1) Uniform debate — The uniform war is in full swing. Oregon has made gameday into a fashion show. Even the most curmudgeonly old schooler will check out the Ducks’ unis if only to give them a thumbs down and a “get off my lawn, you kids.”
Maryland takes it up a notch this weekend. The Terrapins will wear their “Black Ops” uniforms. They are entirely black with the Maryland state flag shaded in charcoal on the shoulder pads and helmet. The numbers are yellow with Maryland in red across the front.
No, they aren’t affiliated with the “Black Ops” video game, but they might as well be. This is the other end of Maryland’s uniform “show” following up on the “White Ops” unis from September.
This is where we mention that Oregon is “THE” Nike school and Maryland is “THE” Under Armour school.
Iowa is “a” Nike school. Iowa also has done some uniform Olympics this season. The Hawkeyes wore throwbacks from the 1921-22 teams for their home opener against Iowa State. The reviews came in Notre Dame-ish with the gold helmet. Last week, Iowa wore stock Nike uniforms that were fashioned to resemble a military uniform, complete with a silver helmet that had an American flag Tiger Hawk logo on one side and a black Tiger Hawk on the other.
Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is old school. He wasn’t in the same class with guys with leather helmets, but his persona was just behind them in elementary school. He’s not high on the uniform craze and has stated his preference and admiration for the uniform that Hayden Fry brought to Iowa City in 1979.
Ferentz conceded this summer that he understands the uniform nuttiness with the kids. He also says if a player picked his school based on whether he could be on Twitter or not (Iowa doesn’t allow this), that player would be better off at another school.
What I’m saying here is Iowa has pretty great uniforms. You see the Tiger Hawk, you see Iowa. That kind of distinctiveness is unbeatable.
Don’t expect Iowa to jump into this. Yes, there’s Ferentz’s fondness for the traditional — many of you have and will read that an entirely different way, aka “stick in the mud” — but remember, Iowa is “a” Nike school. This has to be a moneymaker for all involved. That’ll be $180 for a jersey Iowa will wear once, please.
You won’t see a Maryland “Black Ops” jersey worn in Iowa. You wouldn’t see an Iowa “Super Karate Kick KaPow” jersey in Maryland.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Iowa in a “HAMMER FIST SUPER TRUCK” jersey at some point, on Ferentz’s watch even, but in 10 years, are you even going to remember what game the Hawkeyes wore it in?
No, but you’ll remember $180. And Nike will thank you for your patronage.
2) The empty Ohio State lament — Ohio State goes into Wisconsin this weekend to face, perhaps, its greatest threat remaining for a 12-0 season. The Buckeyes sit 10-0 and will face archrival Michigan at the Horse Shoe in the season finale.
This is heady stuff in Urban Meyer’s first season in Columbus.
The Associated Press poll and BCS computers would’ve kept OSU out of national title game talk. The Buckeyes would, however, be squarely in the conversation for a undefeated showdown with Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl.
Undefeated. Showdown. Rose Bowl. Notre Dame.
But former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel wasn’t exactly forthcoming with the NCAA a couple of years ago and the Buckeyes play under a one-year postseason ban and, so, possibly yes to the undefeated but no to showdown, Rose Bowl and Notre Dame.
Too bad Tressel cheated. Too bad that matchup won’t happen. Who in college football wouldn’t have dug that?
3) Speaking of which . . . — I’m on Twitter (@marcmorehouse) and it’s maybe the best place to follow breaking college football news and opinion. This week, an Ohio State fan posed a thought to me that I hadn’t considered: The Big Ten has made Ohio State a bigger rival to Wisconsin than Iowa.
Let’s think on this a sec: The Iowa and Wisconsin series is tied 42-42-2, but the two teams haven’t played since 2010. The two teams will face off in 2013-14, but separate again in 2015-16.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin and Ohio State are positioned to butt heads in the Big Ten’s Leaders Division for years to come.
Oh, and then there’s this from Buckeyes receiver Corey Brown this week: “I don’t want to go on record saying that I hate Wisconsin more than Michigan,” Buckeyes wide receiver Corey Brown said, “but I hate Wisconsin just as much as Michigan.”
Did someone say “hate”? We love that, don’t we?