Opinion: The Uniform Gimmick in College Football Needs to Stop

Warning: I’m about the sound like the old man yelling at a cloud, and I realize that some of my millennial peers will most likely disagree with this take.

Today, I was scrolling through Twitter and saw that TCU football had come out with these new uniforms for the 2019 season:

I personally think these jerseys are complete and total garbage. When the Horned Frogs take the field this upcoming fall, they’re gonna look like your favorite dalmatian-hating Disney villain.

This uniform update reminds me of a few other gems from over the years, such as…

The Florida “Swamp” Uniforms:

These absurd Indiana Hoosier chrome helmets:

The Maryland uniforms that looked like they got puked on by the state flag:

The eyesores that were the Colorado State uniforms:

And who could forget these Notre Dame disasters:

Before I go any further, let me address my obvious bias on the subject. As a Penn State fan, I love that the Nittany Lions have had literally the same look for years. I think it’s one of the cleanest looks in sports, and I’m dreading the inevitable day that the football program changes its stance on its “black shoes, basic blues” mindset. With that being said, I don’t think it really affects my overall thought process.

These “bold” or “flashy” uniform designs might be eye-catching. They might get the program a little bit more exposure. They might even grab an unexpected recruit or two. But overall, I’m just tired of seeing them. They add nothing to the actual game or entertainment value of college football. Do you think people tune in to the Iron Bowl ever year to check out how sleek the jerseys are? Hell no. They tune in to watch an entertaining football game between two heated in-state rivals.

Whether or not you agree with my take, I do really think it begs the question: does college football really NEED all of these gimmicky uniforms? My opinion is that it absolutely does not. Wanna know why? Because the most successful Power-5 college programs since 2009 don’t mess with any of this uniform bulls**t:

#5: Wisconsin Badgers (94-28 since 2009)

#4: Oklahoma Sooners (93-26 since 2009)

#3: Clemson Tigers (97-27 since 2009)

#2: Ohio State Buckeyes (102-18 since 2009)

#1: Alabama Crimson Tide (113-12 since 2009)

As you can see, the most consistent programs in the last ten years primarily trot out the same uniforms year-in and year-out (Note: Ohio State has been known to pull out some atrocious looks from time to time). Their brands are strong and associated with winning. I definitely believe that this is a pretty clear indication that gimmicks don’t win football games. Successful recruiting, state-of-the-art facilities, and elite coaching do. I’m fine with the occasional throwback jersey or alternate color (like Washington State has done) every now and then, as long as it isn’t outlandish and the uniform remains basically the same. If your football program is more widely known for their flashy uniforms than their winning habits, you’re in trouble. Bottom line: dope jerseys don’t put asses in seats, winning does. Although I’m sure Nick Saban’s car dealership scheme helps too…

Having said all of that, they definitely need to bring back these 90’s Iowa unis. What a time it must have been to be alive.

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