Wednesday, December 2, 2015

What's in your closet?

While Oregon is known to pick a new combo EVERY week, much of the Pac-12 has adapted that closet-busting strategy as well. Ironically the California schools were the least fashion-forward!

Here's a rundown of how many different combos each team has worn this season. 

The max is 12 since there are twelve regular-season games (except Colorado had 13 due to Hawaii game) and I'm not counting the bowls since you already know that teams like Oregon, ASU and Arizona will come up with a  new gown for the ball. I'm also not counting helmets that are the same color but just chromed like USC and UW.

Fashion mavens (how many logo variations can you have?):

Oregon: 12  (never repeated a helmet configuration and had six different colored hats)
Arizona State: 12 (five games with head-to-toe mono look)
Colorado: 12 (four helmet colors was most except for UO)
Arizona: 11  (only repeat was "blueout")
Utah: 10  (good use of the school colors without needed gray, silver, etc)
Oregon State: 10 (removed logo from helmet a few times)

Mix and match (a few pants, jerseys and hats add up quick):

Washington State: 8 (since gray is a school color, one of the few teams to wear it well)
Washington: 8 (used their 3 colors to good advantage)
Cal: 6 (only one helmet variation)
UCLA: 3 (four if you count the helmet sticker with the "bone frog")

Stalwart traditionalists (home and road, what else do you need?):

USC: 2 (I'd vote for chrome red helmets all the time)
Stanford: 2 (no BFBS this year)

All teams except for USC, Stanford, Cal did some sort of "blackout" or whiteout"

All 12 of the Duck helmets this year:

ASU looked good in mono-color this year, but why not mono-yellow?

Colorado gets the award for the "Best Use of a Simple Color Pallete." Their school colors of gold, silver, black and white made them look ready for the red carpet! And they only repeated a combo once! Fashionable, but on a  budget!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Week 13: November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving and Rivalry Week gave us a colorful bunch of uniforms.

Oregon finally pulled out its green and yellow combo. (click here for more info) while the other home teams obliged with a good use of their primary colors. OSU pulled out its whiteout combo for the second time this season. Like the Beaver's, WSU repeated its week five whiteout while playing at UW. The Huskies wore their "practice helmets" as a nod to the work that the seniors have put in at UW. Both Cal and Stanford were home so in their blue and red.

Utah went mostly-mono-red for the first time since week one. In snowy conditions in Salt Lake City, Colorado blended into the scenery with its mono-white combo with silver helmets. Arizona State played it traditional since the Sun Devils had already played their rivalry game.  And the clash in LA was in its beautiful traditional color on color.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Week 12: November 21, 2015

It's getting down to the last couple games for some of these teams, and thus we have the beginning of rivalry weeks. That usually means that the teams dress up in their finest and most colorful to entertain their bitter rivals. This often means color vs. color, but not this week, which looked like an old black-and-white movie!

Ten of the Pac-12 wore either white, gray or black jerseys, since several of the home teams opted for BFBS instead of color. The only colored jerseys were WSU and Stanford's in  lookalike reds!
Oregon State came to the blackout party which is odd since black IS one of its colors! And just down the road Oregon finally paired its black jersey with its "angry duck" black helmet for its first ninja look, which is a common theme when they host USC.

The two rivalry games this week were Cal-Stanford and Arizona-Arizona State. Speaking of the Territorial Cup, ASU donned its "Dessert Hammer" gray mono look against a mostly-white-clad Arizona. The Big Game in Palo Alto was a traditional affair with neither team pulling out any uniform tricks.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Week 11: November 14, 2015

Darkness descended upon much of the Pac-12 south this week! Half the bunch seemed to be jumping on the BFBS look, and it's already two weeks past Halloween! Both Colorado and UCLA went mono black. UCLA combined its much-maligned "Black Ops" BFBS with military honoring, by sporting a "Bone Frog" helmet logo that honors the Navy Seals. Adding to the darkness was ASU and its black jersey and helmet from week 6 and Arizona's "Blueout" which is a repeat of week 2 and almost identical to weeks 6 and 8.

The north was much more traditional with the Bay Area teams sporting classic home looks while hosting the Oregon schools, and WSU dressing in its classic scarlet, white and gray. Oregon was the only black in the north with its helmets and pants, which even if they had not been playing Stanford, is a relatively unlucky combo for them. But they pulled out a victory on the Farm!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Week 10: November 7, 2015

For the majority of the Pac-12 this week was business as usual in the uniform realm. Plenty of traditional road uniforms with a decent mix of mono-white and 7 teams sporting white pants! The only mono-color was WSU in their gray getup, which is excusable for them since gray is a school color. Colorado looked like it's old self in traditional gold and black, even though their school colors include silver. Washington and UCLA honored vets with a flag logo. Oregon brought back the angry Duck with sparkly white helmets.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Week 9: October 31, 2015

On Thursday's #pac12afterdark, Oregon finally got a win in a variation of their silver/white uniform! But boy, howdy, was it a hard-fought victory, against a throwback-clad Arizona State, which went all-Tillman.

And for Halloween we got....Blackout in Seattle and Salt Lake City, Blueout in Berkeley, and Crimsonout in Pullman. And lots of white elsewhere: the aforementioned Ducks; Arizona's full "ghost" Whiteout for the first time this season; Colorado going mostly white and OSU and Stanford's traditional road whites.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 8: October 24, 2015

With Oregon and Arizona State off this weekend (They being the most non-traditional fashionistas this year), the Pac-12 had the potential to have a pretty traditional uniform landscape. Think of it as a late "Back-to-the Future Day." But alas UCLA threw a monkey wrench into that scenario. They pulled out their "City" BFBS uniforms for the Thursday Night game. I'm not an alternate uniform hater, so these are actually kinda stylish in my book. But they were matched up against their instate public school rival Cal. That matchup could have been  beautiful celebration of all that is UC blue/gold/yellow, but it just ended up looking rather dark, especially at night. Cal's blue is really dark, bordering on black, and UCLA's blue helmet logo on black just disappeared on camera.

Pair that with Oregon State wearing black shirts for the first time since week one, Colorado going gold and white, Wazzu getting "Icey" for the second time, and you get a relatively low key affair out west.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Week 6: October 10, 2015

Looking for some black and white games this week? The Pac 12 was your place then! Colorado visiting Arizona State looked like an old black and white movie, with the Sun Devils going full "Black Out" and the Buffaloes going white-white-black. If only the Buffs had gone "White Out" like they did in week 3. Oregon went all gray/silver at home contrasted nicely with the all-crimson WSU Cougars. Oregon State did their normal black-white-black on the road.

ESPN College GameDay was on hand for Utah to pull out its throwback uniforms with old UU logo and rounded numerals vs a normally dressed Cal.

Oregon did what it does best and unveiled its "Pioneer" Oregon-Trail inspired uniforms, which honestly looked more space-age cartoon to me. And on TV, the map that was supposed to add texture to the jersey looked like it got dysentery on the trail and died, which sums up Oregon's season so far.  See my fuller writeup on the DuckTracker here. This combo is a bit too much like its "Big-game-loss" uniforms which are also discussed on the DuckTracker here.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Week 5: October 3, 2015

Last week's gridiron had a lot of mono-dominate colors, but this week was much more sedate, with several of the more fashion-forward teams on the road wearing white, at the home stadiums of more traditional-uniformed teams.

One third of the Pac were off this week as well.

The only mini trend was gray. Both ASU and Colorado pulled out their smoky uniforms. The Sun Devils debuted parts of their "Dessert Hammer" look, while the Buffaloes dressed in black and "silver." The Buff's look was nice, especially since Colorado's official colors are silver and gold. Ironically the only other team with gray as one of its official colors—Washington State—went all white.

The Ducks, a bit gun-shy after last week's all green debacle, went for a proven winner in lightning yellow, which was appropriate since the game was delayed by lightning until practically Sunday on the east coast.

When are we going to see some Pink this month?

It was a patriotic looking clash in Palo Alto. The usual white/red/white Cardinal went up against the blue/white/white Wildcats.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Week 4: September 26, 2015

The Northwest was a technicolor dream with the three active school's going mono-dominant color. The Ducks went full-Apple Green (like—but unlike—the 2015 Rose Bowl); the Beavers went full-Pumpkin Orange (and it's not even October yet); and the Huskies went almost-full Grape Purple. I'm a sucker for these three secondary colors so thought this was a real nice look, especially since these three colors are unique to their schools in the Pac-12!

Not to be left out of the mono-dominant weekend though, were the two Arizona schools that did a Wildcat "Red-out" and a Sun Devil "Maroon-out." The Wildcats debuted a pretty cool red chrome helmet.

That left the more traditional schools to wear their normal road jerseys and Utah to go for a white out victory in Eugene.

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Duck from Puddles to Disney to Nike...

Since Oregon was one of the teams that started the whole uniform-as-canvas trend in the late 1990s (They rebranded for the 1999 season and have not been the same since), they have matured their multiple looks and now are branching out into alternate logos as well as color schemes.

2015 has seen the birth of Combat Duck as the newest member of the Oregon logo family. Here is a little history on the evolution. Check out links at the bottom for an much more exhaustive look at this topic!

Puddles vs. The Duck

According to, Puddles was a live duck mascot from the 1920s when Oregon was known as the Webfoots. The current iteration of the live costumed mascot beloved by Lee Corso is usually called The Duck.

Donald Duck

Disney became involved during the 1940s when Walt Disney and Oregon AD Leo Harris shook hands on an an agreement to use a likeness of Donald Duck as Oregon's mascot. The agreement limited when and where the Donald version could be used and also limited the appearance of the costumed mascot.
Walt Disney and Oregon AD Leo Harris

Image above from

"Fighting Duck"
Above images from

Fighting Duck and the Nike O

In a premonition of this year's Combat Duck, football coach Jerry Frei (1967-71) wanted the duck logo to have teeth to better personify the nickname "Fighting Ducks". In 1999, with the help of Nike, The University moved away from using Donald Duck or interlocking UO as its primary logo, and shifted to the sleeker O which is said to represent Hayward Field and Autzen Stadium.
Above image from

Robo Duck AKA "Mandrake"

Because of the limitations on the use of the Disney-derived duck, UO decided to shake things up a bit and introduce an additional live mascot in 2002. While officials claimed that this was not a replacement for the beloved—and much cuter—The Duck, the Oregon flock did not take this very well and he was retired.
Above image from

Nike "Fighting Duck"

For at least a decade in the early 2000s, The Duck as logo was underused in the era of the O and winged shoulders/helmet. Perhaps that was a hangover from the Robo Duck? But nostalgia began to creep back in. In 2010 Disney agreed that the costumed mascot "Duck" and Donald were not the same and that Oregon could use the mascot as it liked. The limits still seemingly pertained to printed logos though, which led to Oregon and Nike making a newer graphic that would  appear on uniforms and merchandise. At the 2011 Oregon-Cal game, the uniform's throwback shoulders sported a new version of the duck. This time it was less Disney and more like a carefree version of the costumed mascot. At this game, the players wore The Duck on their shoulders, but The Duck had a "Chip"on its shoulder!

Image above from
Image above from

Combat Duck

Making it's debut on Sept. 12, 2015 vs. Michigan Sate, the Combat Duck looks a bit like the Nike Duck but with a meaner look and chapped lips. Like Mark Helfrich and discussing injuries, The UO is a bit mum about discussing the newer duck logos. Craig Pintens, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Marketing & Public Relations, is helpful in tweeting images of Nike's newest creations, but said that they will not discuss the design. I guess that makes it even more mysterious!

Images above from Twitter feed Oregon Football @WinTheDay

The University of Oregon has an even more historical article on this topic

Fish Duck has a great chronicle as well


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Week 3: September 19, 2015

Almost half the Pac-12 opted for white-outs this weekend, and some were at home! But there were a lot of traditional uniform combos this week. especially at the stalwart USC-Stanford game. UCLA and UW were both classic looking and shiny: UW in their gold chrome domes and classic purple/gold, while UCLA had the same combo of gold/blue/gold as week one. WSU was a bit drab in their gray, but thankfully the crimson helmets brightened that combo. Arizona and Utah were matched opposites in their reds and whites.

Oregon has yet to wear any green this year, keeping its two home games a Pittsburg-like Black and Yellow affair. Maybe they are saving Green for conference play? I wonder if after the MSU white/gray uniforms produced a loss, that look will be benched for big games?  Since the UO's last three big games while wearing mostly white/silver have been losses.

The Ducks also went with a glossy-black helmet a week after sporting the sparkly-white one. And to really annoy the OCD uni-watchers out there, Oregon used their newish Nike Duck (the update to the Disney Duck) on one side and the brand-new "Combat Duck" on the other! As a Duck fan I will love anything they do, but find those two duck cartoons way too similar! This "Combat-Duck" gives me cold-chill memories of RoboDuck!  And their jersey shoulders sported the older feather pattern compared to week one that had the similar-but-different pattern. As a graphic artist and fan, that odd difference drives me bonkers.

Drawn by Dennis Bolt (  for