Texas A&M first joined the SEC in 2012, and along with it, made a drastic uniform redesign. But this move also coincided with the height of the alternate uniform craze in college football, and with Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Manziel at the helm, A&M embraced this new identity and rolled out some truly unique uniform combinations over the past decade, with 11 jerseys in all.
So in honor of SB Nation’s Jersey Week, we are ranking every jersey the Ags have worn since 2012. The good, the bad and the chrome.
11. “Bright Lights”
vs. Mississippi State (2017)
A marooned out uniform has a special place in the hearts of many Aggies, but they sure did find a way to screw this one up. Adidas took the already garish cheetah print pattern of their primeknit jerseys and put it in a contrasting color, making the Aggie players look like an easily dispatched apex predator from an Avatar sequel. I will admit the reflective numbers were cool but that was about the only redeeming quality of this jersey, a fitting final alternate uniform of the Kevin Sumlin era.
10. “Iced Out”
at Mississippi State (2015)
The concept behind these uniforms wasn’t awful. Going all-white in Starkville was a fun change-up from the all black uniform they wore two years earlier (we’ll get to that later). But it turns out that chrome on a fabric jersey ends up looking kind of like duct tape, and add in the fact that the blazing sunlight of an 11 a.m. kickoff made the numbers completely unreadable, and you have a pretty unsightly jersey. Which is a shame because that helmet is one of the best they’ve ever worn.
9. “Aggie Nights” (in the daytime)
vs. South Carolina, at LSU (2015)
Ah yes, the infamous “glow in the dark uniforms for an 11 a.m. kickoff.” To be clear, the helmet logo was reflective, not glow in the dark. And even if the game was played at night, glow in the dark would still make no sense (because, ya know, we play football with lights on). But nonetheless, these jerseys did not work. The maroon on black was completely illegible, and overall they just didn’t seem to re-capture the magic of the all black uniform worn a few years earlier (stay tuned). These also have the distinction to be the only alternate uniform A&M has ever worn twice.
8. “Dark Onyx”
at LSU (2013)
Players often say “look good, play good” with regard to cool uniforms. Maybe that’s why the three of the bottom four jerseys on this list resulted from losses. Number eight on the list came on a dreary Saturday in Death Valley, when A&M wore their gray, or “dark onyx” uniforms in the worst loss of the Johnny Manziel era. Once again the Adidas primeknit pattern did this jersey no favors, and neither did the dismal weather. Overall I did like the dark gray and maroon combo, and perhaps if the uniform wasn’t so monochromatic it might have worked better.
7. 1998 throwbacks
vs Kentucky (2018)
I’m likely to get a lot of heat for placing this jersey so low on this list. Many Aggies would prefer this look be our full-time uniform, but my reasons for putting the 1998 throwback here are two-fold:
- This is overall a downgrade from A&M’s current uniform set: While the current set needs some tweaks, the uniforms A&M wore in the ‘90s bear a striking resemblance to those worn by Texas. And Oklahoma. And Arkansas. And likely your local high school at the time. The bottom line is that while many Aggies have fond memories of them, there’s nothing remarkable or particularly identifiable about them. It’s the school name and block numbers. That’s it. Some love it, but I want something more unique.
- The throwback was not very well executed: While Adidas captured the essence of the 1998 jerseys, there were a lot of elements they should have been able to do better considering this jersey was only 20 years old. In particular, they did not get the number font right, instead using a generic block font they likely already had on file. This is particularly noticeable with the lack of a serif on the bottom right of the number “2.” They also messed up the back nameplate, using a different font and making it smaller than what A&M had in 1998. Also, the faux mesh, while a cool bit of nostalgia, is not accurate. You’d be hard-pressed to find an A&M jersey from the late ‘90s that had visible mesh holes in the numbers.
So flame away, but this jersey could have been so much better than it was.
6. “Aggie Ice”
at Vanderbilt (2015)
These jerseys came in a somewhat forgettable win in Nashville. And while the idea for A&M in white to play Vandy wearing light gray was ill-conceived, the Aggies’ jersey in a vacuum was not. The “Aggie Ice” uniform was undeniably cool, and a huge step up from the attempt at a white and silver uniform only one year prior. The lack of maroon means it would make a poor full-time uniform, but as a one-time alternate, it was incredible. Now if only those mini helmets would go on sale.
5. Standard away jersey
It’s hard to hate a white jersey (even though we did so earlier in this list). The maroon pops so well, and I personally love the vertical stripes on the shoulders, as it gives A&M a distinctive look that’s instantly recognizable as soon as you turn on the TV. The only thing holding these jerseys back is that the gray bevel on the maroon numbers stands out a bit too much. Small tweaks are needed, but this is overall a more than solid look (especially when paired with white pants).
4. 1939 throwback
vs. Louisiana Monroe (2014)
Unlike the 1998 throwbacks, there is a beauty in the simplicity of this maroon jersey. No name, just numbers. And making the white accents more of a cream/off-white really gave it an aged look that paired beautifully with that incredible helmet. The only thing keeping them from perfection is, once again, that Adidas primeknit pattern (this time in tire tread form).
Unfortunately this game was about as exciting as I’d imagine most football games were in 1939, as the Aggies narrowly beat Monroe in a low-scoring affair in Kyle Allen’s first college start.
3. Standard home jersey
Just like the away jersey, I think this one needs just a couple of tweaks. It’s a bit busy, and some of the elements are out of proportion. But it has come to define Aggie football, an identifiable look that people across the country recognize, and that has value. It’s been nice to see A&M streamline their uniforms in the Jimbo Fisher era , reducing alternate color combinations and sticking mostly to our standard home uniform, because it’s beautiful.
2. “Junction Made” 1956 throwback
at South Carolina (2016)
The crisp, minimalist design. The northwestern stripes on the sleeves. My God this thing was gorgeous. There aren’t many alternate jerseys that I would want as a full time look, but this might be one of them. No critiques really, this jersey was perfect.
1. The OG all black uniform
at Mississippi State (2012)
This was A&M’s first true alternate uniform, and it perfectly captured the craziness that was the 2012 season. Much like Johnny Football and that team’s meteoric rise to prominence, this uniform was unveiled the morning of the game, catching us all by surprise. And what a delightful surprise it was. Mississippi State had done a lot of promotion about wearing their “Snow Bowl” uniforms to commemorate when they beat A&M in the Independence Bowl in a snow storm in 2000. They even painted #SnowBowl in their endzones. So for A&M to come out in all black to counter this was so so cool.
This represented such a departure from what A&M normally wore, and was such a shock to the system. And surprisingly, the uniform still holds up to this day. They didn’t try to hard to shoehorn crazy elements into it, it was just bad ass. Even though the days of A&M’s crazy alternates seems like it’s over, I would be giddy if they trotted these out again someday.
What are your thoughts? What did I get wrong? Tell us in the comments.
Which Texas A&M jersey is the best?
This poll is closed
All Black (2012)
Dark Onyx (2013)
Iced Out (2014)
1939 throwback (2014)
Aggie Nights (2015)
Aggie Ice (2015)
1956 throwback (2016)
Bright Lights (2017)
1998 throwback (2018)