By Phil Hecken
And so, this is the way the BCS ends — not with a bang, but a whimper. Or not. But either way, the current way of determining a “national champion” is coming to an end tomorrow evening in Pasadena. And it couldn’t come a minute sooner.
I have HATED the BCS since it’s inception (and especially its current incarnation), believing it’s NOT a fair way (or even a smart way, necessarily) to declare one team as “the best.” In past years, we may not have had the best two teams competing for the title, and we’ve had undefeated teams excluded, many times due solely to BS..er BCS politics and computers. Next year, they’ll replace this with a four-team, seeded playoff. And I’ll probably start bitching again then.
I’m not sure a playoff is the answer, but it’s got to be better than what we have now. I grew up during a time when there was no such beast as the BCS, and it was a simpler time — sure, you had “co-champs” and split-champs, and arguments that lasted entire off-seasons. And it was great. You played your season, won your bowl, and that was that. No “style” points and no “computer rankings” and such. So, there wasn’t a declared “national” champion…big deal. Some years it was obvious and some it wasn’t. It was a unique thing the NCAA had going, and then they screwed with it.
I won’t say any more about this, since it’s not uni-related, but after tomorrow night, the NCAA Division 1 teams will join the ranks of every other league and sport, and institute a playoff system. It’s goodbye BCS and not a minute too soon.
Today, I’m pleased to bring back Clint Richardson, who I tapped earlier this season to write about The Iron Bowl, and who will today give us a uni-history and preview of the Florida State University Seminoles and Auburn University Tigers, who are meeting up in tomorrow night’s BCS National Championship Bowl. So, without further ado, here we go…
Auburn and Florida State
By Clint Richardson
It’s finally time to end wonderful season of college football (especially if you’re an Auburn fan like myself!). This has been such a great season, with great games and (for us) great looking games. Fortunately, the final game of the year and the BCS era will not disappoint gameplay-wise and aesthetically. With two of the most traditional uniforms in the game, we pretty much know how it’s going to look. But how about a look back on the history of this old rivalry.
The Auburn-Florida State game used to be a hot rivalry, which is pretty odd for a game that has only been played seventeen times. Out of those games, Auburn holds a 12-4-1 record. The last time these two played was twenty-four years ago in 1990 in Auburn. The biggest game thus far was played in 1989 at the Sugar Bowl. And they subsequently wore the opposite uniforms in which they are for today’s game. And boy, look at that bowl patch! Here’s the wonderful New Orleans Jazz program from that game. Florida State and Deion Sanders won that game 13-7.
Since Florida State is ranked #1 in the BCS ranking, and Auburn is #2, that means we’ll see them wear red and white respectively.
Which is disappointing, because I can’t be the only one that would love to see a red on blue game! Both of these teams in their home uniforms, in the beautiful stadium of the Rose Bowl with their gorgeously luscious green grass. Oh man, that would look so great! With only a few hours til game time is it still too late to petition?!
Also, expect to see the typical BCS Championship Series logo on the helmets like in years past. Here’s a few different placements of the decal for teams in the past. For Auburn, I would expect it to be placed in the same place as last time, or if anything, on the other side like where the military appreciation logo was placed. I’d place money on same place as last time. As far as Florida State goes, the Seminoles played in last year’s Orange Bowl, and placed the decal in the middle of their helmet. I would easily expect that to hold true for this year as well.
The 1983 game in Auburn is probably one of my favorite looking games. Florida State in white, and Auburn in blue. But wait, Auburn in orange face masks just tops it all!! The only things that would beat this is if FSU wore red, and Auburn wore the awesome striped socks that became a hit just a few years later (and they’re back! I have a pair and the basketball team wears them!!)
I know that Paul and some of you guys enjoy classic magazines and program covers. And if you read my last post on here (linked in the intro), you would know that I love Phil Neel and his drawings. Neel designed our beloved mascot Aubie the Tiger. Thankfully, I found some great covers from Neel’s time in Auburn. One thing I noticed when I found these is that there is no way they would be appropriate in today’s world (click any link to enlarge).
Hope you all enjoyed today’s post. Here’s to a heck of game tonight. You know who I’ll be cheering for!
Thanks, Clint. Obviously, we know your rooting interests tomorrow evening, but that’s OK. Good luck to both teams and goodbye to the BCS. Don’t let the door hit your …
Ah, yes… the Big Four. No, not that Big Four, THIS Big Four! The games that make you want to leave the comfort of your bed on NYD after you swear to never partake in “Amateur Night” again, and plop down in front of the T.V. to see sights like this.
• Michigan State vs. Stanford (played on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014)
My all-time favorite bowl game, for many reasons. The parades, the gorgeous stadium, and the fact that it’s based in my home State of California are just a few of those reasons. Oh, and something about roses smelling good or whatever. This year’s contest was the 100th in its existence, and would pit the Michigan State University Spartans against the Leland Stanford Junior University Cardinal. Michigan State wore an all-green ensemble, and Stanford likewise, but in white. Now, this was a good-looking game IMO, but not as good as it would have been if Michigan State had worn this and Stanford in this. One of the Spartan players had a chin cup sleeve with the Rose Bowl logo on it. That’s all I could really catch, but the game was a good one nonetheless, with first-time Spartan starter Kyler Elsworth (#41) making one of the biggest plays in recent memory. That very stop would seal Michigan State’s 24-20 win. This also marks the first time since the 2010 Rose Bowl Game that a B1G team won, and only the third time since the 2000 edition of the contest that a Big Ten team won it (Stanford would lose to Wisconsin on NYD 2000, 17-9). Here’s to 100 more.
• Baylor vs. UCF (played on Wednesday, January 1st, 2014)
A major BCS bowl game. You would think this would be a perfect opportunity for the Baylor University Bears to dress their best, right? Nope. Okay, the school colors of your opponent (The University of Central Florida Knights) are black and gold, and you have the ability to avoid one of those colors. Why then, would you wear the same colors as your opponent? WHY??? WHY??? I would’ve gone green/green/gold, personally. But regardless, that’s what Baylor wore: shiny-gold/black/black, while UCF wore all-white. Who says good guys wear black?
• Alabama vs. Oklahoma (played on Thursday, January, 2nd, 2014)
I love a simple, well-put together uniform. I especially love it when there are a good number of these unis. Some are going to inadvertently look very similar, and that’s fine. But put them together in the same game? Not so much. It’s a sad day when you see these two teams play, and you can’t find joy in the look of the game. Not much that they could do about that, but it looked very much like an intersquad game. Anyway, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide wore their crimson helmets and jerseys with white pants, while the University of Oklahoma Sooners wore their dark red helmets with white jerseys and pants (I still wish that they were more of a cream color). Not much else to say here, sadly.
• Ohio State vs. Clemson (played on Friday, January 3rd, 2014)
THE Ohio State University Buckeyes thought it would be a great idea to wear their 2012 Pro Combat uniforms for this game. Eh, I like the numbers, but that’s really about it. The rest I can take or leave. But I have a really cool note from reader Benji Boyter regarding the Clemson University Tigers, who wore orange helmets, white jerseys, and orange pants:
“Clemson wore their orange pants in last night’s Orange Bowl against TOSU. The last time Clemson wore orange pants was against WVU in the Orange Bowl two years ago (which we lost 70-33, so they didn’t exactly bring us luck back then). This makes the first time since the 2009 season Clemson wore all three possible pant colors in a season (white pants in each game except the game against The Citadel, in which we wore mono-purple for Military Appreciation Day, and orange last night). This also marks the first time since the 2007 season Clemson has worn white tops over orange pants. Not sure how many times we did it that year but I know we did it against NC State on the road that year.”
Well, it turns out that this was Clemson’s year to say “This game has ORANGE and not SCARLET & GREY in its name for a reason!”. Clemson would win this contest in great fashion, 40-35.
And there you have it! Another year of BCS bowling in the books… except for that one last page. See ya Saturday.
With an appearance in the *Alamo* Bowl, the Oregon Ducks introduced a new uniform (the style of which should be used for the next two seasons, if all goes according to their usual plan). You can take a look at the two sets they recently introduced in this set.
Our Duck Tracker for the past several years has been Tim E. O’Brien, and here is what that Bowl uniform looked like, graphically:
Here’s Tim with a few words:
“Well the mallards pulled out all the stops for this bowl game. Unveiling two full uniforms, Oregon debuted new shoulder wings and pants all on a new template.”
Unfortunately, Tim’s moved into a new apartment which is, for now, without Internet, so he couldn’t give a more full opinion/description. That little bit above was sent via his cell.
But, as TJ pointed out yesterday, and Tim told me in traded e-mails, there sure are a lot of seams. It also looks like a new shade of green has been added to their already full palette. Overall, it’s not much of a change from their previous set, although it appears as though the brutal multi-tone facemasks have finally been replaced by solid ones. Helmet looks unchanged.
My thanks to Tim E. for undertaking the Duck Tracking all season (again). Unfortunately for the Ducks, their season ended not in Pasadena but San Antonio. Hey, you guys didn’t want the Rose Bowl — and you got it.
Everyone please give a nice virtual golf clap for Tim’s Duck Tracking for 2013!
Uni Watch News Ticker: Not a lot of submissions from yesterday, so it’s Old School ticker today.
Paul pointed out a couple of years ago that Pac-12 referee Jay Stricherz wears eyeglasses on the field, and that this is not common. “Perhaps I should write that Stricherz wore eyeglasses on the field,” writes Tony Miller. “The Bowl formerly known as the Citrus a few days ago was his final game.” … Eddie Johnson asks, “Did you see this NBA court redsign? One of my favorite parts of your site is when you guys showcase redesigns.” … Rams headphones? “I was just cruising through my YT playlists and never noticed the headphones worn in this video,” says Jeff Wilk. “Guess I am usually not watching the screen at the time.” … We love refrigerator art here at UW and Matt Barnett just found a notebook he kept in 1979, with a sketch of Drew Pearson on the business end of a Roger Staubach bomb. … Daniel Fontenot found this piece on Baseball Card Vandals to be humorous. … Last year in one of the biggest one day races in cycling, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, a fan dressed in a panda costume jumped out on to the course and ran behind Garmin’s Dan Martin right before he made his winning move at the end of the race, notes Alex Kerman. “That moment has oddly enough lead to a partnership between the Garmin team and the WWF who now have their panda logo on the back of the new 2014 Garmin jerseys.” … Couple from Warren Junium: Notre Dame’s “Locker Room” at Fenway Park, and a soccer ball at the Notre Dame game, also in Fenway Park. — Speaking of which, here’s Fenway Park transformed for the game between the Irish and BC. … Last evening, on throwback night the Cincinnati Cyclones dressed as the Cincinnati swords, and the goalie busted out American flag pads (thanks to Adam Walter). Adam also notes the $8 tickets and $1 food and beer! … Reader Larry LaTourette also runs the “Hail To Purple” website (a Northwestern site), and today the site is running an article describing “Northwestern’s pioneering use of Tenite plastic football helmets and Tenite facemasks in 1940, and it includes a photo of a Northwestern player wearing a prototype of the Tenite helmet, which I think will interest you.” Neat stuff!
And that’s it for today folks. Thanks to Clint for the BCS National Championship Game preview, TJ for the Bowl wraps, and Tim E. O’Brien for his Duck Tracking all year long.
Two more big NFL games today (and both should have their fair share of chilly weather): Bengals host the Chargers at 1:05 (ET) and in the nightcap, in what should be -200 degree windchills, Green Bay will attempt to use the *frozen* tundra to its advantage against the Niners. Should be fun. Everyone have a great week and I will catch you next weekend (with what I expect to be some great stuff — stay tuned!).
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHecken.
“The 12-4 Niners get to play in like -50 WC at the home of an 8-7-1 team. Something’s wrong with that logic.”