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College Football Dawgs' Top 10 Greatest College Uniforms

College uniforms

There's an old saying that goes around sports circles: "Look good, feel good, play good."

While that may be true in some cases, others perhaps not, it does ring true that looking good definitely makes you at least feel good. According to a study done at the University of Texas, good looks result in an 88 percent increase in a person's average overall happiness, while looking unkempt or poor reduces a person's average overall happiness by a whopping 167 percent. Looks matter, and today College Football Dawgs explores the 10 best and most iconic college uniforms ever worn.

Top 10 College Football Uniforms: Basis for Ranking

In order to decide what the top 10 college football uniforms are, these rankings will come down to these three items: How well the combination goes together, how pleasing the color scheme is to the eye and the biggest aspect of the ranking, the overall iconic status of the look. While there are great alternate uniforms out there, the traditional look is what the ranking will mainly be based on. Let's get started.

Honorable Mentions

  • Oklahoma Sooners: Another red and white combo comes to mind.

  • Texas Longhorns: Much like Oklahoma, another orange and white combo takes a spot on this list.

  • Florida Gators: The color scheme isn't the greatest and the Gators haven't had their look for that long.

  • Georgia Bulldogs: Being too similar to a red and black Green Bay Packers keep this one off the list.

  • BYU Cougars: Way too many changes to the traditional look, some of which were downright ugly (The navy blue and tan uniforms were absolutely atrocious and were worn for too long).

No. 10: Alabama Crimson Tide

First on our list, we have the Crimson Tide, whose crimson uniforms fit the name as well as the look good, feel good, play good bill. Alabama's look was first dawned when the crimson and white—as we know it today—debuted in 1964, switching their white helmets to crimson with white numbers on the side.

College Uniforms
© Amanda Sowards/USA TODAY SPORTS

The combination hasn't changed at all in 60 years, but remains the most iconic crimson and white uniform in all of college football, representing years of excellence and tradition for the Alabama program. From Bear Bryant to Nick Saban, these uniforms were synonymous with Southeastern Conference juggernaut status.

No. 9: LSU Tigers

Next we have the Tigers, who place above the Crimson Tide due to a more unique color scheme with just as iconic of a look.

College Uniforms

A royal purple paired with a strong, bright yellow, the traditional LSU look came about in 1957, when legendary coach and administrator Paul Dietzel introduced the new look. The Tigers would be one of the first teams to regularly wear white jerseys both at home and on the road until 1983, bringing back the look in 1994 after the NCAA permitted it.

While the purple jerseys that were worn between 1983-1994 still make regular appearances, LSU wears their whites for their opener and against SEC opponents at home. The Tiger with LSU stamped over its head has been a mainstay since 1957, with the gold pants also being a part of the look since then as well.

No. 8: Oregon Ducks

Two names come to mind when thinking of the Ducks uniforms: Nike and its owner, Phil Knight. Knight is an Oregon alum and has had a big say in what uniforms the Ducks wear. Oregon is a Nike school for that seemingly obvious reason.

College Uniforms
© Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard/USA TODAY SPORTS

For that reason though, Oregon has the biggest variety in uniforms. The 2012 Rose Bowl uniforms are a personal favorite, but there are so many more combinations, which is why the Ducks are on this list. This being said, the Ducks don't really have an "iconic" look, just a massive variety of them.

Their "base" uniforms of today consist of an all-green or all-white look, and even that saw change just a few years ago. The uniforms used to be green and yellow, but yellow has only made appearances in a few of Oregon's many uniforms over the last 10-15 years. Oregon earns a spot on the list for variety and eye-catching designs but lacks in the iconic category as there's really no "traditional" Oregon look. Just too many to keep up with, but still very snazzy stitches for the Ducks in droves which is what they're known for.

No. 7: Florida State Seminoles

The Florida State spear has been an often imitated, but never duplicated, aspect of their uniforms, and instead of using the "ketchup and mustard" scheme, the Seminoles went for a more pleasant gold and red in 1962, which is why they rank higher than the USC Trojans on this list. The spear made its debut in 1976, and while alterations have been made to the helmet over the years, the spear has remained the one constant, being featured on every single Florida State helmet, both traditional and non-traditional, since '76.

College Uniforms

As for the uniform, there's been quite a few different versions, but the traditional uniform has only had tribal patterned stripes added and a switch in font to fit the "Seminole" look more. Overall, very recognizable uniforms that sit well with the eyes, but doesn't outrank our next six uniforms.

No. 6: Tennessee Volunteers

There's much debate between Texas Longhorn fans and Volunteer fans regarding logos, uniforms and the moniker of "UT," however, according to history, Tennessee adopted the orange and white scheme in 1889, while Texas adopted it in 1900, which is why Tennessee makes this list over Texas.

College Uniforms

While burnt orange and white is iconic, the Volunteers have been doing it for longer and have just as iconic of a look as the Longhorns. This round goes to the Vols. The uniform as we know it today was introduced in 1967, with the big block "T" first making an appearance on the helmet and the citrus orange and white look still going strong just over 75 years after it was officially incorporated as the Tennessee color scheme.

The uniforms have had many alternates, but the traditional look has changed just twice since 1967. Once in 1971 when the triangular stripe on the shoulders was introduced (which would be taken away in 1983) and then in 1995 when the forearm stripes went away. Neyland Stadium is decked out in orange and white for gamedays, which is part of what makes it such an amazing atmosphere for college football. The color scheme is bright, eye-catching and iconic, which puts the Volunteers a good few spots up this list.

No. 5: Penn State Nittany Lions

A look that has hardly ever changed, the Penn State look is the first of our top five best looks in college football history. While very basic, with navy and white with no logo on the side of the helmet being an almost "too generic" look, Penn State's uniforms are the epitome of "minimalism." The look first debuted in 1930, with just the stripes on the pants and numbers going through changes. In the late 1950s, a blue and white stripe was added to the pants, with two stripes appearing in 1954, then just down to one stripe and no stripes altogether by the mid-1960s.

College Uniforms
© Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SPORTS

The numbers from the helmet were removed for good in 1974 and the facemask changed from grey to navy blue in 1987. Other than that, one small change to the sleeve stripes in 2011 is the last change to the traditional uniform. Again, a very basic, but highly recognizable uniform and a pleasant, inoffensive color scheme to boot. Overall, minimalism at its finest.

No. 4: Ohio State Buckeyes

The scarlet and grey look with the Buckeye helmet stickers has been synonymous with Ohio State for many years now. While Ohio State has worn many different versions of this uniform, especially throughout the 21st Century, the traditional look has lasted through the years.

College Uniforms
© Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch/USA TODAY SPORTS

The helmet has never featured a logo, opting for the all-but-trademarked Buckeye helmet stickers, and the base uniform has always been silver pants, scarlet or white jersey and silver helmet.

The look made its debut in 1968 after the Buckeyes decided they wanted silver instead of red or white helmets and pants. The look has stuck ever since and the Buckeye brand is easily recognizable. The garnet pops with the silver as a secondary color and makes this uniform a classic one, however, there are three other uniforms that maintain that "classic" status over this look.

No. 3: USC Trojans

Next, we have the Trojans of USC. The Trojans have been rocking the red and yellow look since the dawning of helmets instead of leather caps, with only the helmet making the occasional change. The helmet has had the Trojan on the side since 1972, with only the facemask going from grey to red in 1988 and then back to grey again in 2001. Tradition is the name of the game for the Trojan uniform, which is what makes it arguably the best in the overall iconic status category.

College Uniforms
© Jason Parkhurst/USA TODAY SPORTS

However, the "ketchup and mustard" color scheme has never been a fan favorite which is what holds this uniform back from taking a top-two spot. It works for the Trojans though and has been a mainstay in college football for well over half a century, which is why it makes this list and why it ranks so highly.

No. 2: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Even if you're only a casual college football fan, you can't think about gold and navy without thinking of Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have another long-lasting traditional look much like the Trojans, never really shying away from their base look except for the occasional green and gold uniforms. The gold-cap, navy jersey combo made its debut all the way back in 1919, with shamrocks appearing on the helmet from time to time.

College Uniforms

Other than those small changes though, the Irish have never really deviated from the navy, gold and sometimes green look, which is why they rank so high on this list. Tradition, a good combination of colors and iconic status, but there's one school whose uniforms stick out more above the rest.

No. 1: Michigan Wolverines

The maize and blue take our top spot for a variety of reasons. The traditional look debuted in 1937, with the winged helmet being introduced by coach Fritz Crisler as a means of helping the quarterback identify his receivers. The look has stuck since then, with the wings, blue jersey and yellow bottoms combo being the home uniform since that fateful year of 1937 as well. While Michigan has had alternates in the past, none even come close to the look the Wolverines are known for.

College Uniforms
© Patrick Breen/The Republic/USA TODAY SPORTS

This look has not changed hardly at all since 1937, with small changes like adding a block M to the shoulders and adding numbers to the helmet never lasting more than five years. Arguably the most recognizable uniforms in not just football, but in sports, the Wolverines struck gold solely due to coach Crisler wanting his quarterback to recognize his receivers better. The winged helmet and maize and blue color scheme is part of the Michigan brand. An all-time great sports uniform.

Memorable Looks

While this list is largely subjective, with many likely thinking their program got snubbed or undervalued, these 10 uniforms undeniably hold a large place in college football history. Memorable, fitting looks that are synonymous with the game itself and some of its greatest teams. Uniforms that have stood the test of time and have long since been staples in the college football lexicon.


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