2019 Uniformity Sun Devil Football Uniform Rankings Part 1: 7-13
A Week in Review
It has been a few weeks since the Sun Devils last took the field, and before we dive into the rankings of this past season’s uniforms, let’s review the final combination of the season. The Devils tallied six takeaways against Florida State in a game where both teams showed an obvious absence of each of their offensive stars. Those six turnovers ultimately led to a hard-fought, albeit ugly, victory. But no matter. Ending the season as Sun Bowl Champions is all that will be remembered. Finishing with 8 wins is certainly a good look, as it is an improvement over Herm’s first season. Speaking of a good look, the uniforms did not disappoint.
For the first time since the 2011 rebrand, ASU wore a gold helmet/black jersey/black pant combination, and what a debut it was. Something that was proven time and time again during the 2019 season, which featured only gold and white helmets, is that decals and facemasks make a significant impact on the overall uniform. The gold helmet had ASU’s iconic center stripe, but rather than a classic maroon, it was black to match the rest of the uniform. The gold pitchfork decals had black trim to add to the look as well. A gold facemask gave the helmet a bit of flash. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
The team looked intimidating, even mean, out on the field. It was a new look that was concocted from Jerry Neilly’s staff to give a little flare for the bowl game. After a season of finding ways to be creative, the Sun Bowl gave the equipment staff an extra opportunity to flex their creative muscles, and they did so in a big way. Along with the win, the Devils walked away with a uniform victory to end the 2019 season.
2019 Sun Bowl (Gold/Black/Black): A
Ranking the Uniforms
In a season where helmet colors were limited, we saw quite a few innovations and feats of creativity to compensate for the lack of variety. ASU Football Equipment Manager Jerry Neilly and his incredible staff have put together feasts for the eyes all season long. The Sun Devils have looked fantastic as a result, which has made ranking the uniforms as difficult as it was fun. This article is Part 1 of a two-part series ranking all thirteen of the 2019 uniform combinations contain uniforms ranked 7-13. Bear in mind that this is completely subjective based on a combination of my own opinion as well as the reactions I saw week in and week out to each uniform from both ASU fans and national commentary. You will almost certainly disagree with me many times. That’s actually a good thing. It opens up the opportunity for conversation as a chance to discuss something with your friends or with me that we are passionate about.
Also, keep in mind that there was never really a bad look. As I mentioned before, Jerry Neilly and his equipment staff outfitted the Sun Devils to look sharp every week, so this is basically a ranking of looking pretty good to looking really, really good. So, without any further ado, here is Part 1 of the 2019 Uniformity Rankings:
13. Week 8 at Utah: Gold Helmet/White Jersey/White Pants
This was a new take on classic colors. The first gold/white/white away uniform was worn in 2003 and then was not worn again until last season again Washington. It’s a clean look with the white threads on both top and bottom, but it does lack a dark anchor color. The gold facemask on the gold helmet was a little loud with little maroon or black representation throughout the rest of the uniform. The helmet itself was sharp, but perhaps wasn’t best suited to be matched with white jerseys and pants.
12. Week 9 at UCLA: All White Sustainability Uniform
Beginning with this uniform and everything that follows, ranking the uniforms became wildly difficult. If you’ve been reading Uniformity regularly over the past five seasons, you may know that I’m not overly fond of Whiteout style uniforms. It has nothing to do with the win/loss record in Whiteout combinations but has everything to do with a lack of color and identity. This uniform challenged my usual notion. There wasn’t much gold on it, but the maroon Arizona state flag stylization on the shoulder pads was a very nice touch. Furthermore, the maroon center stripe on the white helmet was a fantastic feature. However, the block letters and numbers didn’t do this uniform any favors as far as aesthetics were concerned.
11. Week 2 vs. Sacramento State: White Helmet/Maroon Jersey/Maroon Pants
This combination is honestly a great look and it comes down to the little details that separate each uniform at this point. The classic colors were on full display with this combination, which is always a great thing. The white helmet atop the maroon jersey and maroon pants is a tad bit awkward but was nicely saved with the color of the helmet decals. The large maroon pitchfork with gold trim complemented the jerseys and pants nicely. The gold number decals on the opposite side of the helmet were chosen to match the jersey numbers which is a great detail, however, it felt slightly mismatched on the helmet itself. Even so, this was a very good uniform, overall.
10. Week 7 vs. Washington State: Gold Helmet with Gold Facemask/Maroon Jersey/Gold Pants
It’s really weird for me to have the classic ASU Football gold/maroon/gold color combination this low on the list. Regardless of how much change, innovation, and creativity comes out of the equipment room, this color combination will always remain my favorite. That being said, this color combination was used three separate times this year, and the helmet used with this combination, while great, lacked a certain detail that we saw later in the season and will see later in this countdown: A center stripe. The lack of that detail with the gold facemask is what landed this combination in the 10th spot of the rankings.
9. Week 1 vs Kent State: Gold Helmet/Maroon Jersey/Gold Pants
As strange as it was for me to have a gold/maroon/gold color combination at No. 10, it’s even stranger for me to have another one ranked just one spot ahead of it. This is the classic, traditional look for the first home game of every season. It is the standard for the modern pitchfork era of Sun Devil Football. As I have thought since the dawning of the pitchfork era, this helmet with the standard-sized pitchforks looks half-naked without a maroon center stripe. A maroon center stripe, or some variation of it, is iconic of ASU football and was on every football helmet from the inception of the gold ASU until the 2011 season. This is still a great look and gold/maroon/gold should always be the standard for ASU Football uniforms.
8. Week 5 at Cal: White Helmet/White Jersey/Maroon Pants
This was one of the cleanest looking uniforms all season long. The white helmets and jerseys were anchored nicely by the maroon pants. The maroon pitchfork and player numbers also complemented the pants well to make it a very cohesive look. This is the third time in its history that ASU has worn this uniform combination and the Sun Devils have won each of those three times. Such a fact makes it easier for a uniform to become fondly remembered, but strictly from an aesthetic perspective, this is one of my favorite away combinations. Ranking this in the bottom half of the list only speaks to the strength of the rest of the field.
7. Week 12 at Oregon State: Gold Helmet/White Jersey/Maroon Pants
Speaking of my favorite away combinations, this is my long-standing favorite away uniform. It rounds out the bottom half of the rankings, but that doesn’t make it any less stellar of a combination. The classic gold helmet and white away jersey are brought together as a whole package by the maroon pants. Without question, this is the best display of ASU’s classic colors as far as road uniforms are concerned.
That concludes Part 1 of the Uniformity rankings for ASU Football’s 13 uniform combinations of 2019. Stay tuned as Part 2 of the rankings will be coming very soon!