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Ranking the best Big Ten alternate uniforms

What are the best alternate looks in the conference?

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

There are plenty of classic uniforms across the Big Ten, some of the absolute best in college football. But how well do some of these schools stack up in the alternate uniform business? Here's a look at the alternate uniforms from 2012 to present day.

1. Ohio State

The Buckeye alternates are based on throwback uniforms, but have that new look Nike flair. They first introduced the alternates that they currently wear back in 2012. The finish of the helmets, along with the more vibrant Buckeye stickers help these stand out just the right amount.

2. Maryland

Maryland comes in at No. 2 because of a variety, and the incorporation of the state flag looks well with the school colors. They have a couple of different variations of them, along with an all-black combination. Just take a look at what the Terps have to offer:

3. Michigan State

The Spartans, like the Buckeyes, have the benefit of being outfitted by Nike. They boast a bronze helmet, and bronze accents on the shoulders, that have been updated for 2015:

4. Michigan

Michigan would probably have alternates up there with the Buckeyes if they were under Nike (which they will be, in August of 2016), but for now, we must evaluate the Wolverines on their Adidas digs. They have had two alternates since 2013, and while it's not the best, it's hard to ruin one of the best uniforms in college football.

The Wolverines also sported these alternates against South Carolina in the 2013 Outback Bowl.

5. Wisconsin

Wisconsin whipped out these alternates in 2012, featuring a W on the front, as well as "BADGERS" on the back of the uniform. While these weren't their best, their simple helmet alteration in 2013 and 2014 have helped them here at the five spot. Although the all-red is often too much for folks, the 2013 iteration with white pants is a good look.

The Badgers also donned the red hats with white jerseys and red pants against Purdue.

6. Rutgers

Rutgers' alternate in 2014 was a good look, but it's hard to make all-black look bad, isn't it?

7. Northwestern

The Wildcats have a nice color scheme, but haven't made many alterations in the past few years. When they added the stripe across the middle of their uniforms, it took away from the great look that they had. Either way, Northwestern's alternates find their way up towards the top half of the pack.

The Wildcats also got patriotic in 2013, and rocked these gothic uniforms last season.

8. Illinois

The Illini got a much needed makeover in the uniform department, and were able to rock some gray alternates in 2014, although it seemed the gray uniform wave was over by the end of 2012-13. Either way, these do look nice, but they could do better.

9. Purdue

Purdue, like the Illini, brought out a gray alternate in 2014. While the Illini's looked better, you would think that with their color scheme, and with the help of the swoosh, they would be able to come up with some more creative digs.

10. Indiana

While they haven't necessarily had alternate uniforms, the Hoosiers haven't been short on helmets. The candy stripe helmet was perhaps long overdue, as it is a staple in Indiana Hoosier athletics (mostly basketball). The Hoosiers overall look with the variation of hats looks great, but I have to take into account the jerseys saw no change.

11. Iowa

There isn't much (seemingly) that Iowa could do with their uniforms, but you have to give the Hawkeyes credit for these Veteran's Day throwback alternates. It's just about all they could do.

12. Nebraska

It seems Nebraska's alternates get worse and worse every year. Adidas seems to be trying way too hard on these every year. The Cornhuskers have one of the classic uniform makeups in college football, but when they throw on their alternates, you wouldn't know it.

They started off with these in 2012.

Then, 2013 rolled around, and things got worse:

I would say the 2014 edition wasn't as bad, but it still wasn't good.

The most recent ones that the Cornhuskers will wear in 2015 still aren't better:

Give us your rankings in the comments below!