By Phil Hecken
Well, that was quite a week of Bowl games, wasn’t it? Some great ones and some amazing finishes, including two last night in the, ahem *Bastard Cotton Bowl* and the *Orange Bowl,* as Shipwreck would call them.
So, back for one last time this season with the lede is my Sunday Morning Uni Watch compatriot, number 2 in your program but number 1 in your hearts, TJ Duroncelet, who will give you the week’s big Bowl roundup below. In a twist, TJ has asked to give his review of the “Big 4″ (BCS Bowls) separately, since we’ve got a lot to cover today. I’ll run those in tomorrow’s post. But for now, here’s Terry with your…
Saturday Morning Uni Watch
By Terry Duroncelet
Happy New Year!!! So yeah… bowl games left and right on New Year’s Day (as per usual). Ready to take ‘em all in along with all of this week’s games? No? Well, too bad. WE GO NAO.
• Navy vs. Middle Tennessee (played on Monday, December 30th, 2013)
Well, they certainly lived up to their name. As you can see, The United States Naval Academy Midshipmen wore their 2013 Army/Navy game helmets and jerseys with the 2011 Army/Navy game pants (the latter-most of which they’ve been wearing on-and-off for the last two seasons). An okay look, although when it comes to white/navy/navy, I prefer this. As for the Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raiders (Texas Tech’s evil twin brother school?), they wore an all-white uniform, which would’ve been alright, but they just HAAAAAD to this this thing to the helmet.
• Georgia Tech vs. Ole Miss (played on Monday, December 30th, 2013)
The Georgia Institute of Technology Yellow Jackets wore gold helmets and pants with white jerseys, and their opponent (the University of Mississippi Rebels) wore navy helmets, red jerseys, and grey pants.
• Texas vs. Oregon (played on Monday, December 30th, 2013)
In Mack Brown’s last game as the head coach for The University of Texas (at Austin) Longhorns, they dressed as, well, Texas. White helmets and pants (two-thirds of the best all-white uniform in college football, IMO) with their signature burnt orange jerseys. And what about their opponent, the (Fighting?) Ducks of The University of Oregon? Well… it’s not bad, but I have mixed feelings about this new Pro Combat uniform. On the one hand, they might have solved the sweatbox problem with what looks to be new fabric in the abdomen area (but it’s impossible to see the sweatbox on a white uniform, so we’ll have to wait until the start of the 2014 regular season, when they’ll have more color versions of this uni). Maybe Mike was listening when I pointed out the problem a year ago. On the other hand, isn’t the point of creating a smoother/sexier/hungrier/more-flavorful uniform to cut down on the seams? I’m probably way off-base here, but there seems to be more seams the ever! And I can already see the jokes about that air channel thingy going down the middle of the jersey. The collar… um. Overall, I’m not entirely sure how to feel about this Pro Combat v5.0 (I think) suit. Maybe they’ll treat this as a prototype, and say “yeah, let’s cut back on this and that, and try again”. Oregon in green/white/white, BTW.
• Texas Tech vs. Arizona State (played on Monday, December 30th, 2013)
The Texas Tech University Red Raiders didn’t look so red on Monday. But then again, they almost never do. Anyway, they wore black/grey/black. I really dig these helmets, although the visibility of the graphics could’ve been better, and I had NO IDEA what the hell that thing was on the right side of the helmet until Paul pointed it out earlier this week (I thought it was a gremlin). I was having Detroit Lions syndrome all over again. In case you don’t know the back story, I thought that the old Lions logo was some sort of misshaped head with a big mouth and no arms (here’s a quick diagram I whipped up in MS Paint to show what I was looking at). I saw the Lions logo like that until I was about… what, 15 or 16? I’m currently 22. Yeah, I’m just as embarrassed as you think I am. Don’t have that problem nowadays. But moving on, the Arizona State University Sun Devils wore white jerseys with maroon helmets and pants. The helmets had a giant pitchfork (or is it a trident?) on one side, with a T.V. number on the other. Neat.
• Boston College vs. Arizona (played on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013)
The Boston College Eagles wore gold helmets and pants with dark red jerseys (dig the socks), while the University of Arizona Wildcats wore white jerseys, navy pants, and REEEEEEEEEED helmets. Like, at least add a navy stripe to that lid, I keep wanting to bite into it like a candied apple. An navy mask is more ideal, but I’ll take what I can get.
• UCLA vs. Virginia Tech (played on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013)
Oh boy, take a look at The University of California (Los Angeles) Bruins, in all of their gloomy, black glory. For the love of Corn, Celestia, football, eggnog, your pet rottweiler, or whatever deity you pray to, stop with the mess. You’re killin’ me with this costume! What ever happened to Bruin Blue and UCLA Gold? Basically, Black For Black’s Sake is the same for us here on Uni Watch as Rule 34 is for your favorite animated character in any cartoon or anime: THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS (I leaned that the hard way… far too many times). I mean, look at the Lakers. It’s like what Paul said about FC Barcelona not too long ago: UCLA (and the Lakers) have gone from being the most principled team(s) to being the worst. At least the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Hokies looked normal. Maroon/white/white.
• Mississippi State vs. Rice (played on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013)
The Mississippi State University (of Agriculture and Applied Science) Bulldogs wore all-maroon on Tuesday, while The William Marsh Rice University (I love saying that) Owls wore white/white/navy, all while doing their best Oregon impression.
• Texas A&M vs. Duke (played on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013)
The Duke University Blue Devils looked as blue as a designated road team can look, wearing blue/white/blue against the Texas A&M University Aggies, who wore maroon/maroon/white. Also, I saw this. A DCI jacket! EEEE!!! Okay, let’s calm down.
• Georgia vs. Nebraska (played on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014)
• North Texas vs. UNLV (played on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014)
The University of North Texas Mean Green looked more like the Mean Black. In addition to the black tops and pants, whey also had a new helmet, which I’m neutral on. I mean, for some reason, North Texas seems like a team that can pull off BFBS, but at the same time, I’m just sitting here saying “NO”. Anyway, their opponents, (the University of Nevada [Las Vegas] Rebels) wore grey/white/grey, but added player names to their jerseys.
• South Carolina vs. Wisconsin (played on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014)
• LSU vs. Iowa (played on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014)
Another one of my favorite full names to say when doing these bowl game roundups:The Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College Tigers wore their usual gold/white/gold look, while the The University of Iowa Hawkeyes wore their usual black/black/gold look.
• Mizzou vs. Oklahoma State (played on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2014)
The University of Missouri (Columbia) Tigers… I’ll admit at first, I wasn’t too sure about their new uniforms. But BOY, have they grown on me. In fact, I would even put them in my top four best-dressed college teams (LSU, Alabama, and Tulane [when they aren't wearing deep grey] are the other three). They did not disappoint in the uniform category in Friday night’s game, wearing black helmets, gold jerseys, and black pants. And as for their opponent (the Oklahoma State University [Stillwater] Cowboys)? They wore all-white (that star on the collar is something that they do for bowl games only, they’re little black stars with an orange ‘C’ for the captains). This was a game that proved to be the reason why we watch college football. Mizzou would win in great fashion 41-31.
That’ll do it for now. You’ll notice that the BCS bowl games weren’t mentioned here. I feel that those deserve their own mention, so you’ll be seeing those tomorrow. See you soon.
Thanks, TJ — and thanks for your season-long uni-reporting too! Huge help to me and a great, great job all season. Take a bow, Terry, you earned it! How about a great big virtual round of applause for Mr. Duroncelet?
He’s not done folks, since there are still the Big Bowls and of course there are three more games (including the LAST BCS National Championship game) still to play.
Bowl Edition 5 and 1
Well, dear readers, we’ve almost come to the conclusion of another College Football Season, but that doesn’t mean the Five and One has disappeared yet.
Catherine’s back with part one (of two) of her Five Best and One Worst uni matchups of the Bowl Season. This will take care of the first half of the bowls (played through 12/31). The next set will come next weekend. Now, here’s Miss Ryan. Enjoy:
Five & One, Bowl Edition (Part I)
By Catherine Ryan
Happy (belated) 2014, UniWatchers! Here’s your 5 and 1 countdown for the first half of Bowl Season! As a reminder, here are the games that were considered for this countdown:
Now, let’s get to the rankings!
5. Fresno State vs. USC
I’m not usually a fan of all-white unis but I thought Fresno State looked good. USC wore their classic home unis and the game had great contrast. Add in the great weather and this game was a pleasure to watch!
4. Cincinnati vs. North Carolina
Ok, so some people hated this game and some people loved it. I am of the belief that this game is a perfect example of the sum being greater than its parts. Individually, these uniforms are nothing special. However, together, they look pretty awesome.
2. Mississippi vs. Georgia Tech
This game was simple and neither team tried anything crazy with the unis. In a season where teams tend to show up in clown costumes, I want to show appreciation for teams that keep it simple.
Stay tuned for the second half!
Thanks, Catherine. Grandpa loves those picks!
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:
We begin today with Mark McLean, who thinks the Bills need an alt jersey:
Now that NFL teams are regulated to using just one helmet color throughout the season it looks like the Bills won’t be doing my favorite 1990′s throwback anytime soon. So if they can’t make the helmet red, It got me thinking what a red alternate jersey would look like.
Mark in Buffalo
Next up is Bryan Moss who has some new looks for the Toronto basketball team:
My concepts for a more suitable Toronto basketball team. The Wolves. The first one is there home uniform. The second one is their away uniform. The third is the alt uni. This is for uni concepts.
We close today with Ryan Allison with a new look for SMU Hoops:
Since SMU Basketball is looking a little bit brighter than SMU Football (Coach Larry Brown, McDonald’s All American Keith Frazier, and the signing of Emmanuel Mudiay), I have decided to submit a SMU Nike “Sweat Back” Uniform Concept. I decided to use the 1982 Pony Express era SMU football uniforms as my inspiration by matching the font treatment, number treatment, and leg striping. The “sweat back” graphic includes a picture of Dallas Hall (SMU’s most notorious building), the SMU seal, and “Est. 1911.”
And that’s it for today. Back with more next time.
U.W.F.F.L. Week 18
By Rob Holecko
It is time for the UWFFL semifinals, it’s the final four teams playing this week and the winners will advance to next week’s UWFFL Bowl XIV.
In one matchup, we have the Eastern Division Champion New York Sharks, 11-3 and the #1 seed, hosting the Wild Card Miami Cougars, who defeated San Diego in an epic wild card game 118-110 in 2OT. The Sharks swept the Cougars this year, defeating them in weeks 2 and 10, but they’ll have to beat them for a third time to get to the UWFFL Bowl. In the other semifinal we have the Central Division Champions, the Minnesota Mustangs, also 11-3 hosting wild card winner, the Detroit Demons. Detroit and Minnesota are also both from the same division, so they’ve already played each other twice this year as well, splitting the season series Minnesota winning at home in Week 8, 25 to 20, while Detroit took the rematch in Detroit in the regular season finale, 26 to 24.
We are also in the next to last week of minor league games, and there is one game that stands out above all the rest. In the Pacific Coast Conference, the top two teams face off as the Vancouver Sea Wolves (12-2 PCC, 15-3 Overall, #6 BCS) take on the Anchorage Oracs (12-2-1 PCC, 15-2-1 Overall, #3 BCS) in a game that is sure to have both Conference and National Championship implications. Not counting if any of these teams finish in the top 2 in the BCS rankings and qualify for the National Championship Game, the top four will make the PCC playoffs.
Enjoy this week’s semifinal and minor league action and be sure to head on over to uwfantasyfootballleague.com to vote on all of the rest of the games, and we’ll see you next week for the UWFFL Bowl.
Check it all out at http://www.uwfantasyfootballleague.com.
Uni Watch News Ticker
[Today's ticker was compiled by Paul, as a special birthday present to me - PH]
NFL News: Check out this late-’80s Raiders/Broncos footage — the Broncos didn’t have any helmet logos! Was that a preseason game? (Good find by Brian Ristau.) … Tomorrow’s Chargers/Bengals playoff game in Cincy has many fans fondly remembering the 1982 AFC Championship Game, when those same two teams met in ultra-frigid conditions — the wind chill was minus-59! I remember watching that game in our family’s living room, but Brinke Guthrie has a more vivid memory of it: “I was there at the game — in this. I hand painted that sign in the Q102 production room. At the game, it was like being on the surface of the moon.”
College Football News: For years the purple stripes and “LSU” lettering on LSU’s helmets have been very, very dark — almost black. But Dennis Couvillion says they switched to a lighter shade of purple, closer to the shade used on the jersey, for the Steakhouse Bowl. I’ve looked at a bunch of game photos and don’t really see it, but Dennis maintains that it was very easy to spot on TV. … You probably know the story of Notre Dame’s famous “green jersey game” in 1977, but here’s a new telling of it, just in case (from Warren Junium).
Hockey News: We had previously linked to Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist’s Yankees-themed mask for the team’s upcoming game at Yankee Stadium, but now it turns out he’ll also have pinstriped pads (thanks, Brinke). … Also from Brinke: The Stockton Thunder recently let the local kids paint designs on the ice, with amusing results. … Here’s a good piece on the Notre Dame hockey team’s equipment manager (from Anthony Nuccio).
College Hoops News: New suit lining designs for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. “I find it very interesting that Boeheim would use pictures of the Carrier Dome in his jackets, since he initially opposed the move back in 1980,” says Mike Mills. “Guess all those wins have caused him to change his mind.”
Grab Bag: New cycling jersey for Garmin. “Not sure how I feel about the horizontal scheme in the front and the vertical in the back,” says Bernie Langer. “They’ll be easily visible on the road, at least.” … The U. of Oregon had threatened to sue an Iowa high school that was using the university’s trademarked “O” logo, but now Oregon is backing off a bit (thanks, Phil). … Lane Tech — that’s a high school in Chicago — is embroiled in a scandal regarding an alum who got a no-bid sweetheart deal to sell uniforms to the school. … Here’s a list of 20 prominent logo redesigns from 2013 (from Aaron McHargue).
And that is going to do it for this first Saturday in the new year. I wanted to extend a big thanks to everyone who wished me a “Happy Birthday” yesterday — especially Paul — the best *boss* anyone could ever have (thanks for everything, including doing today’s Ticker)!
Big thanks (again) to Terry for all his efforts compiling the uni round-ups again this year, and also to Catherine for her penultimate 5 & 1 of the football season. You guys are ACES!
Big day of football (still) ahead today, as we kick off
a hugely important game for the CorC the *Vulcan Bowl* between Vandy & Houston, followed by two pro games: Chiefs/Colts (4:35 ET) and then Saints/Eagles in the 8:10 (ET) nightcap. Plus all the assorted other games going on during the first weekend of 2014. Enjoy, and I’ll catch you guys tomorrow.
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“Those shorts make me embarrassed to have a degree from Albany.”