Sources: Buckeyes Will Wear “Rivalry” Uniforms for ‘The Game’
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — There have been whispers about it for quite some time, but multiple sources indicated to The-Ozone on Tuesday that Ohio State will, indeed, wear alternate uniforms for the season finale against Michigan a week from this Saturday.
Last year's throwback uniform.
It will make the third time in four years the Buckeyes have worn alternate uniforms for their rivalry game against the school up north on the last Saturday of the regular season, but this year’s jerseys will take on a little different form.
While the past alternate uniforms were meant to reflect a specific team from Ohio State’s historic tradition, the 2012 jerseys are only loosely affiliated with the Nike Pro Combat Rivalry line, which started three years ago.
“The difference between that and the current one-off jersey is that Nike won't be making a big deal about it, previewing it, making websites devoted to it, and having back stories devoted to the reasons why they made each school's jersey,” said a source close to the program.
“Now, the only thing pro combat is the cut of the jersey (flywire, etc). It is the style which the NFL just switched to this year.”
2010 Nike Throwback uniform worn against Michigan.
Photo by Dan Harker
According to sources, Nike decided to abandon the Pro Combat Rivalry program this year because so many teams are constantly changing their jersey and helmet combinations as it is.
And it’s not just Oregon. Teams like Oklahoma State, West Virginia, TCU, Arkansas and Missouri have all developed multiple combinations for their uniforms on a week-to-week basis.
“As I'm sure you've noticed, Ohio State, Florida State, USC and LSU all have chrome shoes that they have worn throughout the year,” one source said.
“This was originally intended to be a part of the Pro Combat Rivalry line, until they cancelled it, instead, just giving the shoes to the schools now.”
An Ohio State spokesperson would not confirm or deny reports the Buckeyes will wear special jerseys for the Michigan game in Columbus on Nov. 24, but the image of an alternate Ohio State uniform has been popping up, subtly, in a number of places over the last few months.
It first appeared in a photograph in Urban Meyer’s office during ESPN’s All-Access: Training Days segment back in August, but more recently a much clearer image was spotted on the banner for the team shop on Ohio State’s official website.
Ohio State removed the image and would not comment on whether it was, indeed, a picture of the jerseys that will be worn for ‘The Game’ this season, but a source close to the team told us it looked very similar.
“It will feature a helmet with an enlarged stripe and a scarlet jersey with standard block numbers outlined in a reflective silver,” the source said of this year’s alternate jerseys.
“It will have the standard gray pants, but with only a 3/4 stripe because of how they are designed. The stripes on the sleeves are enlarged as well, to match the helmet.”
"Chrome" helmet worn by Oregon
There have also been rumors the helmet will have more of a chrome finish, much like the ones Oregon has been wearing, instead of the usual silver. Michigan State and Notre Dame have also worn chrome versions of their helmets this season.
When Meyer was asked about possible alterations to the uniform back in August, he said he was not a big proponent of change, but he would leave it up to the players. They apparently met with Nike to help design this year’s “rivalry” uniforms, but the changes had to pass inspection by two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin and a number of other OSU football legends.
Ohio State has worn alternate jerseys for one game in each of the past three seasons. In 2009, the Buckeyes wore white “throwback” uniforms in Ann Arbor to honor the 1954 national championship team.
In 2010, the Buckeyes wore a scarlet “throwback” jersey against Michigan to honor the 1942 national champs, and last season, Ohio State wore its most futuristic “throwback” against Wisconsin to honor the 50th anniversary of the school’s undefeated season in 1961.
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