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Rutgers Athletics

Uniform updates: Rutgers wearing long sleeved jerseys, Texas Tech throwing it back to 1976

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The Texas Longhorns won’t be the only school wearing a throwback style this weekend. Add Texas Tech and Rutgers to the mix of teams adopting a look that pays tribute to a certain era in program history.

Rutgers, the birthplace of college football, will be doing neer before seen in the modern era of college football. The Scarlet Knights will wear long-sleeve jerseys. The long sleeves mimic the style of uniform worn by the earliest college football players, although these uniforms will be made of a much more athletic material compared to the gear worn by those in 1869. The red long sleeve jerseys will be topped by a white helmet with a classic “R” logo. From head to toe, it is quite a unique look for the Scarlet Knights.

Texas Tech won’t be wearing long sleeves, but they will be wearing a look similar to the one worn during the bicentennial. The retro uniforms to be worn by Texas Tech this weekend take a page from the 1976 Red Raiders with a white helmet and red double-T logo, complete with red stars. Texas Tech claimed a Southwest Conference title in 1976, so the design choice is appropriate for the Red Raiders.

Not to be forgotten, Boston College has been teasing its own throwback look for this weekend too. I’m just guessing it will be one Doug Flutie would appreciate.

Teams suiting up in uniforms designed to pay tribute to a previous generation of program history has been a thing for a while now, but it is great to see so many schools getting in on the fun in the 150th anniversary season of college football. Every team should make it happen.

But wait, there’s more! Boise State is going to wear a uniform similar to the one they wore during their Fiesta Bowl victory over Arizona in 2014.

C’mon Boise State. If you’re going to do a Fiesta Bowl throwback look, it is required by law that it must be the uniform worn in the win against Oklahoma.

South Carolina goes back in black with 1980’s throwback uniform

South Carolina Athletics
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South Carolina is joining Notre Dame and Maryland with a 1980s inspired throwback uniform to be worn during the 2019 college football season. Like the Irish and Terrapins, the Gamecocks have chosen to pay homage to their teams from the 1980s with an all-black uniform reminiscent of the looks seen during the decade.

Like the Notre Dame and Maryland uniforms, special attention to detail was given on the numbering of the uniform to include a pattern that mimics the look of the old-school texture of many college football jerseys.

The black jersey and pants are topped by a maroon helmet for the classic look of the Gamecocks form the era. South Carolina has used similar uniforms to mimic this look over the years, but this one is true to the 1980s look from head to toe.

The 1980s saw no bowl victories for South Carolina, but the Gamecocks did make trips to four bowl games. For a program that had played in four bowl games in program history before 1980, that was quite an accomplishment for the program. South Carolina ended the season ranked in the AP top 25 twice and climbed as high as No. 2 during the 1984 season. The 1984 season started off with two wins before upsetting No. 12 Georgia 17-10 to improve to 3-0. South Carolina also strung together wins against Pitt and Notre Dame (in South Bend). A home victory over No. 11 Florida State moved the Gamecocks up to No. 2 in the AP poll, but a loss to Navy dropped South Carolina out of the national title conversation despite a 22-21 victory over Clemson.

Other Under Armor schools unveiling retro uniforms as part of the 150th-anniversary celebration of college football on Tuesday included Notre Dame, Maryland, Northwestern and Wisconsin.

Northwestern, Wisconsin go way back with retro uniforms

Northwestern Athletics
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Throwback uniforms are the theme of the day, at least for schools being suited up by Under Armour. On the same day Notre Dame and Maryland showed off their tribute to teams from the 1980s, Northwestern and Wisconsin also decided to show off their 90s-inspired look. The 1880s, that is.

Both Big Ten schools unveiled similar throwback uniforms inspired by the designs found in the early 1890s as the programs were founded. Helmets and uniforms featuring either “NU” or “UW” will keep things simple. Northwestern’s colors will be pretty similar with a purple helmet, white jersey and purple pants. Wisconsin’s look will be the more noticeable modification with khaki-toned pants complete with a “W” inside a red circle on the leg, as opposed to the typical white pants with red stripes Wisconsin currently wears.

Northwestern has a nice little easter egg on the gloves. The logo featured on the gloves is the same primary logo previously used by the program from 1959-1967, according to SportsLogos.net.

Northwestern visits Wisconsin on Sept. 28 in what should be a key game in the early going of the Big Ten West schedule. The Wildcats won the division last season to end Wisconsin’s run of division titles. Both the Wildcats and Badgers should remain in the thick of the division race once again this season. And given how the styles of these two teams tend to play, we could be in for a bit of a throwback slugfest of a game that would make the stars of the late 19th century and early 20th century proud.

Maryland unveils classic 1980’s throwback uniform

Maryland Athletics
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Notre Dame wasn’t the only school showing off a throwback uniform to be worn this upcoming season. Maryland got in on the fun as well.

Maryland unveiled the classic retro look Maryland will wear for their homecoming game this season. The uniform is a fitting tribute to the 1980s era of Maryland football, which new head coach Mike Locksley referenced in the splashy video reveal for the uniform. Like Notre Dame’s 1988 jerseys designed by Under Armour and revealed earlier today, the Maryland uniform will include a pattern on the numbers to mimic the texture and fabric of uniforms of the day that had holes punctured through the jersey.

The uniform features the old school script “Terps” on the red helmet and the pants even include a black stripe snug between two red stripes down the leg just as they used to wear.

Maryland gets a lot of flak for their alternate uniforms in recent years, but the Terrapins and Under Armour have really come a long way in designing some really great looks for the program as the ideas have evolved. This retro look is one we should all hope isn’t a one-and-done deal, because Maryland in this look is too nice to see just once.

The 1980s was the last consistently solid decade for Maryland football with three finishes in the AP top 25 and five bowl appearances. Bobby Ross coached the Terps to back-to-back 9-win seasons in 1984 and 1985, each season ending with victories in the Sun Bowl and Cherry Bowl, respectively. Years before he led a historic rally for an AFC playoff victory with the Buffalo Bills, Frank Reich led a similar rally to lead Maryland past No. 6 Miami, 42-40, in 1984. Maryland trailed that game 31-0.

Maryland will wear these classic uniforms on Nov. 2 against Michigan.

South Carolina extends partnership with Under Armour through 2026

AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt
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South Carolina and Under Armour will remain business partners through June 2026, the university announced Friday. A business relationship that began in 2007 has been a rewarding one for South Carolina, and now that partnership will continue for at least another decade.

“Under Armour has been a great partner of Gamecock athletics for a long time,” South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner said in a released statement. “This agreement will benefit our student-athletes in a variety of ways. Under Armour’s relentless pursuit of innovation, making athletics better through performance design, advances the mission of our program. Their financial commitment also helps provide the resources needed to help our student-athletes have a championship experience at Carolina.”

The newly extended contract with Under Armour will net South Carolina a reported $71.5 million over the next 10 years. Only Auburn will make more off a uniform apparel deal by receiving $78.1 million. Auburn is also an Under Armour school. For the sake of comparison and, perhaps, an illustration of how apparel deals have escalated, Alabama signed a deal with Nike in 2010 that was, at that point in time, the most lucrative deal in college sports with a value of $30 million in cash. Alabama’s deal with Nike is due to expire in 2018. Georgia’s Nike deal, signed last spring, is worth $40 million through the end of the 2023-2024 academic year.

Ohio State’s newest contract with Nike signed in January is valued at $252 million over 15 years. Texas is going to earn $250 million and Michigan will pull in $170 million through their deals with Nike.

South Carolina has been a key part of the Under Armour family since the company started getting invested in college uniforms, and the company has been investing in a big way. Under Armour is not going to catch Nike, but it can take on (and pass) Adidas in the game. Notre Dame signed a $90 million deal with Under Armour in January 2014, ending a partnership with Adidas. Last October, Wisconsin ditched Adidas as well in favor of Wisconsin. The Badgers signed a 10-year deal valued at $96 million. Wisconsin’s Under Armour uniforms will make their debut this fall. Michigan also signed with Nike after previously being signed to Adidas.

“The University of South Carolina has been one of our landmark partnerships within the NCAA and SEC,” said Ryan Kuehl, Vice President, Sports Marketing and Sponsorships, Under Armour. “The Gamecocks are a key part of our brand story and we look forward to continuing that story together as we provide world-class, innovative product to their student-athletes and the entire Gamecock community.”

Other schools signed by Under Armour include Navy, Texas Tech, Northwestern, Cincinnati, Boston College, Utah and, of course, Maryland.