I feel like the above is all pretty self explanatory, so let's get straight to the ground rules:
A) I'm ranking by my personal preference, which is not your personal preference. If you have a different preference, let me know in the comments, we can have a nice discussion and sing Alma Maters together after.
B) I'm also ranking by total uniform set. Yes, some teams have black and platinum alternates. No, I don't like most of those and those do affect my ranks. Yes, Florida State still has an amazing set of jerseys even with that in mind. Other teams, not so much.
C) I am 22 years old. This new wave of bright obnoxious mix matching PLATINUM-ified jerseys are targeted at kids in my demographic (I hope). So if you're a more classic jersey guy, stick around to see how our over-caffeinated, stimulated and cell-phoned-out brains work.
To the rankings!
As a Syracuse fan, I feel dirty saying how much I've admired the argyle tradition of UNC and their seamless ability to incorporate it into all aspects of the campus and uniforms. These new jerseys are no exception. It's in my mind the perfect blend of the new age and old age of jerseys coming together. It's simple with no unnecessary shoulder pad designs, lines running from top to bottom or vague symbolism. The argyle acts as the "tradition" piece and design piece around the neck and pants and because of the simplicity, mixing and matching these jerseys isn't hard. Top notch in my book.
Another classic jersey done right with some modern flair. While the pattern on the sleeve and collar are busy, it's pulled off for two reasons: consistency and tradition. Florida State has a very unique relationship with the Seminole tribe and how they use said imagery and this design is in my opinion one of the more tasteful ways any sports program has found a way to do so. The two toned black helmet is a little much, but from experience, if Nike could make Syracuse's two toned helmet look decent, I'll give them a chance here.
Grantland calls them the best jerseys in all of college football, and if you're a traditionalist I have to agree. These are no-nonsense, we know our #BRAND better than anyone jerseys that will stand the test of time and never really need changing. I only ranked them third because of the ability of UNC and FSU to incorporate other traditions into their jersey in a non-cheesey way, like say 44 degree slanted stripes or something. Find a way to incorporate the best entrance in college football into the jersey and Clemson fans have a chance to have the best threads in the game.
I think it's already clear that Notre Dame is moving on from the crazy weird and "boundary pushing" and to a more traditional jersey with modern flair. Which is fine, because at Notre Dame you just stick to the basics, history and tradition. This jersey does that for the Fighting Irish. My favorite part of the whole uniform is how UA got the shade of gold for the pants and cleats that looks like 1930's coloring.
5. Miami Hurricanes
Not going to lie, when Miami announced it was leaving Nike for Adidas, I was waiting for the unveiling to see fans on Twitter go nuts with Adidas' trademarked trading and other weird uniform trends. However, as you can see above, that's not the case. These are clean, use classic Miami coloring, and more importantly stick to what Miami is used to. I'm a big fan of the set as of now, but still holding my breath until we see what alternate jersey gets created.
6. NC State Wolfpack
NC State is proof that having a thousand uniform combinations can bring out the best and the worst in combinations. I'm not a huge fan of the basic jerseys as they really are pretty bland. I like how the Wolfpack was able to to make the Adidas three stripes on the shoulder unique. I also really like the throwback/mascot helmets. I don't like the grey jersey as a whole and don't like the faded "wolf's eye" helmet. But overall, I think the positives and ability to mix and match make it an above average set.
To be honest, I was not enamored with Wake's new look when it first dropped. Upon closer inspection, the only things I don't like are classic Nike jersey traits: a) That stupid 3/4 collar. It's dumb. b) I'm really not a fan of shoulder patterning, I feel like most attempts at it make football jerseys look like sleeveless baseball jerseys. However, I'll gave Wake half points for incorporating a campus tradition into the patterning and I love love love the Demon Deacon patch on the collar. Solid upgrade for the team.
I'm sorry Cards. Any team that uses a demonized photoshop of an actual animal will not be top five. Next.
I covered the Syracuse uniforms pretty extensively, but I'll sum it up for everyone new here: orange definitely makes a difference, but aside from the all white look, the rest of the gear leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not bothered by the numbers as much as most, but the whole 44 degree slanted lines for shoulders and faded numbers is just weird. If the orange looks good on the field this year, there's still some hope here.
10. Duke Blue Devils
Duke LITERALLY updated their unis while I was working on this post, so let's take a look at these guys. They've got the typical Nike collar and go for the mono-color look coming out with so many teams. For me, Duke is so low because it's really nothing special. All of the other jerseys above at least tried to incorporate something from their school or history into the look, a distinctive trait of collegiate jerseys. You could slap a Colts logo on this and have the exact same look and feel. It's clean, but Duke doesn't have the football history as the other "clean" looks to claim that's enough for a powerful jersey.
Others might rank Virginia Tech higher, but I have two strikes against them. 1) I hate maroon. Make up your mind and either pick purple, brown or red and not a mix of all three. 2) The alternates Virginia Tech rolls out vary from palatable to awful. Sorry Alec (my best friend from grade school who goes to Virginia Tech) it's not personal.
I feel like Georgia Tech really does try to have decent uniforms while not going crazy with the whole alternate thing, which is fine by me. But when they do go out there, it looks bad and somehow makes their regulars look worse. However, they do have gorgeous throwbacks that should be used 100% ASAP.
Meh. They are getting new jerseys in 2015, which will almost 100% be mono-color (Nike) and incorporate looks of the old school Pitt jerseys. It'll move them a few spots up, but I won't love their set until the 70's era throwbacks make their way into the fold.
Ok throwbacks? Check. Meh regular jerseys? Check. Color scheme we wish 'Cuse had? Check. They could *probably* be higher but much like a lot of schools down here, try to fit SOMETHING about your school or college into the jerseys.
You all knew this was coming. Make these the full time uni's and we can have a new conversation.
Disagree? I'm sure you do. Let me know in the comments!