Whether you “roll Tide” down in Alabama or swarm the streets of Ann Arbor for that maize and blue, here are the best college football uniforms.
As the 2016 college football season kicks off, let’s look at which ten schools have the best college football uniforms. In certain parts of the country, college football is even bigger than the NFL in fan base. A number of factors were considered when creating this top 10 list, including color schemes, styling, team logos, innovation/risk-taking and tradition.
The uniforms of the storied Cornhuskers represent simple, understated style and long tradition. Their helmets are white with their famous red “N” on the sides. The team’s home jerseys reverse that color scheme, with a red shirt and a white number, not to mention two horizontal white stripes on each sleeve. The pants reflect the helmet’s scheme, all white with red stripes on each side and a small red “N” on the front left.
Boise State has almost no football tradition, yet its innovative uniforms have caught the attention of sports fans everywhere. The team plays with a blue helmet (same color as its turf field) with a distinctive bronco logo on the sides. The shirt and pants combos also blend with the blue turf. You might see the Broncos suit up in matching orange shirts and pants, matching blue shirts and pants or different jersey-pant combinations of blue and orange.
Steeped in football tradition, gold and blue have always been a famous uniform staple at Notre Dame. ND has a long fashion tradition of gold helmets and gold pants, with blue, green, or white jerseys, but they’ve also sought to be more innovative in the last few years. They’ve been known to add a green shamrock to their helmets and shirts, as well as their iconic boxing leprechaun.
ESPN recently named LSU’s uniforms the best in the Southeastern Conference, and it’s easy to see why. LSU’s bold yellow, strong purple and tiger stripes are visually striking. The LSU Tigers helmet, jersey, and pants work well as individual items, but really pop when blended. The LSU helmet is a classic combo of yellow with a purple and white stripe down its middle. Add a white shirt to that, one with a big purple number on the front and purple and yellow stripes on the sleeves. Finally, add yellow pants with purple and white stripes down the sides, and you have a classic.
The Buckeyes keep their uniform classic and simple: Red and white make up the clear color scheme. The helmets are silver with a red and white stripe down the middle. Buckeye players add “buckeye” stickers to their helmets, a traditional merit system at this perennial football powerhouse. At home games, you’ll see OSU players in white pants and red jerseys, with silver helmets. OSU’s uniforms prove that keeping things simple and classic can work as well, if not better, than anything flashy.
This basketball powerhouse has a gorgeous powder blue football uniform that demands attention. NC football has adopted the look of the classic Tar Heel basketball jersey, adding a powder blue pant and argyle patterns. While the NC logo, which simply features the letters “NC,” may be dull, its eye-catching use of blended blue colors and argyle patterns is a uniform winner.
In terms of the sheer number of new looks, styles and innovations, no school’s uniform can compete with Oregon. The Uniform Critics website has counted an amazing 66 different versions of the Ducks uniform. Helmets can be green or yellow — or even pink. The jerseys can be green, white, gold, red, white or yellow. The pants options are equally wide. No matter what uniform they’re wearing, the Ducks always catch your eye and are definitively themselves, a major feat when it comes to this much variety.
Clemson has access to wonderful colors and logos. Clemson’s orange, white and purple uniforms, not to mention its tiger paw logo, are traditional, smile-inducing and instantly recognizable. What’s not to love about orange helmets with a white tiger paw on each side, matched with orange jerseys and white pants? Add a pair of orange cleats, and the Tigers are ready to roar.
There would be no top 10 college football uniform list without “Big Blue” and its famous blue and maize gridiron look. A blue helmet with maize-colored shoots tops things off, followed by a white shirt and pants with blue numbers. Like Nebraska, football fans have a clear, simple idea of what a Michigan football uniform looks like, and the school has wisely decided to stick with it.
The Tide rolls on with crimson and white: A crimson helmet with white player numbers on the sides; a crimson jersey with the player’s number on the front and back; and white pants with two crimson stripes on each side. Call it simple and old-fashioned, but Alabama fans love the look. While Alabama may be the anti-Oregon, both programs excel with connecting their uniform styles to what their fans want: classic simplicity for ‘Bama, and innovation for Oregon.