Nebraska v. Wisconsin — Did Adidas Fall Short?

Look, I loved (as much as it pains me to say) Michigan’s Under the Lights uniforms last year. The striping was great, the ‘M’ on the chest was something new, though unconventional, and it looked timeless. Notre Dame looked great, too. The colors on the field that night looked great — each team’s look played off the other, and even the refs got dressed up. For a one-off game, it was perfect, and the play on the field complemented the looks perfectly.

Now, I’m not sure if it’s because they received such great praise/response from that game, but what happened this weekend? We’ve known about the uniforms for some time now, but Adidas, really? I turned on ABC and saw the exact same idea replicated not on one team, but both. We’ve seen it with Mississippi State and Texas A&M’s new duds, too. Someone praises Adidas for an original thought, and it gets cut, copied, and pasted. Eastern Michigan, like those new shoulder stripes? So does Bowling Green. Add Eastern Washington to that list, too. Thankfully, no one likes the uniforms Notre Dame is wearing this weekend. I could go on, but this is more about this past Saturday’s game.

I was expecting to be amazed when I turned on my TV, but I’ll be honest. I was a little underwhelmed by the effort on this one. Both teams looked pretty good, don’t get me wrong. But I say that referring to each uniform by itself — as a matchup, it was pretty “meh” to me.

Let’s review:

So that’s: chest letter, matching pant stripes, matching helmet stripes, single letter on the helmet, front number in the upper-right-hand corner, and also not pictured—the palms of the gloves have the team’s respective letter on them. Not very original, guys.

Look, I’m all for one-offs. It’s part of the reason I love college football so much. But Adidas— if you want to compete, you’ve got to stop mailing it in. Make a good design, and let it stand by itself. No need to photocopy it and hurt your already-waning public (and most importantly, jersey lovers’) perception. Please.