As a graduate of the University of Texas and longtime fan of the program, I appreciate if not outright admire the simple design of the Texas Longhorn football uniforms. Just like many of the college football blueblood programs, the design is simple and classic sticking with white and burnt orange (okay that color of the orange has changed, often to the dismay and frustration of fans). Then just the Texas name, a few required logos, and the shoulder stripes.
Sadly, the Longhorn faithful won’t be seeing much of these for the next few months with college football long over. But excitement is in the air as the new coaching staff takes over with winter workouts that have already begun, recruiting season coming to a head, and spring practice soon to follow. With the building energy and also my own boredom from a lack of college football, I decided to take a go at adding a new take and life to the already classic UT uniforms.
While I kept most of the layout and color design the same, my design would call for metallic/chromed accents along names, numbers, and logos. Another added aspect would be using gold chrome/metallic as I believe it goes well with the Longhorn’s main colors as well as it is a callback to the University of Texas’ first football’s uniform colors of gold and white in 1893.
The helmet designs for my alternate uniform concepts do not stray far from the metallic logo Coach Charlie Strong introduced in 2014. However, my designs draw on a more chrome/oil slick finish, though it could both be easily interpreted into a flatter metallic finish like the one Coach Strong introduced. The difference in reflection best exemplified in the difference between the “Chrome” and “Icy Chrome” helmet logos. Personally, I would pair the “Chrome” and “Icy Chrome” helmets with the “Away Ice” or “Home Chrome” uniforms and include the option to have a shinier chromed facemask. As for the other pairings, the “Gold Chrome” helmet would be paired with “Home Gold” and “Away Gold”, while “Orange Chrome” could be paired with any but I believe work best with “Home Chrome”, “Away Chrome”, and “Away Ice”.
The inspiration for these designs are threefold. In late-2014, former head coach Charlie Strong made a slight tweak to the overall Texas uniform design by having the traditionally matte-to-slightly-glossy Longhorn logo on the helmet be made metallic. While there was some outrage and skepticism, many found the change to be acceptable, and some found it to even be an improvement. Personally, I call the change a push in terms of improvement. However, I do like the metallic logo and found it to not only look good but help provide a bit of a fresh take on a classic design. In addition, Nike had previously done similar metalizing of the Texas jersey for the 2013 Red River Rivalry creating a one-off, “Golden Hat Trophy” inspired uniform for both Texas and the Oklahoma Sooners.
“In celebration of the storied matchup between Texas and Oklahoma, Nike Football unveiled new uniform designs … featur[ing] gold and chrome accents to acknowledge both teams’ efforts to claim the Golden Hat Trophy.”
-Nike News 08/17/2013
The final piece of inspiration is much less connected to Texas. Other major football programs have taken chances on unique uniform materials such as the always changing, but ever fashionable Oregon Ducks and Adidas’ use of metallics on multiple jerseys such as UCLA’s, Mississippi State’s, and even Texas rival Texas A&M’s jerseys. These risks have paid off look wise for the most part in my opinion and help to inspire my designs.
Uniforms have little to do with the performance of the Texas Longhorns on the field or even in recruiting. However, most Longhorn fans would like to see the ‘Horns ride to the College Football Playoffs soon. And if Texas should use alternate uniforms on that ride maybe they should take a page from Mad Max: Fury Road and ride “shiny and chrome.”