August 16, 2011

Uniform Bracket: Oregon v. Washington

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By The Daily Axe Staff

The Great Western Uniform Bracket 2011 continues into Round 2 after Arizona State and UCLA started divisional semifinal voting yesterday. This morning brings the North’s 2-3 match-up: Oregon and Washington. Tomorrow will feature two contests, as Stanford-Cal will follow USC-Colorado. Be sure to cast your vote for ASU-UCLA and Oregon-Washington before checking back tomorrow for those two votes. Enter your ballot and leave us a message on TwitterFacebook or in our comments section to be eligible to win our prize for voters in the uniform bracket.

In Day 2 of Round 2 of The Great Western Uniform Bracket 2011, #2 Oregon enters the ring against first-round winner #3 Washington. Although the Huskies aren’t likely to offend anyone with their stately uniforms, the Ducks–well, Oregon uniforms have a way of riling people up. In this North Division semifinal and showdown of the two remaining Pacific Northwest schools, can the Ducks enter the uniform bracket voting with a splash and register a sound defeat of UW, or will the Huskies rally over the team that defeated them 53-16 in Eugene last season? Get in your vote and let the bracket continue on!

As the favorite and potentially the sleeping giant, Oregon’s overview is up first.

Overview: Oregon

Simply put and for better or worse, the Ducks’ uniforms are the most notorious in college football. Oregon’s tight relationship with the folks up at Nike ensures that the team has an ever-fresh supply of the manufacturer’s newest and flashiest gear. Even writing this sort of uniform outlook on Oregon is somewhat in vain; given their seemingly infinite jersey-helmet-pant options and the possibility that the team could introduce a completely new wardrobe at any time, reviewing the Ducks’ look is practically guesswork. The original 2009 press release announcing the new uniforms stated that the team would have 80 combinations by helmet, shirt and pant options. Now, with the introduction of throwback and alternate outfits, that number is likely well over 100.

Darron Thomas wears the all-white uniform. (Image by Neon Tommy via Flickr)

While the team has stuck with the uniform scheme first announced for the 2009 season, it will wear Pro Combat for the season opener against LSU and could spend the remainder of the regular season sporting clothes similar to the alternates they wore for the National Championship Game in January. As always, has the scoop on the Oregon Pro Combat, but there are conflicting reports on exactly what the uniform will be. Of the two proposals Nike Blog provides, neither is a drastic departure from the regular Oregon ensemble, displayed well in the video that accompanied the launch of the uniform package two years ago:


EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 6: Quarterback Darron Th...

The Ducks can also go black. (Image by Getty Images via @daylife)

While Oregon uniforms have practically become a euphemism for the commercialization of collegiate sports, especially in the wake of recent NCAA recruiting allegations against head coach Chip Kelly and the rest of the program, the Ducks don’t wear anything that’s completely outrageous, or even that much more radical than the dozens of other schools that agree to wear the most contemporary look Nike can provide. Eugene is still at the vanguard of uniform design, and that entails some ugly misses (take, for example, the yellow jersey, which more closely resembles a nuclear waste site than the University of Oregon).

Oregon is still a far stylistic cry from teams like Stanford, Washington, UCLA, USC and the other teams in the conference whose uniforms have basically stayed the same for decades. For Oregon, the look is constantly changing, as a quick look at the Joey Harrington-era uniforms makes clear.

At least we can all be glad that the flame helmet (look closely) is gone, and the football uniforms are not even close to the worst design job in Eugene.

Overview: Washington

Purple and gold isn’t for everyone, but Washington sports what is, at the very least, a classy outfit. The Huskies wear the golden helmet, purple jersey and white pants at home in Seattle, giving them one piece of representation for each of the school’s primary colors. Consider that purple and gold are about as royal as colors can get, and UW has a downright monarchical brand on the gridiron.

On the road, the team can choose from white, gold or purple pants to match up with white jerseys. Perhaps the best is the gold, with purple and white stripes down the sides:

The Huskies at Oregon State last season (Photo via @McD22 on Flickr)

Like Utah, Washington has one of the great helmets in the game. Despite its old-school feel, the helmet hasn’t been a fixture in Husky football: although the golden helmet is nothing new, the team has switched to purple helmets multiple times over the last 40 years.

Photo of Washington Huskies quarterback Jake L...

Locker in UW's pre-2010 home uniform (Image via Wikipedia)

Nike introduced small changes to the jersey before last season–and instituted white pants for the home uniform–by adding the subtle piping around the neck and sleeves. The changes also brought back traditional block numbers to replace the rounded ones that Jake Locker and Friends had previously worn. Although the contrasting color piping doesn’t add much, traditional numbers better fit the block W mark on the helmet and remind people that Washington, way back in the olden days, was really good at football.

The 2010 changes also gave the team an alternate black uniform, which keeps the golden helmet and turns everything else black. They work well for UW, whose primary purple isn’t far from black and who has a tradition of wearing the darkest of hues. (That last link is a good one, by the way.) And unlike most teams that choose to wear black jerseys once a year, the Washington black alternate just plain old looks good:

Washington's new black alternate jersey

So: who ya got?

Voting in this match-up is now closed. Check back at on Friday for results of the voting.

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The Daily Axe Staff
The Daily Axe is an independent Stanford sports website covering Cardinal athletics year-round. Find The Daily Axe on and on social media via the links below.


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