Uniform of the Week: Miami celebrating Halloween two weeks late

Miami and Florida State renew their rivalry this weekend, which always recalls the vivid memories of past games in the series. When you look back on the most iconic moments from this in-state rivalry, Miami’s signature white helmet and white or orange jerseys quickly come to mind, as do Florida State’s gold helmet and maroon uniform.

This Saturday, when The U hosts FSU in a crossover ACC matchup, the Hurricanes will abandon their traditional white helmets and orange uniforms. Instead, Miami will enter the field through its signature smoke entrance wearing new alternate smoke uniforms and pair them with a new orange helmet.

Miami has been teasing the orange helmet all week, first with this tweet:

A more official uniform decision was made Thursday with this tweet:

The orange helmet is considered the “juice” helmet. OK, whatever. I’ll call it orange. Orange juice?

Miami showed these helmets off prior to the start of the season, so you may already be aware these new helmets have the interpretation of the Miami Ibis sketched into the shell of the helmet. The bird is worked into the design on other parts of Miami’s uniform as well. This is the first time the orange helmets will be worn this season. It is also the first time we will see this combination, which was used in the preseason promotional photos to show off the new uniform combinations for Miami this season (as you can see in the featured image attached to this story at the top).

Miami has already shown off the smoke uniform combination, though with a white helmet. The Hurricanes took the field wearing the alternate smoke uniform against Duke in late September. Miami won that game, handing Duke its only ACC loss this season. This will be the second time the Hurricanes have worn the smoke uniform. If they top Florida State, it just might become the new regular uniform for big home games. The smoke color scheme draws its roots from Miami’s signature field entrance. Yep. We now have a uniform design inspired by how a team enters the field. Go Miami.

Teams adopting black as an alternate color when it is not an official school color has always bothered me, but I get why it is done. Black uniforms are cool. For whatever reason, they generate excitement for football players (and most importantly, recruits). If that works for you, great. However, Miami will forever be orange and green and/or white to me. This uniform goes against one of my top uniform rules to be enforced when I ascend to college football uniform czar in this country.

Yet, there is no way I would ever allow Miami to take the field in an orange helmet. I would be open to allowing a retro-style helmet using green as a shell (Miami has one of those this season, which the school refers to as “Surge”) or gold, which was used in the mid to late 1960s, for special occasions. But never orange. The only ACC teams allowed to wear orange are Clemson, Syracuse and Virginia (that goes for you, too, Virginia Tech).

There is a small part of me that continues to be surprised Miami does so much with an alternate look when its signature look is so recognizable. Head coach Al Golden is cut from the same cloth as his former college coach, Joe Paterno, in so many ways (Golden’s gameday attire is a straight clone of Paterno, pretty much). Therefore, it surprises me he would allow something like this for his program. Of course, Miami and Penn State are different in so many ways, and Golden is no dummy. He knows what it takes to impress recruits these days, and Miami is in a very competitive region, so he needs to do anything and everything to help turn Miami back into the powerhouse it once was. Even Miami needs to dabble in non-traditional looks these days.

What do you think of this uniform look for Miami this weekend? Thumbs up or down on Miami’s combination of smoke uniforms and orange helmets? You make the call. Also be sure to check out what Maryland is wearing this weekend.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to NBCSports.com. Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.