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Round Table: UCF Unveils Football Uniforms for 2022

Drew and Jeff break down the new threads

Ryan O’Keefe modeling UCF’s new black football jersey
Photo courtesy UCF Athletics via Twitter

After much anticipation and even more speculation, UCF Athletics unveiled the football team’s new uniforms for 2022 on Friday:

The UCF Knights’ new threads update the font but scaled back a few things. Pewter is gone as a uniform color, as A.D. Terry Mohajir had previously announced would happen. The only jersey colors will be white and black. But the Knights have multiple helmet shells again (black, white and gold) with the option to use the traditional stacked UCF, new Knighthead, or the Knights script wordmark.

The biggest unveil was the new all-black Knight Mode uniform, which will constitute an alternate set.

Perhaps the best news: No gold jerseys, although a set of gold pants was included:

Of course, the Space Game uniforms have yet to be unveiled, but will be in advance of the Knights’ game with Temple.

Let’s get some Knee-Jerk Reactions from Black & Gold Banneret Fashion Expert Andrew Gluchov and Resident Uniform and Logo Dork Jeff Sharon:

First Impressions?

Drew: This continues a trend of minimalistic uniform design..unless you’re Oregon. It also screams bridge contract. UCF signed a two-year extension with Nike and this feel like this is a result of that. There is nothing radical here. The three uniforms all follow the same updated template and design with similar features. The less is more concept is working here and they were able to keep Pegasus involved while modernizing a very outdated template. This is something very simple. They went away from pewter and anthracite for a more basic black/white jersey combo. I’m very happy UCF remembers how bad they were and stayed away from gold tops. UCF and gold pants have been together for a long time and that relationship will continue.

Jeff: I’m a big fan of modern but simple, and this palette hits that spot on the nose. While I dug anthracite and pewter as something a little different, I understand leaving them behind because at the end of the day those are not our colors. I also think the team relied a tad too much on them when we had them because they were new and different. UCF streamlined its branding last year by leaning into the stacked UCF, new Knight head, and script wordmark, and the new uniforms are a reflection of that.

It does harken back to 2016 when the first major overhaul took place. That first year was modern but simple and presented us with myriad combinations. This updates and streamlines that further.

What’s your favorite feature?

Drew: The home and away jerseys will be easier to read. The font looks sharp and less gimmicky with just the right amount of outline that helps make them pop even more. The name font change isn’t as exciting, but they should still be readable. I’m very glad they stayed away from anything shiny on the uniform itself. Like Jeff, I’m glad they were able to keep Pegasus in there for the same reasons as he and the new Knighthead looks downright intimidating. What a perfect rebranding of that logo.

Jeff: The new font. It really stands out as edgy and new, and the thinner numbers are easier to read, and ya boy appreciates that for obvious reasons. I’m also very happy that the Pegasus sleeve remains. We are the only school in FBS that I know of that uses its academic seal on a football uniform, and I hope that never changes. Also, I know how Drew felt about the Knighthead unis last year, but the way they treated the new Knighthead on the Knight Mode set was sweet.

What’s your favorite combination?

Drew: Give me the homage to my favorite UCF uniform: 2003. Give me a gold helmet, black tops, and gold pants. It wasn’t in the intro video, but they’ve done it before and they can still do it today. I can’t wait until they’re nostalgic enough to recreate the actual thing with the Aztec neck and lance logo on the helmet.

Jeff: I really like the white top on black pants. There’s something about the high contrast with gold as an accent that looks sharp and speedy. I could also be talked into white over gold.

UCF’s white-on-black uni combo
Screen grab from UCF Athletics

Thoughts on Knight Mode?

Drew: I like the concept, but it feels like it’s missing something. A gold band around the sleeve below the new Knight head logo perhaps? The Knight head is well used in replacing the Pegasus without messing with the rest of the design and the glaring gold eyes are a home run. The problem is that UCF has had consistency issues with its gold shading over the years. Will their helmet decals match this shade? The block UCF’s shading looks different between the away white example and Knight Mode, so its versatility will be more limited. The numbers have no outlining, which blends them in a little more with the jersey, but that would only affect those who have to read them. The lack of outlining ups the intimidation factor. I was hoping we’d get a third that was a little more different than the other two, but structurally, it’s pretty much the same. Either way, good riddance to those terrible old Knight head tops.

Jeff: I totally dig it but I also wish we had South Florida coming here for Black Friday. That would have been perfect. I very much appreciate the gold numbers, again for admittedly selfish reasons. But I also love the little gold details, like the Knighthead eyes, and especially the three stars on the pants. That was a nice touch. Perhaps the numbers could have used a little white outline, but that’s not a deal-breaker for me. Best part though, as Drew mentioned, was the new Knighthead, especially because it’s larger than the old one.

What would you have liked to see but didn’t get?

Drew: UCF wore their last template for more seasons than any other in their FBS history. While we see some modernization, I guess I was hoping for more evolution. It’s generally not all that much different. I always wanted the Pegasus to stand out a little more on the official jerseys color-wise. They did this with the eyes on the Knighthead on the Knight Mode top, but Pegasus just blends in too well. I would have had Pegaus match the numbers. They pop plenty on the fan ones. UCF and Nike finally did something with the pants, which went backward from 2015 to 2016, in my opinion. They added three Pegasus stars to the side. While it is something, they’re kinda forgettable and easy to miss. It’s not a big sword. We all want to see the new edition of the Space Game uniform, but that will come later. It always does.

Jeff: They totally trolled us with those MS Paint uniforms — brilliant — and I was hoping against all hope for a little Canaveral Blue to be added to the regular palette as an accent (Hey, a guy can dream). But all in all, considering how manufacturers are still really struggling with supply chain issues, I’m happy that everything came out as sharp as it did. Huge credit to UCF’s creative staff. They work really hard on these projects because they know exactly how much pressure they’re under to maintain such a high level of creativity while still making us go “WOW” every year.

Now let’s play some ball.