College Football’s Five Best Uniforms

Week Two of the college football season has provided us with more than just thrilling finishes. I see you Bama-Texas. The second week of the season (don’t come here with that Week Zero nonsense) also gifted fans a glimpse of the five best uniforms in the sport. These uniforms are head-to-toe the best in the business – and yes, college football is a (big) business.

Whether you’re a fanatic or CFB novice, you can agree that the best dressed teams took the field this afternoon. Scratch that. Four of the five best have played, with one more scheduled for an evening tilt.

Now, to be fair – which uniforms look the best is subjective. But, you’re not poking any holes in this list.

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 03: Oregon Ducks running back Byron Cardwell (21) runs with the ball during the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game against the Georgia Bulldogs on September 3, 2022 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

First, Some Uniform Rules

Let me be very clear. If your logo takes up your entire helmet (Boise State, Oregon, etc.), you’re immediately disqualified from consideration. Save the giant logos for Pee-Wee football and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Another rule. While I don’t love alternate uniforms, there is a time and a place for them (Notre Dame going green for a big bowl game, Georgia’s black threads for an SEC showdown, etc.). But I don’t want a new uniform every week. That further disqualifies the Ducks, Miami, Arizona State, and about four dozen others.

To make the esteemed top five list, you need to consistently wear only two uniforms (again, one alternate per year is allowable). Gimmie a home set and a road set. Don’t get cute. This is football after all, not the Met Gala.

One More Top Five Rule

If you think feathers, wings, or any other part of an animal should be prominently featured on the neck or shoulders of your uniforms, you have no business on this list. That means you – Louisville, TCU and the rest of you schools housing football facilities that clearly lack mirrors.

BOULDER, CO – SEPTEMBER 2: Tight end Jared Wiley #19 of the TCU Horned Frogs warms up before a game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 2, 2022 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

What Is Louisville Doing With These?

ORLANDO, FL – SEPTEMBER 09: Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) scrambles with the ball during the game between the Louisville Cardinals and the University of Central Florida (UCF) Knights on Friday, September 9, 2022 at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando, FL (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Drum Roll Please…Your Five Best Uniforms In All Of College Football Are:

5) USC Trojans

These digs have been cool since O.J. Simpson was still best-known for killing would-be tacklers. The gold pants just pop. Whether it’s the cardinal tops or the maroon, both pair perfectly with those bottoms. The helmet is clean with the perfect-sized logo. And while white socks/black shoes ordinarily wouldn’t be cool – aside from Michael Jackson – the Trojans pull it off.

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 03: USC Trojans defensive back Mekhi Blackmon (6) during a college football game between the Rice Owls and the USC Trojans on September 03, 2022, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

4) Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State’s scarlet and gray are timeless. Something about those scarlet tops fighting off snow flurries on a Thanksgiving weekend with Michigan in town just screams college football. And the helmets – are you kidding me? Make a good play, get a Buckeye decal slapped on your lid! Lights bouncing off those helmets in front of 105,000 fans is a simple reminder that most of the country is likely watching.

COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 03: Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka (2) scores on a 31-yard pass play during first quarter of the college football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Ohio State Buckeyes on September 3, 2022, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Our First Uniform Representative From The SEC

3) Alabama Crimson Tide

Bama just does it right – with pretty much everything. The Crimson Tide doesn’t need to change uniforms every week, every season, or even every decade. You know what looks good? Winning. And over the last decade and a half, no one does that better than Bama. That’s not to say their uniforms are trash. Nope, they’re almost as impressive as the team’s winning percentage. No numbers on the shoulders, just all business. That’s old school and it’s awesome.

Nick Saban earned the Tide some bonus points last week when he said of the team’s attire (per AL.com): “To me, there’s an expectation that when we run out of the tunnel, this is the brand. This is the culture. This is what people expect to see.” Roll Damn Tide!

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA – SEPTEMBER 3: Jase McClellan #2 of the Alabama Crimson Tide scores a touchdown against the Utah State Aggies at Bryant Denny Stadium on September 3, 2022 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Brandon Sumrall/Getty Images)

Now Onto The Two Best Uniforms

2) Penn State Nittany Lions

I mean, c’mon now. If you don’t have Penn State in your top 2, have you ever even watched college football? No name, no problem. PSU keeps it simple. White helmet with a blue stripe. They wear white pants. Always. You look at Penn State and instantly think you’re about to witness a 9-6 ballgame. And I mean that in the most flattering way possible. It’s almost as if the team is comprised only of fullbacks and linebackers. Again, I mean that as a compliment. The simplicity screams “Linebacker U.”

5 Sep 1998: Outside linebacker LaVar Arrington #11 of the Penn State Nittany Lions in action during a game against the Southern Mississippi State Golden Eagles at the Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. The Nittany Lions defeated the Golden

*I realize LaVar Arrington hasn’t played at Penn State in nearly two decades, but I don’t care. Inject this into my veins. This is what football looks like.

1) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Obviously the team itself could use some work (they fell to 0-2 this afternoon), but these uniforms remain a cut above the rest of the college football world. The Irish have what is arguably the most iconic helmet in the history of football. They’re the Golden freakin’ Domers! White, blue and gold uniforms that are instantly recognizable. Again, nameless, yet easily identifiable. A uniform so timeless and classy that even five-foot-nothin’ Rudy Ruettiger and his oversized forearm pads looked good wearing it.

SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Marcus Freeman of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish takes the field prior to the game against the Marshall Thundering Herd at Notre Dame Stadium on September 10, 2022 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Irish take the crown for the best uniform in all of college football.

A Handful Of Uniforms Just Missed The Cut

Now I thought long and a hard about this list. And there were plenty of tough decisions. But I had to narrow the list and leave off some classics that are certainly deserving of mention. It’s a tough job, and that’s why they pay me the big bucks.

Just missing the cut and in no particular order are:

Pitt Panthers – Best decision they ever made was going back to the blue and yellow.

Georgia Bulldogs – Deciding to revert back to the block letters this season nearly pushed the ‘Dawgs into my top 5.

Oklahoma Sooners – The combination of the Sooners’ simple two-color uniforms and their Jordan sponsorship are more than enough reason to enter the discussion.

Hey, at least Notre Dame finally won something.

Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF

Written by Anthony Farris

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