Ranking of the 18 uniforms worn by BYU football during the independence era

Historically, the BYU football program has not been known for its flashy uniforms. Especially not to the extent of Oregon, Maryland or Oklahoma State. However, BYU has a classic look that’s recognized across the country, and the Cougars have added some variety to their classic jerseys in recent seasons.

BYU introduced three new uniform combinations in 2019, one new combination in 2020, and seven more combinations in 2021. Overall, BYU has played in 18 different uniforms as an independent team, excluding variations of different face mask colors. With BYU wrapping up spring camp last week and football still 151 days away, I’m ranking all 18.

BYU Uniform Rankings

Puka Nacua vs. Boise State All Navy
All marine
Neil Pau'u vs. Arizona Royal Blue
Payton Wilgar vs. USF
Jaren Hall vs. Washington State
BYU Football vs. USC Tyler Allgeier
D'Angelo Mandell versus Baylor
byu football throwback uniform
Isaiah Herron Georgia Southern
Tyler Allgeier vs. Virginia
All Royal Gunner Romney
D'Angelo Mandell BYU vs. Arizona State Whiteout
Tyler Allgeier vs. Utah State in a royal classic away
BYU vs. Utah 2019

Balance between diversity and tradition

BYU has more consistent combinations than ever before. Having spoken to various recruits and observed the unified evolution of BYU over the past few years, I believe that diversity is good but should be used wisely. Consistent variety is fun, but consistency and brand awareness should be an important part of the selection criteria. Recruits want variety and tradition, and in practice the two things may not go hand in hand. For the most part, BYU’s alternate uniforms remain under the BYU brand. However, I think it would benefit the BYU brand to wear their classic looks more than once per season.

For example, if you turn on the TV to see Michigan, Tennessee, Ohio State, or Oklahoma, you know what you’re going to get. These schools have classic looks that will never go away. But all of these schools have used alternate uniforms and subtle tweaks to add some variety to the mix in recent years. For example, this Oklahoma alternate uniform has become a staple of the Sooners’ uniform rotation.


Michigan has added some variety to its traditional look by replacing blue pants with the classic yellow pants. The Wolverines wore this combo against Ohio State and in the College Football Playoffs against Georgia.


When you think of the state of Ohio, you don’t think of uniform diversity. However, even the Buckeyes have thrown in a few alternate uniforms over the years. Last year, the Buckeyes faced Penn State in an all-red look.


These schools are good examples of teams that have maintained their strong brand and heritage while adding some variety. In my opinion, some schools have taken uniform diversity a little too far. Oregon is an obvious example, although Ducks might be the exception as they’ve built an entire brand around uniform strains. But take the state of Oklahoma. The Cowboys have used so many combinations over the years that most college football fans probably wouldn’t be able to remember their home and away jerseys. Here are a few uniforms worn by the state of Oklahoma this season.


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Because BYU has four different helmets, it has as much variety at its disposal as the state of Oklahoma. But in my opinion, the cougars are even more at risk of losing their identity since they use two shades of blue. Regardless of the combination, the state of Oklahoma can be identified by its unique colors. BYU probably can’t say the same since its colors are more common and the shade of blue goes back and forth from royal to navy.

Therefore, the BYU should use varieties more sparingly than the state of Oklahoma. How would that look? In a perfect world, I think BYU’s unified rotation might look something like this:

  • Classic Royal Home Kits (3-4 Matches)
  • Classic Royal Away Kits (3-4 Matches)
  • Classic Navy Home Shirts (1-2 games)
  • Classic Navy Away Shirts (1-2 games)
  • Alternative home combination (1-2 games)
  • Alternative away combination (1-2 games)

With a consistent schedule like the one outlined above, BYU could bring in a more consistent diversity than most schools and continue to build on its heritage and identity. Thanks for listening to my TED talk, I mean thanks for reading.

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