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Shades of orange draft: Which orange school exhibits the best use of the color?

Hint: It’s not Syracuse.

NCAA Football: Syracuse at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange are, of course, named for the color and as such, believe they’ve laid claim to it better than any other athletic program has. However, other major athletic programs do utilize shades of the color and you could argue some of them are even more associated with it than we are (Texas comes to mind there, on a national level). Other schools also have better versions of the color — Alex Kirshner called attention to one on Wednesday, which is how we got here.

So how does Syracuse stack up to these other orange schools? To figure that out, TNIAAM’s editors decided to hold an orange draft, going two rounds picking the top schools solely by which shade of orange is best. As an initial spoiler for you, already sort of mad reader, Syracuse was not the No. 1 pick.

First, here are the teams (and their color codes) we’re choosing from:

And now, the draft...

1. Andy: Princeton (#FF6000)

Yeah, I’m taking Princeton’s. It’s literally the definition of orange, and works as both a primary and an accent. It works with all shades of blue, so if you brought this color to ’Cuse, it could be one Orange for modern darker blues and the baby blue throwbacks Lax breaks out.

2. Steve: Oregon State (#DC4405)

Gotta go with Oregon State. Not sure why, but it speaks to me as versatile. It’s like a slightly darker Syracuse. This may actually be a Darko Milicic pick...

3. Kevin: Miami (#F47321)

I’m taking Miami because it seems just a little bit brighter and would work well with the royal blue SU went with in the 90s. Yes I want to take it back to my era... it’s my pick.

4. John: Virginia (#F84C1E)

UVA’s Elite 8 collapse vs. Syracuse in 2016 doesn’t disqualify them from having a better orange than SU. It’s brighter, pairs better with their own navy blue and looks really nice on its own too. So when people wonder why their all-orange look is better than ours... that’s why.

5. Dan: Florida (#FA4616)

I’m really tempted to curry public favor by picking Syracuse here, but I just put all of our oranges side by side, and unfortunately, there’s one that I definitively like more than ours. And it’s not even the school’s primary color. It is being wasted down in the swamp, time to rectify that. With my first pick, I’m taking Florida’s orange.

6. James: Syracuse (#D44500)

I guess I’ll take Syracuse.

7. James: Oklahoma State (#FF7300)


8. Dan: Auburn (#DD550C)

Syracuse was my next choice, I think it was the most well-balanced orange left on the board. With that gone, I’m going with the closest one to it left, Auburn.

9. John: Clemson (#F66733)

I don’t think this group likes burnt orange, so despite my ideal situation being avoiding this team, I’ll go with Clemson here. It’s still on the brighter end, but it’s not a searing orange. Rather, it’s subtle and stands out while not being loud. Also did you know that Howard’s Rock has a color code? Really, I shit you not.

10. Kevin: Tennessee (#FF8200)

I’m going to have take Tennessee here because I don’t think the burnt orange would pair well with any sort of blue. Not really happy with this choice but maybe this gives us something that can be used as an accent color with an all-white uniform.

11. Steve: Virginia Tech (#CF4520)

Going to have to leave the last burnt orange to Andy as Mr. Irrelevant. Taking Virginia Tech with the second to last pick. This also continues my penchant for “in-between” oranges.

12. Andy: Texas (#BF5700)

Dammit Steve, I had a great burn on Virginia planned (I’m taking the Orange that didn’t blow a 17-point lead in the Elite 8 ), so I guess I’ll just take the Burnt Orange. Hook ’Em, #WeBack


How mad are you about the disloyalty above? Where would you rank the various oranges, assuming Princeton is first because... yes, it is? Share below.