The rise of the Oregon Ducks to national prominence in recent years is a combination of a few things. Mostly, it’s the proffesional factor: Chip Kelly taking over for Mike Belloti and losing only 7 games in the span for four seasons so far, including reaching a national championship game and winning the Rose Bowl. Another factor is the Nike uniforms.
Don’t forget about fashion and style. Some College Football purists may not be really into all those shiny colors and a changing kit every game, but the special designs make this school a lot more noticeable, if the high powered spread offense and the top 5 rankings aren’t doing that already.
The Oregon uniform underwent a radical change for the 1999 season, where new, Nike-designed gear featuring a redesigned “O” emblem with solid green helmets and jerseys with lightning yellow letters were revealed. In 2005 was the season when the constant changes began, with nine different outfits used that season. In 2006, the new uniforms provided 384 possible different combinations of jerseys, pants, helmets, socks, and shoes. A metallic-yellow colored helmet with silver flames, which debuted in the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl, increased the possible combinations to 512.
It wasn’t only about fashion. These new uniforms were more technologically advanced than other uniforms, 28% lighter when dry, 34% lighter when wet, and greater durability with reinforcing diamond plating patterns at the joints. In the past three seasons, Oregon have introduced a new uniform every time, with slight changes on some days, while more memorable pieces were often presented, like their stromtroopers version in the fantastic game against USC this season.