Ranking The Most Iconic College Football Uniforms Ever
As we’ve seen in recent years, not all college football uniforms are created equal. Hell, if you ask those at the University of Oregon, they would tell you that every college football uniform has to be different every single game!
And while all of these new designs are great and all, there’s just something about a classic uniform that will never get old.
Sure, they may not have all the bells and whistles that these new ones do, but these iconic college football uniforms have stood the test of time and are some of the most recognizable in sports.
15. Tennessee Volunteers
They may have had a little brighter tint to them in recent years, but the Tennessee Volunteers’ football uniforms are still as classic as any on the collegiate gridiron.
With the orange color actually being called “Tennessee orange,” the Vols don’t mess around when it comes to strutting out on the field each Saturday.
Oh, and that Power T on the side of the helmet was once considered to be one of the most intimidating in the SEC, with some former quarterback named Peyton Manning absolutely disposing defenses with it on.
Player Who Wore It Best: Peyton Manning
14. Miami Hurricanes
As someone who just recently visited the campus of “The U,” I can give you a crash course in the rich history of the entire football program.
With five national titles and the reputation for having the most swagger of any college team ever, the Miami Hurricanes can intimidate opponents by simply showing up to the stadium.
One of the reasons for that is because of their green, orange and white color scheme on the uniforms, which brings with it decades of excellence and domination.
Even when the Hurricanes aren’t competing for national titles, when opponents see that “U” on the side of the helmet, they know that it’s going to be one hell of a battle.
Player Who Wore It Best: Sean Taylor
13. Georgia Bulldogs
Much like the previous uniforms mentioned, the Georgia Bulldogs have a classic helmet that helps define—and scare—their opponents.
And when you slap that classic Bulldog “G” on that helmet while mixing it with the red and black colors the team dons, it’s that much more powerful—even if the uniforms themselves remain pretty damn simple.
While the introduction of the black jersey during the 2007 “blackout” game was a nice touch by the school, Dawg fans remember the red and white versions that produced all-timers like Herschel Walker and Champ Bailey, and if you’re ever in Athens for a game, they’ll tell you about those guys all day long.
Player Who Wore It Best: Champ Bailey
12. Oregon Ducks
The thing about the Oregon Ducks’ uniforms is that, well, there are just so many to choose from that it’d be impossible to decide on just one that’s best.
But, as all college sports fans know, that’s what makes the Ducks threads so famous, as they have the most outrageous combinations of uniforms to choose from—with, potentially, the addition of a glow-in-the-dark version for the 2015 season.
From highlighter yellow, to all-black with pink numbers for breast cancer awareness, the Ducks take the most chances when it comes to their designs—we just never know what they’ll march out onto the field in each week.
Player Who Wore It Best: De’Anthony Thomas
11. LSU Tigers
It’s one of the strangest color combinations most sports fans have ever seen, but, somehow, the LSU Tigers have pulled off the yellow and purple since the school adopted the scheme in 1893—which has a pretty cool story behind it.
Unlike other schools on this list, the Tigers made the decision to never stray from their gold pants each week, no matter if at home or on the road—which only plays to the great tradition of the unis.
And as amazing as the jersey and pants are, that helmet is about as old school as you get, with detail in the tiger and script that just don’t appear in sports anymore.
Player Who Wore It Best: Patrick Peterson
10. Florida State Seminoles
That spear on the helmet is classic Florida State, representing the history and future of the Seminoles program—with the design going unchanged for what seems like forever.
The color scheme of garnet and gold is about as easy on the eyes as any uniform on this list, with anyone old enough to remember the dominant teams of the ’90s knowing that when the Noles came marching onto the field, there was hell that would be paid.
From the trim around the neck and sleeves to the team’s logo on the side of the pants, FSU always seemed to have a progressive design without being too outrageous.
Player Who Wore It Best: Peter Warrick
9. Nebraska Cornhuskers
The introduction of the all-black uniform for 2015 is cool and all, but, in my opinion, nothing beats the subtlety of the original white or red Nebraska Cornhuskers threads.
Sure, the helmet might be boring to some—featuring the letter “N” on both sides and separated with a red stripe down the middle—but the simplicity is pure Black Shirts, representing centuries of great performances.
A timeless look that will forever be in style, the Huskers are hoping that they can return the football program back to the days when Tommy Frazier was busy winning national titles in these classic unis.
Player Who Wore It Best: Tommy Frazier
8. Oklahoma Sooners
Some may think the Oklahoma Sooners’ uniforms are basic, but it’s that classic look that helps earn them a spot this high on the list to begin with.
From all-time greats like Bill Sims, Brian Bosworth and Adrian Peterson donning the unchanged look, the Sooners haven’t needed all the flash in a uniform that other programs have because their play on the field was always just a little bit better.
With the crimson and cream color combo and no added frills on either the jersey or helmet, OU never needs to do an overhaul of their uniforms, because they’re as timeless as ever.
Player Who Wore It Best: Brian Bosworth
7. Texas Longhorns
One of the biggest rivalries in college sports, the Texas Longhorns say, “anything you can do, we can do better,” to their former Big 12 counterparts, the Oklahoma Sooners.
The only reason the Longhorns are a spot ahead of the Sooners on this iconic uniform list? Because there’s just something about that damn burnt orange.
Much like OU’s uniforms, Texas keeps a sharp, clean look with both their all-whites or orange tops, bringing back memories of former Heisman winner Ricky Williams steamrolling through defenders on his way to a then NCAA all-time rushing yards record.
Oh, and did I not mention that Longhorn on the side of the helmet yet? Yeah, that’s basically the state symbol for being a badass in Texas, with nearly every kid on the burnt grass fields hoping that, one day, they can wear the helmet on Saturday afternoons.
Player Who Wore It Best: Ricky Williams
6. Penn State Nittany Lions
There’s a reason why Penn State is often referred to as “Linebacker U.” Here’s a hint: It’s because they’ve fielded some of the best ‘backers in college football history.
And they all wore their classically simple uniform.
In an era where bright colors and unique fonts rule uniform designs, Penn State has maintained the same look they always have, with no logos or flashy accessories on their jersey or pants.
Hell, even the helmet remains a clean slate—except for the navy blue stripe down the middle of it—making Penn State’s uniforms as traditional as you can find.
Some may call these boring, but if you were putting together a J. Crew catalog for football uniforms, these would be the hottest item in the entire shop, as the colors just make them some of the sharpest around.
Player Who Wore It Best: Lavar Arrington
5. Alabama Crimson Tide
If you already dislike Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide football program, seeing them sitting at No. 5 on this list probably makes you about as pissed off as hearing their fan’s chant, “Roll Damn Tide” everywhere they go.View this post on Instagram
Crimson Tide players spotted a few more preseason watch lists this morning! A'Shawn Robinson, Ryan Kelly and Reggie Ragland were all named to the Rotary Lombardi Award (nation's top down lineman on offense or defense) Watch List, while Ragland was also named to the Butkus Award (nation's top linebacker) Watch List! #RollTide #BuiltByBama
Yet, there’s absolutely no denying the iconic look that the team marches out in every Saturday on game day.
Plain, crimson helmets with numbers on each side is as Bama as you get, and the two-tone look on the jersey and pants should never be toyed with.
A subtle, yet amazing, addition is the gray facemask on the helmets, giving the Tide just enough of a neutral color to make their uniforms complete fire—even if they aren’t flashy.
Player Who Wore It Best: Julio Jones
4. Ohio State Buckeyes
Three Bullets, but one shot… #GoBucks not just any bullets… #SilverBullets @rip_jep @kwon_datruth @manimalosu A photo posted by The Ohio State Football (@theohiostatefootball) on Jul 22, 2015 at 12:54pm PDT
There are a lot of uniforms on this list that have great tradition and design, but what makes the Ohio State Buckeyes’ just a little better than any already mentioned is that color scheme.
Simply put, the scarlet and grey combo is one of the best.
As amazing as the colors look together, what really makes the entire uniform is the helmet, where Buckeye leaves are added when players achieve different goals during games—and have been since 1968.
The Bucks have introduced a few alternate jerseys over the past few seasons, but the classic grey pants with a scarlet or white top remains to be their most favorable look.
Player Who Wore It Best: Joey Galloway
3. USC Trojans
Cody Kessler and Su’a Cravens shined at Pac-12 Media Days. Now it’s time to get to work. Fall camp starts in one week! #FightOn A photo posted by USC Trojans (@usc_athletics) on Jul 31, 2015 at 4:24pm PDT
With all apologies to the Oregon Ducks fans who think that they have the most dope uniforms in the Pac-12 Conference, the real team that holds supreme are the USC Trojans, whose classic look prevails over the flashy alternatives of their conference rivals.
Boasting a cardinal and gold color scheme and the detailed Trojans logo on the side of their longtime helmet, the Men of Troy are in their own class when it comes to top uniforms on the West Coast.
With few, if any, subtle changes made to these threads over the past 40-plus years, the Trojans are doing it right in honoring their rich tradition by sticking to these classic beauties.
Player Who Wore It Best: Reggie Bush
2. Michigan Wolverines
If there was ever a perfect endorsement for the Michigan Wolverines football uniforms, it would be Desmond Howard’s Heisman pose against rival Ohio State during the 1991 game.
While that didn’t put UMich on the map, it did represent everything it meant to be a Wolverines football player—which is also why many of us probably despise the team.
The maize and blue color combo is just lethal, with the winged helmets adding an element that no other team in sports has.
From Howard’s Heisman pose to Charles Woodson famously holding a rose in his mouth during the team’s last national title run in 1998, the Wolverines and their uniforms have had some incredible moments.
Player Who Wore It Best: Desmond Howard
1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
#halloffame #timbrown81 #notredamefootball Congrats to Tim Brown #heismantrophy A photo posted by §hadow on the §un (Stefanko) (@the_ir0n_man) on Aug 8, 2015 at 6:14pm PDT
When one of your school’s nicknames happens to come from your football helmets—”The Golden Domers”—you know that your uniforms have to be pretty special.
For the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, that’s exactly the case, as they march out to a packed house every Saturday in the most iconic unis in college football.
Sure, the school recently introduced an alternate all-green version for their Fenway Park series, but nothing beats the Irish’s navy or white top on gold pants.
Add in the green tops during the biggest matchups, and it’s easy to see why the Irish are considered college football royalty.
Most of us may have a scathing hatred for ND, but, deep down, we all have to admit that they have the most iconic uniforms college football has ever seen.
Player Who Wore It Best: Raghib Ismael