A Week in Review
The results of this season in the Win-Loss columns did not turn out the way we all had hoped or expected, but our first year as an Adidas school surpassed the expectations of many. The Cactus Bowl uniform was no exception.
The Maroon Helmet/Maroon Jersey/ Black Pant combo was a unique combination, and the chrome gold outlined black pitchfork decals on the helmets looked sharp. Jerry Neilly and the Sun Devil Equipment staff have done an incredible job this season working with a new uniform company, keeping tradition alive, and providing innovative ideas to keep things fresh.
I was at the game and had only a couple critiques of this combination. First, the helmet decals were sometimes hard to see in person. Watching it back on TV at home, though, they looked great. Second, when players combined plain black socks with the black pants, it gave off a look as if those players were wearing black sweat pants.
Overall, it was a solid uniform combination that incorporated Maroon and Gold with the new school black in a creative way.
Cactus Bowl Uniform Grade: A-
The Countdown: 13 – 7
With the conclusion of the season, we have seen 13 unique uniform combinations which I will rank in descending order. This proved to be very difficult. For example, though the Maroon Monsoon is one of my favorites looks year in and year out, it actually landed in the bottom half of my rankings because of so many great uniform combinations this year.
In this article we cover the bottom half of the rankings before presenting the top 6 uniforms next week. There will probably be quite a bit of disagreement with my choices. That’s good. That means there are different tastes that the Sun Devil Equipment staff is appealing to and only further proves their success at being innovative.
Without any further ado, let’s get this countdown started:
13. New Mexico: The Whiteout
This might ruffle some feathers right from the get go. I know a lot of folks are fond of the “Storm Trooper” look. The Whiteout uniform is not bad in my opinion. In fact, none of these uniforms are bad. However, to me, the white from head to toe comes off as a bit of a blank canvas with too few examples of identity and color. Add to that the fact that the Whiteout took place at home which allowed the opponent, New Mexico, to don their colors in our house. This is why we find the Whiteout at the bottom of the list.
12. At Utah: Black Helmet with Black decals/White Jersey/White Pants
This is a great example of why ranking this list was so difficult. The black pitchfork decals with the metallic gold and maroon outline made their debut and looked sharp on the matte black helmet. It was a nice, subtle touch of innovation, but didn’t impress on-field as much as I had hoped when the uniform combination was revealed. The great thing about it is that it opens up a list of new options of how to utilize that decal.
11. At Washington State: Gold Helmet, Maroon Fork/White Jersey/Gold Pants
Those of you that have read along with me all season know that while I am a fan of the innovation, I love the traditional colors and looks. So why is the white away jersey with the gold helmet and pant combination so far down the list? I don’t really have a great reason. Perhaps it’s because the combo didn’t include enough dark color to really make the uniform pop. Either way, I do love this combo and want to continue to see it in the future, but as for the 2015-16 season, it’s #11 on the list.
10. Washington: Black Helmet, Large Fork/Black Jersey/Gold Pants
It has become a tradition that the seniors get to choose one of the uniform combinations every year and this was the 2015 edition. This look showcases the newly introduced black helmet with the oversized pitchfork. This combination is a solid look, though it smacks of Missouri or Iowa. The similarities are not why it is so far down the list, though. In a season full of innovation and alternate uniforms, this is a “non-traditional” combination that has already been used twice before in past seasons, so it got designated to kickoff the Top 10.
9. Colorado: Blackout
The creativity and classic looks this year have relegated the popular Blackout to the bottom half of the rankings. It has a powerful aura, especially as the Sun Devil Equipment staff unveiled the oversized pitchfork on the black helmet for the first time ever. However, the novelty of the all black uniform has worn off just a bit. That’s not to say folks don’t still get fired up about Blackout games, but it is no longer the new, fresh look. Add to that that this year’s edition was worn against lowly Colorado, and some of the shine was taken away.
8. USC: Maroon Monsoon
I mentioned that this is one of my favorite combinations. It’s sharp, rich, and boldly displays the maroon and gold. A lot of talk swirled around the fact that the Blackout was showcased against similarly colored Colorado, along with the Maroon Monsoon being against worn against a somewhat similar cardinal and gold of USC. I don’t believe the opponent colors took anything away from the Maroon Monsoon, but while it looks outstanding, once again the novelty of the promotional uniform combination has worn off slightly.
7. Texas A&M: Desert Ice
The first alternate and first uniform of the year made a grand entrance as it introduced Sun Devil Nation to what was in store from the collaboration of Adidas and the Sun Devil Equipment staff. It was very well received when it was unveiled and looked sharp on the field. The oversized, filled in copper pitchfork was a great addition to the decal repertoire. It was flashy, but subtle. Innovative, but not overdone. It put Adidas in the good graces of ASU fans and built excitement for the new looks to come.
With that, we close out this portion of the rankings. Keep an eye out for the Top 6 combos coming in Part 2 of our UNIFORMITY: 2015-16 uniform rankings.
Cole Streeper is a lifelong Sun Devil and an Arizona State graduate of 2010. He has always been passionate about ASU Football and that passion has only grown with time. You can follow Cole on Twitter at @sundevilcole7.
DieHard-Apparel / By Sun Devils, for Sun Devils