NJ.com- Chris Ash game-planned for Rutgers in each of the past three seasons as an opposing defensive coordinator. And each time Ash put on Rutgers' game film, he had the same complaint that has been echoed by fans since the program introduced a new uniform style in 2012: He couldn't read the numbers.
"It was terrible," Ash said in an interview with NJ Advance Media on Tuesday. "The times I coached against Rutgers, that was like the No. 1 thing: When you're trying to identify personnel coming in the game and you can't see the damn numbers."
"I just look at: Does Ohio State have 15 uniforms? No. Does Alabama? No. Does Michigan? No. Does USC? No," Ash said. "You look at some of the traditional best football programs around the country and they have an identifiable, clean, first-class look and that's what I want us to have."
"I think there were some conversations already in the works about some new uniforms," Ash said.
"When I got here I was fortunate to get in on the front end of it and make changes with uniforms and helmets. I'm a traditionalist. I'm not a guy that likes 15 different uniforms and 15 different helmets. I want a look that's classy, that's identifiable, that people really think looks sharp. We're going to hopefully have that type of look."
I know, I know Rutgers fans. I fell quickly in love with the (relatively) new jerseys the Scarlet Knights have been wearing. I thought the 45 different color combinations were something that fit in perfectly with the landscape of college football. However, what I didn't realize was that it was costing us football games. It's cool to think about becoming the Oregon of the East until you remember that the Oregon of the West has come up short of winning a National Championship time and time again. I have no choice but to believe their failures have nothing to do with running a cutesy spread offense that falters against the nation's best defenses, and everything to do with their obsession with how they look. If Chris Ash has taught me anything since his arrival it's that you can't create a traditionalist culture without concerning yourself with the cosmetic. The phrase "Look Good. Feel Good. Play Good" doesn't make one single mention of being great, and that's what this new era of Rutgers football is geared towards. If that means we have to get back to wearing jerseys that are clean, bold, recognizable, and well - actually scarlet then so be it. I wholehearted support Chris Ash's decision. Not only because I will wholeheartedly support every goddamn decision he makes until it costs us a victory, but because I didn't realize how much I missed the old jerseys until they made a couple guest appearances last season. Plus, it can't do anything but help wash the stink off from the Kyle Flood era. The program might not fully be cleansed of it until after some football is played, but a renovated look will provide quite the Mexican shower.