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Uni Watch: What's new in the Big Ten for 2017

Illinois Fighting Illini, Indiana Hoosiers, Iowa Hawkeyes, Maryland Terrapins, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Minnesota Golden Gophers, Nebraska Cornhuskers, Northwestern Wildcats, Ohio State Buckeyes, Penn State Nittany Lions, Purdue Boilermakers, Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Wisconsin Badgers

  

As we do every year, we've prepared a comprehensive team-by-team rundown of the new gear that will be on display this season in the Big Ten. In addition to uniform changes, we've included updates to logos, equipment, field designs and anything else related to a team's visual program. If a school isn't listed here, that means it hasn't yet announced any changes for this season, at least that we're aware of (though schools will undoubtedly be unveiling additional uniforms and helmets -- blackout, whiteout, camouflage, stars and stripes, chrome and so on -- as the season progresses).

Ready? Deep breath -- here we go.

Illinois has removed the center stripe from its orange, navy and white helmets (though the stripe will remain on the Grey Ghost helmet, which will be worn for homecoming on Oct. 28 against Wisconsin):

Meanwhile, here's a really good story about Illinois assistant equipment manager John Birdsell, who has been on the team's equipment staff for more than 30 years.


Indiana is set to unveil new uniforms on Aug. 24 -- too late for this column, unfortunately. At the very least, it appears that the Hoosiers will be changing the font used for the players' names on the back of the jerseys:


Iowa's Tigerhawk logo will now be appearing as a midfield mark.

Also: Coach Kirk Ferentz recently said the school would wear an alternate uniform this season, though it isn't yet clear when that will happen or what the design will look like.


Maryland is celebrating its 125th season and will mark the occasion with 1940s-inspired uniforms for the Oct. 28 homecoming game against Indiana:


• No details yet, but Michigan will reportedly have an alternate uniform for at least one game this season.


Michigan State has added a white design to its helmet mix:

The Spartans have also made a subtle adjustment to their pants striping, which now goes all the way up to the hip:

Meanwhile, if you want a good sense of what goes on behind the scenes of a major school's uniform and equipment program, check out this excellent article about the Michigan State equipment staff. Great stuff.


Minnesota's anthracite uniform, first worn against Michigan in 2015, will return for a game this season. Date and opponent to be announced.


Nebraska will mark the 20th anniversary of its 1997 undefeated championship team by wearing mesh-patterned throwbacks for the Oct. 7 game against Wisconsin. The idea is that the numerals mimic the old mesh jerseys -- an interesting approach (additional info here).


Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is adding a Roman numeral to his nameplate. Last season he just had his surname.


Penn State will wear a retro-style uniform for the Sept. 30 game against Indiana. As you might expect, it isn't radically different from the current uniform, but there are some good period details (additional info here and here):


Rutgers has switched from Nike to Adidas, which has restored the school name to the chest and added a New Jersey state outline above the nameplate on the back.

In addition, the Scarlet Knights have a new black alternate uniform. No, that doesn't make much sense. Yes, they're wearing it anyway, on Nov. 4 against Maryland (additional info here).


Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium turns 100 years old this season, and the Badgers are marking the occasion with several initiatives. First, home games will feature retro-themed ticket designs:

There's also a new football design:

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