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What is Georgia Tech A-back Deon Hill (shown above at yesterday’s Media Day for the school’s upcoming bowl game) so happy about? For one thing, he’s wearing the team’s blue jersey, which Tech will be wearing tomorrow night against Mississippi State. The Yellow Jackets are among the very few college teams that wear white at home (LSU is another prominent example), and of course they also end up wearing white on the road, so tomorrow’s game will be two years to the day since the last time they wore a colored jersey, which was in the 2012 Sun Bowl.
According to this article, the players are eager to wear something other than white. Here are some quotes:
• From safety Isaiah Johnson: “Every game, home and away, we wear white. So we wanted to switch it up. We could have worn gold and that would have been fine. …I’m glad I get to wear it for my last game.”
• From linebacker Quayshawn Nealy: “A lot of guys have been wanting to play in the blue for the longest and we’re finally playing in them.”
This raises an interesting point: In most ways, college football’s uniform culture is much more freewheeling than the NFL’s. Teams change unis every year, there’s no limit on how many alternate jerseys you can have, no limit on helmets, and so on. But the NFL lets the home team choose whether to be white or color, which allows for a certain degree of flexibility, while the NCAA generally sticks to the “color at home, white on the road” format (except for teams that have requested and been granted a waiver, like Georgia Tech, and occasional “special circumstance” games). So this is one way in which the college scene is more rigid than the NFL.
All of which leads to a question: Should the NCAA adopt the “home team’s choice” protocol? Or are college uniforms crazy enough as it is? (Continue reading)