Since it is “Jersey Week” at SB Nation, I have a real bone to pick when it comes to one of the biggest games of the year. I could rail against Ohio State’s alternate jerseys, but I’m going to go a little different route for this one.
Don’t get me wrong, I hate a lot of the alternate jerseys because I think Ohio State’s uniforms are something that doesn’t need to be messed with. I get why they have introduced some alternate uniforms, since they not only want to sell more jerseys, but recruits also like them. But, I’m closing in on 35 and I’ve been in the “get off my lawn” stage of my life for quite some time now.
Anyway, back to the true problem at hand. Why don't Ohio State and Michigan both wear their home uniforms for The Game? Scarlet against blue. Good versus evil. It may way too much sense for the rivalry to have not done this before, but for unknown reasons we haven’t seen the rivals battle each other in their home uniforms yet. It’s a crime.
There was a NCAA rule that said road teams had to play in white jerseys, but one moment almost 12 years ago changed all that. In 2008, USC head coach Pete Carroll sent his team out in their home uniforms to take on UCLA at the Rose Bowl, costing the Trojans a timeout. UCLA immediately took a timeout to even things out. A couple months later the NCAA passed a rule allowing teams of contrasting colors to both wear their home uniforms.
While seeing USC and UCLA battling in their home uniforms is quite a sight, even more stunning would be to see the Buckeyes and Wolverines square off in their home kits. Why Ohio State and Michigan haven’t already started playing The Game in their home jerseys is beyond me. The Game is already iconic, but it would be taken to a whole different level if we saw scarlet jerseys on one side of the field and Michigan’s blue uniforms on the other sideline in late November in either The Horseshoe or The Big House.
It’s not like the two teams have exactly stuck to strict uniform rules lately during the rivalry either. Alternate jerseys have become more prevalent, especially on Ohio State’s side. The Buckeyes have trotted out a number of alternate jerseys over the last decade. The white uniforms with black lettering the Buckeyes wore in 2017 were hideous. If Ohio State can wear something like that, there is absolutely no reason why both teams can’t wear their home jerseys for a game.
I know both teams have to agree to it, and while I’m sure Jim Harbaugh would find a way to cry about it, I’m sure it could be something that the rest of his team could talk him in to.
Look at how good these colors look on the basketball court, and now just think of how hard everyone would mark out when Ohio State takes the field in late November at Ohio Stadium as the number one team in the country in their iconic scarlet uniforms just a few moments after Michigan ran out onto the field to a chorus of boos in their classic blue uniforms. As if tensions wouldn’t have already been sky-high, this would take it to another level.
All I need these two rivals is to wear their home uniforms once for The Game and I feel like it would be so visually spectacular that you’d see the home uniforms turn into a tradition going forward. The rivalry has tried the rest when it comes to jerseys, now it is time for them to try the best.