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Colorado Buffaloes uniforms decrypted

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One courageous writer attempts to solve the puzzle of CU’s uniform combinations.

Thursday was like any other day for the people of Boulder as the work force went quietly about their duties and the students arrived loudly to their classes five minutes late. Nothing especially news-worthy happened. The weirdest part of the day was Boulder’s chilly weather, but not even that wasn’t out of the ordinary. Everything was normal ... until hell broke loose on CU Twitter.

At 4:14 p.m. on the 25th day of August in the year 2016, the Colorado Buffaloes’ official account tweeted this:

Mayhem ensued. People from all corners of the World Wide Web came out of the darkness to ask bone-chilling questions like, "so... how does it work?" Others offered horrifying threats like, "there better be at least a 13th uniform combo or else!!"

The immediate thing for many in Buffs media was to attempt to decipher the graphic and predict the exact uniform combinations the Buffs would wear. Ryan Koenigsberg (among others) failed. His excuse was that he didn’t have enough experience with the advanced mathematics required to solve such a puzzle.


Hello, my name is Sam. I was able to solve the riddle and determine the uniform combination the Buffs will wear in 2016. Even further, I was able to determine which combinations would be worn for each game. I will share each finding with you, my faithful audience.

The first step of this arduous endeavor was to quantify the individual uniform pieces by color, as presented by the graphic. For the helmets, we have one (1) black, three (3) silver, six (6) gold and two (2) white. For the jerseys, seven (7) black, one (1) silver and four (4) white. For the pants, two (2) black, three (3) silver, five (5) gold and two (2) white.

From there, you can infer the following: CU has more away games (5) than white jerseys (4) and as many home games (7) as black jerseys; thus, the Buffs will wear a silver jersey on the road. This assumes, of course, the Buffs won’t wear black on the road, which is a given.

You can further pencil in showcased uniform combinations. Then on, you can essentially let the combinations form themselves, considering the following: the introduction of black helmets eliminates the practicality of previously worn gold-black-black combinations (the previous "black out" uniforms); gold-black-gold will be worn multiple times, as will gold-white-gold, since those are their basic sets; silver-black-silver is apparently CU’s go-to for big home games now; and white-white-white is a favored combination and will be worn on the road.

There are many different end results assumed — I, being incredible at many, many things, was tempted to find them all — but your end result should be like mine. If it’s not, it’s because you’re a simple pleb. I present the combinations chronologically with notes:

  • Gold-black-gold (helmet-jersey-pants) is the home combination the Buffs always wear against Colorado State, so that’s obvious. (Edit: This post was written before CU announced on Monday night which set they’ll ear.)
  • Gold-black-gold again for Idaho State because CU doesn’t want to waste an alternate look against an FCS team.
  • Gold-white-black against Michigan in honor of the Buffs’ 1994 victory over the Wolverines in the Big House.
  • Gold-black-gold against Oregon because CU wore gold helmets and pants the last time they won a conference game, which was last year against Oregon’s other team. They hope it’s an Oregon thing.
  • Black-white-black against USC because the Buffs always wear black for funerals.
  • Gold-black-gold for Oregon State because the Beavers aren’t worth anything more. (I say that as a Beavers fan.)
  • White-black-white against Arizona State because they’re saving the good stuff for later but still need to spice things up.
  • Silver-silver-silver is the road set against Stanford. The Buffs want this to be a signature road win, so they pick their favorite roadies.
  • Silver-black-silver against UCLA because the Buffs have to use their absolute favorite look in their nationally televised Thursday night upset bid.
  • White-white-white against Arizona because even though the game will be in November, it’s important to stay cool in the desert heat.
  • Gold-black-gold against Washington State because the Buffs want to be wearing their classic home uniforms in a potential classic home win.
  • Silver-black-silver is the home uniform of choice against Utah. On senior day with a bowl game possibly on the line, the Buffs once again want to wear silver and black, just in a different order than last time.

So there you are, the dazzlingly complex puzzle that was the Buffs’ potential uniform combinations has been solved by yours truly.