Football off-season should really just be called "Ranking Season". We've seen stadium rankings, position rankings, national rankings, conference rankings, coach rankings, mascot rankings, media polls, fan polls... basically, anytime anyone with an ability to make words appear on the internet wants people to read about football stuff in May/June/July, they make a listacle.
No list is more important than a list ranking Pac-12 Football Uniforms, make sure your FaceBook friends know.
12. Oregon State
Susan Ragan-USA TODAY Sports
You are the PT Cruiser of college football uniforms. Are you functional? Sure. Did you get a good deal cause the guy is local or something? Maybe. That doesn't mean you don't look like a damn clown show. You are the worst in the conference, by a mile. WSU could roll out into Martin pimping a Russell Athletics sponsorship in 2015 and beat that look. At least you're not wearing a neon orange bra anymore, but really, that facemask coloring concept is visually offending to say the least and laughably stupid to say what's most often said behind your back. I like you, Oregon State, and friends gotta tell friends when their style ain't on point.
Your all-whites are almost decent, everything else would get tossed in the Goodwill pile as soon as you gave a new girlfriend access to your wardrobe.
Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
You're pretty lucky Nike tanked with someone in the same conference when they convinced you of this new image, Arizona. Congratulations are in order, however, as you've managed to totally screw up Red, White, and Blue. Some of the more patriotic among us would argue that impossible, but you found a way. Sunset graphics work ironically on baseball throwbacks for your rival. Gradients went out of style on PowerPoint like 15 years ago, but sure, adding them to your uniform is a perfect way to not make them look like deleted scene extras from a sportball game in Starship Troopers. I think it's most upsetting because the Wildcats have a traditional uniform that looks really solid, and clean, like you would imagine from such a wonderful color palette.
People may dog you for those copper helmets, but if an Arena Football team rocked those near me every year it'd be really tough to not get jealous and invent some really silly reason to wear them too.
Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports
The Wasatch Mountain setting at Rice-Eccles is one of the most beautiful stadium views in college football. Too bad that doesn't equally translate to jersey shoulders. Outside of that suggestion from an anthropomorphic paperclip to insert clip art, Utah isn't really terrible looking. They are black and red. It should be really, insanely, hard to make black and red not look "ok" at worst.
You do have a sweet feathered logo going for you. It's like you commandeered the best parts of the Redskins' logo ... which were also, perhaps coincidentally, the least offensive parts.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
The Bruins' in powder blue is one of the most iconic looks in college football, or it is for those of us on the west coast, at the very least. Troy Aikman wore it in the Rose Bowl...and so did Cade McNown for that matter. Everyone loves the powder blue; hell the Chargers are the best looking squad in The League when they put them on. Pretty good idea to scrap that brand recognition for a boring blue, shoulder stripes that don't have enough heart to go all the way around the shoulder, and tire-tread on your chest just in case you wanted to give the impression Puddles ran you over on his motorcycle during pre-game. Not to mention abandoning the Clarendon font for something with horizontal etched scoring.
You have "LA Midnight" uniforms? Sounds like you're playing on the same channel as that show where David Duchovny walks his dog and reads dirty letters.
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
Hey rivals! You really shouldn't be down here. We can both admit as much, just like we would both admit that you're probably the only team on this list (maybe Arizona, maybe UCLA) that'd be better off wearing uniforms older than the players on their team. The old school purple, tri-stripe on the helmet and gold pant .. you guys have one of the most classic looks in the whole sport. Instead of sticking with a powerhouse program that doesn't modernize for anybody look, you flirted with strange piping not once, but twice, then finally bailed on your primary school color altogether. Because you hate it? There is zero, really, zero, everyone laughs at you zero, reason you should be wearing black as much as you do. You actually put it on your primary home uniform.
Purple and gold looks great on a football uniform...need to hear that from your enemy to feel confident enough to make it your primary uniform combination again? Quit with the silly black for black's sake...you look desperate to be Oregon more than whatever it is you think you look like.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
You're OK Colorado. Like Stanford, it's a classic look. Solid shoulder stripes and a good looking logo are about all they've got to offer, and that couldn't be said a couple years ago. Colorado ditched a failed piping experiment, opting for the traditional and managing to succeed in not offending or exciting anyone. While some 'classic' looks are timeless, I'm not sure the Buffs are. They'll need an update soon, but for now it's pretty ok, and pretty ok means better than 5 other teams doing weird stuff.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
These uniforms look inspired, as exciting as if their mascot was a color. A basic font overlays a solid white, cardinal, or black jersey. Double-striped pants. Single-striped helmet. Block letter logo. Classic look. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing great either, kind of like their offense, really. Alabama has essentially the same uniform as you but pulls it off a million times better, it's weird, like you made a traditional uniform akin to a fedora or something.
Stanford drops for utilizing "black for black's sake" uniforms. See Utah? Everyone wishes they were black and red.
5. Arizona State
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
More is better, right ASU? Let's just set aside the fact you're trying to wear a million different uniform combinations for some unknown reason, and focus on the immediate issue at hand. Why did you murder Sparky? He vanished from everything and I assume you buried him in the desert somewhere. I understand #fearthefork is a cool thing, and incorporates your hand sign, and has alliteration, and makes sense to outside observers unlike "bear down"...but a pitchfork shouldn't be your logo.
See the public reaction when Oregon, that school that also has a million uniform combinations that you are definitely not trying to emulate, put The Duck on their jerseys? Sparky deserves a place on your gear, a place of honor, prestige... put his happy, prancing ass back on your helmet and quit wearing an over-sized, not proportionate (3D? You fancy?), pitchfork logo. Otherwise, good looking uniforms with stellar combinations. Maroon and gold is a strong look, and factor in the black -- because why not, everybody is -- and ASU can avoid secondary gold as a primary jersey color.
Just back off that anthracite, we called dibs way before you started shotgunning the grayscale color-wheel for alternates to your alternates. Oh, and good news! You switched to Adidas, which definitely doesn't have a track record of making football uniforms that are universally mocked more than Joel Schumaker's Batman costumes
4. Washington State
James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
The first school to consistently wear two different colored helmets looks pretty good in it's second design with Nike. Wazzu has never had a consistent look, or even a consistent primary color. Sideline jackets wouldn't match Erickson's hat, which didn't match sweatshirts in the stands, which were entirely different from jersey's on the field. Nike fixed all that, opting more red than maroon and abandoning silver for a shade of gray. It's a simple and clean look. A modern font, recognizable logo, with minimal, broad features on the shoulder and knee. Having three solid colors (white, crimson, grey) the variable combinations are both greater in number and more visually appealing than teams with obnoxious secondary colors (yellow, gold, orange).
Room for improvement; the gray is flat looking on the helmet. I don't know if the solution is making it a matte gray or dropping it entirely, but the logo doesn't pop like it did on a silver helmet -- it can actually be obscured by reflective light in a stadium. The helmet logo is also a bit too small; it was quite a bit larger when WSU wore the candy stripe unis, and there's no good reason it can't be enhanced just a bit. The anthracite knee marking doesn't really pop on the gray pant either, so something could be adjusted there so that it doesn't look like a bland solid pant. There's also a strangeness to the white facemask on the crimson helmet when they are wearing either of the two gray toned jerseys.
If I had my way; the classic script "Cougars" would replace the "Washington State" on the front of jerseys (at the same downplayed size), the Coug logo would replace numbers at the shoulders, "Wazzu" would replace "WSU" on the front of the helmet, and there would be some greater level of coordination for sleeve and legging colors under the uniform. (And as I've mused before, a chrome logo and facemask could totally work on the white helmet).
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Ditch that obnoxious collar and you'd be more than ok Cal, you'd be pretty great. Navy and gold is an enviable combination, and the latest from Cal are really fantastic, minus that one thing that is really weird and ugly around their necks. The new secondary logo ghost bear is a nice touch, and even their gray alternates are slick. The matte navy helmets are really flattering and as long as you keep your banana pajama set in the closet, there's no reason you can't stay up here. You maybe should be back a little bit, but I'm just willing to overlook one mistake at the collar for an otherwise solid set.
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
You Ducks don't get the top spot for fashion, simply because tradition does still have a small part to play. Reinventing your look every week is fun, but you just don't get those other points. You're a chef on Chopped that plated a very unique dish extraordinarily well, but didn't transform the eggplant and fruity pebbles into something desirably edible. There's big misses right along side your big hits. Most of it is fun, all of it is unique, there's just some traditional value that's absent. You're one of only a few Power Five schools that is green and yellow, and you rarely wear the combination anymore. Choosing instead to don various grayscale tones as your primary and extreme highlighter versions of your school colors as secondary elements. Baylor is the closest, and both of you actively avoid any traditional coloring scheme.
You do you though, it's cool enough you got both Washington and Arizona State to bail on the best things about their respective looks in order to chase in your wake.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
The most recent hubub about USC uniforms was whether they continue to wear black cleats with white shoelaces or allow players to were team-colored variations. They wore team-colored shoes for a while under Lane Kiffin, the badness happened to them, then they switched back to make everything all better. USC has gold pants with either a scarlet (home) or white (away) jersey. They always wear gold pants.
Other than the "chevron" stripes on the sleeves (and some flirting with facemask colors) USC has had the same look for some 50 years. The Trojan logo is iconic, and the simple primary color combination of the uniform is powerful, no fancy anything, just bold lines.