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Ranking Michigan Football’s alternate jerseys of the modern era

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We live in an age of alternate uniform combinations and Ann Arbor is no different.

Notre Dame v Michigan Getty Images

The Michigan Wolverines have not taken the field in an alternate uniform recently, as the Jim Harbaugh era has typically stayed somewhat traditional in its jersey combinations.

Michigan wore an all-Maize uniform in the season opener against Florida in 2017 in what was its only diversion from the norm of the last several seasons. Before that, Adidas had a field day with Michigan’s combinations to varying degrees of success.

We decided to rank the uniforms from both the Adidas and Nike eras of the last decade-plus.

7. 2011 at Michigan State

Michigan v Michigan State Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The bumblebee design is pretty consistently labeled as the worst Michigan has worn. At least the numbers were visible. It is the only saving grace on what otherwise is the worst look in Michigan football history.

6. 2013 vs. South Carolina

Outback Bowl - South Carolina v Michigan Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

This is a step forward because of its relative simplicity. Maize numbers on a white jersey is not a good look, though. The blue outline does not do much to help identify numbers from higher up in the stands or on television. This is a jersey that looks like a knock-off that would be hidden in the back of Target and Wal-Mart stores in the state of Michigan.

5. 2014 vs. Penn State

Penn State v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

This one has aged a little better over time, but still is not much of a highlight. The all-blue combination is something we might see again soon, but not with these tire track-looking numbers.

4. 2012 vs. Alabama (Cowboys Classic)

Michigan v Alabama Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

These are kind of boring and still look like they belong in a department store, but it is at least a clean look. Little did we know, we would have to start getting used to seeing blue numbers on white jerseys more often in the future.

3. 2012 vs. Virginia Tech

Allstate Sugar Bowl - Michigan v Virginia Tech

These were the best road alternates of the Adidas era. It is not too big a departure from what we were used to seeing and the stripes on the shoulders really do not distract as the bumblebee ones did. These are forgotten but they looked solid.

2. 2011 vs. Notre Dame

Notre Dame v Michigan

This pick makes the “not a fan of the bumblebee look” statement look hypocritical, but there’s a reason for that. This actually looks like a throwback jersey and not some concept a teenager threw together on his Macbook Pro. It looks like a legitimate throwback. This has gotten better as time goes on, perhaps because of the nostalgia over what this game wound up being.

1. 2017 vs. Florida

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Advocare Classic - Michigan v Florida Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

These actually looked better in game action than the concept photos did, which is a plus. I wouldn’t mind seeing this jersey come back with blue pants. It seems like the all-Maize combination is in play as something we could see in the future, as well as the all-blues.