Nike unveiled their 2010 Pro Combat Uniforms for Alabama, Boise State, Florida, Miami, Ohio State, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, TCU, Virginia, Tech, and West Virginia. Out of the bunch, I think Ohio State’s look the best (it’s a throwback to 1942), but I’m a minimalist/traditionalist when it comes to college football uniforms. Oregon State’s design is a classic look, but I don’t much care for the matte black helmet finish or the extremely wide helmet stripes. We’ll look closer, though, at my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide.

Helmet and Jersey – The helmet and jersey remained largely unchanged. The white stripe on the helmet and the white numbers on the jersey have a muted houndstooth pattern which is supposed to honor legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s trademark hat. However, if you look closely at pictures of Coach Bryant’s hat, you will notice that it is not actually houndstooth but a plaid pattern. Also added to the jersey is an American flag on the right sleeve. As noted in the press conference, the flag is not being displayed backwards, but it’s being shown per military protocol as if it were flying in the wind. I don’t like having the American flag displayed on the jersey since these are not military uniforms, but I wouldn’t mind having the Alabama state flag on the uniform since the university is the flagship university for the state.  Plus, the colors of the state flag are the same as the school.  And one last minor change, the Nike Pro Combat shield with Alabama’s script “A” logo replaces the script “A” logo within a circle at the base of the jersey collar.

Pants – The pants have the familiar two crimson stripes but are unfortunately truncated just below the hip on both sides. In the space left by the truncated stripes is script “A” logo. I would have preferred the stripes to stay as they are on the current uniform and had the muted houndstooth pattern in the white of the pants stripes. It might not be easily visible from afar, but it would have left the entire uniform largely unaltered. It’s highly unlikely that anyone in the stands will be able to see the houndstooth pattern throughout the uniform anyways.

Gloves – The gloves are similar to the ones worn by the team in the BCS National Championship game last year with the script “A” logo on the palms, but this year’s version has the program values listed on the four fingers of the gloves.

Overall, it’s not as bad as it could have been considering the other Pro Combat uniforms that were debuted, but I still prefer the iconic uniform that Alabama has been wearing for years. 

Thanks to Paul Lukas of Uni Watch for the detailed pictures of Alabama’s Pro Combat uniforms. His critique for all ten Pro Combat uniforms can be read here.

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