Now that the problem of radical realignment has been solved and the Georgia-Georgia Tech baseball game has been postponed, we are left with the problem of it being an ordinary Wednesday in the midst of the college football offseason in which we must struggle to find something to discuss.
This is exactly the kind of thing Walker Percy was talking about in Lost in the Cosmos.
The topic at hand is this: "Which are the five best uniforms in college football . . . and which are the five worst?" This question is deserving of serious consideration and I invite you to share your best- and worst-dressed lists in the comments below or in the diaries to the side.
Here are my responses to this piercing inquiry:
The Five Best Uniforms in College Football
- Georgia---Believe it or not, it's hard to do red and black right. The Atlanta Falcons use the same color scheme, yet the local N.F.L. franchise has never gotten the look correctly in 40 years of playing football. Texas Tech manages to look like a high school team. Only the 'Dawgs manage to make the color scheme work. With the classic look of the red jerseys, silver britches, and red helmets with a single white stripe down the center, the Bulldogs look the part of a championship football team. Now if we could just go back to wearing red pants on the road. . . .
- Alabama, Nebraska, and Penn State---I'm declaring this one a three-way tie for second place because the Crimson Tide, the Cornhuskers, and the Nittany Lions all make the grade for the same reason: tradition. When you see these teams take the field, they look like the squads of old; it's almost as if they're still being coached by Bear Bryant, Bob Devaney, and Joe Paterno, as they were in days of yore.
Joe Paterno is still coaching? Honestly, you probably could have stumped me with Joe Paterno in a game of Dead/Not Dead!
- Texas---It's tough to get me to say anything nice about a uniform that contains orange, but the Longhorns manage to make that awful color almost palatable by burning it. I go back and forth on having the name of the school across the front of the jersey, but the simple white helmet with the Longhorn logo on the side works.
- Michigan---The Wolverines would have ranked a little higher, but the yellow in their pants is just a tad too yellow for my taste. Nevertheless, the classic look of Michigan's uniform, topped off by college football's most identifiable helmet, gets the Maize and Blue into the top five.
- Florida State---You have to love the spear on the helmet. The Seminoles combine garnet and gold in any number of ways, but the F.S.U. style looks sharp in any combination.
That brings us to . . .
The Five Worst Uniforms in College Football
1. Oregon---I hate to do this, since the Ducks and the 'Dawgs may be squaring off soon, but there's just no denying the unmitigated ugliness of Oregon's uniforms. Each new twist is more heinous and horrifying than the last, and, just when you think it can't get any worse, the folks at Nike unveil a new atrocity. The Ducks show up at football games dressed like they just lost a bet.
No wonder they're not getting any votes!
- Clemson---I don't know which is uglier . . . the Tigers' all-orange look from head to toe or their orange-pants-and-helmets-with-purple-jerseys look, which even I know involves the horrendous mismatching of colors. Orange doesn't look good with anything, but you have to go out of your way to make a uniform look this bad.
- Notre Dame---Here, I am referring specifically to the green jerseys the Fighting Irish break out on special occasions. The Golden Domers' usual uniforms, consisting of blue jerseys and gold pants and helmets, are fine, even if they are a bit lifeless, but the green jerseys have to go. I don't care if they're lucky; they make the Irish look like Gumby.
"We're Notre Dame, damn it!"
- Tennessee---Once again, I am talking about a particular U.T. uniform. There's nothing especially wrong with what the Volunteers wear at home, except that it's orange, but the washed-out all-white outfits with the orange stripe up the side are ghastly.
- U.C.L.A.---I know the Bruins tried to improve their look by beefing up the blue a bit, but there's just no way to look manly when you're wearing that color scheme. Sky blue and shiny gold simply aren't the shades one wears for a contact sport. The best that can be said for the Bruins' current duds is that their jerseys no longer look quite as girly as North Carolina's, but at least the Tar Heels make no pretense of being serious about football. There's no way the school from Westwood will go back to winning the Battle of Los Angeles as long as the Bruins are dressed so daintily.
All right, you won. You still dress like Cher.
Those are my top and bottom five. What are yours?