News that UCLA is going to use alternate uniforms for Saturday's game against the Trojans does not please USC coach Lane Kiffin, who said he was a bit confused by the news out of Westwood this week that the Bruins would be unveiling a new jersey combination.
Why was he confused? Because USC and UCLA already have a unique uniform tradition that started when the two schools shared the L.A. Memorial Coliseum and was brought back in 2008: Both the Trojans and Bruins typically wear their home uniforms for the annual game.
Pete Carroll and Rick Neuheisel worked in tandem with the NCAA to repeal a rule that would penalize road teams a timeout for wearing their home uniforms, and the home-vs.-home tradition was expected to continue in the immediate future.
But a statement this week from UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero indicated that that will not be the case.
"I don't understand it at all because everything I've been told is that Rick was behind this whole thing and I know that our players and fans really enjoy it," Kiffin said Wednesday. "But it's their choice."
Guerrero simply said that UCLA would be unveiling new uniforms that the school had been working on with adidas for several months; he didn't specify what they'd look like. But internet rumors have floated around all week that the jerseys and pants will be of the all-white variety, and Kiffin mentioned that after the Trojans' Wednesday practice.
He has also said all week that USC will be wearing its normal home uniforms no matter what UCLA does. There was talk before the 2011 season began that the Trojans would break out some type of black-based combination for the season finale against the Bruins, but that was quickly squashed by the school's administration.
Kiffin said using alternate uniforms would go against his strategy to not overly hype up each of the Trojans' games.
"We talked about it all year," he said. "The game is about the preparation, not about the hype around it.