The Houston Cougars unveiled their new uniforms on Tuesday. The result wasn't as disastrous as had been expected. And based on the leaked prototypes from February, that the uniforms aren't a disaster is a rather minor miracle.
The predominant colors are red and white. There's some silver piping. And that's about it. There are no chrome helmets. There are no strange logos wrapping around the helmet. There are no all-silver uniforms, no strange-looking numbers. There's a white helmet for the first time in forever. And with the two helmets, the two different jerseys and the two different pants, there are a total of eight uniform combinations that can be worn during the season -- rather bland when compared to Oregon's 943,625,107 different combinations that can be worn during a season.
The new look's kind of blah. It doesn't offend the eye. There's nothing audacious to the look. There's no neon anywhere. The school colors are emphasized -- the prototypes had lots of silver and chrome. And there's kind of a new-school look to the uniforms. But they really add nothing. There's nothing that stands out, that sets the school apart from any other team wearing red and white or any other color.
So why the change? Especially after getting new uniforms last season? Last season's look was nice. It still wasn't as good as the classic UH look of the 1970s. But it was a nice look. The jerseys looked like they could still be worn 20 years from now and wouldn't look out of style, or could have been worn 20 years and would have looked perfectly normal.
The primary reason being used for the new uniforms, one mentioned by head coach Tony Levine at the unveiling on Tuesday, is that it will help UH be a national program and fuel the school's growth and exposure. The recruits will supposedly notice and like the uniforms and will thus want to play for UH. And that's okay because a team needs good players to win football games, though it seems kind of strange that schools like Alabama, Texas, LSU and so on are able to recruit top-flight recruits year after year after year despite a lack of flashy uniforms.
And schools like Oregon and Baylor and Boise State have uniforms with lots of flash and glitz and hundreds of different combos that can be mixed and matched, and the same combination will never be worn for seasons. Those teams have helmets that can blind and neon shoes so bright that even the Las Vegas Strip thinks the brightness is a bit too much. But then again, those schools, especially Oregon, are winning football games and playing on national television, so how much is it the recruit wanting to wear the flashy uniforms and how much is it the recruit wanting to win football games and play on national television every week? What happens if Oregon starts losing now that Chip Kelly has skipped town for the Philadelphia Eagles?
None of that matters. The school likes the new uniforms. And the only opinion that matters is that of the school. And the opinion of the coach. And of the players. And the company designing the uniforms. And it doesn't matter in the slightest that at this time last year, the school was talking about its great new uniforms, its fantastic new look and how much the recruits loved the jersey-pant combinations.
And really, the look is not that bad. Not as bad as it could have been. The road uniform combos look good, except when the white helmet is added to the mix -- seriously, a white helmet, really? But the home combos are kind of iffy, especially the white shoulder pads on top of the red jersey. Yet in the end, it's just kind of blah. Kind of a yawn. Kind of a bore in the same way the Houston Texans uniforms are kind of blah and boring -- luckily, UH doesn't have any combo as godawful as the Texans' ketchup bottle look.
It's just a uniform, another set for a school that's been through as many looks this century as it has coaches, which is probably about five uniform looks too many. There was a new look last season. There was a new one under Kevin Sumlin. Art Briles added blue to the look. But in the end, this UH grad would just be happy if the school went the retro route and went to the 1970s classic look.
Then again, none of this will matter if the Cougars just go out and win football games. Because when it comes to college football, there's nothing better for curing ills than winning football games.
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