Thursday, January 28, 2010

Forbesy's Quick Takes - 1/28/10

- I was watching Sportscenter and they brought in Tim Kurkjian for some baseball talk. For some reason, I really enjoy when Tim (and a few others - Peter Gammons immediately comes to mind) talks about a pitcher's "stuff." This is the accepted term for the pitches a pitcher throws - including velocity, movement, and accuracy - and I'm ok with that. Perhaps it's just the contrast of such a generic word and the specificity of what it's referring to. I love it.

- Over the years, I've realized there are certain topics in sports I couldn't care less about. Some of those topics include this silly Pro Bowl discussion, Tiger's personal life, contract negotiations, and steroids. Call me a dreamer or idealist, but I like my sports on the field.

- Will someone please get rid of the following NFL uniforms? Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings.

- Oregon State lost to Seattle U. in college basketball AT HOME by 51. In their next two games, they defeated Oregon and Arizona. One of those was on the road (I believe Oregon). Seattle is an Independent. This is the team that just lost to the Univ. of Washington by 47 and played the last couple minutes of the game with 4 players. Wacky season out West in college basketball. And I didn't even mention how sub-par the Pac 10 has been. Oops, just did.

- Eastern Washington is installing red turf! I'm surprised other schools haven't thought to mimic Boise State. I mean, who says a field has to be green? And since we've known it DOESN'T have to be green, why aren't other schools - or pro teams! - doing this? I expect this trend to pick up in Division 1. How does Oregon not have a bright yellow field yet? How come Oregon doesn't bust out a new color of field every week?!?! Come on Nike, you're slacking. Get into the business of playing surfaces.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Call it a comeback!

I went a whole year and then some without posting anything to this blog before I put up my recent Bowl Season Uni Tourney. I've had some more time on my hands recently, so I decided to put some more work into it. I've changed the overall appearance of things, added a Twitter widget on the side, and rearranged some things to present a more interesting experience for my readers. I hope you like what I've done. Please feel free to comment on what you like or don't like. I welcome your suggestions. Thanks for stopping by!

-Dave (a.k.a "Pie Guy")

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Uni Tourney Final - SMU vs. UCLA

It's the granddaddy of 'em all. Well, sort of. Not really.

SMU vs. UCLA. The Mustangs vs. the Bruins. Interestingly enough, both teams in their away uniforms. I think that's an ode to the strength of their sets.

First up, SMU.



Truly a beautiful uniform from head to toe. You can't help but think of the Bills when you look at these. It's practically the same uniform. I'm not even sure who donned it first. I know SMU returned to these after some monstrosities earlier in the decade. This is what a uniform should look like.



Personally, I could do without the "SMU" on the chest, but that's just me. I love the striping all the way through. Big fan of red and blue.

Now, UCLA.



The jersey might get the nod over SMU. I'm a sucker for blue. And two shades of it is just awesome (see Tennessee Titans). The helmet is simple. Could use a stripe or two, but again, that might be picky. The pants, too.

Back to the jersey, though. I'd wear this. I really would.



Tough call, but when going head to toe, SMU's uniform is close to perfection. I really don't know why schools go Mickey Mouse on us. Teams like Michigan (away piping), Georgia Tech (ridiculous stripe across the chest for no reason), and the Under Armour schools (Texas Tech, South Carolina, etc) with their completely overblown and silly looking unis. It's out of hand. With all the improvements in uniform technology, you can still go with a classic uniform. It's a sad state of affairs, really.

SMU takes the crown. It was almost a foregone conclusion! The lesson to be learned here is that simple is better. Dance with the girl that brung ya, or whatever the saying is. You wanna sell jerseys? Run the "Would I wear this?" test. These finalists get it.

WINNER: SMU

Uni Tourney Final Four!

Quick summary of how this has played out:

Round of 32:
Fresno St. vs. Alabama
UCF vs. Iowa
MTSU vs. TCU
BYU vs. Michigan State
Cal vs. Ole Miss
SMU vs. South Carolina
Ohio vs. South Florida
Pitt vs. Florida
USC vs. Ohio St.
Clemson vs. LSU
Texas A&M vs. Florida State
UCLA vs. Auburn
Wisconsin vs. Tennessee
Idaho vs. Iowa St.
Nebraska vs. Navy
Air Force vs. Oklahoma

Sweet Sixteen:
Alabama vs. Iowa
MTSU vs. BYU
Ole Miss vs. SMU
South Florida vs. Florida
USC vs. LSU
Texas A&M vs. UCLA
Wisconsin vs. Iowa St.
Navy vs. Oklahoma

Elite Eight:
Alabama vs. BYU
SMU vs. South Florida
LSU vs. UCLA
Wisconsin vs. Navy


Here goes:

Semifinal #1
BYU vs. SMU




Just take a second to admire that beauty. Ok, ok. BYU sports a two color look. Kudos for escaping that old two-color look from a few years back that had everyone confused and returning to a uni from the days of Ty Detmer and Steve Young. These are things to behold.

Meanwhile, SMU's look just continues to excite. Honestly, BYU looks extremely solid, but SMU's set is like candy. Candy! And who doesn't like candy?!?!

Finalist: SMU

Semifinal #2
Navy vs. UCLA




Golden domers here. And I ain't talking Notre Dame. Too bad, because they could have made a run in this. Anyways, let's start with UCLA's beauty of a jersey. Two shades of blue work here. Great stripe treatment. Helmets are a notch above Navy's, because, well, there's a word on there.

Navy has come this far on shock value. They busted these out against Army and wore them again against Mizzou. I like 'em, but I have to employ the "Would I wear the jersey?" test and I know I wouldn't - not just because Dad would disown me.

Finalist: UCLA

Bowl Season Uni Tourney - Elite Eight

Who's pumped? Personally, I'm geeked.

Alabama vs. BYU

It's funny - I had BYU go far in my college basketball uni tourney a year or so ago. Someone knows what's up out in Utah!



This is where Alabama's run ends. The tide has a great uni, but you can't deny BYU's great look.



Final Four bound: BYU

SMU vs. South Florida

South Florida has surprised with the change to the white helmet, representing other schools that saw a ghost like Arizona and Cincy. Unfortunately, I can't deny the beauty of SMU's set here. The 'Stangs are just better looking. Wanna improve, South Florida? Bust out some pants stripes next year and keep the white helmet.





Final Four bound: SMU

LSU vs. UCLA





UCLA has some great jerseys, and they win that department. LSU takes the pants department. Helmets? Close one. I initially thought LSU should take this, but I can't deny my affinity for those Bruins jerseys.

Final Four bound: UCLA

Wisconsin vs. Navy

You can tell I like stripe patterns. Well, I don't think I'm making it 4 for 4. Wisconsin impresses, but to get really picky, I didn't like the "W" they stuck on the back of the jersey. Maybe I'm looking for an excuse to go against my Badger friends. Or, I'm just not done with Navy.





Final Four bound: Navy

BYU-SMU. UCLA-Navy.

Once again, I ask - who's pumped????

Bowl Season Uni Tourney - Sweet 16 (cont.)

Let's finish up the Sweet Sixteen....

USC vs. LSU

Another great matchup on the field. Another tough one in the uniform category...





Battle of the yellow pants. For me, this boils down to which uni is just more fun to look at. And, honestly, the same way the USC era is over with Pete Carroll gone, it's over for USC in this matchup. LSU moves on.

Winner: LSU

Texas A&M vs. UCLA





I might be a sucker for blue, but I just enjoy those UCLA jerseys a little bit more than the Aggies ones. UCLA should add a pants stripe, but their jerseys carry them through. A&M would win most other matchups for sure.

Winner: UCLA

Wisconsin vs. Iowa St.

Ya know, ISU hasn't totally ripped off USC. They took the two stripe motif (yeah, I said motif) and carried it out in every element. Well, Wisconsin does a similar thing, but has more of a pop to theirs.





And Wisconsin's helmets are far and beyond better.

Winner: Wisconsin

Navy vs. Oklahoma

Navy did themselves a favor by going with the alternates, including the nod to the Marines. And, even though they sport the bib - which I normally despise - these unis are pretty badass. Oklahoma has a nice set, but I think the Academy moves on.





Winner: Navy

And we're now down to the Elite Eight of College Unis. Here are the pairings:

Alabama vs. BYU
SMU vs. South Florida
LSU vs. UCLA
Wisconsin vs. Navy

Bowl Season Uni Tourney - Sweet 16

First 4 matchups of the Sweet 16....

Alabama vs. Iowa

The Tide rolls in with some basic, yet classic, unis. They keep it simple. Meanwhile, Iowa rolls in with a more detailed style, but classic nonetheless.





Breaking this down, I'd say they tie in the helmet department. Bama gets the slight edge in the jersey department, especially if I do the ol' "Which jersey would I want to wear?" test. And quite frankly, the thick black stripe on the pants gets to me. Bama wins a close one, unlike the national championship game.

Winner: Alabama

MTSU vs. BYU

This isn't much of a contest. MTSU got by some easy matchups with Southern Miss and TCU. Here BYU's classic style just blows them out of the water. See ya, Cinderella.





Winner: BYU

Ole Miss vs. SMU

Here's where I get to rip on Ole Miss. They have a case of the NY Giants - perhaps this has to do with Eli. Let me explain. There's no link between jersey and pants. And helmet and jersey. On their own, they all represent pretty sweet uniform elements. Together, not so much. (The same thing is happening with the NY Giants - especially their road unis.)

Meanwhile, SMU just continues to impress.





Winner: SMU

South Florida vs. Florida

Finally, these teams square off! South Florida went white helmet and it got me all giddy. It continues to. Florida, on the other hand, comes in with a classic set. But I'm left to yearn for that white helmet they wore against FSU and again in the SEC Championship game. It showed me what levels they could reach in uniform stardom. Damn, it's tough to go against the Gators here. Looks like I just did.





Winner: South Florida

Next 4 Sweet 16 matchups in a little bit...

Monday, January 11, 2010

2009-2010 Bowl Season Uni Tourney (cont.)

Last 4 matchups...

Wisconsin vs. Tennessee





Tough one, with both teams having the same style. But hand it to Wisconsin for a bolder and better look, in my opinion. Or, maybe it's just cuz I lived there. Ha!

Winner: Wisconsin

Idaho vs. Iowa St.






Kudos to Idaho for changing up to a better look this season (and for getting this far in ANY tourney), but Iowa St. advances with those USC ripoffs. We'll see how long they can ride those coattails.

Winner: Iowa St.

Nebraska vs. Navy





Call me a patriot, but I just have to give Navy the nod here. Especially since this is an alternate uni that gives the Marines a nod with the inclusion of the red stripes. Nebraska has that classic look, but Navy's just look better.

Winner: Navy

Air Force vs. Oklahoma





And this is where the patriotism ends!!! So long Air Force - you're piping ruins it for you. Shoulda kept it simple. Oklahoma advances.

Winner: Oklahoma

Now onto the Sweet Sixteen - here are the matchups:

Alabama vs. Iowa
MTSU vs. BYU
Ole Miss vs. SMU
South Florida vs. Florida
USC vs. LSU
Texas A&M vs. UCLA
Wisconsin vs. Iowa St.
Navy vs. Oklahoma

Stay tuned!!!

2009-2010 Bowl Season Uni Tourney (cont.)

USC vs. Ohio St.





Classic matchup on the field, with USC owning the Buckeyes over the years. Also a classic uni matchup. What separates the two is the change the Buckeyes made a few years back to alter their unis. I didn't like the change. USC moves on.

Winner: USC

Clemson vs. LSU





Battle of the Tigers. Here, the Bayou Bengals advance because Clemson's piping comes into play.

Winner: LSU

Texas A&M vs. Florida State





The uni experts might not agree, but I am not a fan of FSU's collar action. Too fancy. I like what the Aggies have done with their look. Bobby Bowden and the Noles bow out here.

Winner: Texas A&M

UCLA vs. Auburn





Auburn would have had a shot without that big ass UA symbol. Still, UCLA just has that majestic look that can't be denied.

Winner: UCLA

Last 4 matchups of the first round coming right up...

2009-2010 Bowl Season Uni Tourney (cont.)

Cal vs. Ole Miss





This is where Cal's run ends. Ole Miss just has that classic uni, although we'll see how long they last with their inconsistent set.

Winner: Ole Miss

SMU vs. South Carolina





This could be the best helmet battle of the whole tourney, but the rest of the uniform must come into play here. And I've mentioned my hatred for Under Armour. This is where SC's run ends. SMU has one of the sweetest unis in all of college. They could make a run to the end.

Winner: SMU

Ohio vs. South Florida





This is a tough one. It's hard to really determine by the pics. Ohio has a standard classic uni. South Florida has a more modern one, and the switch to the white helmet tells me they're really trying. One thing I can't get over is Ohio's boring helmet word mark. USF wins the helmet battle. Something just says "stiff" to me when watching Ohio. In a photo finish, I'm pushing South Florida through.

Winner: South Florida

Pitt vs. Florida





Another close matchup. Pitt made a change this year and it looks great. Florida threw in some Pro Combat this year, but in this game, they went with their standard uni. I'm not too crazy about Pitt's helmet, and would like to see them return to the old cursive of the Marino days. Florida just looks a little more diesel. Maybe it's the Tebow influence? Another one for the Florida schools.

Winner: Florida

Halfway through this round. Stay tuned for the next 4 matchups...