Look, we can all pretend to be experts of college sports at the beginning of the year. Buying into hype, arguing with pundits, and getting banned from rival team’s message boards are practically a preseason rite of passage. But yet, after all this hard work and preparation, here you sit, watching a team with 1:1000 odds in the national championship and burning your preseason projections for heat.
As if being wrong about something you love wasn’t bad enough, there’s always that person. That theater major kid that was never into sports but thought he’d participate for giggles. The girl from work that watched that one game, like a couple years back, where the guy did that thing. These people are the worst – not because they participate – but because they’re always somehow right.
My girlfriend is one of these people. A proud hater of all things athletic, she takes pride in picking teams to win each week based soley on their uniforms. Her record is almost always over .500 and it’s bullshit.
So, with time to kill before the bowl season and an insatiable appetite to make lists, I thought I’d take a page from her book and rank the PAC 12 – based completely on their uniforms.
Rankings based on home and away uniforms, alternates included.
12. Oregon State Beavers
These are an absolute monstrosity. OSU is clearly just fucking with us, right? At what point in the founding of the school did the regents decide to assault the senses with orange and black? Hath they no mercy? In no circumstance does orange look good. Never. Orange is the lemon Skittle of colors. ACTUALLY YOU KNOW WHAT? Orange is the orange Skittle, ‘cuz nobody likes either of those shits.
Orange is such an awful color that “red” haired people are mocked and ostracized, and are forced to make videos like these on YouTube.
Way to go, OSU, you’re the gingers of the Pac 12. Gingers always finish last.
11. Arizona Wildcats
Normally, I’m all for the red , white and blue. Pabst Blue Ribbon, America, the Harlem Globetrotters, what’s not to like?
Somehow, Arizona got it all wrong. Much like how the French flag is all the right colors but all the wrong execution, U of A’s garb is the equivalent of dropping a piece of pizza off your plate. Not entirely the end of the world, but still disappointing enough to ruin the rest of your meal.
Recently, Arizona’s been playing with a gradient that looks half decent, but kinda reminds me of paintings of sunsets in a dentist’s waiting room.
10. Utah Utes
Much like their sinning monogamist brothers to the south, Utah’s uniforms leave a lot to be desired. Red and white are a classic combination (as shown by 80% of college teams) but don’t win any points for originality. And being that the team represents the watered down beer and people of Salt Lake City, it is strangely fitting.
Did all the boring states get together and plan on wearing red and white? Indiana, Utah, Nebraska, Arkansas? Is there an listserv? I bet there’s a listserv.
9. Arizona State Sun Devils
ASU deserves credit for the past few years as they have tried to distance themselves from their creepy, pedophillic mascot Sparky and have really embraced the pitchfork as their centerpice. While it’s main highlight is giving undergrads the reason to flash a sex act to represent their school, the pitchfork on the new helmets looks pretty dope.
Maroon, though, is the shittiest shade of red. It reminds me of every couch your neighbors throw out. You know, the one that looks totally fine from far away but turns out there’s a stain where someone may or may not have been murdered? Yeah, that maroon.
8. UCLA Bruins
I hesitated putting UCLA this low because blue and gold almost always looks pretty good. UCLA’s stock fell however, when you compare it to the vastly superior Cal Bears get-up. Their blue, which I always assumed was reserved strictly for clothes babies puke on, is really, really weak. Their gold would be cool if it didn’t remind me so much of grey pupon, which is a delicious mustard that no Bruin has yet to have been able to afford.
Like most things UCLA, the potential is there, but the product on the field is almost universally dissapointing.
7. Washington State Cougars
I’ve always liked Wazzu’s gear – I think it’s the only uniform in the Pac 12 that perfectly encapsulates the school that it represents. Gray, for the average year-round forecast in the Paloose, and crimson, for THE BLOOD OF THE ENEMY THAT SPILLS FROM PIRATE KING MIKE LEACH’S GAPING MAW.
However, WSU loses points for their away look as it is essentially long underwear and two strips of duct tape.
6. Stanford Cardinal
Stanford is one of the few teams that does red and white well. The cardinal is deep enough to not look like cherry jello, and the numbering harkens back to the good old days of college football when Stanford sucked. The block lettering works for Stanford, and although it’s vanilla and antiquated (like most of their fan base) it’s been proven to work. It can only get you so far, though, and lands the Cardinal in the middle of the rankings.
5. Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado is the only school in the Pac 12 (besides OSU, barf) THAT ACTUALLY HAS BLACK IN THE SCHOOL’S COLORS. Look, every other team in the nation, you can’t just take black as one of your colors. That’s lazy. It’s like calling your team the Bulldogs. Or Tigers. Or Wildcats.
Colorado combines black, gold, and white commendably and takes the cake in the “Uniform Most Likely to Be Worn by Rick Ross” category.
4. California Golden Bears
Dark blue and gold is sick. End of story. Cal is like Michigan if Michigan had no football history and were a bunch of dirty hippie commies.
3. USC Trojans
USC’s colors would be ranked lower if it weren’t for the history around the look and the unwillingness to adapt to the school’s all-powerful Nike overlords. The cardinal is not really cardinal, but the contrast with the gold works enough to distract from that. ‘SC is one of the few schools to never have an alternate uniform or names on the back, which is awesome for the integrity of the game and college tradition.
While we’re on the subject of history and tradition…
2. Oregon Ducks
Oregon absolutely shits on it.
Oregon gets a lot of hate for the complete disregard they have to traditional uniform convention, but I love it. I love how every week, Phil Knight and the administration gives a big fuck you to the world by debuting some extreme Frankenstein of eXtreme colorzzz. Any school have gun metal in their colors? Screw it, throw it on there. Matte? Yup. Aluminum foil? Sure. An exact replica of Linkin Park album art? THROW THAT ON THOSE DUCKS NOW.
I shudder to think how much meth the average Duck fan has to cook to be able to afford every version of UO’s uniform.
1. Washington Huskies
The Huskies are the absolute master race of the PAC 12 uniform game. PURPLE AND GOLD IS DOPE AS HELL. The purple is dark enough to not look like Prince from the 80′s and the gold is a perfect mix of flashy and subtle. The W on the helmet is clean too. MAN NOW IM ALL HYPED UP ON THE HUSKIES GO DAWGS WOOF WOOF WOOF
UW, putting aside the adversity of being located in the most depressing city in the nation, is absolutely killing the uniform game. This gear makes me want to move to Seattle, become friends with Macklemore, and open up a Starbucks franchise. Is there anything else to do there?
As always, these ranking are my opinion and mine alone. As always, if you disagree, you are incorrect. Follow Chris on Twitter.