After wearing an ugly almost-all-gray uniform against Penn State in early November, Ohio State will close the month wearing the white version of its 2017 alternates at Michigan.
Both versions look like something designed by a junior high student with a few minutes to kill in study hall, but I guess people will buy literally anything that is different so Nike doesn’t have much to lose here.
Since the first Ohio State throwbacks/alternates were unveiled for the 2008 Michigan game, Nike has had some hits and misses.
Here’s a look at them from best to worst:
As a combination of style, history and authenticity, nothing beats the alternate uniform from 2016’s win over Nebraska.
The helmet is a little wonky as a translation of a leather lid, but it works with the rest of the uniform, a tribute to the days of Chic Harley when the Buckeyes won their first Big Ten championship and beat Michigan for the first time.
Bonus points: They wore them for a big game that wasn’t Michigan.
For the College Football Playoff, Ohio State initially wore an alternate against Alabama that looked very similar to its normal road look.
In the championship game against Oregon, though, the Buckeyes worse snazzy scarlet jerseys that were a throwback to the look of the 1968 national champions (worn again for the 1993 season).
Aside from the black numbers on the shoulders, this jersey was more or less what Ohio State wore all the time from the late ‘60s until going to a blander, more Indiana-like scarlet home jersey in 2006.
(This should be their permanent home jersey.)
For its second foray into the alternate uniform universe, Ohio State wore a 1942 throwback that was pretty accurate. The number font is nice, and this is one of the most striking uniforms you’ll find in a look back through the archives.
Unfortunately, we had to points for the helmets (even though that is what they wore then).
Silver helmets covered in Buckeye leaves against Michigan are simply a must.
These were 1961 throwbacks, including a scarlet stripe on the front of the helmet that was actually an extra pad on the original helmets worn back then.
This uniform looked great back in the day but ended up kind of resembling pajamas on modern fabric.
Ohio State got into the alternate uniform game in 2009 with a white jersey and helmet supposedly modeled after the look from 1954.
This was a bland look that ended up basically just being something different for the sake of being different, a move that was doubly offensive since it came at Michigan. Fail.
After three years of varying degrees of success with throwback uniforms, Nike gave Ohio State something that looked like the product of several previous uniforms mating.
If that offspring then becomes a 1980s punk rocker.
A year later, Ohio State brought back the punk rock helmets but paired them with bland white jerseys and pants.
They initially claimed this look was a tribute to the 1950 Snow Bowl, a curious move considering the uniform did not really resemble what Ohio State wore that day (a home game) and that was one of the Buckeyes’ most historically significant losses.
Until this year, the easy winner for worst look came two years ago when Penn State visited.
These black uniforms are just an abomination all the way around, worst part being the helmets.
Silver helmets always pop for night games, but they would have really been set off by these black jerseys.
Ironically, a simple black version of the normal home jersey would have looked much better.
If Nike overdid it with the black uniforms, they made up for that by underdoing it this time around.
As much of a traditionalist as I am, I’ve never been that enthralled with the normal white and gray road look, so I’ve always been intrigued by a gray jersey.
Not this though.
These look like something someone would be selling out of a van half price because somethig went wrong with the color in the printing process.
(H/T: Land of 10)