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Winged Victory: Where Do We Stand?

Way back in 2009, a fledgling blogger compiled a brief history of the Dennis Dixon-era Oregon uniforms. Now that we're two years into the Wings era of Oregon football, let's take a look back, and see if looking good equals playing well.

But first, a recap of last year...

If you haven't read a uniform post of mine, the short hand for describing a uniform combination is Helmet-Jersey-Pants. So, if the Ducks were wearing Carbon helmets, white jerseys with silver numbers, and steel pants, it would be C-WS-S. If they were in nothing but green, it would be G-G-G. Got it? Good.

Before the season started, I released my predictions for this season's uniform choices. In 2009, I got 4 right. Let's see if I did better in 2010.

New Mexico:
My guess: G-G-G.
Actual: B-B-S.

For the first time since 1998 against Michigan State (Y-G-G), the Ducks wore something other than Green-Green-Green in their home opener, and for the first time ever, the Ducks wore something other than their "primary" jersey in a home opener. This combo looks so cool that it was bound to show up at some point this year. I had it pegged for Portland State.

My guess: G-WG-G
Actual: G-WG-W

I think G-W-G would have looked good contrasting Tennessee's white helmets and white pants. But who can argue with the outcome?

Portland State:
My guess: B-B-S
Actual: C-G-S

Love it, love it, love it. The yellow O on the helmet looks great with the new yellow numbers on the green jersey, and the steel wings match up well with the steel pants.

Arizona State:
My guess: W-W-W
Actual: G-WS-G

A new wrinkle to the "primary" road jersey is the use of the white and silver jersey, rather than the white and green. It's ok, though I prefer the other one.

My guess: G-G-B
Actual: G-G-G

Since we didn't wear the greens for the opener, it was only natural to break them out on national TV. And man, did it look pretty.

Washington State:
My guess: W-WS-S
Actual: B-WG-B

This is essentially last year's Washington game with green numbers. I prefer the silver numbers to the green with all that black.

My guess: G-G-W
Actual: B-Y-B

Two straight blowouts for the Oregon Bumblebees. Man, that uni looks awesome at night...

My guess: B-WS-B
Actual: W-WS-W

I think THIS is the true Stormtrooper look. The USC rebellion was crushed with one swift stroke.

My guess: B-B-B
Actual: B-B-B

The annual Blackout game beatdown comes at the expense of the Huskies. I wish this was a night game; that's where the black helmet looks its best.

My guess: W-WG-G
Actual: W-WG-G

My second correct guess of the year is a good one. The white helmet isn't my favorite. In fact, of the four helmets we've used this year, it's my least favorite. And, I prefer it with the all whites. But it still looks pretty good here.

My guess: G-B-G
Actual: G-G-S

Love love love love it, even more than PSU. The green helmet is my favorite, and the silver wings fit with the silver pants.

Oregon State:
My guess: C-Y-S
Actual: C-WS-S

I know, I know. White and silver/steel/carbon are not our school colors. There is no yellow, and only a tiny amount of green on this uniform set. Whatever. It looks fantastic. Couple that with OSU's throwbacks (Nike's best Pro Combat uni to date), and you have one of the best looking Civil Wars of all time. Oh, and the Ducks won, earning a place in their first BCS Championship Game. Though I think my color-versus-color idea would've been great, this was stunning.

As for January 10th, I didn't make a bowl game prediction before the season started. If it were up to me, we'd come out in G-WG-W, my favorite uniform we've got. However, rumors are circulating about a possible throwback uniform created for the Civil War, but pushed back for use in a BCS bowl game. While I don't doubt the awesomeness of the throwbacks, it would be a big mistake. The wings uniforms are Oregon football in the Chip Kelly era. We are 20-3 in them. It is all we have worn in this magical 12-0 season. To play the BCS National Championship game in something other than the wings would be extremely disappointing. Looking back years from now at pictures of Oregon's first (of many) National Championship game, only to see a uniform we've never worn before, wouldn't sit well with me at all. Though if we do see them, we would become only the second football team to wear a throwback uniform in a championship game. And I like how the first one turned out.

Now to look back on the past two years, each combination, and the results...

Black-Black-Black: Arizona 2008 (W-55-45), Arizona State 2009 (W 44-12), Washington 2010 (W 53-16)

The debut against Arizona was filled with big plays, including two TDs of more than 60 yards and a pick six from Patrick Chung. Arizona State was the opposite, with only one touchdown of more than nine yards. HIHWD 2010 was a mix of sustained drives and lightning-bolt plays, including a sparkling 34 yard run by Darron Thomas.

White-White-White: Boise State 2009 (L 19-8), USC 2010 (W 53-32)

Since the Stormtroopers debuted and ran the Huskies out of their stadium, rushing yards were hard to come by, including only 31 yards against fBSU. LaMichael James walked into the LA Coliseum and put that notion to rest with 239 yards on the ground.

Green-Green-Green: Purdue 2009 (W 38-36), Stanford 2010 (W 52-31)

The All Greens seem to be almost as good for the opposing team as they are for us. We're 2-0, but the opposition has put up at least 450 yards of offense in both games.

White-Green-Steel: Utah 2009 (W 31-24)

No Oregon quarterback has ever passed for 100 yards while wearing this particular uniform. With the carbon helmet now in full rotation, I don't think we'll see this one ever again.

Throwback Jerseys: Cal 2009 (W 42-3), Oregon State 2009 (W 37-33)

Throwback magic! The Cal throwbacks were just perfect, and led to one of the more dominant performances in some time. I consider it retribution for 2006, when the Golden Bears debuted their yellow jerseys and smacked Dennis Dixon around. The War for the Roses was an all-time classic.

Black-Yellow-Black: Washington State 2009 (W 52-6), UCLA 2010 (W 60-13)

If two times equals a certainty, we can definitively say that Oregon will go Bumblebee against a bottom-feeding conference opponent, and whup the crap out of them. Look for it next year when we take on Colorado.

Green-White-Green: UCLA 2009 (W 24-10), Arizona State 2010 (W 42-31)

Two games where we didn't play particularly well, but ground out a road win. And despite everyone's nitpicking, a Pac-10 road win is always a good thing.

Black-White-Black: Washington 2009 (W 43-19), Washington State 2010 (W 43-23)

If we need to score 43 points in the state of Washington, this is where we should turn. Neither of these games were our most impressive performance, but taking care of business on the road is just fine with me.

Green-Green-Black: USC 2009 (W-47-20)

I'm sad we didn't see this one in 2010. Part of the reason for that is this year's place as the Year of the Steel We wore steel pants four times in 2010, compared to only once the year before. By comparison, we wore the black pants three times this year, down from five in 2009. Steel was this year's black, will we have a Back in Black 2011?

Green-White-White: Stanford 2009 (L 51-42), Tennessee 2010 (W 48-13)

Impressive offenses rule in the standard road uni, as well as a tendency to give up some rushing yards. I'm gonna assume Toby Gerhart is to blame, and not some subconscious sartorial influence.

Green-White-Black: Arizona 2009 (W 44-41 2OT)

The Ducks avenged Dixon's ACL in the desert in an overtime classic in 2009. But this pairing was absent in 2010. Has this become our exclusive Tuscon uniform?

White-Green-White: Ohio State 2010 (L 26-17)

I didn't think it looked good then, I don't think it looks good now. I just don't like white pants at "home," especially after Labor Day. We didn't see this combo in 2010, and I don't think we will again.

Black-Black-Steel: New Mexico 2010 (W 72-0)

I say we bust this one out against Arizona State or Cal next year, just to see if we win by 72 again.

Carbon-Green-Steel: Portland State 2010 (69-0)

How sharp does the carbon helmet look? The green is still my favorite, and the black is a nice contrast, but man are the carbons flat-out cool.

White-White-Green: Cal 2010 (W 15-13)

Since the debut of the white helmet in 2007, we have worn this particular combo twice: @Purdue in '08, and @Cal this year. Both have been close games, and have featured a game-changing punt return touchdown. And you say the uniforms don't affect play...

Green-Green-Steel: Arizona 2010 (W 48-29)

This seems like a good place to talk about the best uniform happening of 2010: changing the uniform numbers on the green uni from silver to yellow. The numbers are easier to read, the yellow pops off the green much better than the silver. It's a fantastic change, not sure why we didn't go with it in the first place.

Carbon-White-Steel: Oregon State 2010 (W 37-20)

We are beating opponents by a combined 106-20 while wearing the carbon helmets. Of course, we're beating opponents by a score of 422-134 in the black lids. So maybe we're just really good at football.