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Big XII Uniforms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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A review of the best and the worst of the Big 12's uniforms this past season.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What's the easiest way to get a bunch of grown men to talk about fashion? Ask them who has the coolest jerseys in college football. I've always found it quite humorous that when it comes to college unis, everyone seems to be a critic. Uniforms used to just be a way to distinguish two teams from one another, but now we see that uniforms are becoming a bigger part of the sport every year. Now a lot of this has to do with big name companies like Nike, Addidas, and Under Armour trying to catch the eyes of viewers and recruits with flashy and eye popping uniforms. Unless you're a university that has a strict tradition for your uniforms, why wouldn't you want more eyes to watch your team play? Then of course, there's the saying: look good, play good.

The Big XII lacks a school that is over the top with their uniforms, such as Oregon with Nike, or Maryland with Under Armour, but I would say that this conference (as a whole) gets more uniform updates than any other. This past year we saw TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma State roll out new uniforms. Even blue bloods like Oklahoma rolled out a couple of alternates last year.

I have compiled a list of what I thought were the best and worst uniforms worn by each Big XII team this past season. Let's start with the best.

The Good:

Kansas

The uniforms that the Jayhawks wore this year against Texas Tech were one of the highlights of their season. When you win you lay a goose egg in the win column, the least you can do is fail in style right? The blue chrome top with the blue jerseys is a good look. I'm a big fan of the grey pants with the blue stripe and red accent. Overall I'd say that this look is similar to that of the New York Giants. Not a bad look KU...now if you could actually win a game, you'd be set.

Bottom Line: Rock Chalk we don't look too bad Jayhawks.

Iowa State

Now while the red tops and yellow pants are the traditional home uniforms for the cyclones, I think the all red is easier on the eyes. Iowa State wore all red against TCU and Kansas this season. Outside of white and black I'm not a big fan of when teams wear one solid color, top to bottom, but this one I can get behind. Plus the red pants with yellow stripes helps to distinguish them from USC. I would like to see the Cyclones get a new helmet though. I think they should take a page out of the Alabama playbook and put a cool formatted "ISU" on one side and numbers on the other. Similar to what they did with their 2013 throwback uniforms.

Bottom Line: RED is the new black.

Kansas State

Considering the Kansas State only has two uniforms, this one was pretty easy. Just like the Frogs, the Wildcats look really good at home in purple. When you have a coach as timeless as Bill Snyder, it's only suiting that you have a uniform that is just the same way. Timeless. Purple is well represented in the helmet, jersey (obviously), and a nice stripe on the pants. What makes the jerseys for me is the shoulder stripes. Just like those on the shoulders of the Dallas Cowboys, these are a really nice addition that involve the secondary color even more, but remain subtle enough.

Bottom Line: Turner classic movies presents, Bill Snyder's uniforms.

West Virginia

Our first all white uniform goes to the Mountaineers. The all white combo for West Virginia was a great look for the start of conference play. Even though they did lose their Big XII opener to the Sooners, they were easily the team that looked the best (we'll get to those Sooners unis in a bit). The navy goes great with the shoulder accents and the yellow highlights the university's initials on the collar. The alternate white helmet offers an interesting throwback, but I really want to see the Eers bring back the uniforms of the Tavon Austin era...then again Tavon looked good in almost anything.

Bottom Line: The take me home, country road look is good on you.

Texas Tech:

I really love these Tech uniforms. They're a great throwback to the Southwest Conference days and the simplicity makes the Raiders look real good. I'm in love with the white and red pants stripe, and for that matter, the lack of stripes on this uniform. This uniform is different from the other ones that Tech has, because it doesn't incorporate the stripes a la Under Armour that I can't stand. To quote OutKast, these unis are, "so fresh and so clean".

Bottom Line: In order to save the future (of the uniforms) we have to go back in time.

Oklahoma State

Another example of how less is more. The Pokes broke these out in their game against UTSA earlier this season, and while Oklahoma State's black jerseys are great, you can't go wrong with a classic combination. This white, orange, white combo reminds me of the days of the great Barry Sanders. Back when the Pokes wore orange a lot more than they do today. The stripes on the pants match the color of the helmet lettering and the whole uniform just looks solid as a whole. I wish the Pokes wore these more often, because their traditional colors are represented and there is not giant Pistol Pete on the side of their helmets. The lettering on the helmet is in modern font, so that it doesn't come off as a throwback uniform (which they wore during their homecoming game). I'm a fan OSU.

Bottom Line: *Inserts 3 fire emojis here*

Oklahoma

Say what you will about what is arguably the most annoying fight song in all of college football, the crimson and cream look isn't going out of style anytime soon. The stripes on the side of the pants, the glimmer off of the crimson helmets, the interlocked letters on the helmet. Yup, it's not easy to find a better looking uniform that still impresses, despite being around for forever.  I was tempted to put their away uniforms, but then I remembered the first time I went to a game in Norman with the sea of fans cheering as the crimons-clad Sooners took the field.

Bottom Line: Don't fix what ain't broken. No seriously. These don't need fixing.

Texas

These are consistently the prettiest uniforms in the Big XII, at least in my lifetime. While the burnt orange tops are a classic, the all whites with the shining orange numbers are UT's best uniforms. Just like Oklahoma the Longhorns should only have two pairs of uniforms. Home and away. Both are great and classic looks, but Texas should never wear a different uniform when they are on the road. These are simple, the shoulder stripes look good, and the helmet is that simple white with the longhorn emblem. The only thing that I would change, is remove the Longhorn emblem from the chest. It's on the uniform enough times already, and it clusters up the front of the jersey. Other than that these uniforms are beautiful.

Bottom Line: At least they win the fashion battle every time.

Baylor

Alright, Baylor I get it. You have a high power offense and you want the uniforms to match it. BUT DANG IT THESE ARE THE UNIFORMS THAT YOU LOOK THE BEST IN. In terms of all of their current uniforms, nothing comes close to Baylor's originals. The stripes down the middle go with the stripes on the pants. Your school colors are WELL represented. The bear claws on the shoulders are subtle enough, the numbers on the chest fit right in with the scheme of the rest of the helmet, and best of all the letters on the helmet are simple.

I understand the black out jerseys are becoming a necessity in college football, and the chrome helmets are nice when worn on occasion, but Baylor, your two best uniforms incorporate your school's classic look. As a TCU fan, I think Baylor looks best when they lose, but as a college football fan, I think Baylor looks best when they are actually wearing what they know (their school colors).

Bottom Line: Stay in your lane.

TCU

Before the game against Oklahoma State broke my heart, said organ was melted by how good we looked. Obviously TCU will always look good at home when in purple; sadly, we only wore purple at home ONE TIME this season. What sets this uniform apart from the other all white uniforms that we wore this year are the helmets. My favorite helmets from last season make a return and with a vengeance. The purple chrome face mask looks so good in the sun.

While I don't have that big of a quarrel with the frog skin pattern on our new jerseys, the pattern on the collar and the numbers of these uniforms is subtle, but remains a cool feature when you look at it.  The glowing purple TCU on the helmet with the silver shining horned frog (swoon)...man they're pretty. Just like a box of Krispy Kreme donuts, I could stare at these all day. As a TCU homer, these were my favorite uniforms of any Big XII team this season.

Bottom Line: You can't spell SPICY without ICY (whites).

The Bad:

Of course not every uniform worn by every team is going to look good. Let's check out the ones that sizzled this season.

Kansas

Three different colors from top to bottom? You're doing too much Kansas. Way too much.

Iowa State

You. Are. Not. The. University. Of. Southern. California. Also, just like Kansas, three colors from top to bottom and one of them looks like mustard. Not the worst uniform I've seen, but it's not pretty.

Kansas State

You don't have a bad uniform. Congratulations.

West Virginia

MY EYES. OH GOD MY EYES. Alright, these aren't that bad. However, it's hard to look at an almost all yellow ensemble and not have to look away once every five minutes to save my eyesight. I understand that yellow is one of your school's colors and I respect that. However, I think the yellow tops are better suited, pun intended, with the navy bottoms, because this is almost too much for most people to look at. Plus it would go better with the helmet.

Texas Tech

I understand the desire to incorporate red into the uniforms for the Red Raiders but it doesn't work when you're already wearing a black helmet and a white top. Once again, three colors at once just doesn't work. In addition, I really don't like those half red and black stripes on the front of the uniforms and the side of the pants. Black or white pants here would have saved them here. Although I will give Tech credit for actually wearing their school colors in this game.

Oklahoma State

I get it, you're like the Oregon of the south when it comes to uniform combinations. Just make up your mind on what your main colors are going to be. I'm not against grey in uniforms at all, but c'mon OSU, at least let your helmet color reflect somewhere else on your jersey. Just like the others listed above, three colors are not a good look here.

Oklahoma

I understand the need to spice things up every once in a while, when you only wear two uniforms, but come on Oklahoma you could do so much better than this. While this combination is for sure better than the alternates that they wore in Norman last year I can't help but just ask the question, why? Why would you wear this at home when you already have great Crimson uniforms? I get the homage to the Schooner, but the large crimson collar is too much, and the stripe with the helmet isn't bad, but the wood pattern on the helmet is a little too much for me. Maybe if you wore this on the road with the white tops instead, I would be a bigger fan, but if you're going to stray from tradition when at home, at least look good.

I was okay with the all white version of this, because it was on the road, and it was the first time EVER that OU has worn all white. If you're not going to wear your traditional uniforms at home, then do something cool like caving in and doing a black out game (that would be really hype). Not something lame like this.

Texas

This uniform only has one problem. The giant "100" on top of the Longhorn emblem on the helmet. I feel like this could have been done so much better. For instance, a patch on the shoulders like they do for bowl games. If you are stuck on wanting to put it on the helmet then do a cool sticker on the back of the helmet like a lot of teams already do when they pay homage to something notable. Bottom line: you're better than this, Texas.

Baylor

HAHAHAHAHAHA you're trying too hard here, Baylor. You could maybe get away with the grey helmet if you swapped the pants for the black ones. I do think that the grey helmet is a neat compliment to the grey claws on the shoulders, however the green in the stripes on the pants is not represented enough anywhere on the tops or helmet. In general I wasn't a fan of Baylor's grey uniforms period. But when you put your black out tops with grey pants, then it just looks bad. Just stick to your school colors.

TCU

I want to vomit. I want to flip a table over. I want to never see this combination ever again. Three colors, it almost never works. It's hard to look bad when you're wearing the chrome helmets, but you did it, TCU. It's hard to look bad when you're beating the life out of the Longhorns, but you almost did it TCU. I understand the grey uniforms are supposed to represent the scales of a horned frog, but if you're going to wear the grey uniforms at least wear the pants or the helmet to match.

We wore grey at three home games this season. We wore purple at our home games once. That's unforgivable and when playing a historical in-state rival, why not wear your main color? Yes purple is represented in the helmet, which doesn't go with the uniform, and is barely represented around the letters on the numbers, but this look was bad. As this is the school I attend, of course I'm going to be the most harsh on the Frogs' choice of uniform. Last season we didn't have a bad uniform.

This year I had more gripes than grins when I saw what the Frogs were wearing when coming out of the home locker room. The frog skin can work when done right, but the grey with the purple lids is a big ol' N.O. for me.

Alright, there you all have it. The best and the worst look that each team had to offer this season. Agree/Disagree with me? Let me know in the comments. What were your favorite and least favorite uniforms worn by the Big XII in 2015?