Last year Nike rented out a hall in Manhattan and did a live unveiling of its so-called Pro Combat college football uniforms (a name that still rankles, since college players are neither professional nor combat soldiers). This year Nike is unveiling them primarily via the web. Lower promotional budgets? Hype fatigue? In any case, it makes it easier to review them, so let's take a look.
Just like last year, we'll rate these uniforms from on Uni Watch's exclusive ROIG Rage scale, which stands for how vigorously a typical middle-aged alumnus of the school would be Rolling Over In his Grave after seeing the design. (Of course, a middle-aged alumnus is probably alive, not in his grave, but Uni Watch never lets inconvenient facts get in the way of a snappy acronym.) A ROIG Rage factor of 1 means the design is fairly inoffensive to old-school sensibilities; a factor of 10 means at least half the boosters just stopped payment on their checks.
Getting the treatment this time around: Michigan State, Ohio State, LSU, Stanford, Army and Navy.
Here we go:
When it will be worn: Oct. 15, against Michigan.
Uni Watch says: Hmmm, green, black, and gold -- looks almost Oregon-ish from a distance, no? ... Too bad about the tramp stamp. ... Aside from that, not a bad design on its own terms, but a gold helmet and black pants just do not say, "Michigan State." ... Wouldn't be a bad look for Baylor -- maybe the Bears could wear this next season? ... ROIG Rage factor: 5
When it will be worn: Oct. 29, against Wisconsin.
Uni Watch says: Helmet design hearkens to the padded-crown helmet that the Buckeyes wore in the late 1960s. ... What, no two-tone facemask to match the helmet stripe, like UGA wore? ... This fetish for battleship gray in college football is really getting out of hand, eh? ... Kinda like the way the collar tone feeds into the shoulder stripes, though. ... Don't understand Nike's new habit of having pants stripes begin several inches down on hip, instead of right at the waistline. Makes the stripe look incomplete. ... Overall, not really good or bad -- just blah. ... ROIG Rage factor: 3