Scouting players, rating coaches and determining how accurate the preseason polls are for the coming year are all time-honored football traditions. One of the lesser known hobbies that many fans have, though, is keeping an eye on what changes their respective schools make to their team uniforms. A number of Big Ten schools will unveil new uniform designs in the coming season, and we at Opposing Views are here to break down some of the more notable changes to keep an eye on.
Nebraska – Nebraska’s uniforms will have some subtle changes (ironic, considering 2011 marks a year of massive changes for the program in every other way) made to the shoulder area, with the school opting for stripes and no numbers on this updated version of their set. There is something innately right about a team known for their tough-nosed, grind-it-out approach to football not bothering to razzle dazzle with shiny uniforms like some schools (read: Oregon), but it’s doubtful that Nebraska fans will realize it. They’re too focused on the little stuff like whether or not their team wins games. Check out a photo of the Cornhuskers’ set below.
Indiana – Indiana’s officials have opted to return to a more classic look, with stripes being removed from the helmet and jersey sleeves in favor of a plainer set. A white face mask will replace the red face mask that has been featured on helmets dating all the way back to 2005. While the product that Indiana puts out on the field every week could use some fine-tuning, their old uniforms were perfectly fine. Although this is the summer of going basic, apparently, Indiana is one school who could’ve afforded to stay pat with their old design. They have to have at least one interesting thing about them, don’t they?
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Penn State – There's only one school in America who could create an even more conservative uniform than Penn State and that school is Penn State. Yes, the Nittany Lions have actually abandoned the only piece of flare -- and "flare" is a very generous term -- that existed on their uniforms: the trim. So instead of a contrasting collar and sleeve trim, they now have nothing. No stripes. No nothing. Just contrasting numbers -- only because the league requires it. So while the loud, nutty, 178-color combination Oregon Ducks have uniforms at one end of the spectrum, Penn State will sport uniforms that are officially the blandest, most boring outfits ever tailored by man.
Ohio State- Ohio State has probably gotten more headlines for their uniform changes (among other things) than any other Big Ten school thus far. The Pro Combat set which they will be sporting is made of state-of-the-line material to ensure fluidity and speed on the field, and has a noticeably more glitzy, shiny appearance. The Buckeyes have a very uncertain future ahead of them in the coming years, but this much is for certain: they’ll look good no matter what. Check out a few photos and a video detailing the uniform change below.
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Purdue – Purdue’s new uniforms feature state-of the-art fabric in five different combinations. Nifty. The fabric is notably lighter and tighter fitting than the previous set, and the double stripe down the middle of the helmet has been replaced by a single stripe. This marks the first time since 2006 that the team has opted to alter their uniforms. Check out a photo of the new gear and video of the players sporting the uniforms below.
Michigan – Michigan will bring out special uniforms for their game versus Notre Dame this season, giving their long-suffering fans something to look forward to in the coming year. In an effort to bring back that classic rivalry ambience, Notre Dame will wear a similar throwback set. If only reverting to their old, successful run through the Big Ten was as easy for the Wolverines as bringing back a retro jersey. Check out a photo and video detailing the set below.
Michigan State – Like a number of other schools, Michigan State has opted to go with the Pro Combat uniforms in 2011. Incorporating the latest in thermodynamic technology, this set is supposed feel almost as good as it looks. While every other school has circulated some samples of their new uniform (particularly the Pro Combat group), the Spartans have been oddly tight-lipped what their players will be sporting next year.