Pac-12 Power Rankings 2013: Uniform Edition, Part 1

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Bye weeks lend themselves to yard work, mending frayed relationship wires, and dreaming. Contemplating stats and theorizing substitutions is wonderful, but pondering hypotheticals beyond our control is maddening enough on game day. Take a break, Cougar fans, and be content, thankful for the milestones reached and steps taken. Be content for the weekend, for the hunger will return on Halloween.

Today we should look upon an adjacent subject to the upcoming holiday. We are past the midway point of the 2013 season and teams have had the chance to show us their costumes, er, uniforms. The nation has seen the advent of the metallic lids and some terrific throwbacks. The Left Coast has traditionally been on the forefront of the uniform revolution, and the current garb of the Pac-12 is a wonderful yardstick with which to measure uniform trends nationwide.

Honestly, though, this is just fun. I measured a school’s uniform based on five elements: Colors, Mascot, Originality, Tradition, and Execution. Teams were ranked (considering primarily home uniforms) 1-12, totals added up and voila! Accepting that this is truly an argument based on gut, and purely an esoteric rather than scientific experiment, just go with it.

12. California Golden Bears – Yale Blue and California Gold

Oct 5, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws a pass against the Washington State Cougars at Memorial Stadium. Washington State defeated California 44-22. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 5, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Jared Goff (16) throws a pass against the Washington State Cougars at Memorial Stadium. Washington State defeated California 44-22. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Cal gets some their only points based on their colors and mascot. The state’s mascot and a unique color scheme to the Pac are all terrific. Cal shared the exact color scheme with UCLA until the Bears’ cousin in the South lightened their blue.

Cal loses points for the lack of originality, (though UCLA stole the script from Berkeley) and overall dull uniforms.  Mostly, the Golden Bears often just look like they aren’t trying.

Some serious work needs to be done.  Addition of the new logo (pictured below) to the mix is a great step, but it has to be utilized where other Nike innovations have been ignored (see Washington).

The current helmet logo appears to have been placed on the helmet on a whim 40 year old logo, planning on changing it quickly, then forgot. The new logo is fine, but until the script is abandoned here you will remain. Apathy is not tolerated in uniform land.

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Tags: Arizona State Dun Devils Arizona Wildcats California Golden Bears Colorado Buffaloes Oregon Ducks Oregon State Beavers Pac-12 Football Stanford Cardinal Ucla Bruins USC Trojans Utah Utes Washingotn Huskies Washington State Cougars

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  • R Kent Rasmussen

    I don’t suppose partisanship plays a role in these rankings. I once had to laugh when I read a blog listing the best helmet desgins in college football that gave the top spot to the LSU design, which is a simple “L S U” over a tiger face too small to be recognizable. Guess where that blogger went to college.

    The Washington State uniforms are generally fine, but I regard the WSU helmet design as hideous. It’s a jarring eyesore up close and a blur from a distance. The best logos are those that are relevant to the school or mascot, simple, and easy to recognize from a distance. On those bases the Washington “W,” Stanford “S,” Arizona “A,” and Oregon “O” would score high, but they lack a fourth quality–stylishness. On that basis, I would give the nod to the Utah “U,” which is decorate with an Indian feather. Although I’m both a Cal and a UCLA grad, I’m not thrilled with their logos, but I like them better than most in the conference. Most helmet designs are bad, but most of us tend to favor those of our favorite schools. There’s nothing objective about our tastes. For my money, the best logo in college football is that of Texas. The steer head on the helmet is relevant the the longhorn mascot, and it looks like a “T” for “Texas.” Moreover, it’s simple and easy to recognize from a distance. In a state not known for moderation or subtlety, it’s a marvel