Posted on: June 22, 2011 1:32 pm

The logo-glove invasion has begun in force

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Remember a couple of years ago, when Mark Ingram flashed the Alabama logo printed on his gloves after scoring a touchdown, and it was kind of cool but also kind of scary, because you could see a future where basically every touchdown celebration in the country became a de facto Nike commercial? And then the officials at last year's Ohio State-Michigan game seemed to put the kibosh on it by calling the glove-logo display as an unsportsmanlike penalty, which -- ridiculous a decision as that might be -- maybe could accidentally end up doing something for the greater college football good?

Yeah, nevermind any of that "kibosh" talk. More and more teams have spent this offseason signing up for the branded gloves, potential for penalties or not. Just this week Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood debuted the Irish's version on Twitter:

And the official Nebraska equipment staff put two different glove styles on their Twitter feed, including this model dedicated to the Huskers' traditional "blackshirt" defense:

(Note that both teams are outfitted by Adidas.) On the one hand, we can appreciate that this remains a very, very cool idea. On the other, college football is one of the few sports where uniform gimmickry has, generally, been kept to a minimum; if gloves like these wind up being the first step down a slippery slope that ends with Penn State wearing metal lion claws on their shoulders (a la Oregon's emo wings), this is not going to be trend we'll remember fondly at all.

But what there's no debating is that these gloves are now officially a trend ... and given that it's here to stay, let's hope the officials can keep the flags in their pockets if they're put to use when the game is on the line.

Posted on: June 10, 2011 9:12 pm

Notre Dame, Michigan officially unveil uniforms

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Unveiling special uniforms to be worn during a game isn't supposed to be that complicated of a process, but in recent weeks the folks at Michigan seemed to make it one. As Jerry Hinnen pointed out earlier on Friday, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon denied that leaked images of the uniforms Michigan would wear in its game against Notre Dame this season were the jerseys that Michigan would actually be wearing. Well, then Michigan unveiled the uniforms on Friday, and guess what? Except for one minor difference, the uniforms were basically the same as the leaked photos from last month.

You can head on over to MGoBlog to see even more photos from the unveiling if you'd like.

There won't be nearly as much intrigue with the jerseys Notre Dame is going to wear. Notre Dame released photos of the uniform it will be wearing against Michigan, and since it came from the school's official website, I'm confident that these are actually the uniforms.


I have to admit, the Michigan uniforms look a lot better when they're actually being worn than they did in the released photos. As for Notre Dame's, they look just about the same as the ones the school has always worn.  
Posted on: June 9, 2011 5:00 pm

Michigan AD Brandon likely a liar about uniforms

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

You wouldn't think a simple enough story like "Michigan's going to wear throwback uniforms for their historic night game against Notre Dame" would become a sordid tale of intrigue and deceit. But then again, these are college football uniforms we're talking about. They're that big a deal.

You might have noticed as much when the Detroit Free-Press first began the furor on May 20, by publishing this leaked image of the "model" for the throwback jerseys:

Most Wolverine fans were less than thrilled, since the uniforms didn't appear to actually throw back to any specific previous Michigan look. But not to fear: Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was later asked, point-blank, if the Free-Press model was an "accurate representation" of the planned Notre Dame game uniform. His response? "No."

But with the unofficial unveiling of the throwback look set for tomorrow night -- it's even streaming online, if your idea of an exciting Friday evening is watching a media-centric announcement about college football uniforms over your computer, and whose isn't?  -- it turns out that Brandon may not have been entirely honest about that. In fact, he probably wasn't being honest at all, to judge from this screen capture from the website of local Ann Arbor retailer the M-Den:

The item was pulled from the site almost immediately, with the M-Den's Twitter feed later apologizing for an "error" and any "confusion" it might have caused. But with the apology pointedly not stating that the item was not the throwbacks in question and a promotional image from manufacturers Adidas showing the same block "M" as above, the chances of Michigan appearing against the Irish in anything other than the jersey pictured are mighty, mighty slim.

Which would make Brandon a liar. The image first published by the Free-Press was, in fact, an "accurate representation" of the planned throwback design; aside from the addition of the number on the front left chest (probably due to NCAA regulations which require numbers on both sides of the uniform), the jerseys are identical. (The coloration in the images is also different, but since Michigan just uses the one shade of "blue," that's easily chalked up to the vagaries of leaked digital imagery.)

Does it matter that Brandon was less-than-truthful about this? If he was ever going to lie about something, there's few things less damaging to lie about than a uniform issue. (The brand of sausages available this season at Big House concessions, or Brady Hoke's shoe size, maybe.) In the realm of stuff-that-really-actually-matters, no, Brandon's fibbing about a jersey is not a big deal.

But Wolverine fans are already more than a little hacked off about the uniforms in the first place. Learning that the athletic director responsible is perfectly willing to lie to their faces over any issue -- could he lie about something bigger next time? -- probably won't do much to help win them back over.

HT: MGoBlog.

Posted on: May 27, 2011 11:56 am
Edited on: May 27, 2011 12:26 pm

Not so fast on the Michigan throwbacks

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Yesterday Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon talked about plans to expand Michigan Stadium to 120,000 seats, but that wasn't the only information about Michigan football that he shared on Thursday. Last week we did a post about the throwback uniforms that Michigan would be wearing in its annual meeting with Notre Dame this season as reported by the Detroit Free-Press. The jerseys were about as throwback as throwback gets, but according to Brandon, those aren't the uniforms that Michigan will be wearing.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon was asked during an interview on WTKA-AM (1050) this morning if that was an accurate representation of U-M's uniform.

"No," Brandon said.

Brandon said Michigan's uniform would combine "elements of a couple different eras," but emphasized that the final product has not been revealed.

"We're excited about rolling them out" at the appropriate time, Brandon said. 

Which is fine by me because, honestly, those things are ugly. Not to mention, they're not actually throwbacks since Michigan has never actually worn those uniforms. Those were apparently just Adidas' interpretation of what Michigan throwbacks should look like. And of course, since it's Adidas, you've got to throw some stripes on those things for no reason. If Notre Dame will be wearing actual throwback jerseys in the game, then Michigan should be too. 

Posted on: May 20, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: May 20, 2011 3:42 pm

Friday Four Links (and a cloud of dust), 5/20

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.


1. Most of the spring buzz out of Ole Miss regarding the quarterback position hds centered on the dramatic improvement of former JUCO transfer Randall Mackey, but West Virginia transfer Barry Brunetti came on late in camp and according to many observers outplayed Mackey in the Rebels' spring game. Result? Houston Nutt saying this week that "if we had to play tonight," Brunetti would be the starter.

Nonetheless, expect this to be a battle that lasts well into fall practice.

2. Yes, there's still more updates out there on the mad, mad, mad mad world of Harvey Updyke, even following this week's fresh indictments. For one, if you remember the alleged assault on Updyke that took place after his initial court appearance, it's looking more "alleged" than ever. Local police told The War Eagle Reader that there is "absolutely nothing for us to pursue" in terms of evidence and that the case would be closed soon.

If the country district attorney has his way, Updyke will be unable to reiterate his claims with another Paul Finebaum appearance; the DA has also requested a gag order on the case.

3. Unless you're a particularly devoted fan of Phil Steele's preseason college football magazine, the release of the magazine's nine regional covers isn't something you'd, I don't know, plan your lunch break around. But we wanted to mention it all the same, just to note our love for the annual Armed Forces cover:

If you'll excuse me, I need to go find some redcoats or Communists to punch out.

4. Andrew Luck will enter 2011 as the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy (and the overwhelming one to nab the top spot in the 2012 NFL Draft), but as this study from TeamSpeedKills shows, it's a little early to start engraving his name on anything just yet; quarterbacks with QB ratings as stratospherically high as Luck's typically regress to a merely outstanding mean in their final seasons. Luck's hardly a typical quarterback, but especially without Jim Harbaugh at the offensive reins, it's something to consider.


As it had suggested previously, the SEC is officially not interested in moving any games to Sundays ... BYU is reportedly in high demand as an opponent thanks to their independence-created flexibility, but we're waiting to actually see a couple of scheduling announcements before giving them too much credit ... Purdue will be joining the throng of teams with new Nike duds to debut this season, but we don't have any images to show you yet ... An Auburn auction to sell off Cam Newton's game-worn BCS championship pants has been won by the Internet ... Nine-game Big Ten schedules are still a long, long ways off ... Two professional recruitniks are sniping at each other over the rankings of Alabama players ... and though you may have seen this already, former Kentucky quarterback/SEC folk hero Jared Lorenzen has resurfaced at quarterback for an indoor football team named the Cincinnati River Monsters. You'll be happy to know the Lefty remains as Hefty as ever.

Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:45 am

'Model' for Michigan throwbacks unveiled

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

They're not officially official just yet. But according to the Detroit Free-Press, the throwback uniforms Michigan will wear for this year's primetime extravaganza against Notre Dame -- the first night game in Michigan Stadium history -- "will be modeled" on the sample image here:

Between this look and the Irish's planned 1960s throwbacks, on national television, with the Big House history being made, the game is shaping up to be quite the event for a matchup of teams that won a combined 15 games a year ago.

The only problem: assuming Michigan's jerseys do look more-or-less like the mockup above, this MVictors Wolverine uniform history tour shows that they won't actually be throwing back to any specific former look; they'll be wearing what the uniform designers at Adidas seem to think a Michigan throwback ought to look like.

Not a big deal if the uniforms come out looking snazzy anyway, but this is college football. A little more effort at authenticity would be nice.
Posted on: May 17, 2011 12:34 pm

USC not wearing new uniforms for UCLA game

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Last week rumors began surfacing that USC would be sporting a new look when it took on UCLA next season. Upon hearing the news, we here at the Eye On College Football blog decided to have some fun with the situation and create our own artists' depictions of the jerseys. Well, it looks like we all wasted a good five minutes of our lives using Microsoft Paint that day, my friends. Lane Kiffin told the Orange County Register on Monday that the Trojans will not be debuting any new uniforms against UCLA or anyone else this season.

“We are not changing our uniforms,” Kiffin told the paper. “We’re wearing our same uniforms as normal.” 

Kiffin also said that Nike had approached USC about some alternate jerseys as the company does every year, but that the Trojans don't feel there's any need to change their look. He also said he didn't think USC needed to compete with Oregon as far as jerseys are concerned.

“I don’t feel any need to change our uniforms based on Oregon, what they do. That doesn’t register with me,” Kiffin said. “We always want to be cutting edge as far as materials … but not as far as the colors.”

Personally, I'm going to mark this date down in history. I do believe this is the first time Lane Kiffin has ever said something that I completely agree with. He's right, USC doesn't need to do anything gimmicky with its jerseys to attract recruits. There's a ton of tradition within the football program that is good enough to draw recruits, not to mention the fertile recruiting ground of California and the location of the school.

I'm not knocking Oregon here, but the truth his, Oregon doesn't have the same football tradition that USC does, and as far as location is concerned, I don't feel Eugene can compete with USC either. So Oregon needs a gimmick like the jerseys to help attract players. There's nothing wrong with this, mind you, as it's obviously worked for the Ducks.

USC just doesn't need to do it. 

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: May 10, 2011 2:19 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2011 12:34 pm

USC to unveil alternate unis for UCLA game?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There's two different philosophies to uniform tweaks. One is the Penn State approach, which is to take something already classically basic and make it even more classically basic. Then there's the Nike approach, most noticeably (and enthusiastically) adopted this offseason by Arizona State.

You get one guess, dear reader, which approach Lane Kiffin has championed for USC and the Trojans' alternate uniforms for this year's rivalry showdown with UCLA. Just one.

Time's up! We really, really hope you picked the latter , since this is Kiffin we're talking about; per the Daily News's Scott Wolf, it "currently looks like" the Trojans will take the field against the Bruins wearing "cardinal jerseys, cardinal pants and a black helmet."

This sounds awful -- monochrome uniforms of any shade rarely look good on football fields, and the "Hey, let's make something black because black is all intimidating and stuff" approach peaked in 1997 or so -- but just to give us all a proper sense of the color combination we're talking about, the rest of the Eye on College Football team has taken a shot at "artist's depictions" of the new look. Tom Fornelli's take:

Adam Jacobi's:

Bryan Fischer's:

The real things will look a little better, we're guessing. But not enough better that we're not left hoping -- for USC fans' and their retinas' sake -- that Wolf's sources are off on this one.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com