The best college basketball conference in the country deserves this. We, the people, are owed a factual, and completely not opinionated, rankings of the best jerseys in the greatest conference. And I’m happy to be the guy to provide it to you. Here are the Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings…for Jerseys.
Let’s just say – the Big Ten has some atrocious jerseys, which is what inspired me to write this. But at the top of the list are some of the most pristine, classic, and historical jerseys of all time. It’s a conference full of uniform disparity, but for the sake of this article, we are only ranking the home unis to keep it consistent. Let’s take a look at who has the ugliest uniform in the Big Ten.
Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings…for Jerseys: Worst of the Worst
#14 – Nebraska
Look at how gross these things are. I legitimately think they saw this graffitied on a train and ran with it.
Whoever designed these and was actually happy about it should be fired. Not only is Nebraska the laughingstock of the B1G in basketball AND football, they now have to suit up in whatever the hell this is.
#13 – Rutgers
This font is girthier than Ron Harper Jr. It’s not MY FAULT that Rutgers has a horrible logo. The Scarlet Knight is sick, but the block “R” is so lame. Their black away uniforms are kind of sweet, but this one is atrocious. Am I crazy for saying white and red just isn’t that fun of a color combo? I love the team this year, but these Adidas unis are so sad.
#12 – Wisconsin
White and red. White and red. It’s just not that fun anymore. We are over white and red. It’s not the school’s fault! But this is where it starts to get tough. I think there are two clear favorites for ‘Worst Uniform in the League” and those were aforementioned, but these next four or five are swing rankings.
Why Wisconsin now?
I hate Under Armour uniforms. The stripes at the bottom of the shorts are so ugly. Wisconsin always reminds me of the super old school high school in your conference that has worn the same jersey for 30 years. Let’s move on. Times are changing and so is the template for a sleek jersey.
#11 – Maryland
Another Under Armour jersey in the bottom half. I’m good on the checker style, shield deal that Maryland has been married to for the past five years or so. It was kind of neat for a while, but now it’s just too much. I have to give them credit for the color scheme, though. Red (scarlet?), gold and black is unique. That’s a measuring tool for me. You need to have contrasting colors that really compliment one another. But you have to do it right. We’re all ready for a Maryland rebrand. Go to Nike; they’ll figure it out.
#10 – Iowa
I want to rank Iowa 14th so bad, but Nike makes their mark on these Hawkeye jerseys. The little accents within the jersey are important here, and that’s the Nike touch. Black and yellow is one of the worst color combinations of all time, but Nike was able to salvage it. Still not good enough for an upper half ranking.
Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings…for Jerseys: Mehh
#9 – Ohio State
The Buckeyes have potential here, but there’s a little too much going on. Underline, triple stripe up the side, big font. The best jerseys, and this is true for everyday clothes, aren’t busy on the front and have all the party in the back. Juice it up on the back. Throw that 72-font number on the back with their last name, but button up the front one time. I like the gray in Ohio State’s uniforms enough to get them in the Top 10, but plenty of room for improvement.
#8 – Penn State
I never thought Penn State would be this low, but here we are. There are just some uniforms that are objectively better than the beautiful white, navy blue and gray of the Nittany Lions. Though I think these jerseys are OK, we’re going to hit some prior points again. Font is much too large, and the lettering takes up the whole jersey. I also am not a huge spaghetti strap guy. Yeah these aren’t real spaghetti straps, but they’re thinner than normal. Without the undershirt, we might have a potential nip slip!
#7 – Purdue
The only non-white home uniform. Are these their true home jerseys? I have no clue, but whatever. I love the Purdue font in the silhouette of the Boilermaker; that is sweet. Purdue doesn’t crack the Top 5 solely because there are some awesome uniforms coming up, but these are still a highlight of the conference. It’s honestly big of me to put them this high just hours after they covered +4,5 against Michigan State in Lansing. I hate gambling but enjoy these jerseys.
#6 — Northwestern
UNDER ARMOUR IN THE TOP 6 ALERT!!! They finally got one right. Look at the font. It’s advantageous that Northwestern has so many letters in it, but at least they don’t make it take up half the jersey. This is a calm, cool, collected and classy look. Something you’d expect from the northern suburbs of Chicago.
Wearing these at home against Illinois might’ve allowed them to score 3-4 field goals in the second half, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m trying to be unbiased here!
Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings…for Jerseys: The Top 5
This is where it gets fun. My lord there are some pretty jerseys coming up. Like ‘close this article if you’re in public’ pretty. I’m just glad, that up until this point, I haven’t gotten a single ranking wrong. Lets’ continue the fun.
#5 – Michigan
Dark blue and yellow (maize?). Beautiful combination. It’s like when you’re born into a rich family. Michigan picking these colors way back in the day has set them up for success. Sure, it’s not as pretty as the LA Chargers blue and yellow, but it’s still immaculate in its own right.
Notice how they executed with these. The small font and number, leaving room to really enjoy the jersey. It’s not too busy at all. The border trim is fantastic too. Go back and look at Wisconsin. Their border is just a thick red. It’s boring. Wisconsin doesn’t have an accent color like these top dogs. Truly a fantastic jersey on a team that is playing out of their minds right now. How can Juwan Howard screw this up?
#4 – Indiana
A classic B1G uniform here. Not much to say here.
This is different. It’s crimson. Crimson and cream!!! The IU shield is awesome too. I’m not even going to talk about how they stole it from Illinois, but it’s still cool. Indiana is one of the few teams that can pull off the historical look. Adidas really does it well here.
#3 – Minnesota
A lot to unpack here. Small font, concise jersey. Hits you in the face with its beauty but knows to keep its distance and let you enjoy it from afar. Really gives you some dominant vibes but also wants to be the little spoon sometimes. Ok I’m sorry, back to the analysis.
These colors are spotless. Like Arizona State (who I think has one of the coolest logos of all time), the maroon and gold is so vibrant and set them up for easy success.
Minnesota is probably a surprise Top 3 for some people reading, but I don’t care. I love it!
#2 – Michigan State
Something about the green and white makes me go crazy. Not only is it such a CLASSY palate but look at the design. There’s something to be said about how well Nike puts their mark on jerseys.
The integrated font and the what looks to be an Egyptian style design on the sides is perfect. Not too much, not too little. I have a tough time not rooting for Michigan State, because I love Tom Izzo and I love their uniforms. The Spartan is equally as cool as well. I almost ranked them at #1, but I just don’t think that would be fair to the greatest colors of all time.
Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings…for Jerseys: GOAT Status
#1 – Illinois
I pride myself on unbiased journalism. I’m trying to state facts and only facts. Orange and blue is the coolest color scheme of all time. And Illinois’ orange and blue is the best in the nation. Don’t give me any of that Boise State blue.
The Fighting Illini come in at #1 on my list for many reasons. The font is unique and sharp. People love edges and corners on jerseys. Curves are not a recipe for success in uniform design. The small ‘Illinois’ font and the triple striped shorts are so clean.
And quite frankly, these aren’t even Illinois’ best uniforms. Once you get into the all-orange throwbacks, or even the ghost grays, then you truly start to see greatness.
Alright, that’s it. Let me know your thoughts. Argue with me. Really give it to me. But if anyone tries to tell me Nebraska deserved a better ranking, then please just don’t waste my time.