Call the College Football Playoff a win, for Nike.
The Oregon-based footwear and apparel company outfits all four of the semifinal teams, allowing the Swoosh to unveil a quad-pack of looks, along with a completely new Flyknit football cleat in time for the Jan. 1, 2015 double-header.
All four teams will wear the Nike Mach Speed uniform that will feature fractal diamond—enhancements on baselayers, accents and cleats.
The brand new Nike Vapor Untouchable cleat will make its debut this bowl season. The Flyknit yarn, made from recycled plastic bottles—the equivalent of five per pair—was tested with the Ducks. It is the first Flyknit cleat made with the recycled polyester.
After 70 iterations of a cleat that combines the ever growing use of Flyknit with a brand-new carbon plate and a “skin” for protection, the Vapor Untouchable will debut throughout the bowl season. For the playoff teams, Nike offers a diamond ring-inspired pattern that includes school colors woven in.
On the uniform side, top-ranked Alabama offers up the most conservative look of the bunch. The Crimson Tide will continue to wear the design we’ve all become familiar with. Their opponent, Ohio State, will also opt for the home and away uniforms they have worn all season long, save for new accent coloring.
But for the Ducks, that story changes week to week.
Oregon, Nike’s flagship school, will go with its Fighting Ducks look in all green. The satin green helmet, jersey, pant and socks include yellow accents. The Fighting Ducks logo highlights the sleeve, while the words Fighting Ducks run along the legs. If the Ducks need to opt for the “away” look in the final, expect to see a white and wolf gray combination and white helmets with silver wings.
Florida State has its new-this-year uniforms ready again. With the Seminole-inspired pattern containing the tribe’s symbols for arrow, man on horse and fire playing on the sleeves, the only change for the playoff is the treatment of the coloring of the Swoosh.
All four teams will have the new Nike Pro Combat Hypercool baselayer customized to their school. The fragmented diamond patterns with graphics each represent something unique to the individual university. For Oregon, the O tilts 27 degrees to represent the team’s 27 bowl appearances, while Florida State gets plenty more use of their Seminole imagery. Alabama’s baselayer will include quotes from ‘Bama football history and the Ohio State version will have a print of Woody Hayes’ hand-written notes for a book he was working on.
To round out the outfit, the Nike Vapor Jet Knit gloves feature a one-piece knit back to eliminate seams. The knit construction allows for increased movement and by adding in sublimated knit backing, differing color hues show during movement. Full-length Magnigrip surface helps players make the grab, ala Odell Beckham Jr.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.