The Colorado Buffaloes unveiled their new looks in 2015 as a way to signify that the Buffs of Hawkins and Embree past were no more. These new look Buffs would be talented and passionate and they would lay the foundation for the program. And, most importantly, they would do it in style.
Considering Colorado’s uniform history, they have had quite a few duds and a handful of classic looks. The duds include the sky blue uniforms of the early ‘80s, the extremely late ‘90s-looking late ‘90s uniforms, the Hawkins-era garbage, and, lest we forget, the curious 1930-era throwbacks (which I think are underrated). The good uniforms are limited to the simpler looks, mainly those of the late ‘80s, early ‘90s and early 2000s. (The 1991 uniforms looked good when the Buffs were winning, but they looked awful when they had them in the early Pac-12 days.)
Colorado’s newest version is one of the good ones. It’s probably the closest in design to the early 2000s look, which is probably the best set in school history. These sets are more modern, and that can be good and bad. It’s great to have some variety in the uniforms, and I was pining for all-black and all-white sets long before they busted them out. On the other hand, the mixing-and-matching means the team often goes with mediocre combinations instead of with what works. We’re here to rank the uniform that do and don’t work.
Tier 5: Trash
The lesson here is when your main colors are black, gold and silver, there is absolutely no need to wear white helmets at home. Gold helmets are always best, black looks sleek, and silver is a good alternate. But if you have just six true home games, you should never sacrifice the other helmets to wear white. White pants are also bad for the same reasons. Limited to away games, white helmets and pants should only be worn in with silver or white jerseys. (BBG is here because the helmets look surprisingly awful with the gold pants.)
Tier 4: Silver doesn’t always work
Colorado does list its primary colors as gold and silver, so we can’t doc the silver unifoms too much, but they still don’t compare to the other options. WWS and SWW are strange combinations that should never be worn again. The SWS sets are fine, but eh.
Tier 3: Silver can work
The Buffs wore all-silver on the road at Stanford and secured bowl eligibility, so maybe I’m being a bit nostalgic, but those are quality sets to contrast brightly-colored home teams. They shouldn’t be worn at home though. WSW is clean and probably underrated, but it should be limited to away games or against FCS opponents. The SBS sets were immediately called Raiders knock offs, but they look sharp for night games. BSB is the best silver uniform CU wears, but they haven’t worn it since losing to Oregon in 2015.
The Buffs could have an excellent combo if they ever give GSG a look. It’s certainly better than any home uni with white. On that note, it couldn’t hurt to experiment with a gold jersey at some point. They would look great with any helmet/pants combo other than an all-gold look — and yes, they would be just fine with white helmets and pants, even at home.
Tier 2: Sharp, but not elite
All-white is such a clean look and CU has busted them out for some of their biggest away games, most notably their win over Oregon and their appearance in the 2016 Pac-12 Championship. All-black is a creative set they can use at home, but it looks unreal on the road against brightly colored teams like UCLA.
GWG, a clean look with great balance between white and gold, is arguably CU’s most underrated set. GWG will get a significant boost if CU wins at USC on Saturday. GWW is also really clean that CU hadn’t worn since the Gary Barnett days. Hopefully they’ll bust it out more often.
Tier 1: Always stunning
The classic GBG look that never gets old. Colorado has misused GBG as they have opted to use silver-heavy uniforms for tough home games while mitigating the classics to mediocre opponents. Then the GWB is the top-tier away uniform and the de factor nostalgia-inducing set they choose when they visit an old foe like Nebraska or Michigan.
But as great as those uniforms are, we have a clear #1 in this top tier, and that’s the iconic GBB. It’s CU’s best uniform and one of the best in all of college football. It has the intimidation of wearing all-black during critical night game, but it includes the gold helmet that has and always will be the identity of Colorado.