POV: Uniforms Redux (Again)

I’m not going to write a lot about this as I have put up a few articles related to Pitt’s musical chair theory when it comes to our football uniforms already.

But now our new AD Heather Lykes has done what seems to be required of each new Pitt AD in that she is revisiting, yet again, how they should look.

Could old school become the new normal? For now, Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke wouldn’t rule it out.

20161119mfpittsports15-2

In an interview Tuesday with Pittsburgh media, Lyke was asked about the possibility of the athletic department returning to its royal-blue-and-yellow color scheme and said, “I’m not going to say the conversation has not happened.”

Lyke cautioned nothing was imminent, but the news of a potential return to the program’s historic colors is welcomed with open arms by many Pitt fans.

The chorus of voices calling for Pitt to scrap its current palette of navy blue and gold has intensified since August, when the athletic department first released images of the retro uniforms the football team wore on Oct. 8 against Georgia Tech and Nov. 19 against Duke.

Of course this is all crap to the nth degree. 

Remember just ten months ago in August when we jumped on this merry-go-round and ended up with the uniforms we have now? And remember how these were the ones the Pitt administration stated were going to be the uniforms of the future so that Pitt could create the all-important “brand” and eye recognition that the most successful programs have? 

Think of Alabama, Penn State, Nebraska, Oklahoma’s brands to name a few – one look and you knew right off the bat who those teams you were watching when flipping through your TV channels.

Well – rather than rehash everything related to this subject here is the link to that POV article I referenced if you’d like to be reminded of what we went through back in August of 2016.

Here is good Sports Illustrated article about colleges and their brands.  This point they make is interesting:

How did Oregon build a perennial national title contender in a remote, sparsely populated state? By building a readily identifiable brand of football that draws 18-year-old athletes like moths to light reflected off a “liquid metal” helmet. But this brand wasn’t built by the marketing department or by a consultant.

The staff at Nike, one of the best brand-building companies in America, had a hand in the process, but the people most responsible were the coaches and the players. Like anything else, a football team’s brand is mostly defined—for better or for worse—by the quality of the product.

Bottom line?  If you don’t have the players, staff and schemes in place to win football games, and a lot of them, you’ll never create a “brand” for your program because no one would care.

Hence the brands that Alabama, Penn State, Nebraska, Oklahoma have created for themselves are not due to their school colors but due to winning football games and churning out championships seasons year in and year out and that makes their colors and uniforms special.

That article also has  an interactive feature where you roll your cursor over your school’s logo and a text window pops up.  If that doesn’t work for you here is what the authors said about Pitt:

The brand: The Panthers haven’t had much of an identity for a while, which is odd considering this is the program that produced Tony Dorsett, Hugh Green, Dan Marino and Larry Fitzgerald.

What it should be:
New coach Pat Narduzzi should swipe a page from his last job and use the same model Michigan State has used in the Big Ten: Out-evaluate rivals on the recruiting trail and play ridiculously stingy defense. Narduzzi has a great eye for talent, and living in the middle of a football-crazy region should give him plenty of options. The Panthers are in the perpetually wide-open ACC Coastal, so they can win quickly if Narduzzi can transplant the brand from East Lansing.

This makes 100% sense as it is exactly the same thing Pat Narduzzi said when he was hired here… that he wanted Pitt to have a blue-collar defense and get the best and the brightest recruits from the tri-state area.

I have to say that since this article was written it 2015 Narduzzi hasn’t held up the ‘stingy defense’ part of it hardly at all. The bits in red show our defensive regression from 2015 to 2016.

2015

Team Stats – Through games 01/11/2016
Stat Rank Value
Total Defense 37 363.2
Rushing Defense 40 148.5
Passing Yards Allowed 54 214.7
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 66 126.97
Scoring Defense 57 26.1

2016

Team Stats – Through games 01/09/2017
Stat Rank Value
Total Defense 101 452.8
Rushing Defense 16 119.6
Passing Yards Allowed 127 333.2
Team Passing Efficiency Defense 106 143.57
Scoring Defense 106 35.2

Plus, we’ll see this year when a lot of his recruits start playing if he’s “out evaluating” his recruiting rivals but I’d say that is a stretch to say that has happened either but time will tell there…  if we can figure out who our ‘recruiting rivals’ actually are.

I wish Pitt would pick a decent uniform (I like what we have now) uniform adam-bisnowaty-pittsburgh-0and stick with them but that will never happen – not when 1) the school needs boosts in apparel sales income every time something changes and 2) the apparel companies keep breathing down Pitt (and other schools’) neck to change the uniforms as frequently as possible.

Oh well, a girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do…

NOTES: No roundtable Call-In tonight.  we’ll skip this week due to the Kohbergers having dinner guests.

36 thoughts on “POV: Uniforms Redux (Again)

  1. To each his own — I dislike the current unis. The uni shown above (Biz) reminds me of something you would buy at K-Mart

    To me and many other Pitt fans .. the Script in Royal Blue was and is the ‘Brand’

    On the other issue … I expect the Pitt defense to step up and play solid defense come October, and Pitt to remain a pretty good defensive club in the near term

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  2. The best looking uniform is the one worn after a win. Saying that, I have no problem with the current look and think throwing in a retro unit once in a while is fine. Unfortunately I think the players like some of the crazy combos that many of the teams trot out.
    I spend the majority of the football season in Florida and watch my other alma mater the “U” most of the time and some of the duds they trot out in are ridiculous. Some like black on black are tough to watch.
    Hopefully Pitt will stay a bit more traditional.

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  3. I’d keep an eye on this if I were a Pitt fan.
    As a Terps fan let me tell you this can get out of hand fast when there is a dollar to be made!

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  4. The PittScript, in itself, is a tremendous step in the right direction back to the future. The nod to our most recent glory years with the current throwback uniforms continues that forward momentum.

    The variations on the theme with the “modern” uniform colors and the multiple mix & match options, maybe old farts like Reed & me might regard as way too much shallow drama but the kids who actually wear the uniform love the entire package, especially the throwback unis. So as long as the athletic dept. doesn’t royally screw things up by abandoning the Script again, I’m OK with moving in most any direction regarding our future branding.

    On to more important matters. A half dozen years ago Pitt’s offensive line reputation was a joke. We had watched year upon year of Tino Sackseri accumulating more time on his back from getting sacked than a good looking Amsterdam prostitute.
    Fast forward to today. Thanks mainly to Paul Chryst’s excellent recruiting of OL personnel plus a little help from Coach Narduzzi in shuffling around key guys like Brian O’Neill, Pitt is now putting our OL guys into the NFL and have broken Pitt offensive records as of last season.

    My point? Chryst was & is an Offensive minded guy. This forte resulted in transforming a major Pitt weakness into a strength. The same thing will soon be demonstrated by our current “defensive minded” HC. So while some do the typical Pitt fan lament of naysaying that Coach Narduzzi might have lost his edge in his defensive prowess because, “just look at how awful we were last year”, Narduzzi is just about ready to pull the same switcheroo on defense that Coach Chryst did with our OL.

    It won’t be this year, but probably in 2018 you are going to witness Pitt fielding a top twenty defense in multiple statistical categories.

    Last season Pitt’s defense stunk. That’s old news. Pour over all of those stats that you desire to to further confirm that fact if you need that confirmation of the obvious. But those stats will give you no indication of what is around the corner with this defensive unit.

    The metamorphosis is coming. When the transformation begins this September, we’ll get a taste of what’s in store for us Pitt fans in the years to come. Narduzzi has a plan, and being a Pitt fan, I’m happy he’s our man.

    Get ready for those chants of DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE. It’s right around the corner.

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  5. Well,
    Without realizing Reed had this article up I wrote this on the last article!

    I’ve noticed that all the BIG brands in college football have basically left their colors, and
    look of uni’s pretty much in tact. Thus, when surfing channels on your tv with your remote
    (to find a college game) you know IMMEDIATELY when it’s Penn State, Alabama, USC,LSU,
    Notre Dame, etc. etc. etc. A college team’s brand is it’s IDENTITY and concerning this, Pitt
    has (on it’s own) destroyed their national brand of the mid 70’s to mid 80’s when they
    DOMINATED the college landscape. Yes, you may enjoy the flash of the Oregon Ducks, and if
    you do that’s great. But if you want to be a known national brand, stick with the example of
    the big brands in college football.

    (NO, I am not Reeds “ghost writer”) :>)

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  6. Current results of PG poll on online sports page:

    Should Pitt return to its old-school royal blue and gold colors?
    70% Yes
    13% No
    17% No opinion

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  7. Pittman I was about to copy and paste your comment to this article glad you beat me to it.. Great comment.

    Dr Tom great all around comment.

    Some think this year should be the year that (Narduzzi’s recruits) should take the reigns and dominate if his recruiting classes were so great. That’s not fair at all. RS sophomores are not what championship quality teams are made of. PITT is still at least one year away.

    I say at least as I do not know the QB situation ahead of next year. If one of the younger QB’s on the team can receive some extensive quality playing time this year it will make next years team all the better.

    I think we all know that a good ball control offense can make a defense look good as a defense giving the ball back to the offense in great field position makes an offense look good. In other words two strong units are a lot better than last years squad which had a great offense and a weak defense. Forget about that in a year or two…

    Even with the lousy 3 star recruits Narduzzi is reeling in. (jus kidding) Counting this year, Narduzzi has put together 3 really strong recruiting classes that are his type of players and this years class is not finished. Maybe the best 3 classes since Wanny. Just wait and watch if you don’t believe me….

    Have fun tonight Reed and can’t wait for the POV tailgates… BE THERE!!!

    ike

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  8. In the end, of course college football is about money. But it’s not just about money, use your brains. And regardless of what a bunch of old guys think, uniforms, facilities, etc, all do matter to players and recruits. And yeah, you have to win some games too.

    Don’t get that there’s still a minority group of whiners about recruiting at this point. “A 3 star is a 3 star” mentality; step away from the message board…

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  9. There is absolutely no doubt who is playing the second you turn on an Oregon game. Same with Pitt as long as the script is present. Are you people blind? LOL

    Like the current combos Pitt is wearing now.

    By the way, Penn State caved with numbers on the helmets and stripes on the pants for their throwbacks.

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  10. So Nike is coming up with a secondary logo. Yikes! Who did the stupid dino cat? Adidas

    Here is an idea. Make 2 or 3 and let the students and season ticket holders select the winner.

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  11. 1618mt posted “Don’t get that there’s still a minority group of whiners about recruiting at this point. “A 3 star is a 3 star” mentality; step away from the message board…”
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Not sure what this means and who you are referring to?

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  12. Jrn, that is interesting as they just promoted Mark Diethorn from ass’t for Player Personnel to director of recruiting before last season. I wonder if that’s a cost-cutting measure or they fired Dierthorn for non results.

    I’m going to make a couple phone calls but I’m feeling it might be the latter.

    Regardless of what fans think about recruits a lot of times the coaching staffs themselves feel they are missing out on their targets and the list is second or third choices because the ones they really wanted got away.

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  13. The Script was the biggest thing. Love the old school Uni’s but I can deal with the current ones. I do like the stripes on the shoulders, kind of a throw back look.
    The brand of football should be blue collar, smash mouth, win in the trenches football. Ram the ball down their throat run game, with 40% pass thrown in to keep them honest. Defense should be down right punishing. This is Pittsburgh right?

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  14. Pitt had a great brand with the royal blue and mustard colors with the script and I do believe our beloved Stevie P killed that when WLAT came onboard with the dyno cat and generic block letters.

    Time to resurrect the old style colors and be unique.

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  15. If my memory serves me right we had one uni combination that came off the battlefield a loser multiple time! I would re- think wearing that attire

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  16. we need one color and style. make the call now. go back to the old colors or stick with today’s hideous and bland ones.

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  17. Reed..that Is a nice uni with non- interpretive numerals … My issue is with being told beige is gold…
    Lots of opinions ranging from “who cares what they wear – just win” to someone like myself who years for a return to the late 70s early 80s glory years unis. If we had 60k to 70k fans filling Heinz and giving tons of money a brand would be developed pronto and the fans and dedicated slums would have a voice.

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  18. The comment about Defense Defense Defense …. I just want to call and repeat a name like Hugh ….. wait for it …. wait for it ….. Green

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  19. We had a brand, Peterson ruined it. He was from Nebraska, Chryst from Wisky, Nard from MSU. Could care less what they think is a great uni. If I want Pitt to look like ND and Navy and GT you cant improve on what we have. Win lose or draw on the field go back to the colors the country associated with Pitt. Beige is not gold, period.

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  20. How can you NOT get jacked up when you hear 29,000 crazy fans yelling – in unison- “Let’s go, Big Beige”??

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  21. I’m confused as to why so many of you think that Narduzzi is from Michigan and this would have a bias towards Michigan State. Yea he coached at MSU for a long while. That was due to Dantonio loyalty, not university Loyalty. Narduzzi is clearly from Youngstown and clearly fits in with the Western PA culture extremely well.

    He’s also pretty damn smart so I’d be shocked if he signed off on some crazy uniform.

    On another uniform note what I thought was funny was that the Nike project is going to take 18 months of research. 18 months!!!

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  22. Agree the only good uniform is the winning one! My only negative on uni is it seems they loose more when all in white. Agree the unis like Maryland and Oregon are ridiculous and are hard to see players in multiple player situations.

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  23. Heather look, please, at the above posted Dan Marino pic… that is our brand… pretty simple but you outsiders don’t get it it… you keep screwing this up!!!!!

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  24. Ok, as another guy of a certain age as Reed, I have to say that I was not fond of the Pitt script when it came out back then. I consider it soft. Not something you really would want to represent for a football team . The color scheme isn’t that bad
    though I think the royal blue is a little too close to baby blue and would prefer the navy blue.
    Another thing I would like to get everyone to talk about from AD Lyke’s interview is how to get that stadium filled up. What are some ideas you all and Reed can come up with? My idea is to offer, on game day, to sell any unsold seat to anyone with a student id for $1. Because I’m always surprised by how few students show up for games. I can see where students often wouldn’t have the means to pay full freight for a ticket so $1? I think that could work.

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