Another college football season is right around the corner, which means new uniforms for dozens of teams across the country. The changes, of course, range from minor tweaks to complete makeovers, but most are reflective of the creativity, passion and tradition of the college sports as a whole.
With that said, we’ve compiled a rundown of the uniform updates throughout the Big Ten Conference:
Illinois unveiled new uniforms that were supposed to evoke the the Dick Butkus era (1962-64), but closely resemble what we’ve come to expect from Syracuse — another orange and blue school. The Fighting Illini dropped any trace of white from their home and alternate uniforms, but added a unique two-column patter as a nod to historic Memorial Stadium.
Illinois — which also has a gray alternate for Homecoming as a nod to Hall of Famer Red Grange, better known as the "Galloping Ghost" — traded in its anodized aluminum finish helmets for a flat matte look.
Switching over to Adidas’ PrimeKnit A1 template, Indiana added sublimated candy stripes to its shoulder caps and lower pant legs as a subtle nod to the basketball team’s warmups. The Hoosiers also dropped the traditional double stripe from the pants, which helps further separate them from the likes of Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wisconsin — all of which are more traditional, red and white programs.
One of the last remaining teams Power 5 teams to still wear Nike’s Speed Machine template, Iowa has updated to the Vapor Untouchable template for the fall. The Hawkeyes have also changed their number font to reflect the program’s wordmark, which was already sewn into the Kinnick Stadium turf and worn on last year’s alternate uniforms.
At first glance, Maryland’s new uniforms appear to be quite similar to last year’s threads. A closer look revealed a number of significant aesthetic alterations, however.
The black stripes on the shoulders have been replaced with television numbers, while the school wordmark and Big Ten and Under Armour logos are now white instead of gold. The state flag that appeared on the Terrapins’ pants has been replaced with the team’s logo, and the diagonal stripe above the knee has been removed, as well. Finally, the hand-painted helmets no longer feature “Maryland” across the back, as it has been replaced with the player’s number.
When P.J. Fleck took over as head, you knew it was only a matter of time before his patented phrase “Row the Boat” blended with the university’s slogan of “Ski-U-Mah.” The result? The Golden Gophers have brand new uniforms — included an Anthracite alternate — with an oar, boat and compass emblazoned into the numbers and collar, as well as a chrome gold helmet.
There are no discernible changes to Nebraska's home or road uniform outside of the Adidas logo being moved from the collar to the left shoulder, since the Cornhuskers also updated to Adidas' PrimeKnit A1 template.
Like the other Adidas programs on this list, Rutgers also adopted the PrimeKnit A1 template ahead of the 2018 season. The Scarlet Knights added Northwestern stripes to their sleeves and pants; dropped their wordmark across the chest in favor of the Block “R”; and removed the black outline around the numbers.