Top 10 Alternate Uniforms of 2013 CFB Season
10. Tulsa Gold Chrome Helmet
College football teams and their apparel companies are starting to get the hang of this new uniform thing. This year’s batch features the finest overall collection of alternate uniforms and helmets we’ve seen since the “Uniforms Arms Race” started several years ago. Here are our picks for the 10 best ones.
Tulsa has a history of experimenting with lame helmets but the gold chrome lid they debuted this season was anything but. Something about a chrome helmet in gold really pops, and this lid especially worked with the blue script “Tulsa” as the decal.
Is there any good reason this isn’t the Golden Hurricanes’ main helmet instead of the mediocre non-chrome gold version?
9. Northern Illinois Blackout Uniforms
If Northern Illinois gets its way, it’ll end the regular season with a spotless record and a chance to crash the BCS for the second straight year. At the very least, the Huskies will end 2013 in style.
NIU will be taking the field against Western Michigan on November 26th in some of the best blackout uniforms we’ve seen yet. We love the gray-black hue of the pants, jersey and helmet and the metal-like texturing of the first two. The rendering of a husky on the sides of the black matte helmet is similarly impressive.
Here’s hoping that NIU is playing for something big when they take the field in these.
8. West Virginia 1970s Helmets
An admirable year for West Virginia football uniforms was made even better by the throwback helmets the Mountaineers wore against Texas on November 9th.
The predominantly white lid featured a dark blue facemask and an awesomely retro decal: “WVU” inside the rendering of a football that lies over a blue outline of the state of West Virginia. The school wore these helmets throughout the 1970s before switching to the current look.
The only thing missing from the time warp was the players sporting long, flowing hair and muttonchops.
7. Oregon 'Sonic Boom' Helmet
After some well-publicized ups and downs, Oregon’s football test kitchen appears to have perfected the formula for the ultimate forward-thinking uniforms and helmets.
One of our favorite additions to the Ducks’ ever-changing wardrobe was the new “Sonic Boom” helmet first worn by the home “olive” team in their 2013 spring game. The wings on the liquid metal lid awesomely fade from yellow to anthracite on the back and “blend in” to the yellow-and-black facemask on the front.
Very fittingly, the first time the Ducks wore these beauties in regular season play, they overwhelmed Virginia, 59-10.
6. Maryland ‘State Pride III’ Uniforms
Once an abomination, Maryland’s “State Pride” football uniforms are starting to become a welcome tradition.
On September 21st against West Virginia, the Terrapins took the field in the third edition of their equally parts famous and infamous uniforms, designed by Under Armour. After sporting predominantly white threads in 2011 and black ones last year, Maryland went red this fall.
The uniforms are much better looking than the 2011 originals. And the helmets - each of which were hand-painted - have been upgraded as well, as they have a cool textured look to replicate a billowing flag.
5. Louisville Black & Chrome Look
We have yet to see Louisville’s black uniforms and black chrome helmets with a red snarling bird on the football field but we’re already putting the look that was unveiled last week as among the best of the 2013 season.
Considering it is one of the school colors, black uniforms were long overdue for the Cardinals. But what really makes this look is the black chrome helmets and Cardinal logo on the side. It’s very different from the many other chrome helmets we’ve seen this season. And as one observer pointed out, the lid has an almost “infrared” look to it. Very cool.
4. Iowa State 1920s Throwbacks
2013 marks 90 years since former Iowa State player Jack Trice - for whom the Cyclones’ home stadium is named - died from injuries sustained in a game against Minnesota. To honor Trice’s memory, ISU took the field against Iowa on September 14th in uniforms similar to those of the 1923 team.
Not only is the symbolic gesture a touching one, the uniforms looked really good (the 27-21 loss to the Hawkeyes notwithstanding). The vertical gold lines against the dark red jerseys as well as the gold pants were delightfully old-timey - not to mention much, much better than the dull, current ISU uniforms.
3. East Carolina Blackout Uniforms
Any team thinking of adding all-black uniforms to its wardrobe would be best served looking at what East Carolina donned for the first time against Florida Atlantic on September 5th as a great example.
Purple and black — with just a hint of gold — go really well together. It’s apparent on the jersey, but especially so on the helmet. No wonder the players were so excited about seeing these for the first time.
These things just scream, “Arrrrr, matey!”
2. Oregon All-Yellow Uniforms
You didn’t think Oregon would be on this list just once, did you?
While most teams couldn’t pull off looking like human highlighters, for some reason the all-bright yellow uniforms worked beautifully for the Ducks this season when combining all these yellow elements together this year for the first time.
For some reason, everything just looks better when Oregon wears it.
1. Baylor Black & Gold Look
Prior to its dream season, Baylor rolled out several different uniform combinations, all of which we really liked. But our favorite shined brighter than the rest, literally and figuratively.
The Bears unveiled their gold chrome helmets against West Virginia on October 5th, pairing them beautifully with black jerseys and pants. And boy, did Baylor do these beauties justice, accumulating a Big 12-record 864 yards of offense in a 73-42 rout of the Mountaineers.
The gold lids just hypnotize, you and the subtle allure of the black uniforms with bear claws on the shouldering plus gold lettering and numbering is just a masterpiece - much like the Baylor offense.