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Welcome to my official 2023 preseason top-25 new uniform poll (1.0). Here's how this works:
- I rank the top-25 new uniforms that've been released for this season as of the morning of August 9.
- A team can be in the top-25 multiple times if they've released different uniforms. (For example: Notre Dame's green alternates vs Ohio State + their Ireland alternates vs Navy).
- There are more reveals to come, so I'm going to update this two more times before the season starts, and weekly during the season.
- Not every team has released new uniforms yet, so there are some not-so-great ones here that'll be kicked out by next week.
- Most importantly: If you like the post, please consider subscribing to the site for all my content this season:
LET'S TALK FABRIC, BABY!
Others not receiving vote: UAB
Say hello to the worst uniform set college football has seen in at least the last five years. (You're off the hook, Arizona.) These are the brainchild of an 11-year old playing Madden Ultimate Team. Every combination is a disaster, mostly thanks to the chest stripes that I think are supposed to be fangs? The three main uniforms are bad enough on their own, and then there's the two alternates. Black and gray mixed with neon green? Neon green pants stripes? Who thought adding the extra shoulder stripes was a good idea? These uniforms were not only approved, but someone was presumably paid actual American dollars to create them. The helmets are the best part of the whole look, and even those suck too. I'm sorry - I've always been a UAB guy, but somebody might have to call the Bryant family to see if they'll threaten to ice the program again if they don't get rid of these.
25. UCF (Light mode)
Prime example of something that looks great on paper, but doesn't work in reality. UCF 's calling these 'Light Mode," and I appreciate the thought, but the execution is a miss. How is anyone on the field, in the stands, or on TV supposed to see the numbers? They're going to wear these once before the NCAA says they have to add black trim or throw them in the trash. These are out of the rankings the second I find a suitable replacement.
These haven't officially been revealed yet, but Florida is wearing an all-black uniform at some point this season. Unnecessary, but whatever. I don't like the 'Gators' script on the chest, but I also think the full look will be more forgiving than just an iPhone picture of the replica version.
23. NC State
At last, a new uniform that's simply just 'Okay.' NC State finally ditched their ugly claw markings/shoulder stripes in favor of this basic set. It's bland, but it's also a clear upgrade. You can always count on the Wolfpack to have at least one surprise alternate in the tuck come mid-season, too.
The end result of UTEP's switch from Nike to Adidas isn't bad. These are a slight improvement, even if it feels like the orange isn't dark enough. It's a solid set that doesn't do anything offensive. Miners fans: Don't worry, this isn't the last time you're in these rankings 👀
21. Tennessee Tech
The good news: These are superior to Illinois' previous set. In a vacuum, they're perfectly fine.
The bad news: They're literally just Syracuse's mid-2000s uniforms:
It's the same thing! pic.twitter.com/1qritT4gRR— Colton Denning (@Dubsco) July 24, 2023
19. Arkansas State
This look isn't completely new for Arkansas State. They already have a road white version of the same uniform, and these will serve as the home edition. What puts them this high is that they're miles better than what they wore last year. It also looks like they've switched to the same number font as the Houston Texans.
At long last, the checkerboard shoulder pattern is dead. The secondary wildcat logo that replaces it –which they've quietly been trying to make a thing over the last five years– stinks, but the rest of the uniform is fine. I hated the checkerboards so much that getting rid of them alone is good enough for 18th.
17. Louisiana Tech
Another Adidas school that shelved a bad uniform set for one that has a clean throwback feel. Everything here is tidy, and I love the full-length shoulder stripes. My good friend HUGH DAVIS (9) looks ready to make First-Team All-C-USA in these.
16. Long Island
There's one universal truth when it comes to uniforms: You can never go wrong with powder blue, especially if you pair it with light yellow. I wish more teams at both the college and pro levels understood this. Bonus points for the badass shark logo.
15. Western Kentucky
WKU was stuck in a stale, late-2000s uniform design and traded it in for something simple, yet super effective. The drop shadow numbers are sick, and I hope they wear the beautiful black and white 'Tops' helmets more often than the chrome one.
Navy's saying goodbye to their ghastly shoulder stripes from the past few years, and going back to the Roger Staubach-era. For everything people say about Under Armour –Please forgive me, I wrote this section before I saw the UAB uniforms– I appreciate that they can make a jersey template that doesn't neuter shoulder stripes. (Looking at you, Nike.) I can't wait to see the road white version. There's a strong chance these end up in the top ten once I see them in an actual game.
13. Florida International (Miami Vice alternates)
FIU already wore the '305' Miami Vice-style helmets last year, but now they're going full-Vice against UTEP on October 11. I get that these aren't for everyone, but here's the question I always ask myself when I see a uniform as wild as this one: Does it at least make sense? Yes, it makes sense that a school in Miami would wear Miami Vice uniforms. Simple as that. If you have a problem that I love these after I shit on what UAB did, I can't help you - they rock. I'll probably put them even higher when we see them in normal lighting.
12. Michigan State
These might be the highlight of Michigan State's season. The Greek Key pattern on the pants, shoulders, collars, and helmets is straight out of the 90s, and it looks fantastic on a modern uniform. I usually don't like teams without black in their color scheme rocking an all-black set, but it's a home run in this instance. I need to see them in a snow game late in the season.
Bonus: All three Michigan State helmets this season feature what they're calling a "Battered" texture, which no other team in country will wear (for now):
11. Notre Dame (Green alternates vs. Ohio State)
I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but Under Armour has quietly hit their stride with Notre Dame. According to my shoddy research, this will only be the second time that they've ever worn green pants. The first was a disaster, but these are a million times better. They also buck the trend of blue numbers on green Notre Dame jerseys, which is an added bonus. If only we could get Ohio State to wear gray sleeves opposite of them....
10. Notre Dame (Ireland alternates vs Navy)
Like I just said: Under Armour's doing a good job with Notre Dame! Nothing crazy here; just a Gaelic pattern on the shoulders, and a subtle Irish flag design on the back of the neck.
9. Navy (Ireland alternates vs Notre Dame)
Notre Dame's counterparts for their August 26 season opener in Ireland took their shoulder design a step further, and that's why they get the nod at No. 9.
8. Ohio State
The Buckeyes are rocking all-gray for their primetime matchup with Michigan State on November 11. These are the natural evolution of the all-scarlet uniform from the 2021 Penn State game, but the difference is that these are actually cool and look good. In fact, I kinda want to buy one. I wouldn't mind these being part of the rotation in future seasons.
We're getting to the point where uniforms from the 2000s can start being classified as 'throwbacks,' and Nevada might be the first program to truly embrace that. I'm glad they did, because these are a home run. They're a callback to the Wolfpack's mid-2000s set, and I'm counting them as another piece of evidence in my theory about uniforms from that era:
My theory that 95% of unis that looked plain in the 90s/early 2000s are flames with today’s fabric technology continues to ring true https://t.co/4AnddIGsCV— Colton Denning (@Dubsco) July 9, 2019
6. Iowa State (Jack Trice Legacy Game)
It's understandable that opinions on these are divided, but I'm a fan. Iowa State's breaking them out for their Jack Trice Legacy Game on October 7 vs TCU. The jerseys and pants pay homage to the uniform Trice wore at ISU in 1923, while the 'Ames' helmet script is a shoutout to what Cyclones sports teams were referred to as during the time. Again, I get why some people don't like them, but I love when teams do a one-off throwback/fauxback like this.
There were elements of Kansas' uniforms the past few seasons that I liked. The throwback Jayhawk set and the powder blue fauxback are the first things that come to mind. Unfortunately, the bad elements were too aggressive to look past. Adidas' stupid stretch fabric made everything look scrunched, the 'Kansas' script was too small, and the amount of red as a primary color was jarring. All of those problems are fixed with this new set.
The script on the front of the jersey is LARGE and legible. I'll miss the italicized numbers, but I don't mind the new font. The new shoulder stripes pop, and red is used as a perfect accent to the blue. Most importantly, the stretch fabric is gone. I wouldn't put it past them to break out a red alternate at some point, and you know what? They did such a good job with these that I'll be okay with it.
4. Colorado State
CSU's uniform identity has been in a weird place over the last decade-plus. The Colorado State Flag alternates and the orange and green Aggies throwback both kick ass, but the regular home and away uniforms have been lacking any sort of personality or distinguishing trait. Until now!
I can't get enough of those shoulder stripes, which I dare say look inspired by the Rams' biggest rival. Regardless, the thick stripe is beautiful in green and gold, and the pants stripes are great, too. Small changes can make a world of difference, and these are simply beautiful uniforms. How can Under Armour be responsible for both these and the UAB uniforms?!
3. Oklahoma State
You can probably tell that I like these shoulder stripes, right? Oklahoma State's been the poster child for doing too much uni-wise over the last 15 years, and it's kind of shocking that they completely scrapped what they were doing and decided pay homage to their 1980s teams with a whole new primary set. I like every combination here, but the black jersey with white pants is a killer. I count four different helmets in the above photos, and you can bet they have a few more stashed away for the season.
2. Florida State
There's nothing else to say here other than this feels right. No more ridiculous pattern on the shoulders, and the size of the collar pattern has been reduced. The numbers on the front of the jersey look smaller, and I dig that they're also on the shoulder panels. They probably have some kind of alternate ready for mid-season as well, but this is exactly what Florida State should look like.
1. UTEP (1988 Throwbacks)
You want a reason to watch UTEP's September 23 game vs Incarnate Word? Here you go. The perfect throwback uniform. Again: Powder blue is undefeated, even as an accent color. Look at those pants stripes! I wish I could find a closer shot of the helmet, but these 1988 throwbacks are on point. As of right now, it's going to be a tall task for anything to knock these from the No. 1 spot this season.