Try to imagine this happening just a few years ago: on Monday Iowa football released a video on Twitter of the football team watching a teaser for the brand-new alternate uniforms they'll apparently be wearing for November 14's primetime game with Minnesota. Yes, they did a teaser for a teaser.
Welcome to 2015!
According to Kirk Ferentz's Monday press conference, the same teaser that the players saw will be released to fans and the media later this week. When anyone -- players, fans, media -- will see the the uniforms themselves has yet to be announced.
The Minnesota game has been designated as Iowa's annual "Blackout" game, in which fans are encouraged to wear black to "blackout" Kinnick Stadium. Iowa has done this promotion for several years now; the most effective display was probably in 2009 against Michigan, which also happened to be a night game. This year it appears that the players will be getting in on the act as well. Since no images or descriptions of the uniforms have been released, we can only speculate on what they might look like, but given that the theme is "blackout," it seems safe to assume that Iowa will be dressed head to toe in black.
Iowa already wears a black helmet and a black jersey at home (although I'd also doubt that Iowa will wear the exact same helmet and jersey that they normally do for this game), so the biggest difference figures to be to the gold pants that give our website half of its moniker. For one day only, I guess we'll be Black Heart Black Pants. Of course, there's another Hawkeye team competing on Saturday, November 14 that's already accustomed to wearing all black -- maybe they can give the football team a few pointers.
Will an alternate uniform have any impact on Iowa's ability to beat Minnesota on November 14? No, of course not. But it is a way for Iowa to create a little more interest in the season and to generate some positive buzz among players and (more importantly) recruits. It's yet another sign that Iowa is finally, belatedly embracing some of the trends and concepts that matter to kids today. There's no doubt that the influx of youth in Iowa's coaching staff over the last few seasons, particularly guys like Brian Ferentz, Seth Wallace, and LeVar Woods, has played a big part in this modernization effort. Iowa's upped their game in recruiting, in social media usage, in video production, and now in on-field presentation. Iowa's not Oregon (and probably never will be), but apparently even Kirk Ferentz can learn to embrace a little sizzle with his steak.