The best college football uniforms in Week 5 -- Throwbacks, blackouts, and some serious helmet heat

ByWilliam Ricks ESPN logo
Friday, October 1, 2021

Week 5 of the college football season is here, and many games scheduled this weekend could impact the playoff race. As fans, analysts and experts prepare for an exciting slate of matchups across the college football landscape, some exceptional uniform combinations have teams heading into their respective contests in style.

Throwbacks take center stage

Stanford takes a trip back to the 1970s with its threads this week. The school honors Jim Plunkett and the 1970-71 team, bringing its throwback uniforms to center stage. A minimalistic "S" design is present on the helmet, and Cardinal red is the jersey color and is also seen in the stripe pattern on the white bottoms. Plunkett is the only Stanford player to win the Heisman Trophy, doing so in 1971. He also won the Rose Bowl that same season.

Color coordination at its finest

The South Florida Bulls continue to make waves with their amazing outfits. This week, they opted for an all-white look, highlighted with accents of green on the shoulder and pant legs. The helmet is where the uniforms stand out, as the school put a gold version of their logo on the side. That shiny look pairs well with the white helmet, giving USF a classy yet stylish look. Gold is used throughout other parts of the ensemble, giving the Bulls a premium look for their game on Saturday.

Color coordination is essential to a fire game day outfit, and the No. 7 Cincinnati Bearcats hit the mark with their Week 5 threads. A red helmet with a metallic, matte finish brings some pop and fierceness to the uniform combo. The white jersey offers a light and fresh look that complements the helmet nicely. The fit is completed with some black pants, which brings the Bearcats' wardrobe together. The Bearcats social media team considers this a "top-10" fit this week -- and they might be right.

The TCU Horned Frogsuse purple as the primary color for their face masks this week. They also implement a solid black color on the pants, using their signature horned frog logo on the right hip section. White is the filler hue for the jerseys numbers and decals on the jersey. The helmets' black, glossy finish gives TCU one of the sleekest uniforms for Week 5 of the college football season.

Contrasting colors work well in any football fit, and the Coast Carolina Chanticleers exemplify that with their Week 5 ensemble. They opt for black jerseys, with their signature teal hue as the pants color. It also fills in the jersey number and other decals on the uniform. Finally, a black helmet wraps up their game-day outfit, and Coastal Carolina has a fresh fit that hopefully catapults it to victory.

When you think of premium uniforms, the Oregon Ducks immediately come to mind -- and understandably so. However, the Oregon State Beavers unleashed their own outfits that rank among the best this weekend in college football. Orange is the prevalent color throughout this week's fit, taking an NFL color rush approach to their wardrobe. Black highlights the bold orange, being used as the helmet and shoulder stripe color. It seems like the Beavers have made sure their threads were ready for a matchup withWashington.

It's a blackout

There have been many white out uniforms this season, but Utah State decided to go the opposite direction for Week 5. It will brandish its blackout uniforms, which are sleek and imposing. As you might expect, black is the relied upon color for the helmet, jersey and pants, but white is used as a solid complementary color. With a 3-1 record, the Aggies hope their all-black fit leads to a win against No. 13 BYU.

The University of Missouri comes into this weekend with an all-black fit. The look is fierce, as yellow is a secondary color for the number and stripes on the shoulder and helmet. There's not much to say about this fit, except the Tigers are ready for business against inner conference rival Tennessee.

The Maryland Terrapins keep the blackout theme going with their gear this week. The yellow and red used for the jersey number and helmet decals pop against the dark black. The uniform has a menacing look, and hopefully, Maryland will bring that same mindset to the field against No. 5 Iowa.

Its helmets are honoring a special cause this week, as Maryland's headgear sports green ribbons honoring mental health. Although it's now October, September is Mental Health Awareness Month in the United States.

Eastern Washington pulled out some slick threads that pairs with its red turf field perfectly. It's the school's blackout week -- so Eastern Washington's uniform is all black, as you might expect. However, the matte finish on the helmet adds a sense of grit and feistiness to the Eagles' ensemble. Red is the bold accent color used for the helmet logo and decals on the jersey and pants. The look is quite intimidating, meaning EWU is ready to handle its business this weekend.

Stylish, yet simple

Western Kentucky takes a simple yet effective approach to its uniform combos this week. It went with black pants, white jersey fit for its contest against No. 17 Michigan Stateon Saturday. The upper, lower combo is impressive, but the helmet is where the Hilltoppers set themselves apart. A silver chrome helmet is a welcomed addition to WKU's attire, bringing a luxury aesthetic to it equipment. Hopefully, the threads help the Hilltoppers get a victory after losing two straight games entering this weekend.

UCF has kept the new gear coming all season, and it debuts another design change in its uniform this week. UCF will wear its third new helmet of the year, this one brandishing the Knights logo on one side. This is the first time this art will be on the headgear, matching perfectly with the solid white color.

The half-and-half design is evident here, as the Knights decided on an all-white top with an all-black bottom. On the other side of the helmet, the traditional gold UCF logo is there, an important touch to this look. The Knights have had fire wardrobe selections in 2021, and this is just another example of it.

Helmet heat

Outside of the fire fits this week, these teams certainly have some outstanding helmet designs:

It's homecoming week for Boise State, and the university is throwing it back in a big way. It will bring back its old-school logo that was first used in 1974 -- with a few minor updates. A bolder outline around the image of Idaho and a sharper image of the bronco give this timeless logo a modernized look. The orange helmet is the perfect canvas to show off the Broncos updated team emblem. Hopefully, the football team can honor its school's not only with these stylish new helmets -- but with a win.

Texas Southern University received a special gift from one of its most famous alumni. Michael Strahan, who played for the school from 1991 to 1993, donated new helmets to the university. The new headgear has the school emblem on the right side, with the player's number on the left. Tigers coach Clarence McKinney posted the news to social media, thanking Strahan for the donation. The helmets come right before TSU's homecoming game againstNorth American University.

This might be the unofficial week of throwbacks, and the Duke Blue Devils are riding the wave with their vintage decals. The school is bringing back the "Hellraiser" emblem, first used during the 1966 to 1969 seasons. The last time the Blue Devils used this logo was in the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl. The blue logo contrasts well against the all-white wardrobe the team selected this week as well.

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