Pac-10 Uni Watch: Part II

Ranking the league's top-five uniforms got me thinking. While trying to decide which Pac-10 football team wore the best football uniform, my mind drifted toward other conference locales where iconic threads are present...

Let's first talk college basketball and a uniform that wasn't even worn during the actual game. How great did UCLA look pregame back in its heyday? The blue pants and gold tops perfectly represented John Wooden and his peerless program. As for another look that rises far above its peers, move your attention over to Sunken Diamond. Stanford baseball better not ever ditch its pullover jerseys. It's an outdated look that stands the test of time.

As for the task at hand, the list goes on:

The Red Carpet
5. Stanford

Style points: Road pants have switched from white to red and back through the years. The reds resurfaced in Tokyo against Arizona in 1986, after an absence of nearly two decades.
Current look's debut: After five dreadful seasons wearing black-accented uniforms, the Cardinal mercifully went back to its roots two years ago. The 2000's may have only featured two bowl berths, but credit those in charge for this about-face. It's obvious that good karma has followed.
Retro gear: A classic look of the classic-rock era comes to mind. After going through several changes in the late '70s, the current "S" came into being back in 1980.

4. Oregon State
Style points: The meaner Beaver logo's introduction in 1998 coincided with Oregon State's revival as a viable program. Oregon State, like ASU, likes to tinker with its look. Current uniform's debut: The latest variation came into play in 2008.
Retro gear: They looked like a high school team, and they played like a high school team. There was the monochrome (black-on-black) design, with white helmets and the school name stenciled on the jerseys. Years before, "Oregon State" stretched across the backs of jerseys instead of player last names.

3. Washington
Style points: Steve Sarkisian ditched the Rollerball numerals that made their first appearance during Rick Neuheisel's tenure. It was Neuheisel, however, who re-introduced the club's familiar gold helmets upon his own hiring. The purple headgear brought to you by Jim Lambright didn't last long, and neither did he.
Current look's debut: 2009 technically, though Dawg fans love how the current uni is essentially what the 1991 national champs wore.
Retro gear: Out on furloughs, Don James' bullies won two Rose Bowls and an Orange Bowl wearing white jerseys and subdued gold pants. Iowa, Oklahoma and Michigan were each sent limping back to the heartland.

2. USC
Style points: Even if the visuals inspire hatred, the look is nonetheless legendary, not unlike Yankee pinstripes or Boston Celtics green. The power is in its simplicity. Once upon a time, USC joined Penn State and Michigan as the only major college teams in black cleats.
Current look's debut: Change-free since Pete Carroll brought back the O.J./A.C. Cowlings-vintage jerseys in 2002. The face masks went from cardinal red to gray upon Slippery Pete's arrival as head coach the previous season.
Retro gear: With the exception of the Trojan logo (first appearance on the helmet 1972), today's USC kit is identical to the one used throughout the John McKay era.

Style points: Why do the Bruins look so sharp on your garage door-sized flatscreen? Back in the '50s, head coach Red Sanders wanted a more photogenic team for those grainy old game films. The legendary coach, the most popular sports figure in Los Angeles for a time in the 1950's, dubbed the primary color "powder keg blue."
Current look's debut: Numerals assumed their current identity in 2006.
Retro gear: The aforementioned blue became passé by 2001, when the university adapted a darker shade. Prior to 1992, the gold on the uniform pants was more tan than metallic gold. These numbers were another Sanders implementation, as were the familiar shoulder stripes.

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