Over the last decade, the technology used in college football uniforms has evolved tremendously, and Ohio State has been at the forefront of Nike's innovation. For the past five seasons, the Buckeyes have participated in either the Pro Combat System of Dress or the Rivalry promotion, receiving special uniforms for a rivalry game each season. Nike's influence on Ohio State weighed heavily last season, as the Buckeyes wore Rivalry uniforms against Wisconsin, Penn State, Michigan, and Clemson.
That will continue in 2014, as the Buckeyes will update to Nike's latest breakthrough, the Pro Combat Mach Speed template. Fans of Ohio State's traditional look have little to fear, as the update changes nothing other than the fabric of the uniform.
The University of Oregon first unveiled the Mach Speed uniform template prior to the Alamo Bowl, and was believed to be the only team to be wearing the template in 2014.
The uniform features a new fabric construction that matches the athletes range of motion, and looking closely at the uniform, you'll see the panels on the chest of the uniform that match the pads underneath. Nike claims that this allows the uniform to move with the athlete, not against them.
Additionally, as we noted when the Buckeyes switched from Nike's Pro Combat Destroyer template to the Pro Combat Hyper Cool template, the jersey featured Nike's patented Chain Maille Mesh on the back and under the shoulders. This fabric is an extremely breathable but durable material, allowing for maximum ventilation in those areas.
One noticeable difference, however, will be the lack of Nike's Flywire on the front Ohio State's collar. Immediately recognizable, this fabric was believed to tighten to the the shape of the shoulder pads to avoid an opponent grabbing a player by the the jersey. Essentially, the woven fabric of the Mach Speed template should do the same thing.
No other changes to Ohio State's standard uniform will occur, and the seven Buckeyes Leaf stickers on the back of the collar will remain to signify Ohio State's seven national championships.
At a photoshoot Wednesday morning, the athletic department took a break to allow a clearer look at the new template: