To the surprise of nobody, Michigan will still look like Michigan on the gridiron this fall.
The Wolverines' new uniforms -- their first set to be produced under a new contract with Nike after an eight-year partnership with Adidas -- were unveiled Tuesday.
Aside from the Adidas logo being replaced by the Jumpman logo from Nike's Jordan Brand (yes, it's a little odd to see a basketball icon on a football jersey), most fans will be hard-pressed to find any differences between the old and new designs. Look closely, though, and you'll see them: The nose bumpers and chinstraps have changed from white to navy; there's a new number font; and although it's hard to see in the photos, the helmets now have a matte finish.
Side-by-side comparison of old (left) and new Michigan home unis. New number font is evident in the "2." pic.twitter.com/0fSXjK0YFC— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) August 2, 2016
Side-by-side comparison of old (left) and new Michigan road unis. Coach Harbaugh says white pants are here to stay. pic.twitter.com/XlDv3pTich— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) August 2, 2016
Those are matte helmets. Michigan spokesman says the plan is to wear those this season. That's new. pic.twitter.com/5taVBAjmWs— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) August 2, 2016
Some fans had been hoping for a return of the maize pants on the road -- and understandably so, since it's a more dynamic look than the solid-white design -- but coach Jim Harbaugh is reportedly a fan of the white road pants and plans to stick with them during his coaching tenure.
Speaking of Harbaugh and pants, his signature khakis are part of the new Nike contract.
With new deal, Nike will make Jim Harbaugh's khakis pic.twitter.com/1mfrs2hdnE— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 2, 2016
There are programs that allow for experimentation and there are programs where you don't mess with tradition. Michigan clearly falls in the latter category. Nike's characteristic hype notwithstanding, there's nothing to get particularly excited about here, because so little has changed, but there's nothing to complain about either. Carry on.
Paul Lukas will have his comprehensive rundown of all the new college football uniforms shortly before the start of the season. If you liked this column, you'll probably like his Uni Watch Blog, plus you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. Want to learn about his Uni Watch Membership Program, be added to his mailing list so you'll always know when a new column has been posted, or just ask him a question? Contact him here.