USC football is exploring the possibility of wearing an alternate uniform for a game during the 2016 season, according to Scott Wolf of the Daily News.
Wolf’s source at Nike claims that there are six designs on the table, including at least one out-of-the-box option:
"A Nike source tells me at least six designs are being considered by USC for an alternate uniform, with the boldest a bronze helmet, bronze uniform that is a type of tribute to Tommy Trojan’s outfit. There is also a white helmet, white jersey and white pants outfit. And a cardinal pants, cardinal jersey, cardinal helmet design."
Alternate uniforms possibilities have been floating around USC for years. Nike even released a black jersey for sale though no alternates have made their way onto the field beyond the shiny chrome helmets that debuted in 2014.
Each time real chatter about changing designs up has come up, the ideas have been batted down by boosters who want the Trojans’ iconic uniforms to remain unchanged. Even getting the helmets tweaked caused some uproar.
With that in mind it is hard to imagine the Trojan family being on board with a full on alternate like the bronze one described. An all-cardinal affair has always seemed the most likely, though most uninspired, option.
Years ago, I played around with the uniform editor in EA’s NCAA video game franchise to create some alternate looks similar to the ones supposedly proposed.
Since all-white and all-cardinal looks are part of the six designs, here is a rough draft of what those might look like:
There is also the question of when such an alternate would be worn.
An obvious choice for 2016 would be the season opening showcase against Alabama. At a neutral field, against a national opponent, alternates would make a lot of sense.
On the other hand, it would be a great shame to see two of the nation’s most historic programs take the field in anything but their traditional uniforms.
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The Trojans end the 2016 season with Notre Dame at the Coliseum, which might also stand as an option. The Irish have taken to wearing alternate uniforms in special games, so perhaps both teams could show off something new in the rivalry game.
Of course, the best option might be jumping into the alternate game as a reward for reaching the Pac-12 Championship in early December. That way, the alternates could only be debuted with a strong enough conference standing.
Having said all that, much of the Trojan faithful would agree that the real best option would be nixing the idea of an alternate all together.
But as Wolf says, USC sees the alternate as a recruiting tool.
If recruits are excited enough by shiny new uniforms, then they’ll certainly be coming down the line.
Do you want to see an alternate uniform for a game in 2016?