It’s May and it’s far too early to start looking at conference previews if you ask me, but that doesn’t mean college football takes a backseat. There’s been a lot of talk about the NFL jerseys that were released in the last few weeks and months and it got me thinking about my favorite college jerseys. Today, we’re looking at my personal top 25 jerseys in the college landscape. These jerseys are on this list for many reasons- from aesthetic to memorable moments to players that immediately spring to mind in their respective college jerseys. Let’s get started.
- North Carolina Home Jerseys
It’s hard to look intimidating in light blue, but to quote Deion Sanders “you look good, you feel good. You feel good, you play good. You play good, they pay good.” The Carolina blues work well with the Tar Heels overall aesthetic. Why they decided that they should go the route of a navy-blue alternate, I’ll never understand. These are timeless and should never be tampered with.
- Florida State (Pre 2014)
When Florida St decided to change the overall look of their jerseys in Jameis Winston’s second season at the helm as QB, I absolutely hated it. Here we are 6 years later, and my feelings haven’t changed. The old adage of K.I.S.S rings true with these, the plainer maroon color, with no sleeve designs and the gold uniform pants was what FSU became synonymous with. If it weren’t for the tomahawk on the helmet, I wouldn’t be able to readily identify the current look. Sometimes new isn’t always better.
- Georgia Bulldogs Black Uniforms
I’m generally not a fan of the “every team needs a black alternate uniform” but I’ll make an exception for these. These are mean looking, they’re clean and fresh and I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing UGA wear this more often.
- “Spurrier’s Gamecocks”
When Steve Spurrier was the head coach at South Carolina, 2 players come to mind and I can immediately picture them in the white top, red bottom uniforms- Marcus Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney. The fact that they got those two in back to back years is one of the reasons that South Carolina was on everyone’s TV sets during that era, exposing these beautiful uniforms to the world more often.
- Auburn Tigers
This is another one that should never change. KISS principle remains undefeated when it comes to the Tigers and the Blue and white look should never go away- it goes together with the white helmets too well.
- Mid to late 2000’s Virginia Tech Home Jerseys
The Tyrod Taylor era Hokies uniforms stand out just a little bit more than the Virginia Tech home jerseys of today. The narrow trim on the shoulders and chest of the jersey are a nice touch, especially since they’re different colors. This Hokie uniform didn’t last overly long before the team changed to their current look, but I miss these.
- Tennessee Volunteers Home Jerseys
Hey Vols, stop trying to force the grey look on us fans. It’s not a good look and the Orange is much better. Signed, everyone.
- LSU Tigers Purple
Purple being my favorite color, I must say, there are very few teams that are able to make a purple jersey look great. LSU is an exception. They don’t pull these unis out very often anymore, but the Tigers got a hidden gem of a uniform in these.
- USC Trojans
As a California Golden Bears fan, it pains me to give USC a compliment, but these uniforms are just so good, and of course bring memories of Leinart, Bush, Palmer and many more Trojans legends.
- Current Michigan
In the early 2010s, The Wolverines had incredibly ugly yellow piping up the jerseys, so at least with the Jordan brand deal, that has gone away.
- 95% of Oregon’s jerseys
Listen, when a team changes its uniform on a weekly basis it’s hard to keep up, but the Ducks more often than not knock it out of the park. The pink look is the only one that never looks good.
- California Golden Bears Nike Uniforms
When I think of these uniforms I think of Keenan Allen and Jared Goff right away. This was during a time where the Bears were starting to sink into obscurity, so at least us Bears fans had the awesome uniforms to cling to. I especially like the “bear claw” look around the collar of the uniform.
- These Georgia Tech Uniforms
Adidas should just make these the default home uniforms. The Navy is awesome and plays off the Yellow Jackets’ shade of gold perfectly. It’s got the perfect amount of patterning and design to keep it from looking too plain while also not bordering gaudy like they Gunmetal Grey alternate does.
- California Golden Bears (Under Armour)
Call me a homer for this, I don’t care, the Golden Bears current look is amazing. See everything I just said about Georgia Tech’s uniforms? It’s that and then some. Blue and Gold is really hard to mess up, and thankfully Cal doesn’t do that here.
- Cincinnati Bearcats
You’re never going to see the Bearcats put on someone’s list of top uniforms, and I honestly don’t know why, these are super clean looking. There’s also the personal note that the only college football game I attended live was the Cincinnati Bearcats in the International Bowl in the Skydome in Toronto over a decade ago. That puts it over the top and ahead of some of the more classic looks you would expect.
- Pitt Panthers (much of the 2010s)
Pitt had several great players suit up in these, from Jabaal Sheard to Jonathan Baldwin, Tyler Boyd and James Conner just to name a few. These are perfect in their simplicity. Navy Blue top, muted gold bottom with the gold helmet.
- Notre Dame Home jerseys
What hasn’t been said about these jerseys ten thousand times before? These are the quintessential jersey for college football. A true classic, just not one of my personal favorites.
Whether it’s the home or away uniforms the Tide have a perfect uniform combo. There’s not a whole lot to get into with their look, plain and simple does the trick more often than not.
It’s hard to make Burnt Orange look appealing, but Texas has turned it into one of the more Iconic uniforms in football. Close your eyes, you can almost picture Vince Young in the Away White jerseys running into the end zone to beat USC.
- Arizona State- All Maroon
Arizona St. has got some of the best-looking uniforms when they’re rocking a solid color combo. The Maroon with the white or gold bottoms is ok, but if you put maroon on maroon with the matching helmet, it’s among the best looks and somehow no one talks about it.
- Ohio St.
We’ve reached the point where there are no words to describe these classic uniforms.
- Arizona St. All White
The all Maroons are nice, but these are better. The White helmet with the maroon trident taking up the side of the helmet is almost as good as it gets. Adidas knocked it out of the park with this look and the Sun Devils look like they’re bringing a hell of a good game with them- pun obviously intended.
- West Virginia 2000s
My guy Devin Jackson did a fantastic article a few weeks ago about the Mountaineers back in the Rich Rodriguez led days with QB Pat White and RB Steve Slaton- where these jerseys were displayed front and center. In the last few years, the school has simplified the jersey to a more solid color look with no trim, but when I think of West Virginia (the state as a whole, not just the school), I think of these uniforms.
- Pitt’s Current Look
These are just fantastic. Old is new and it’s amazing. The color combo is as good as it gets, and I am so glad that the school ditched the weird look they decided to use after they stopped wearing the ones listed earlier. Nike, do us a favor and NEVER CHANGE THIS LOOK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
- Penn State
The unquestioned best uniforms not only in college football but perhaps in sports. Whether home or away, there never is any change in the uniform. The Nittany Lions know damn well that they’ve hit oil with this combo and there’s nothing that’s going to change that. Think of the uproar that happened when Penn State introduced the nameplates, to the point where they were almost immediately canned. There is no changing this uniform. If it were ever to change, college football may end.