remainder of the season). Last year, Rick looked at the 1961 season, and fortunately for us, he “uni tracked” the games from 1962 as well, documenting the game via his “kid cards”. Each week this fall, he’ll do the same, again.
We’ve been paying attention to Ohio State-Michigan for a long time, haven’t we. … We’ve also seen both these unis before this season. … Buckeyes in their exterior padding helmets. … Wolverines with the “M” on the sleeves and all-black shoes with black shoelaces (and, yes, the helmet TV numbers should be maize). … Ohio State must have been tougher because a) they didn’t add stirrup socks for this November game, and b) they won, 28-0. … Neither Bob Middleton nor Harvey Chapman played pro football.
Thanks Rick! Great job with that as always.
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
It’s been about a month since our last Colorize This! feature, and there are a bunch to run today and tomorrow. Some wonderful stuff, so let’s get started straight away.
Up first is John Turney, who has a bunch for us (John’s not much for descriptions):
Lions at Bears
Sammy & Eddie on the Sidelines
Bill Dudley versus the Redskins
Moving on, we have Gary Chanko, who has both a photo and a story:
I was looking for information on former Eagles great Tommy McDonald and came across this 1963 photo. The related newspaper article deals with concussions and suggests face mask removal might help improve player safety!
Kelly green, silver wings … hoping for a come back soon.
Eagles fans will recognize the players (from left) Sonny Jurgensen, Pete Retzlaff, Timmy Brown, and Tommy McDonald – four Eagle greats. Sure could use their talents today.
We close today with a request for a colorization, from John Livewell. It’s a great photo, but it might be a tad small — nevertheless, would look great in color:
Hello from Philadelphia.
Paul: I hope you are feeling better…
I saw a great picture on the this blog. Looks like it would be a great project for an colorization artist.
LOOK AT THOSE HATS IN THE STANDS.
LOOK AT THOSE STIRRUPS.
John G. Livewell
Thanks all! Great job, of course, by John & Gary. I’ll be back with more tomorrow!
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
Like the colorizations, I’m going to run these as inline pics — click on each one to enlarge.
And so, lets begin:
First up is Brian K., who has a newish look for the soon-to-be-redesigned Brownies:
Here is my redesign. Nothing drastic. Implement the brownie elf into accessory for the QB, add brown stripes to shoulders, outline numbers in orange and change the shape of the helmet stripes to the Buffalo style that starts wide and changes towards the rear of the helmet into a narrower line and point. Also added brown pants which I realize were not a popular choice a couple years ago, but I believe they dropped the ball on that potential enhancement by not including vertical stripes which gave larger sized players the appearance of being brown blobs. Hope to see this posted on your sight!
Next up is Ryan Altenbach, with a new take on the Bucs:
Played around with the Bucs logo/uniforms and thought I’d send it in. I’ve always loved their logo, but it was too messy. I cleaned up the logo and inverted the flag for another secondary, deepened the red in the uni, and took out the bronze. I put the “Fire the cannon” logo in the back of the collar, since I know Nike is so fond of that kind of thing. Threw in the black alternate and took out the TV numbers for a more plain look.
Our final submitter today is Coleman Mullins, who’s been
bitchin to get this one into the queue. It is, of course, WVU:
So, after a few hand drawn sketches and re-designs, and then some AMAZING digital help and wizardry from the one and only Tim E. O’Brien, I give you the joint operation WVU-tweak.
I wanted something traditional with a hint of modern touches. I kept the current pant design, but added the Flying WV into it. The jersey is a little more traditional, with sleeve stripes(!) and an interwoven Flying WV. (seeing a trend here?) Other than that it is pretty much business as usual. You don’t mess with the helmet, trust me.
I owe Tim E. more thanks than I could ever show. Stand up guy for sure.
Can’t wait for the feedback,
PS. Screw your 50 word limit. Heh heh.
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
“Benchies” first appeared at U-W in 2008, and has been a Saturday & Sunday feature here for the past two years.
They are, after all, facing a long and brutal winter…
Click to enlarge
Because we love the stirrup here at Uni Watch, this section is devoted to those of us who sport the beautiful hose on Fridays — a trend popularized many years ago by Robert P. Marshall, III. For many of us, it’s become a bit of an obsession, but a harmless one — a reflection of our times. Where we once had Friday ties, which has been replaced by Casual Friday — we now have Stirrup Fridays. It’s an endearingly simple concept — no matter where you work (or even if you don’t) — break out a fresh pair of rups to compliment (or clash with) your Friday attire.
We’ve got a very special set this week, since Comrade Marshall has graciously offered the UW rup as a *weekly* prize in the Stirrup Fridays ensemble. So, let’s have a look at the selections this week, and at the end, the winner will be announced:
Wore these (Bruins) on my bike ride. Almost nothing is as exciting as an envelope containing socks from Marshall. Better stop using my pants as a chain cleaner.
Good morning Comrades!
I wasn’t sure whom to send the photos for the contest, so I’ve included you both. Please find attached my submission:
I teach at a public high school and Fridays are our school spirit days. I’ve worn these stirrups before on Friday’s but thought the last day before Thanksgiving break would be the perfect opportunity to really showcase my spirit (school colors are purple/silver/white/black)! That is why I chose the purple “Northwestern” stirrups. I did get a few disapproving looks – one from my department chair (must be a pajama-ist) – so after first period, I ditched the high cuffs. One photo is of me in my room and the other is at my duty post in the hall before first period.
Viva la revolucion,
I had this great idea to send photos of myself running my first Richmond Half-Marathon this past Saturday in my dazzling early 70s Buccos stirrups, my lucky pair from several past 5 and 10Ks. However, as I road-tested a bit, my gut told me that running the full 13.1 with that loop under my arch might be asking for trouble, so at the last minute, I opted to stick with basic white. For my part, I had a great race, finishing in 2:04:17… But my look was sorely lacking. I’ve attached a few photos from past races, anyway!
Keep up the great work.
Attached is a photo of my son, Mike, (taking ground balls at 3rd base during pregame practice) playing Little League baseball. Although he played on the Phillies, the red, white, and blue stirrups of the Red Sox made him a sartorial standout.
My daughter played t-ball this past summer(she’s 5). And along with giving the girls on the team visors instead of regular ball caps like the boys got, they gave out solid color socks to the team. So I went on Ebay and found these stirrups.
I asked Paul, and he was kind enough to send me a link to a video on how to properly blouse the pants. The rest of the team basically went pajama-pants, but I couldn’t get on board with that.
I waited until last Saturday’s USC / UCLA game at the Rose Bowl to bust out my new Bruin stirrups – best tailgate attire ever! Add in a U-C…L-A! win, the rare SoCal rain was even bearable.
Viva la Stirrup!
I’m attaching a couple of two-fers (colorizations / contest entries) and a bonus stirrup image.
• First up, in honor of The Game, Betty Grable roots for an undefeated season and—more importantly—a win against That Team Up North. Her bullhorn looks a bit like Brutus’ shirt. (I know Our Illustrious Leader is a Big Ten guy, and I’m not above a bit of pandering…)
• Next, what’s better than Marilyn? Yep, Marilyn in stirrups!
• Finally, everyone knows Leonardo was a genius, so it shouldn’t be surprising to learn he endorsed (or perhaps even invented) the stirrup.
Wearing RPM’s Paczki Day stirrups for the Thanksgiving version of Stirrup Friday. The orange and brown of the St. Louis Browns ‘rups might seem more like T-day colors, but the old-style athletic gold on these is a good pie/pastry look. Hope that everyone has a great day.
And that ends today’s look at Stirrup Friday — all of you who participate, send me your pics and a brief (~50 words) description of their relevance, and I’ll run ‘em here on Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too!).
And who will be the winner of this week’s UW rup giveaway? Stay tuned. The winner will be revealed below.
If you’re not a member of Stirrup Nation and want to join, just visit Comrade Marshall’s house of hose (and you can see the available selections here) or if you have any questions about the availability of stirrups, drop him a line at email@example.com.
So, comrades — why don’t you pick up a pair or three and show us your rups!
And now…a few words from Comrade Marshall…
I know this was a holiday week, but I want to thank those who went that extra mile this week. We had a couple of cute kids, a wonderful UCLA sighting in context at a tailgate before a big victory, which would have been the winner but Pete Woychick spent a lot of time colourizing stirrups into some shots, so if you have been following the revolution at all you know how much I love that. So congrats Pete, you are our first uni watch stirrup winner! Drop me a line and let me know where to send your revolutionary booty. With the holidays coming up, I suspect we can get some fantastic shots, I look forward to seeing what people come up with, and I will continue to give out stirrups to a worthy winner every week.
All entries that did not win are eligible in future weeks, or may help for a lifetime achievement composite stirrup computer championship win. But feel free to send in more — you’re always eligible until you win!
A couple of quick notes: TCK sent the latest shipment tuesday, but with the holiday shipping schedule, I expect them early next week, so if you have anything pending with me from the “new” selection, there is the news. As for new selections, we will tackle that next week. so until then…
From each according their stirrvp, to each according their strype,
Спасибо Comrade. And what better way to send this post off than to have one last look at Greta?
That’s almost it, but two quick things on the Buckeyes, since today is their last game of the year. The first comes from Larry Bodnovich, with this find on the 1928 game with UM. A pertinent quote from that article: “The Ohio players wore bright scarlet jerseys with gray pants. Their brilliant jerseys shone with dazzling effect in the sunlight. Michigan’s team presented an odd contrast in color. Its players surged on the field wearing dull blue jerseys and old-fashioned moleskins. Michigan followed Ohio State on the field.”
And then, there are these two great videos of the infamous “Snow Bowl”
And that WILL do it for this fine Saturday of rivalry football. Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving — I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land (with apologies to Jon Stewart).
Catch you all tomorrow!
“I’ll never have kids. All they do is break your heart.”
–Paul, upon hearing that JTH’s son had chosen a purple cast