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College Football’s Top 5 Fashion Disasters of 2012

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  • 5. Iowa: 1920s Throwbacks

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    New college football uniforms can be memorable. But sometimes they’re just memorably bad. With alternate unis released by teams and uniform providers like never before, we scrape the bottom of the barrel to bring you the Top 5 Fashion Disasters of this past season. Fittingly, all five earned a D-grade or lower in our 2012 Uniform Grades.

    Iowa took the field at Kinnick Stadium on Sept. 8 against Iowa State wearing uniforms meant to evoke those of the team from 1921–1922. But all we could think of was how it looked like something J-Lo would wear on an Oscars red carpet.

    And seeing the gold in the Hawkeyes’ color scheme replaced with copper just didn’t feel right. As it turns out, it wasn’t just the uniforms that regressed to a bygone era on Sept. 8. Iowa’s offense managed just six points in a 9–6 loss to its archrival.

    Photo Credit: Reese Strickland/USA Today Sports

  • 4. Virginia Tech: Turkey Helmet

    There is nothing masculine or intimating about a turkey. But that didn’t stop Virginia Tech from trying.

    Tech’s teams were once more widely known as the Fighting Gobblers before people started calling them the Hokies. This “fowl association” is still a point of pride in Blacksburg, hence the helmet worn against Boston College on Nov. 17.

    While the thought was nice, execution was lacking. The boring all-white helmet had the player’s number on one side and a turkey that appeared to be PED-enhanced on the other. Yes, the “buff-looking turkey” looks as absurd as it sounds.

    Sadly, this isn’t even the worst turkey-inspired helmet Tech wore this season. More on that later.

    Photo Credit: Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports

  • 3. Wyoming: Camouflage Uniforms

    Cowboys coach Dave Christensen should be commended for his annual efforts to pay tribute to our nation’s military. As should his employers and the team’s uniform designers at Nike. But while their hearts were in the right place, their sense of aesthetics were not.

    Wyoming’s unique brown-and-mustard yellow color scheme was applied to a camouflage look. It worked for subtle reasons on the helmet’s Pistol Pete decal, but on the rest of the uniform ... not so much.

    The uniforms may have been designed in conjunction with Military Appreciation Night, but it more brought to mind a duck hunting outfit with the hideous camo on the shoulders.

    Photo Credit: Troy Babbit/USA Today Sports

  • 2. Virginia Tech: Turkey Feet Helmet

    How widely panned were the helmets the Hokies wore for their white-out game against Austin Peay on Sept. 8? The team’s star QB, Logan Thomas, trashed them on Twitter beforehand.

    Further proof that when thinking outside the box for new uniforms or helmets, consult your players before signing off on a design. Particularly if it’s something as bizarre and ugly as a helmet festooned with turkey feet.

    College football white-outs are meant to look sleek, not ridiculous.

    Photo Credit: Peter Casey/USA Today Sports

  • 1. Notre Dame: Shamrock Series

    The year that the Fighting Irish returned to the national title game for the first time since the late 1980s also saw them wear uniforms so ugly that they’re mentioned in the same breath as Maryland’s infamous “State Pride” togs.

    From afar, it’s difficult to tell whether you’re looking at Notre Dame or Michigan based on the jersey and pants combo. And then there’s the helmet. 40% is taken up by a Picasso-like leprechaun, while the other 60% is covered in a gold turtle-like shell.

    More irony: Notre Dame played its most complete game of the season with this look, outgaining Miami (FL) by more than a 2-to-1 advantage (587 total yards vs. 285 for Miami) in a 41–3 rout. We can only hope the Irish don’t consider these unis to be good luck charms and break them out for the BCS title game.

    Photo Credit: Matt Cashore/USA Today Sports

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