Buckeyes to Wear ‘Pro Combat’ Uni’s, Not Against Michigan
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Fans who would rather see Ohio State wear their traditional home scarlet or road white jerseys in “The Game” against Michigan will get their wish.
2009 Nike Pro Combat Uniform worn against Michigan
Photo by Jim Davidson
After back-to-back years of wearing alternate jerseys in the regular-season finale against “that school up north,” the Buckeyes will officially switch back to their regular garbs for the 2011 game in Ann Arbor.
That doesn’t mean the University is done with the alternate jerseys, however. The Buckeyes will once again join a number of other schools, including Oregon, Boise State, LSU, Georgia and Stanford, in wearing Nike’s alternate ‘Pro Combat’ uniforms during the 2011 season.
“The Ohio State football program is pleased to wear the Nike Pro Combat Uniform System of Dress for the 2011 football season,” new Ohio State Head Coach Luke Fickell said in a statement released by Nike.
“The athletes have enjoyed playing in the highly advanced uniforms the past two years, and they look forward to seeing the new designs for 2011 and wearing them for a game.”
2010 Nike Pro Combat Uniform worn against Michigan
Photo by Dan Harker
Instead of the Michigan game, which has been the biggest rivalry game on Ohio State’s schedule for nearly a century, the ‘Pro Combat’ uniforms will be worn for OSU’s primetime home matchup with Wisconsin on Oct. 29.
The Badgers are coming off an 11-2 season in 2010 when the (officially) shared the Big Ten championship with Michigan State. The Spartans will also wear ‘Pro Combat’ uniforms this season, and they will wear them on Oct. 15 in their biggest rivalry game against Michigan, who happens to wear Adidas.
“Nike takes pride in giving athletes an advantage by providing them with cutting edge innovation. The Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniform delivers unparalleled on-field performance benefits while inspiring the team through each uniform’s unique design,” said Todd Van Horne, Nike’s Creative Director for Football.
“It is a privilege to collaborate with the coaches and student-athletes to develop a look that’s truly distinctive to each university and its teams.”
The Buckeyes unveiled their first Nike Pro Combat look during the 2009 Michigan game in Ann Arbor. Intended to honor the 1954 Ohio State national champions, the jerseys were white with red lettering and the helmets were also white with black numbers matching the jersey.
Last season, Ohio State wore a scarlet jersey with white numbers and a solid scarlet helmet in honor of the 1942 team that won the first national championship in school history.
In both cases, the jerseys were a loose mix of tradition and modern innovation.
Ohio State was also a co-champion in 2010 before vacating all of last season. Their only defeat of the year came under the lights in Madison.
That is exactly how this year’s game will take place in Columbus on Oct. 29 when the Buckeyes unveil the third edition of these “alternate” jerseys.
Other dates where the Pro Combat jerseys will be unveiled include Oregon vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium (9/3), Boise State vs. Georgia at the Georgia Dome (9/3), Michigan State vs. Michigan (10/15), LSU vs. Auburn (10/22), Stanford v. Notre Dame (11/27) and the annual service academy bragging rights matchup between two of the nation’s most prestigious football programs – Army vs. Navy (12/10).
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