Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ranking the ACC

We're over halfway finished with my conference uniform rankings, with three already finished, and at least two more to go. If you missed any, you can view the SEC, Big 12, and Pac-12 by clicking on the hyperlinks or just going to the home page of this site. Today we take a look at the eastern most conference, in the ACC. I've always found the ACC to be an interesting conference, especially in terms of uniforms. You have teams that have a classic look, yet still have alternates, and then other teams that go all out with their uniforms, and even some that don't ever change! I truly believe this will be the most difficult conference to rank because of that very fact. Now, for the criteria. Just as it's been with the previous three conferences, these rankings are based on everything there has to do with the teams' uniforms - traditional design, alternates, rebrands, manufacturer's templates, etc. And, as always, these are MY rankings. These are not THE rankings by any means. Everyone has different opinions regarding these teams and their uniforms, especially if they're a fan of that team. So please, understand this. I don't hate your team because they have a bad look. Also, I don't love your team because they have a good look. That's just how it goes. Someone has to be at the bottom of these things. With that behind us, let's get going!

  1. Clemson - I'll be honest, I went back and forth with the number one team for a while. I've always liked Clemson's look, but it always feels to be lacking something to me, yet I never know what. Clemson has a wonderful helmet. Not sure what could happen, but I think the jerseys could use a little work. The simple tiger paw logo leaves a lot to be desired to me.

  2. Miami - I have an issue ranking uniforms that we've never actually seen on field yet. But with the issues Miami has had with their uniforms in recent years, these are amazing! Seriously though, I really do like this design. I don't really care for the lines connecting the shoulder caps and the collar. I like how they incorporated the Ibis logo into the shoulder caps and helmet. A grey alternate is certainly unnecessary though. I think these were a few simple tweaks from being absolutely amazing uniforms, and taking more than the top spot in their own conference.
  3. Virginia - I took flack in a recent UniWatch Top 25 uniforms listing for leaving out Virginia, and it's honestly because I imagined them looking a bit different in my head than they actually do look, for whatever reason that may be. As simple as they may be, Virginia works their uniforms. And I love their recent throwback uniforms. I wouldn't complain one bit if they went to those full time.
  4. Duke - I really had to think about what to do with Duke. On one hand, I really like their classic, Colts-inspired look. On the other hand, they have some alternate helmets that have worked, and others that haven't. They also just revealed new 1984 team inspired throwbacks, but they didn't finish the look (should have script Duke rather than block D on the helmet). Rumor is that these uniforms will only be worn for the 2014 season, which makes no sense, if they truly are going to get another new set of uniforms the following year. A classic look, great color scheme, and possibility to look real good in the future are what makes this team a top 5 uniform in my rankings. 
  5. Virginia Tech - I really love the VT Hokies color scheme and think they work very well with the UCLA stripe pattern. I just hate that they have to go with these alternate helmets that few people even understand. The "hokie stone" pattern? Yea, it's designed after campus buildings. Now students was a "horse on a treadmill" helmet design. Why? I have no clue...
  6. Florida State - Win a championship, get new uniforms. Seems to be how it works. Shame on Nike for absolutely ruining a really nice uniform. Nike and FSU claimed the new changes to be "subtle" and they're anything but. The shoulder caps containing a new tribal design is very loud, and even more so with the pattern repeated on the collar. I actually like the re-designed spear, but not sure how I like the helmet decals crossing in the back. This whole re-design just screams "unnecessary."
  7. Pittsburgh - It's not that I hate Pitt, but their "modern" look is old already. I know many people would certainly welcome a return to the classic uniforms. The good thing is that the Panthers still work their current look pretty well. Just the classic colors and script helmet decal work much better.
  8. Wake Forest - Here's the tough part of the list. Wake Forest and Boston College are both pretty boring and rather forgettable. The reason I gave Wake the upper hand over BC is because they've at least tried to do something different. The unfortunate piping hurts the overall look, and also tells you just how low the totem poll the Demon Deacons are with Nike. If I was a creative person, I'd love to work on coming up with a new look for Wake. They have good potential, just awful execution.
  9. Boston College - The other side of the boring, forgettable coin. Boston College has a good look, don't get me wrong, but like I've said already, they're pretty forgettable. I'm fine with plain helmet designs, especially for teams that have traditionally done so, but I think something could be done to help BC, even if they are in the same boat. I know I said Wake Forest beat out BC for actually trying, but Boston College also lost one spot for trying - trying and absolutely failing. Quit with this UnderArmour, it's just real bad.
  10. NC State - I like NC State. I wish they could get someone other than adidas though. Like other teams in the ACC, I think they have great potential, but a manufacturer that doesn't do much right for them. They try to do some things different, but it rarely works. I wouldn't be upset if they were to get a complete overhaul soon. I should probably bump then down tremendously for even thinking about this awful looking thing... That's embarrassing.
  11. Louisville - Hey look, another adidas team that's look has been awful in recent years! I like the stripes, I do, but think they could be done better. And adidas's techfit and "tire tread" templates really hurts the stripes and the overall look as always. New black uniforms, black helmet, and chrome lids (which I like better than the rest) have not helped either. Would like to see them get a good design, stick to it, and not let someone like adidas ruin it. Or Petrino. One of the two.
  12. North Carolina - I hated UNC's new uniforms when they revealed them last year for the spring game. Absolutely despised them. The TarHeels have such a unique color scheme and they can't do anything good with it. Yet the basketball team does? Beats me. Floating, contrasting collars, stupid empty shoulder pipes. All the unnecessary black. Yea, I really do hate these.
  13. Georgia Tech - When will people (*cough Russell Athletics) learn that piping is so awful? Well, how do you top piping? You add honey comb? Actually, yes...Surprise! It's awful. Ugh. Thankfully, Russell and GT broke out some throwback-ish uniforms last year that looked pretty good. Oh, wait. What's this? Ugh...C'mon guys!
  14. Syracuse - Oh. My. Gosh. Why Nike? Why do you do this crap?! QUIT! Yes, Syracuse didn't have a unique look before, but they made it look pretty good. I'm embarrassed for both Nike and Syracuse with these uniforms. Easily the bottom of the list. And the ACC has Georgia Tech's honey comb design!! Nicely done Nike!!
As you can tell, there's a big design gap in the ACC. These were truly the toughest uniforms for me to rank. I see a three different tears - Pretty good/decent, Boring/needs work/needs something, and They tried and failed and need something real good real soon. And I truly hate that. I want these teams to look good simply because they CAN! UNC should be a top looking team, but they aren't. Georgia Tech and Syracuse could be great looking teams, but they don't. Hopefully they'll start working towards a better design for each of these teams in the years to come.

Thanks for reading, be sure to leave your own rankings of the ACC teams in the comments below! Be sure to check back next week and I wrap up with the Big 10 and potentially another conference or two!

War Eagle!


  1. The horse on a treadmill originates from a Virginia Tech promo spot that features a horse running on a treadmill at Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center:

    The horse became a fan favorite that the school actually released a special version of the promo during the final home game of 2013 season:

    a quick article:

    1. Thanks for that info Steven. It's certainly very interesting. That second video, revealed at the game, is hysterical.

  2. How is Virginia Tech the only ACC school that made your Uni Watch top 25, but then ranked 5th in it's own conference?

    Also for Pitt it should be "their" not "they're."