In the spirit of overzealousness about the upcoming football season, rampant commercialism, and talking about things that are interesting but almost entirely irrelevant, we give you the Great Western Uniform Bracket. The format is as follows: each PAC-10 team receives one berth in the tournament. (This means that the team’s entire wardrobe of home, away, and alternate uniforms is assessed holistically.) Because a ten-team format presents bracket issues, we eliminated the two teams with the conference’s worst uniforms–Arizona State and Washington State–after they lost in the play-in games to the 7 and 8 seeds. Or we just cut them out. Think about it however you wish. Either way, their outfits are hideous. We then seeded the remaining eight teams based upon a number of factors, including tradition, hype, and recent changes. That left us with the following seedings:
If you don’t like the seedings, shush. They aren’t that important. Here’s how the first round went down:
Oregon, with its crazy colors and Nike’s utmost design attention, outdoes its in-state rival. If nothing else, the silly beaver caricature on OSU’s helmet sabotages the prestige of their ensemble. Stanford tops Cal for the Card’s reverence to tradition and Cal’s poor use of gold and yellow. For an excellent example of how those two colors should be used together, see the University of Michigan’s digs, which almost never change and remain glorious.
UCLA beats Washington in the most compelling matchup of the round. Washington’s biggest weakness was the changes that will go into effect for the 2010 season. New piping and a contrasting-color neck reminiscent of Clemson’s 2009 home uniform make Washington’s traditional appearance look like a poor modern adaptation of itself. Although UCLA’s football uniforms do not hold a candle to their basketball get-ups, the Bruins win the 5-6 match. Lastly, USC beats Arizona easily. USC’s uniforms are really nice, and Arizona’s are gimmicky.
That gave us the second round:
USC beats UCLA easily, simply because I don’t think I have ever met anyone who doesn’t like USC uniforms.
Stanford tops Oregon partially because this is a Stanford sports website, but primarily because Oregon’s apparel pays almost no attention to the school’s athletic history or the institution’s colors. One would think that the most prominent visual representation of the university should pay homage to tradition and pageantry. Stanford’s uniforms do that, while Oregon’s do not.
And now: the USC-Stanford final showdown, otherwise known as “What’s Your Deal?” or “Who Bleeds the Better Cardinal?” Common knowledge says that USC wins. We say Stanford. For one, USC wears gold pants. Find me a man that wears gold pants on a regular basis. That statement is probably hypocritical considering the previous praise of Michigan’s look, but Michigan is in a league of its own, and gold goes much better with navy blue than it does with cardinal. USC also has terrible facemasks. The only other place that gray appears relative to the USC football program is in the piss-stained concrete that holds up the Los Angeles Coliseum. Stanford wins. Game over.