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Posted on Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Michigan unveils alternate football uniform for Alabama game, says it'll wear standard look rest of season

By Kyle Meinke

Thumbnail image for uniforms_670.jpg

Michigan will wear this uniform -- although, with helmet numbers, which are not shown here -- when it plays against Alabama in the Sept. 1 season opener.

Courtesy of Michigan athletic department

The Michigan football team was expected to wear an alternate uniform for its opener against Alabama -- and now, it's official.

The Wolverines released on Monday evening the first uniform mock-ups for their Cowboys Classic matchup against the defending national champion Crimson Tide.

The look closely resembles what the Wolverines wore on the road against Michigan State last year, although there are some minor differences, including maize pants and a solid maize stripe from shoulder to shoulder.

Michigan wore pronounced maize and blue shoulder stripes against the Spartans last year, a look that received mixed reviews. The uniform was toned down in the team's Sugar Bowl version.

This look seems to be a mash-up of the two.

Blue piping separates the maize from the white, and there's a blue block "M" on the left and right sleeves of the jersey. The numbers are in blue.

Michigan also will wear gloves that feature the lyrics to the school's fight song.

“The players and staff like the commemorative jersey that Adidas presented for the Alabama game,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said in a statement. “The players really enjoyed the legacy and bowl uniforms that were worn last season.”

The Wolverines also announced they will wear helmet numbers against Alabama, as they did down the stretch last year, but then scrap them for the rest of the season.

They said in a release this will be their only alternate look of the regular season, which means they probably will wear four total combos including a bowl game appearance.

Michigan wore six versions last year, but athletic director Dave Brandon said this offseason he hoped to scale back that number. He appears to be delivering on his word.

“From time to time, whether it’s a regular season or bowl game, our coaches and players enjoy an opportunity to choose an alternate jersey to wear,” Brandon said in a release. “The coaches and seniors have worked with Adidas to create something special for the season opener in Texas.”

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.


Kevin Shabinski

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:38 p.m.

Are they going to wear them the whole game, or change into them awkwardly at halftime?


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 10:50 a.m.

They ought to change those ugly helmets to something less ugly.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 4:46 a.m.

why change a perfect uniform. change is good and I like change, but why change something so perfect. I bet Bama shows up in their TRADITIONAL uniform. thanks again Dave, I guess this is your world and we just live in it.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.

actually, I hear they'll be wearing their practice jerseys :-)


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

The jersey is nice, but what we always keep missing out on is the pants. We need the BLUE PANTS! This uniform has a lot of maize and little blue. With blue pants, this would be a really cool uniform.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

I agree...makes their hips look big...

jim ralston

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

Love the uniform's.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

The uniform's what? Color? Design?

VO Key

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

I'm unclear if the "Michigan" on the back of the jersey is a place holder for a player's name or if the actual game jersey will have the teams name as opposed to the individuals. If that is the case then I think that will be a very cool thing even if it is only for one game.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

it's the team's name of course. How else would they recognize their team mates? too bad they can't read...


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

I like this better than that yellow schwoop down the side which is part of the normal uniform. The only think that really matters is the helmet. Everything else is gravy.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:58 p.m.



Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

Not bad, a minor tweak. Keep it simple.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

Were they made in China like the Olympic athletes uniforms?

Blue Marker

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:26 a.m.

I'm pleased they'll be no numbers on the helmets after the first game. I know it's a throw-back look but I never cared for it.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:06 p.m.

Well, if you look closely at the normal helmets, the numbers are actually smaller and pasted on the back. A much cleaner look than those big numbers, but the numbers are on there.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:26 a.m.

I actually like these....much better than the bumble bee look......


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:38 a.m.

These uniforms cost the fans money as Dave Brand increases the cost to be a fan at Michigan. Isn't this like buying a wedding dress where going into the purchase you never plan to wear the outfit again? Maybe the fans should vote on whether the AD should waste money on onetime uniforms just like the way we vote for the best coffee shop in town. I dont think the Michigan fan would be so quick to waste money when it translates to higher ticket prices. These uniforms are not even for a home game.


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

Glenn - The whole football program is a waste. Why stop now? Where's the threat?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

I suspect Adidas foots the bill for the design and creation of the uniforms.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

If UM Athletics make a profit, then they should be paying taxes on said profit and on all their property.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

how is this causing ticket prices to go up? you do know that the Michigan athletic department takes no taxpayer dollars and supports itself right?? you do know they take NO DISCOUNT on the price of tuition even paying the out of state rate for players fro out of state right? next time just mutter your idiotic misinformed opinion into the gutter and spare all of us the stupidity.

Blue Marker

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:25 a.m.

Dude, Adidas supplies the uniforms free of charge, relax!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:03 a.m.

I'm as big a fan as anybody. I'm also a grown man who doesn't wear football jerseys of 20 year olds like I was still in elementary all these jerseys cost me nothing.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

Don't like them. Leave the uniforms alone. That is all.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

I think Black and White horizontal stripes or Orange would be much more appropriate...


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

@GoBigblue. yep...I LOVE this site. It's like watching the movie "Idiocracy" every day. ohhh...but you guys probably didn't understand it though...


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

Michgan deserves that after Touissant and Clark's criminal antics the announced yesterday. Hopefully Hoke and Brandon will put an end to this SEC like behavior.

jim ralston

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

It's easy to see where your taste lies, in your arm pit's!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 5:29 p.m.

@umgoblue. I has demonstrated quite clearly over the past 13 years that you have absolutely NO interest in winning. How many BCS championships for um or the Big10????? um = ZERO. Big10 is what, 1 and 3.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:43 p.m.

WRONG!! then we would look like the sec, nobody want's to look like the sec!! GO BLUE!!!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:26 a.m.

Oh there he is again. One of the first to comment. Some big sec fan you must be. Spending all your time on here following Michigan has to make it hard to keep up with the conference you truly love. Right?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

Just wondering: how much per uniform is all this "enjoyable alternatives" uniform policy costing U of M? Brandon is supposed to be "brand savvy" and brand conscious: last time I checked the best way to create "brand recognition" is to maintain the SAME visual appearance. I used to think: the other team is supposed to take one look and say, "Oh, no, that's Michigan coming onto the field." -- Instead, I think it's going more like, "Is that Michigan or a swarm of bumble bees coming onto the field?" (grab the fly swatter) ;-) Well, if M wins 12 games this season, it won't matter what uniforms they're wearing. Go Blue!~ (and hope the Maize does well too!)


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

with the amount of these jersey's they'll sell, it won't cost anything--the athletic department will make money.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:26 a.m.

The 3 Little Bees! Brandon, Borges and Brady! The Big bee? BAMA...................ROLL TIDE!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

swarm of bumble bees? unlike some older folks (I am over 50) I have no issue with modernizing the brand. having a few alternate "SPECIAL" jersey's is a good thing, it keeps young people buying M gear and expanding the fan base. we DO want more fans and to keep fans right? if people want tradition SO MUCH let's go back to Black Leather helmet's we had back in the early years when we won all the national championships. back to the days of Yost. some of you are just stuck in the old days and cannot see that this is good for Michigan and the Michigan brand.

Terry Star21

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

I've already admitted that I am perfectly happy with the champion home and the champion road jerseys - America's best team really needs nothing more. I however, do like these for one game - they'll look fantastic kneeling in the end zone and standing at the Champions circle after the big game at J.R.Ewing's Stadium in Dallas. Although Adidas designed and presented them, you can bet David Brandon had some great input of course. It isn't unusual for America's favorite Athletic Director to have a hand in outfitting a team, to go out and smoke an opponent, such as Bama-less. Looks like were definitely going 'over' Kyle ! MgoBlueFirTim.......Outfitting the Nations best


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:31 a.m.

"It isn't unusual for America's favorite Athletic Director to have a hand in outfitting a team" Why ain't Ms. Brandon a dainty fellow....


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:38 a.m.

I've always enjoyed watching canaries. Where's the threat?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

you are right tom! canaries are not much of a threat, so you can get as close to them as you want to and they won't hurt you! GO BLUE!!!

Blue Marker

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:30 a.m.

You know Tom, you strick me as the type that would spend their time watching canaries.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:37 a.m.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.

Hey, if the players and coaches enjoy the occasional change up, I'm all for it. It's about the kids, not the old school fans.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:52 p.m.

aareader--the students in band get credit for a class, they aren't part of the athletic department. And since the athletic department is financially separate from the U, I would agree with DB's initial decision not to take them. It's a huge expense for the department. At least the jersey's will earn us some money from sales. Plus the 'kids" in question are the ones on the football team, not the band.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:15 p.m.

If it is "about the kids" why did Dave announce the Mich. Band could not go because of the cost. Must be marquee boards and other "do dads" are more important. If it was not for the "old school fans" interventions these "kids" would have stayed home.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:27 a.m.

But if Dave Brand alienates the old school fans then the $ will dry up eventually.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:21 a.m.

David Brandon: "From time to time, ...our coaches and players enjoy an opportunity to choose an alternate jersey"... Huh? He must live in some other time because when you have your 4th alternate jersey in less than 13 games, that's not alternate. That's just marketing. Alternate is designing a different jersey once in 4 years like the M hockey team did for the Big Chill. This is just a money grab and obnoxious.

Ghost of Tom Joad

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

@bluemax79, the most important part of "expanding your brand" is understanding what your brand derives its value from . In Michigan's case, it's most definitely not using gimmmicky uniformZ, it's tradition and excellence. Most of all, it's not cheapening the experience in the name of short term fanbase gains.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

it is marketing, it is trying to get as many people into M gear as possible to expand your fan base. Since when did making money become a bad thing in America? the Athletic Department making money helps all the other programs. it makes sure their is a golf scholi for whoever needs it, help the swimming team so they can recruit and train oympic caliber athletes. WHERE this idea that making money for your school turned into a bad thing? if you don't like the jersey's don't buy one. pretty simple.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:24 a.m.

Amen, bro.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:06 a.m.

"The look closely resembles what the Wolverines wore on the road against Michigan State last year" What? It's not even close.

Kevin Shabinski

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

Fortunately, you couldn't see much of the bumblebee uniform after about 2 minutes into the second half due to all the grass/dirt/blood stains.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:22 a.m.

a2M - Your comment is not relevant and neither is your team. I sat at the 50 yard line watching the "flight of the bumblebee" effort in East Lansing. Those uniforms were more embarrassing than UM's play that day. Others - Spartans took a beating from Bama, picked themselves up, went 7-1 in Big 10 play in 2011 and beat the SEC champs in Tampa...while the defense recorded 17 tackles for loss vs. an impressive UGA team. You couldn't handle Sparty's physicality in 2011. Bama is the REAL DEAL! The game will be a joke...and the joke will be on Hoke! Where's the threat?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

Tom - How is your reply relevant to my comment? Oh. It's not. Just like MSU.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

yeah tom. . . sparty has some history with bama don't they? bama BEAT DOWN sparty in the largest margin of victory in the capital one bowel HISTORY (49-7)!! i remember seeing a lot of sparty player's lying flat on their faces, at least everybody knew they were sparty's because they were green with envy!! come october at the BIG HOUSE sparty will again be green with envy!! GO BLUE!!!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

Maybe Tom, But Alabama is infinitely better than MSU so, regardless of the Alabama result, I fully expect UM to roll Little Bro in the Big House.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:41 a.m.

From bumblebees to canaries! The Tide is gonna roll all over your team. While players are lying flat on their faces at least everybody will know that it's Michigan! Where's the threat?

Chaz H

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

Not too bad, but the shoulder yellow strikes me a little "80's" for some reason.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

I wonder if I should even complain about these anymore or should I start taking a half glass full type approach and say, "well, at least they aren't as ugly as the MSU throwbacks".


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Now hold on for just a minute there, buster! Those MSU throwbacks, while more or a glaring moment than a shining moment in Spartan attire history, was far better overall than the jerseys U of M wore that game! And while I wasn't all that fond of the look, the MSU jersey had some sort of historical significance. Not sure what the historical significance of the U of M jerseys were other than they will go down in U of M history as being utterly hideous! GO GREEN!!


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 11:55 p.m.

Nice uniforms, Dave $ Brandon. While they look nice, how much do we have to continually commodotize our football and athletics? I for one think that alternative black and white stripes might be more appropriate given the events of the last several months (and especially today)