The chief difference between the blue blood, classic teams of college football and college basketball is evident in their respective uniforms.
College football is about tradition. The deeper a team’s history, the further they have to reach back and shadow their past. Rarely, if ever, do top-flight college football teams stray from tradition with their uniform designs. Of the top ten winningest FBS programs, each has a classic look. Teams like Alabama, Penn State, USC and Oklahoma never change their uniform because it would be sacrilegious to do so; if a team doesn’t honor it’s proud history, you may as well not have that history.
Buffaloes football (25th all-time in wins) used to rock the classic look (2011-2015), but because of how poor the team fared in those uniforms, the Jon Embree uniforms were abandoned for a sleek redesign that was reminiscent of the Gary Barnett sets, which Jack Barsch considers the best design in CU football history.
College basketball, unlike football, is about evolution. Basketball at its very root is about constant change and the harmony thereof. If you stay static, you may as well switch sports. The blue bloods of hoops* know the nature of the sport and constantly introduce uniform redesigns as their way of showing that they’re either keeping up with the progress or setting it themselves. Each design honors the tradition of the program — Kentucky maintains their checkered design, Kansas their number font, North Carolina whatever these side panels are — but they do so with a forward-thinking approach.
*Utah has more total wins than Arizona, lol
It’s been a while since Colorado basketball had new uniforms. Four years doesn’t like much, but that’s a lifetime in college basketball.
The sets the Buffs introduced in 2013 are arguably the best design the program has ever had. Take that with a grain of salt because the ones they replaced were create-a-team flops. (Here’s a fun game: try to name every one of those players below without looking up the team roster. Also, the superhero on the far right is included in the game. I’ll leave a comment with the correct answers.)
The Buffs were quite successful in those uniforms, but at what cost? That “innovative” design on the sides of the uniforms are certainly unique, but is there is any reason or meaning behind that extraneous blotch of color? Also, CU should really abandon grey/silver uniforms, especially in home games, especially when they can wear gold instead.
As uninspired as those uniforms were, they were somehow a massive upgrade over whatever kind of burning garbage these early-2000s uniforms were. As cool as Richard Roby and Marcus Hall are, there’s no redemption in those sets.
Before those uniforms, there were the Chauncey Billups uniforms that were a bit dull, but you could look at them and not bleed from your eyes. Snark aside, these classic looks are actually quite great, especially the gold home alternate CU should go back to.
Colorado has had an abysmal history of basketball uniforms. The current design, by process of elimination, is probably the best they’ve ever had and it serves the teams well in their most successful era. But it’s not particularly unique — it’s basically Vanderbilt’s uniform with a different number font and side logo. It’s grown stale these past few seasons and it would do good to implement a new design. Considering the Buffs have the best color scheme in college sports, there’s more than enough room for the team to improve their uniforms.
Colorado’s best ever recruiting class is about to step onto the floor and now would be an appropriate time to befit them with a sleek new design. Hopefully there will be gold alternates.