Photo Essays  

 

Published: May 26, 2015 at 02:38 p.m.

15 for '15: College football's best alternate uniforms

» Complete 15 for '15 series

CFB 24/7's "15 for '15" series continues with a unique look at the best uniforms in college football by focusing only on the alternate versions worn by teams. Most come from the past few years, but there are a handful of designs that reach back much further into the sport's lore.

15 Photos Total

  • The Terps have experimented quite a bit and most notably <a href="http://static.nfl.com/static/content/pg-photo/2014/10/04/0ap3000000405018.jpg" target="new">have featured</a> <a href="http://static.nfl.com/static/content/pg-photo/2013/10/27/0ap2000000269982.jpg" target="new">the state flag</a> <a href="http://static.nfl.com/static/content/pg-photo/2014/09/27/0ap3000000401429.jpg" target="new">in a number</a> <a href="http://static.nfl.com/static/content/pg-photo/2013/10/13/0ap2000000261134.jpg" target="new">of their alternate designs</a>. This twist is extremely classy, though: The helmets feature Fort McHenry with an American flag and the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" (which was inspired by the Battle of Baltimore at the fort). <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000392740/article/america-college-football-teams-will-get-patriotic-this-weekend" target="new">Patriotic and cool</a>, to say the least. 15

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    15. Maryland's Star Spangled Banner helmets

    The Terps have experimented quite a bit and most notably have featured the state flag in a number of their alternate designs. This twist is extremely classy, though: The helmets feature Fort McHenry with an American flag and the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" (which was inspired by the Battle of Baltimore at the fort). Patriotic and cool, to say the least.

  • Adidas has cooked up two special uniforms the past few years for the Bruins with the appropriately named <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000365467/article/ucla-bruins-unveil-la-steel-alternate-uniform" target="new">"L.A. Steel"</a> and <a href="http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000237748/article/ucla-unveils-la-midnight-allblack-alternate-uniforms" target="new">"L.A. Midnight"</a> monikers. Each design has been very meh when it comes to the uniform, but the helmet has been a redeeming quality considering the cool look the black or matte grey gives to the great golden script. 14

    Associated Press

    14. UCLA's dark helmet

    Adidas has cooked up two special uniforms the past few years for the Bruins with the appropriately named "L.A. Steel" and "L.A. Midnight" monikers. Each design has been very meh when it comes to the uniform, but the helmet has been a redeeming quality considering the cool look the black or matte grey gives to the great golden script.

  • The Gators have gone back to the days of the Steve Spurrier -- <a href="http://www.sportsonearth.com/assets/images/5/2/4/62296524/cuts/spurrier_floridaQB_h54vygem_uizk6ld9.jpg" target="new">playing</a>, not coaching -- era a few times in recent memory with some great throwback designs from Nike. The best part of the clean take on the orange and blue has been the retro helmet that is a positive departure from the "Gators" script in use now. The all-white version the team wore in the SEC Championship Game with Tim Tebow is great, too. 13

    Associated Press

    13. Florida's throwbacks

    The Gators have gone back to the days of the Steve Spurrier -- playing, not coaching -- era a few times in recent memory with some great throwback designs from Nike. The best part of the clean take on the orange and blue has been the retro helmet that is a positive departure from the "Gators" script in use now. The all-white version the team wore in the SEC Championship Game with Tim Tebow is great, too.

  • It can be hard to pull of a color combo like purple and orange, but the Tigers end up doing it from time to time. The all-purple look can be a bit much, so the purple-jersey-and-orange-pants look remains a favorite. 12

    Mary Ann Chastain/Associated Press

    12. Clemson's purple unis

    It can be hard to pull of a color combo like purple and orange, but the Tigers end up doing it from time to time. The all-purple look can be a bit much, so the purple-jersey-and-orange-pants look remains a favorite.

  • Ever since Johnny Football was running around College Station, the Aggies have started to get a little more creative with their uniforms. While adidas has had a few iffy ones, it found a winner in the all-white look that prominently displays the state of Texas in the middle of the team's top. Not only do these uniforms look good, but it has to be pretty practical for a late August/early September game in the middle of the afternoon. 11

    Jim Lytle/Associated Press

    11. Texas A&M's Ice Whites

    Ever since Johnny Football was running around College Station, the Aggies have started to get a little more creative with their uniforms. While adidas has had a few iffy ones, it found a winner in the all-white look that prominently displays the state of Texas in the middle of the team's top. Not only do these uniforms look good, but it has to be pretty practical for a late August/early September game in the middle of the afternoon.

  • No, a traditional powerhouse such as USC shouldn't be changing one of college football's best uniforms, but there's little question the team has made some positive tweaks to the design over the past few years. The introduction of a reflective chrome helmet was one such design choice that can be well-received, as it maintains the old design and updates the look to be slicker. 10

    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    10. USC chrome helmets

    No, a traditional powerhouse such as USC shouldn't be changing one of college football's best uniforms, but there's little question the team has made some positive tweaks to the design over the past few years. The introduction of a reflective chrome helmet was one such design choice that can be well-received, as it maintains the old design and updates the look to be slicker.

  • The Bears have started to push the limits on the uniform front over the past few years, and have a filthy look when it comes to a gold chrome helmet and corresponding all-black uniform. The team plays fast and, in these unis, looks fast, too. 9

    Jose Yau/Associated Press

    9. Baylor's golden chrome and black

    The Bears have started to push the limits on the uniform front over the past few years, and have a filthy look when it comes to a gold chrome helmet and corresponding all-black uniform. The team plays fast and, in these unis, looks fast, too.

  • The Broncos really jumped into the matte helmet craze a few years ago and one of their first designs is the best when it comes checking off a bunch of boxes. The Bronco itself looks pretty menacing, and the whole thing is even better when set against the team's typical blue backdrop at their home stadium. 8

    Matt Cilley/Associated Press

    8. Boise State's matte black helmets

    The Broncos really jumped into the matte helmet craze a few years ago and one of their first designs is the best when it comes checking off a bunch of boxes. The Bronco itself looks pretty menacing, and the whole thing is even better when set against the team's typical blue backdrop at their home stadium.

  • The Bulldogs have a solid history of good alternate uniforms, but the ones they wore for the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss back in 2013 might be the best. The all-maroon uniforms come off well and are highlighted by the gold numbers that stick out up close and far away. Add in a fantastic gold chrome helmet and this is a great look. 7

    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    7. Mississippi State's Egg Bowl look

    The Bulldogs have a solid history of good alternate uniforms, but the ones they wore for the Egg Bowl against Ole Miss back in 2013 might be the best. The all-maroon uniforms come off well and are highlighted by the gold numbers that stick out up close and far away. Add in a fantastic gold chrome helmet and this is a great look.

  • The Midshipmen managed to combine a great look with a nod to their history by including a number of elements from a traditional Navy summer white service uniform. The helmet is a nod toward the traditional cap, while the sleeves even feature a player's rank, represented by the number of stripes on the sleeves. The gold trim is perfectly placed, too. 6

    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    6. Navy's Summer Whites

    The Midshipmen managed to combine a great look with a nod to their history by including a number of elements from a traditional Navy summer white service uniform. The helmet is a nod toward the traditional cap, while the sleeves even feature a player's rank, represented by the number of stripes on the sleeves. The gold trim is perfectly placed, too.

  • The Seminoles have sported the all-black "Unconquered" look a few times as they give a nod to their namesake's history. The most recent changes Nike made to the team's uniforms give it an even better spin, though, keeping a simple all-black design with nice elements of the school's traditional colors. The gradient garnet and black helmet is what really earns the look its place on this list. 5

    Associated Press/Nike

    5. Florida State's Unconquered

    The Seminoles have sported the all-black "Unconquered" look a few times as they give a nod to their namesake's history. The most recent changes Nike made to the team's uniforms give it an even better spin, though, keeping a simple all-black design with nice elements of the school's traditional colors. The gradient garnet and black helmet is what really earns the look its place on this list.

  • There might not be a more famous alternate jersey than the Fighting Irish's historic green uniforms that they have broken out on special occasions through the years. There have been a number of different designs, but the best ones might be from the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3MU16fpue4" target="new">infamous "Bush Push" game</a> given how clean and recognizable the look is. 4

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    4. Notre Dame's green jerseys

    There might not be a more famous alternate jersey than the Fighting Irish's historic green uniforms that they have broken out on special occasions through the years. There have been a number of different designs, but the best ones might be from the infamous "Bush Push" game given how clean and recognizable the look is.

  • The all-white look is nothing new to college football's uniform game, but given all of the outrageous colors the Ducks typically incorporate, it's a very nice look for the team that many others have tried to copy over the past few years. 3

    Bret Hartman/Associated Press

    3. Oregon Storm Troopers

    The all-white look is nothing new to college football's uniform game, but given all of the outrageous colors the Ducks typically incorporate, it's a very nice look for the team that many others have tried to copy over the past few years.

  • No, <i>this</i> is Sparta. Nike threw back to the days of ancient warfare by incorporating a great bronze look with the normal Michigan State logo for this fantastic helmet that, <a href="http://www.msuspartans.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/042315aac.html" target="new">to quote PR materials</a>, was inspired by shields and the phalanx battle formation. 2

    Matthew Mitchell/Michigan State Athletic Communications

    2. Michigan State's Mach Speed alternate helmet

    No, this is Sparta. Nike threw back to the days of ancient warfare by incorporating a great bronze look with the normal Michigan State logo for this fantastic helmet that, to quote PR materials, was inspired by shields and the phalanx battle formation.

  • It's no surprise to see the Ducks high on this list considering their vast array of alternate uniforms. The lids they debuted in the 2012 Rose Bowl, however, take the cake, as it basically started a revolution when it came to outdoing others with ridiculous helmet designs. The helmets are super reflective, and the outline of the Duck feathers is a nice touch, too. 1

    Ben Liebenberg/NFL

    1. Oregon liquid metal helmets

    It's no surprise to see the Ducks high on this list considering their vast array of alternate uniforms. The lids they debuted in the 2012 Rose Bowl, however, take the cake, as it basically started a revolution when it came to outdoing others with ridiculous helmet designs. The helmets are super reflective, and the outline of the Duck feathers is a nice touch, too.