So after checking out/recovering from the color rush alternates/Scarlet-out, I would like to suggest to no one in particular what I think is a better way to do the alternate-jersey/[COLOR]-out/cool-recruiting-weekend thing that Ohio State has been trying to do these past couple years: an annual black out, usually vs. Penn State on Halloween-ish weekend. And before you tell me "bLack IsN'T EvEn pArT Of ouR coLor sCHemE," think again.
Black Jersey Suggestion:
What I hate about this year's alternates (and many of the past couple years' alternates) is how lazy they seem to be. To be clear, I don't hate alternates in general and am indeed under the age of 30. But it's been CTRL+A+scarlet/black/gray, print. It's change for the sake of change/$. It's stupid, especially when you have some of the best uniform and colors in all of college football gathering dust in the closet.
This isn't to say that alternate jerseys need to be complicated, but they can learn from what makes the normal unis so great.
My suggestion? A black jersey that sort of inverts the 1968 (now I guess Playoff) jersey: gray sleeves, normal gray pants, and normal helmet (maybe a black helmet stripe?). But the scarlet jersey is now black (still with white body numbers) and the black shoulder numbers are now scarlet.
From the 1968 shoulder numbers to the thick stripe that used to be on the pants, black has been a small-but-not-insignificant part of the Bucks' uniforms — best in the B1G and all of college football (screw LSU) — for a long time. And of course black jerseys are a big hit with recruits, so it makes sense to go that route when it comes to alternates.
Just based on the spring game and occasional recruit photos, there seems to be more recognition now that a black jersey alone can look good paired with the normal uniform. The non-monochrome approach would be similar to Nebraska's popular black jerseys, but with the gray helmet and pants it's easier to go for the darker, horror-like vibe the Bucks went for the last time they wore all-black — except now they won't look like they belong in Tron.
It's also notable that "[o]n a black background ... scarlet glows and expands," so the scarlet shoulder numbers on a black jersey could evoke the massive 90s numbers many fans on here love, without actually requiring a size 48 font.
This is literally just a suggestion I came up with on the way home from work (and I liked it enough to make this long-ass post), but it incorporates way more history and tradition than these color rush jerseys. All I'm asking is for a little more care/thought about what makes the Bucks' uniforms so great.
Black Out Game Suggestion:
Now, if you're going to wear black jerseys, it can't be a day game. And it sure as hell can't be in The Game. Since we're doing the big-recruiting-weekend-thing against Penn State again this year and they're not our rival, that game would make the most sense to have as a black out night game. Plus, it's usually our second-biggest game of the year.
Since a lot of people really like/respect Penn State's white out, it could be a cool response for when they visit Columbus. And like PSU, when the Bucks travel to Happy Valley, use the black out another week for the best NON-TTUN home game on the schedule. If that sounds too much like we'd be copying Penn State's white out, the Bucks already ruin that most of the time anyway and Script Ohio says hello.
If we want this to be accepted/liked by the more traditional-minded fans, I think it makes the most sense to have the black out at a consistent week/time of the year. You know, like... a tradition. What goes well with a nighttime, horror atmosphere? Halloween.
OSU-PSU is on October 30 this year. There's already been some great late-October matchups between OSU and PSU, why not build up that memory muscle and request the B1G schedule PSU or another big B1G game in late October every year? Having the PSU/best-non-TTUN home game in late October would also likely avoid the way-too-frequent [good team]—TTUN back-to-back that seems to always tax/trip up the Bucks at the end of the November.
I hate coming onto this site, seeing alternate uniforms get announced, and being told if I don't like them then I'm a thousand years old. But I do want the Bucks to have all-around awesome recruiting weekends with alternate unis and an electric crowd, so we can keep killing the B1G in recruiting and get to the Playoff.
Ohio State football is a tradition-laden program and fanbase, but it's not completely opposed to adding new layers of tradition onto fall Saturdays. Those traditions just need to be a little more like the football team going to Skull Session or the Block O jersey, not Quick Cals. Which is to say they need to be a little more thoughtful and deliberate than our mishmash of alternate jerseys and bad scheduling has been.
Now get off my lawn. And if you don't like my Halloween black out suggestion, I'd be interested to hear what you'd all prefer in the comments below. Go Bucks!