If you're like me, you've grown tired of the same rehashed expansion opinions over the last four months. Here's a fresh, and admittedly ridiculous look at expansion.
Within the Big Ten, every team has a unique look on the football field - you'll never confuse one team for another within the conference as long as you aren't color blind. Unlike the Big XII and ACC, this has stayed true even after expansion (MSU and PSU). While Wisconsin and Penn State both have white helmets, Wisconsin's is dominated by their large, red "W" which distinguishes the two schools even before Wisconsin's red jerseys/numbers against Penn State's blue jerseys/numbers. While Indiana is also red and white, their red helmets give them a unique look. Minnesota's burgundy is significantly darker than Wisconsin's and Indiana's red. Iowa and Purdue share the black and gold - but nobody can confuse Iowa's black helmets for Purdue's gold helmets, and Iowa's gold pants have more in common with Michigan's maize than Purdue's gold. And before you dare say that Iowa's uniform colors could resemble Michigan's, with the confusion of the dark blue and the black - SACRILEGE! - the most iconic, and unique, helmets in DI-A football take care of those problems.
While the Pac-10 and Big East do a fine job of keeping a unique look for each school, the ACC has always had Maryland and NC State looking like each other, and expansion has brought the similarly dressed FSU and BC into the conference. The Big XII's formation saw Oklahoma State and Texas A&M in the same division as UT and OU. The sport's strongest conference on the field (at the moment), which can't even get unique nicknames for its schools, is woeful when it comes to unique uniforms. Georgia and Mississippi State not only share one of the most overdone nicknames in American sports, but they also share their colors and uniforms with iconic Alabama. The situation only worsened with the addition of Arkansas.
The last round of expansion saw the addition of Penn State, and their iconic look and unique nickname. This round of expansion, a number of schools are being evaluated for their media markets, their revenue potential, their academic prominence, and their athletic department. Now, the usual suspects will be evaluated on how their football team's visual identity clashes with/expands the look of the conference.
Notre Dame: the Big Ten's great white whale looks dangerously close to Purdue. Maybe will be more attractive if they don their green jerseys for league games
Pitt: Again, dangerously close to Purdue, but could fix it by returning to the look they won the 1976 national title with, and sported for 23 years.
Syracuse: Way too close to Illinois. Maybe if they switched their traditional orange lids to a blue ones.
Rutgers: Nearly identical to IU. Sorry, Scarlet Knights.
UConn: DING DING DING! The blue helmet would never be confused with Michigan's, or anyone else in the Big Ten.
Mizzou: Way too similar to Iowa, and that block M clearly resembles the logo of a better school. Change your helmets to a yellow, and maybe your jersey's too, and embrace the tiger head logo as opposed to the block M. Then we'll talk.
Nebraska: A big red "N" on a white helmet does not significantly distinguish them from Wisconsin's big red "W" on a white helmet
Iowa State: While the yellow pants would distinguish them from IU, they're still very close, I think. Again, maybe a yellow helmet?
Texas: Another winner, with the white helmet being significantly different from Penn State's and Wisconsin because of their unique "burnt" orange.
So, in conclusion:
Definitely: Texas, UConn
Maybe: Notre Dame, Pitt, Iowa State
With alterations: Notre Dame, Syracuse, Mizzou, Iowa State, Pitt
Never: Rutgers, Nebraska
Anybody I'm missing? Am I way off on some? Was this a really stupid topic?