Oklahoma State gave a nod to its past in its preview of the future on Wednesday as it released new football uniforms that weave together the past, the present and the future. And myyyyyy goodness, folks. They are fire. Like, Dracarys torching everything in sight-level fire. Just look at these!
I have many, many thoughts, but for the sake of brevity, I’ve narrowed all of them down to five. Let us discuss.
1. Throwing it back to the 1980s
Three seasons in the 1980s finished with OSU below .500, but the feelings of the decade remain nostalgic and positive as ever. There was Barry Sanders, Mike Gundy, Thurman Thomas, Hart Lee Dykes and stifling defense to buttress what was then a coming of age for the Cowboys. Here’s OSU on that:
To positive reviews, Oklahoma State has worn throwback versions of the uniforms from the late 1980s for special occasions in recent years. The Cowboys’ debuted orange throwback jerseys for a game against Texas in 2018 to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of Sanders winning the Heisman Trophy. Two years later, OSU wore white throwback uniforms against West Virginia to commemorate Thurman Thomas’s induction into the Cowboy Football Ring of Honor.
OSU in 2023 will “mark a commitment” to that as the Cowboys’ base look, OSU says, which will include notable updates to current marks and brand standards.
2. Nike steps up
Next generation uniform technology from Nike is making its way into OSU’s new threads. OSU is one of a small handful of schools that will be donning Nike’s new FUSE technology in 2023 in its uniforms. FUSE, which stands for Field Utility Special Edition), “combines research-backed innovation with a precision fit to help allow ultimate performance on the field,” according to OSU. Not sure what that means, exactly — it sounds like some good PR but it doesn’t provide tangible evidence it is of use — but they are apparently lightweight and provide thermal regulation using Dri-Fit technology, which seems like a win. From my perspective — and probably from a fan’s perspective — the uniforms pass the vibe check because they look cool, and that is good enough for me.
3. Away jersey options!
As the inimitable Justin Southwell pointed out, the release on Wednesday revealed one cool thing (among many other cool things): OSU has multiple options for away jerseys now. OSU has always been able to mix and match helmets and pants to keep things fresh, but not having to mix and match with the same jersey is going to keep things spicy every week with something new.
4. Embracing the brand
As OSU noted in its press release, the move to the new uniforms “represents a departure from the previous base look worn from 2016-2022. In that span, uniforms did not include the words “Oklahoma State” or “Cowboys” in a plainly visible location — but that is no more. The new look is “unapologetically Oklahoma State,” OSU says. Bold lettering across the front. Cowboys on some helmets. A look that is both modern with a touch of throwback. It’s as Oklahoma State as Oklahoma State can get.
5. Odds and ends are great
As with many things, the beauty lies in the details, and OSU’s uniforms — the intricacy and granular details of them — are what takes the new kits from good to great. Here’s a rundown of some minor tweaks and stylistic notes that stand out:
• Jerseys will include numbers on the shoulders for the first time since 2005.
• Orange jersey features white numbers trimmed in black.
• Black jersey features white numbers trimmed in orange.
• There are two different versions of the white jersey — (which is noted above with a hat tip to Southwell!): one with orange numbers trimmed in black and another with black numbers trimmed in orange.
• The stripe pattern on the arms was worn by each of the three current members of the Cowboy Football Ring of Honor: Bob Fenimore, Thurman Thomas and Barry Sanders