The saying "You look good, you play good?" We're big subscribers to this school of thought here at The Draft Network. Honestly, when is the last time you saw a team with trash uniforms really, truly thrive in any sport? Sure, the Crimson Tide may have bland uniforms -- but you don't see the Tampa Bay Bucs making any runs at championships ever since they swapped to their Cyberpunk 2077 Arena style uniforms, do you?
My point exactly. Which brings me to this week's edition of Studs & Duds. We've seen the tease of a lot of new threads so far this season -- I'm here to tell you which ones you need to be pumped up for. And which ones will make you dial back the color balance on your television.
STUD - West Virginia's All-Gray
Things that are it: these damn uniforms. The Mountaineers have had a great color pallet at their disposal -- the navy blue and gold is a great combination. But they've left a lot of potential on the table in recent years thanks to some aggressive numbers and some unsightly shoulder stripes that really just clash with the uniform.
No more. The 'Eers are bringing back the all gray look and in the process throwing those old uniforms where they belong all together -- in the trash. Hiring Coach Neal Brown is an upgrade over Dana Holgerson for the pure fact that Brown saw what his squad was set to dress in and insisted they get it right (I'm kidding, right?).
DUD - Michigan State's "Slimer" look
These things were revealed on April 13th, which is 12 days later than they should've been because these are clearly a joke.
Oh -- they're not? The Spartans are actually going to wear these? Big yikes. Where do we start? The color combination here of Slimer from Ghostbusters meets wet, recently cut grass is ambitious, to say the least. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't work.)
I'll go out on a limb and say these are like the Florida Gators' "Gator print" uniforms from 2017 -- we only see them once. And for good reason. The aggressive "State" print on the chest screams of overcompensating for something. Is it being Michigan's little brother once again? Or is it a subconscious acknowledgement that something needs to draw attention away from the lime pants and forest top?
STUD - Syracuse's next generation
As far as team names go, "Orange" is about as bad as it gets. But credit where credit is due -- these new uniforms...as the kids these days would say...slap. Hard.
The Orange's prior look was a victim of trying to do too much -- the pattern on the numbers, the patterns on the shoulders, the lack of trim to make the numbers pop -- they were noisy in the wrong kind of ways. No longer. Each one of these uniform combos is sharp, simple and effective. Even the orange.
DUD - Iowa's "Paper Airplane" Shoulders
What? I appreciate the thought process here. All gold with black as the secondary color has all the potential in the world to be a badass kit. And instead, Iowa channeled inspiration from an old uniform that belongs where it came from -- the past. These shoulder stripes are just atrocious, are they not? I'm all for history, but not when it comes at the expense of "feathers" like these.
Iowa, take my word on this one. Your offense is hard enough to watch as is. You didn't have to take the extra step with these alternates.
STUD - Pitt's Cathedral Numbers
I'm not a Pittsburgh fan. Heck -- I went to Penn State and one of my favorite CFB programs these days are West Virginia. So I technically have multiple reasons to offer a "hard pass" on these kits.
But I can't. Because they're amazing. The helmet stickers with the streamlined Panther are clean. The further embrace of the gold helmet and old school script are excellent. The color scheme is so much better than the darker blue and gold combination we've seen in recent years. And the cathedral numbers are an awesome touch.
Heck, the blue facemask adds a nice little extra color splash that grabs your eye, too. These bad boys came out aces for Pitt. How often will they wear them?
DUD - Washington's update
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, these still stink. The gold pants don't do it for me in general and the accents on these don't really move the needle for me. The chrome helmet looks to have some potential but the classic purple top, gold bottom combo here is still as vanilla as ever.