Rumors are swirling as a mock-up that seemingly has come from Under Armour for new Utah football unis is making its rounds on the interwebs. Here is the mockup:
Most noticeable is the absence of the classic drum-and-feathers logo that Utah has donned on its helmets since 1975. Some are speculating that this mockup is simply a preliminary design being pitched by Under Armour and the drum-and-feathers would be on the final helmet design.
We threw out the idea that Under Armour is mounting a brand challenge with Nike, as Utah is entering the same conference as Oregon. This might explain the Under-Armour-like look of the U on the helmet. Notice also that where a brand logo usually resides (the upper-chest, shoulder-pad area), that same Under-Armour-like U is displayed instead. Kyle Whittingham did once say, "We are an Under Armour school, we protect this house." Is Utah set to become Under Armour University?
It has been noticed that the word Utes is not anywhere on the actual uniforms. Some are wondering if this could indicate schools in the Pac 12 are pressuring Utah to drop Native American imagery like they did with Stanford. Perhaps the Utes could keep their nickname in exchange for dropping the logo. After all, Utah's on-field mascot has been a hawk named Swoop for around a decade, not an adorned Indian like Florida State uses.
Or, perhaps, some fan or Under Armour employee was just having some fun, showed a few friends, and they passed it along.
Word today was that Norm Chow definitely plans to drop the spread offense Utah has employed since Urban Meyer came to town in 2003. Is Utah facing an even more complete change of identity, including logo and branding, with its move to the Pac 12?
(thanks to @BlockU, @KilroyFSU, @drewsky5, and @Captain_Strongo, among others, for the discussion)