Oklahoma football: Oregon Fiesta Bowl helmets mimic Sooners

Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

There was absolutely nothing pretty or dramatic about 8th-ranked Oregon's 45-6 beatdown of 25th-ranked Liberty University in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day. And if you are an Oklahoma football fan who happened to catch the game, there was probably something else that was hard to take in.

Oregon is well known as the founding institution for all the many alternative uniform colors and styles that are ubiquitous in the college football landscape today. Seemingly every Oregon game features a different color combination and uniform design.

In this year's Fiesta Bowl, the Ducks took the field in the school's institutional green and yellow colors: yellow pants with green jerseys trimmed in yellow and yellow helmets featuring green and white striping front to back over the top with a yellow face mask.

Despite all the unform style variations, however, every Oregon helmet design for the past 20-plus years at least has featured the traditional Oregon "O," which serves as a registered trademark of the University of Oregon. In Monday's Fiesta Bowl, though. a discerning eye would have noticed something a little different about the helmet.

Instead of the primary mark "O," the team's identity was displayed on the helmet as an interlocking U and O, strikingly similar to theiconic logo trademark of the University of Oklahoma except in reverse order and in green lettering instead of white on crimson.

The spacing of the U and the O may have been a little bit different and of course the color, but I have never before seen use of this symbol design on an Oregon helmet before now. It might be a throwback from the past or just another creative concept from the adept Oregon uniform designers. I would love to know what the thinking was behind this decision and why now.

I can only speak as an opinion of one, but I was taken aback and, frankly, a bit insulted to see the U/O design on the Oregon helmet. It may not be a case of trademark infringement, but I don't see how it can't be perceived as a direct slap at Oklahoma. In any regard, it will be interesting to see if this alternative identity design is used again in the near future.