Football uniforms are an often hotly-debated topic among fans. Some like the innovations and changes to classic looks while others prefer the uniforms of their favorite teams remain how they’ve always been. Tennessee’s Smokey Gray look, for example, was met with both criticism and praise by different parts of Tennessee’s fan base.
Now it appears as though the Vols will not only be moving away from those alternates, but they may also be going for a more retro look.
Tennessee tweeted out a video on Thursday showing off their uniform combinations they plan on wearing for the 2018 season. The Vols are still under contract with Nike and will still wear the Nike uniform style they have the last couple seasons. But two things were different about the Vols’ look in the video: They featured orange pants and black cleats.
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) April 12, 2018
The Vols haven’t worn their orange pants since they wore all-orange against Kentucky at home in 2016. They haven’t worn orange pants on the road since 2013 when they, once again, played Kentucky that season.
But the orange pants aren’t all that has fans remembering the past.
Tennessee wore black cleats most famously during the 1990s and early 2000s under head coach Phillip Fulmer. Those times were, of course, some of the most successful in school history. Under Nike and near the tail end of their partnership with Adidas, the Vols opted to wear white and orange cleats more often than they would wear black cleats.
The black cleats, though not a drastic change to Tennessee’s wardrobe, is a signal back to the “good old days” of Tennessee football for most fans. And the likely return of the orange pants is another sign that the Butch Jones era is gone. For whatever reason, Jones’ teams rarely wore orange pants in his 50-plus games as head coach. The Vols only wore them on the road in his first season as head coach, opting for their all-white “Stormtrooper” look on the road for every road game after his first year. And they only went with the all-orange combination at home a small handful of times under his watch.
Pruitt already reportedly said earlier this offseason that Tennessee wouldn’t be wearing any Smokey Gray alternates this season, and now it looks like he and his staff are putting in little throwbacks as much as they can with Nike’s current style.
Do you like the “new” look for the Vols this year? Are you happy for the return of the orange pants and the reintroduction of black cleats? Let us know!