Winning, trendy uniforms go hand-in-hand at Oregon
TribLIVE Sports Videos
MANHATTAN, Kan. — Kansas State and Oregon both wear Nike's signature swoosh, but that's where the comparisons between their football uniforms end.
They are on opposite ends of the fashion spectrum.
Under Bill Snyder, the Wildcats have worn the same uniforms — silver pants, silver helmet featuring purple and white stripes, and solid white or purple jerseys — without any major modifications since he redesigned them in 1989. He wanted a look that resembled the Dallas Cowboys, and still does.
“We thought we got it right the first time,” Snyder said. “We saw no reason to change them.”
The Ducks take a different approach. They change their uniforms — loud, flashy and trendsetting — every week. Sometimes they wear neon yellow numbers. Sometimes their shoulders feature designs such as wings or spikes. They occasionally wear yellow and green. Other times they wear all black, white or throw in some gray. They have more than 500 combinations from which to choose and pride themselves on never wearing the same thing twice.
Oregon hasn't unveiled the full uniform it will wear against K-State at the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 3, but bowl representatives have released photos that indicate the numbers will change colors as you look at them from different angles. When the full outfit is released it is sure to be a popular topic among fans on social media.
It always is. Ever since Nike founder and Oregon grad Phil Knight began supplying the athletic department with state-of-the-art apparel, it's what the Ducks have been best known for. Coincidentally or not, they started winning at the same time they began wearing glitzy uniforms. They gave a recruiting boost, and Oregon is now a regular Pac-12 championship contender on its way to a fourth straight BCS bowl.
Oregon's rise coincided with its fashion so well that other programs have copied it.
Oklahoma State now changes its uniforms so often that some have called the Cowboys “the Oregon of the Big 12.” Baylor and Maryland mix up their uniforms all the time. Most schools that wear Nike, such as Michigan, Boise State and Missouri, have at least one alternate — or “Pro Combat” — uniform they wear for special games. Adidas-wearing schools such as Nebraska, Wisconsin and Notre Dame do, also. Even teams wearing Under Armour are getting in on the act.
K-State receiver Chris Harper, who transferred from Oregon, has been on both ends of the spectrum. He has worn flashy uniforms and K-State's classic look. He sees advantages to both but doesn't understand why so many schools are copying the Ducks.
“That's kind of lame to me,” Harper said. “Oregon started that thing. Let them have their thing. Let them be who they are. Every school (is) trying to jump on the bandwagon with different jerseys, too. The thing is nobody can do what Oregon is doing because they have Phil Knight. You don't have Phil Knight.
“Just be who you are. That's one thing I like about being out here. We know who we are. You don't see us jumping out with any ‘Pro Combats' or new gloves or stuff all the time. It's not about the jerseys, it's about who plays on the field.”
Nike could create a new look for the football team with ease, but new football uniforms seem like a pipedream as long as Snyder is in charge.
“He doesn't change his shoes,” Harper said of his coach. “I doubt he is going to change our uniforms.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Central Catholic holds ‘emotional’ ceremony for Marino
- Boras: Alvarez’s power is too valuable for Pirates to let him leave
- Pirates showing interest in starting pitcher Masterson
- Steelers notebook: Opportunity awaits Boykin
- Gorman: Aliquippa’s Jordan stars in any role
- No shortage of offensive weapons for Aliquippa, Karns City in PIAA game
- WVU’s defensive linemen improving as pass rushers
- Pitt guard Robinson says free-wheeling offense is ‘a lot of fun’
- Steelers’ Roethlisberger remains in concussion protocol
- Official: Plum SD trying to provide better communication, training in wake of sex scandal
- House votes to thwart power plant regulations