A Week in Review
Last week in UNIFORMITY Installment #15, I counted down the bottom half of the 13 ASU Football uniform combinations we saw this season. This week, the Top 6 will be revealed, but let’s review last week’s rankings first:
13. The Whiteout
12. Black Helmet/White Jersey/White Pants
11. Gold Helmet/White Jersey/Gold Pants
10. Black Helmet/Black Jersey/Gold Pants
9. The Blackout
8. The Maroon Monsoon
7. Desert Ice
Now, without further ado, the top Sun Devil Football uniform combinations of 2015-16.
The Countdown: The Top 6
6. Territorial Cup: Desert Hammer
Get your lunch pales and hard hats ready, folks. The Desert Hammer jersey brings a workmanlike, blue collar edge to Sun Devil Nation. Debuting this full uniform against our hated rival captured the effort we as fans and the team put in to defeat the team down south. The all-gray, copper accented alternate uniform looked awesome. Though the copper numbers were hard to pick up at times, the emphatic victory over our rival while wearing copper felt pretty darn good. Add to that the fact that we destroyed UA at home two years ago when they dawned their “copper-top” helmets, and it further proved who owns the state of Arizona.
5. Cactus Bowl: Maroon Helmet, Black Forks/Maroon Jersey/Black Pants
This never before seen look brings us to the fifth spot in the countdown. It’s blend of the old school maroon jersey, new school black pants, and an innovative twist on the maroon helmet bolstered it past some strong options to reach the #5 spot. As I mentioned in last week’s review of this combo, one of the things that held it back from a higher ranking was the appearance of sweatpants given when players matched plain black socks with the black pants.
4. Cal Poly: Traditional Combo – Gold Helmet, Maroon Fork/Maroon Jersey/Gold Pants
There are a few reasons why this traditional combo is so far up the list. First, it carries with it an emotional connection for new fans and fifty-year season ticket holders. Maroon and gold is all over campus, so when we see it, we naturally relate to it. Second, it just looks good. Arizona State’s maroon and gold is the best color combination in sports. Third, it marks the home opener of Sun Devil Football every season. ASU has worn this combination to mark the beginning of the home football schedule every year since the re-branding, and there’s nothing quite as beautiful as football returning to Sun Devil Stadium.
3. At Cal: Gold Helmet, Maroon Fork/White Jersey/Maroon Pants
Over the years, this color combination has become perhaps the most iconic away jersey for Sun Devil Football. It doesn’t seem to get as much notoriety as the home uniforms, but it is an outstanding combination. As quintessential a look as the Gold/Maroon/Gold combination, it proudly displays the identity of Arizona State Football. With the rebranding, we’ve seen innovation impact the program in very positive ways as you will see with the #2 ranked uniform, but feeling your roots is always important to a program.
2. At UCLA: Desert Hammer Helmet/Desert Ice Jersey/Desert Hammer Pants
Desert Ice and Desert Hammer came in at #7 and #6 in the rankings, respectively. Both of these alternate uniforms are very good by themselves, but when paired together they are great. The Gray helmet and pants were offset by the white jersey, breaking the monotone of the two alternate jerseys. The common theme of copper throughout brought it all together. If not for the surprise of the top uniform, and the #1 uniform’s greatness, this could easily be the best uniform of the year for any team in college football. Add to that what was arguably the team’s most complete performance of the season and a victory over the #7 Bruins, and this combo is a favorite.
1. Oregon: Pat Tillman 1996 Throwbacks – Gold Sparky Helmet/Maroon Jersey/Gold Pants
Where does one begin with this uniform? We already knew we were in for a treat because of the secrecy surrounding what we, at the time, only knew was a military appreciation alternate. There was a lot of speculation that camo would be involved in the form of a jersey or helmet.
Not a lot of hints were given before the game as far as the actual uniform, but some pieces were revealed during the week leading up to the game. The first element that was revealed were the canvas green cleats with the PT*42 crest, followed by gloves of the same color with the PT*42 crest appearing when the palms are placed next to each other. The undershirt rounded out the pre-game reveals by confirming that camo would indeed be included, but only under the uniform.
It was not until early morning on game day that we were treated to a uniform reveal that took us back to the glory days of ASU Football both in on-field success and aesthetics. The 1996 uniform combination had every player’s name read “Tillman” on the back of their jersey. The classic gold helmets had a maroon center stripe with Sparky on either side, and the combination was finished off by a plain gold pant with small Sparky logo near the left hip.
This is not only the best look of the season, but this is the best look ASU Football has ever had. Even with the Sparky helmet, the looks prior to 1996 and the alterations that took place throughout 2000s before the rebrand could never match the look of the 1996 team.
And so concludes a season of great looks from Arizona State Football. To those of you who have read along with me all season, I sincerely thank you. It has been an absolute pleasure as a Sun Devil fan to write for other Sun Devil fans. I also thank Mike Howell and Jeff Alba for allowing me the opportunity to write for DieHardDevil. I hope you have enjoyed the lighter side of an otherwise disappointing season. Here’s to a great offseason, and an even better ASU Football season in 2016 in both record and uniforms. Thank you for reading UNIFORMITY!
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.