Tennessee's New Alternate Unis Reference Past
By Dan Harralson
KNOXVILLE — Tennessee introduced a new alternate jersey Thursday at the Peyton Manning Locker Complex located inside Neyland Stadium, participating in the trend while giving a nod to history.
"As of right now, the gray jerseys are a one-game deal," Tennessee coach Butch Jones told Football.com and a group of reporters. "We have not decided which game it will be, but as of right now the initial plan is a one-game deal.
“We are excited at our lineup of Adidas uniforms for Team 117 this season. The Smokey Gray uniform is a great addition for our program, and we believe will help our current and future student-athletes add to the strong tradition we have here at Tennessee.”
The Smokey Gray is an official University of Tennessee color. The Vols last wore it in 1914.
"They (the 1914 team) wore gray uniforms, but we'll use all five uniforms," Jones said. "Obviously our orange jersey is at home, but we'll use the smokey gray at home for one game."
So Tennessee joined the trend popularized by Oregon without straying far enough to torture traditionalists.
The 1914 team is a good team to place on a pedestal by wearing their old iconic uniforms. The Vols went a perfect 9-0 and won the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) championship; the SEC was formed in 1932.
It's the latest example of Jones embracing Tennessee's past.
"It's a pride of who we are," Jones said. "We have the best colors in the country and now with the Smokey Gray jersey, I think that just adds to it."
1914 Tennessee Football
Carson-Newman: W, 89-0
Clemson: W, 27-0
Louisville: W, 66-0
Alabama: W, 17-7
Chattanooga: W, 67-0
Vanderbilt: W, 16-14
Sewanee: W, 14-7
Kentucky State: W, 23-6