It’s more than the uniforms.
I thought SI’s Andy Staples did a terrific job with this article on how Oregon Football has built the most identifiable brand in college football. While there’s obviously a marketing aspect due to the university’s relationship with Nike, I think Oregon was ahead of the curve in establishing an identity for the program. You say “Oregon football” and people know what they stand for. Something touched on is this article is how Oregon turned its nose at “tradition.” Doing something because “that’s the way we’ve always done it” is a terrible approach. Oregon football is evidence of what can be gained if you step back and look creatively at how you can gain an edge (as the author notes, however, none of it works without winning). What do you want your program to stand for?
“We talk every day about our football identity,” Jones says. “When you talk about our style of play, it’s a team that has great chemistry, great passion, great energy in the way they play the game. And it has both mental and physical toughness.” These may sound like the generic traits of any good team, but Jones has very specific ideas about how these concepts should look on the field. He wants chest bumps and high-fives to celebrate successful plays. He wants players buzzing around the field at all times. If Jones can recruit the necessary players and train them the way he hopes, the Power T would symbolize a frenetic Tennessee team overwhelming an exhausted opponent.