The Baylor Bears are bringing back their black-and-gold uniforms for the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday as they pursue their first BCS bowl win.
The uniforms — black jerseys, pants and gloves with gold numbers and writing, along with gold chrome helmets — were debuted in Baylor’s first Big 12 Conference game of the season against West Virginia.
The Bears also suited up in black in their blowout 41-12 win against the Oklahoma Sooners, a game that solidified their path to the BCS bowl, then pairing the uniforms with black matte helmets decorated in gold “BU” lettering.
The hope is that the black magic will carry them to another main-stage victory against Fiesta Bowl opponent University of Central Florida, whose team will don white-and-gold uniforms.
“That was the most popular decision between the coaches and the players,” equipment manager Jeff Barlow said. “They really liked the look from the West Virginia game and thought that was the right way to go to put it on for the bowl game.”
Barlow said while green and gold will remain Baylor’s primary game-day attire, the black uniforms are thought of as a special occasion alternate. And there’s no greater special occasion than an appearance in one of the top college bowl games on New Year’s Day.
“We always wear the green and gold, and that’s not ever going anywhere, but we’re glad we’re allowed to wear the black every once in a while,” safety Ahmad Dixon said.
“Everybody likes them and the fans like to see us wear them, so why not bring the black back and give it to them one last time? For the seniors, it’s a way for us to go out with a bang.”
Wide receiver Tevin Reese said the black “adds a little swag” for the team to finish business and fight for one last victory to end the season.
“It’s Baylor’s first BCS game, we’re here to make a statement that Baylor’s here and we’re going to be here to stay and be around a long time,” Reese said.
“Every game we go out there it’s war, is how we look at it. It’s a war we’ve got to fight, so why not put on your battle gear when you’re going to war?”
Dixon characterized the practices leading up to the game as the most focused he has experienced all season, with the players each fully embracing their responsibilities and absorbing the game plan.
“This is the end, this is all or nothing,” Dixon said. “Everybody has been getting prepared for it. We’ve been letting the younger guys know that this is really the first game of the season for next year and this game will define what the team is going to be like next year, so we want it to be a good game, and for the younger guys to go in there and show everybody what they can do.”
Reese, who like Dixon is a senior and expects to enter the NFL draft in April, said there is some nostalgic desire to suit up in the green and gold he’s donned for four years one last time. But his mind is on securing a final win before departing Baylor.
“I’m going to miss the green and gold,” Reese said. “It’s done a lot for me over the last four years. We’re still wearing green and gold in our uniforms, we just put a little black in it. But Baylor and Waco has definitely done a lot for me.”