Maryland and Syracuse both played at noon Saturday, games televised on networks available to me, and I was ready with m flatscreen for the Orange vs. Central Michigan on ESPN News and my iPad for the Terps vs. West Virginia on the Big Ten Network.
The Syracuse game kicked off first.
And I stared hard and I said, is this the Syracuse game?
Then the Maryland game kicked off.
And I stared hard and said, is this the Maryland game?
My alma mater and hometown squads had changed their looks. Again. Oh, these days of multiple college football uniforms.
Syracuse, backed by Nike, went with a rather plain white jersey with a white helmet adorned with a Orange S. I got used to it quickly and rather liked it.
Maryland went with what the announcers explained was their Triumph uniform, donned in honor of a big anniversary for the lyrics penned in Baltimore by Francis Scott Key. The word triumph, you see, was written by the patriot that scary night by did not make it into our National Anthem. It did, however, make it onto the back of every Maryland uniform this game instead of the player’s name. Maryland, backed by Under Armour, which happened to be created and is owned by a former Terp football player, has become known for its rather garish four-colored look that mirrors the state flag. What was mostly red and white in my school years now more readily includes gold and black, too.
In my years living in Maryland, the most famous alternate jersey I recall was the ACC Tournament switch to all gold that spurred a whipping of Ralph Sampson’s Virginia Cavaliers in the nearby Cap Centre. It sure looked beautiful to my eyes in the semifinals on that March day.
This Triumph uniform was better looking than some my Terps have worn of late.
So, on the games went, with Syracuse throttling the home Chippewas 40-3 to thoroughly turn around for the season-opening double-overtime stinker of an escape against Villanova. The rubber-banding Maryland game ended up with the Terps losing a 40-37 thriller in College Park when West Virginia kicked a 44-yard field goal as time expired. Dart to my heart.
Maryland visits the Carrier Dome Saturday, 2-1 to the Orange’s 2-0.
It will be a Syracuse team that just put up 40 points against a Maryland team that just gave up 40 points. Maryland scored 37; Villanova moved the ball on the ground and in the air against the Orange in the Dome opener three weeks ago, and Maryland has several dangerous wide receivers. Remember the names Stephon Diggs and Deon Long.
Both teams could score many, many points. Or not. They’re both likely to be up-and-down squads this entire season. It’s hard to predict what will come from teams that both could be on the bubble again to win the six games needed to make a bowl game.
As I’ve documented here previously, I’ll wear neutral colors and bite my tongue all afternoon long. Tuition checks trump season ticket checks. I’ve toyed with getting that printed on a T-shirt, but, nah. I figure I’ll watch in seesawing emotions in any case, because no matter what, one of my squads will win and one of my squads will lose.
I hope they’ll both look sharp.
Which look above do you like better, Syracuse or Maryland? What’s your favorite uniform look of all? Do you prefer your team to stick with one uniform all season, or change it up from game to game?