How Oregon's Infamous Football Uniforms Went From Classic To Crazy

With a second trip to the college football championship game in five years, Oregon has established itself as one of the top college football programs in the country.

But to most fans, the Ducks will always be the school that started the trend of wild and wacky uniforms that seemingly change every week.

It wasn’t always that way. Before Nike got their grips on the Oregon program, the Ducks wore some of the most classic uniforms in college football. On the next few pages we will take a look at how they have changed through the years.

In the 1920s Oregon (light jerseys) was wearing a light-coloured leather helmet, possibly white.

Nothing is more classic than the Oregon uniforms in the 1958 Rose Bowl with gold helmets and numbers on the side along with white jerseys with shoulder stripes.

In the early 1970s, the Ducks (dark jerseys) were wearing a simple gold helmet without logos or numbers.

In the mid-80s, Bill Musgrave, the current quarterbacks coach for the Philadelphia Eagles, modelled a gorgeous and classic football uniform with a 'UO' on the side of the helmet and a standard jersey/pants combo.

By the mid-90s, the craziest things about the Oregon uniforms were Donald Duck on the sleeves (Disney gave permission to the school to use Donald).


And the merit decals on the helmets. It was after Oregon reached the Rose Bowl in 1995 that Nike CEO Phil Knight got involved....

Phil Knight, who ran track at Oregon, got involved, began donating money, and was asked to come up with uniforms that would help Oregon recruit better athletes.

The first 'space-age' uniforms debuted in 1999 with bright yellow, black, and a gigantic 'O' on the helmet.


Those uniforms remained relatively unchanged for several years.

And the white version was actually pretty simple and boring by today's standards.

Then, in the mid-2000s, things started to shake up. At first, the basic template stayed the same, but patterns and wordmarks were added to the shoulders and the amount of neon yellow grew.

In 2006, they added some tire tread patterns to the shoulders and pants. But again, the basic template still looked the same.

But then they unveiled a mostly-gold uniform and things began to change again.

The uniforms really changed at the 2006 Las Vegas Bowl when Oregon unveiled gold helmets with a faint flame patten (difficult to see in the photo below).

In 2009, wings were added to the jerseys, but more importantly, the school colours of green and gold became optional.

In 2010, things started to get wacky as Oregon really got in touch with their inner-grey.

And there were the mostly-black uniforms.

And these uniforms which were worn in the BCS Championship game.

With these socks.

And that was when it became 'anything goes.' Here is what Oregon wore to open the 2011 season.

In the 2012 Rose Bowl, Oregon released the chrome helmet which was very shiny.

At this point, it is hard to even keep track of all the uniforms as they change every week.

School colours? What school colours?

And even when Oregon wears colours, they are often just a loose interpretation. The wackier, the better. Just ask Marcus Mariota.

And when it comes to breast cancer awareness, you know Oregon isn't just going to add a pink towel or some pink gloves.

In addition to Nike's uniform deal with the school, it is estimated that Phil Knight has donated more than $300 million to the University of Oregon.

Football coach Mark Helfrich was recently asked where Knight sits at games, responding 'wherever he wants.'

SOURCE:, The Dan Patrick Radio Show

In the recent college football playoff semifinal game, Oregon went all apple green for the first time.

In this year's championship game, Oregon will actually tone it down with this white and grey uniform. Of course, the school colours are nowhere to be found.

Now check out the how wacky Michigan's new coach can be.

Jim Harbaugh's superstitions are part of his competitiveness.

9 Examples Of Jim Harbaugh Being Insanely Superstitious

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.