College football is predicated on aesthetics. You root for laundry. A large part of the appeal is that laundry being simple and timeless. Nike flacks arrive in Happy Valley with a new plan to jazz up Penn State’s uniforms or prepare them for combat. Joe Paterno responds with a polite “no thank you.” The most indelible brands are those that, as much as possible, withstand the apparel deluge. Some programs don’t grasp this and the results are ghastly.
Maryland has the perfect storm. The Terps have a new football coach, an athletic director of recent vintage, a need to revitalize the program and delusions of expansion. They also have a prominent alumnus, desperate to flex his beneficence by turning Maryland into Under Armour’s Oregon. They will be protecting the house next season and will have a potential 32 ways to look completely bizarre while doing so. Even the photo gallery has about 20 different viewing options.
Three prominently featured colors in addition to white. Multiple helmets, including a tortoise shell and a matte black one, with a warped caution flag running down the middle. Multi-colored numbers. Subtle and not so subtle accents. Gawdy, awkward and wacky. Maryland could not have better encapsulated Randy Edsall football.