Power Ranking Penn State Football’s White Out Shirts
While a final decision on the college football season has yet to be made, Penn State Athletics still unveiled gear for the 2020 White Out on Wednesday.
This year’s t-shirt includes an outline of Pennsylvania on both sides and features the phrase “Bring The Volume In The Valley” written on the back. Other than the shirt, Penn State Athletics is also selling long-sleeves, sweatshirts, and crewnecks with the same design on its online store.
Official, stadium-wide White Out shirts weren’t created until 2008. A fan vote has been used in years past to decide the design, but Penn State has released its own designs over the past few seasons.
Considering this year’s shirt will be the 13th edition, we think it’s clearly time to rank these White Out threads once and for all. Without further ado, here’s our official power rankings of White Out apparel through the years.
No. 13 — 2013
This shirt is pretty damn boring. The big block letters across the front are pretty simple, while the back of the shirt has nothing but a Penn State logo on the top. This design really doesn’t stand out in any way, and for that, it falls to the basement of our rankings.
One good thing about the shirt? This was the year Penn State took down Michigan in a zany, shanked kick-filled, four-overtime classic.
No. 12 — 2009
I love the idea of putting a cool quote on the back of these shirts. But in the years that Penn State’s done it, it hasn’t been executed too well. In 2009’s case, it was a pretty cool quote to use, but I think it would’ve been better if it were written in all white.
The design also features a solid blue stripe reminiscent of Penn State’s iconic helmets. It’s a nice accent of blue on the in the sea of white.
Overall this is a pretty solid shirt, but the design lost me with the way “White Out” looks like it was written in crayon underneath Penn State.
No. 11 — 2008
There’s a lot going on here. First, the Nittany Lion Shrine on the front is an awesome touch. The way it’s shaped out with the lyrics of the “Penn State Alma Mater” is a subtle yet awesome way to maximize the pride one can experience on a shirt.
Why isn’t this shirt ranked higher? Well, let’s have a look at the back. Keep in mind that this is a shirt for the White Out, so it’s hard to understand why there’s a huge blue blotch on the back of it. I also don’t love the “scribbled” feel the back has.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a cool shirt. But there’s plenty of other cool designs that deserve to be ranked ahead of it.
No. 10 — 2014
Penn State decided to use another quote on the back of the shirt, but this one just looks a little cleaner than the 2009 version.
The big block letters on the front aren’t perfect, but notice how “White Out” is spaced over an outline of Pennsylvania — that’s another smooth, subtle touch that adds a lot of value to the shirt.
The Nittany Lions nearly had another overtime classic in them for a second consecutive year at the 2014 White Out, but Penn State just fell to Ohio State 31-24 in double-overtime.
No. 9 — 2010
You can’t really go wrong when you throw The Symbol of Our Best right on the front of a shirt, and that’s why this shirt is nearly perfect. Pair that with the quick “Roar Lions Roar” right next to the Nittany Lions’ finger, and you’ve got an awesome design.
Penn State used a quote on the back of the shirt for a second consecutive year, but this time, the words are pretty small and it’s kind of just a run-on sentence. For that reason, this shirt didn’t climb higher in the rankings.
No. 8 — 2015
This was the sleekest design Penn State had used on a White Out shirt up to this point. This shirt simply says “White Out” and “We Are Penn State” on each side, but the way the words look like they’re shining off the shirt is undeniably awesome.
This shirt would’ve looked awesome under the lights of Beaver Stadium, but unfortunately, it was used during a dreaded day-game White Out. Penn State’s game against Michigan kicked off at…noon, and the Nittany Lions lost 28-16 in a slow, snoozer, of a match up.
Penn State’s offense didn’t do much in this one, other than when a baby-faced freshman running back named Saquon Barkley took his first carry of the game 56 yards deep in to Michigan territory.
No. 7 — 2019
Last year’s shirt was pretty simple, but the way the words are filled with shakers being held up at Beaver Stadium is a pretty nice White Out touch. “Warning: Expect Excessive Noise” is also a perfectly short and sweet saying to throw on the front.
The fact that Penn State won this game thanks to a goal-line stand and a clutch first down in the final minute or so also helps raise this shirt’s stock a few spots.
No. 6 — 2018
There’s nothing overly spectacular about the 2018 shirt, but I can appreciate the simplicity of it. The big “We Are” on the back is definitely a nice touch that makes this shirt clearly unique to Penn State.
The picture of the fireworks shooting up at a White Out inside of the Penn State logo should also be noted before anyone calls this shirt boring.
Still, though, the outcome of the game matters, and it doesn’t really help that Penn State blew a 12-point lead with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter to lose this one. That’s not great to say the least, but it’s still an awesome shirt.
No. 5 — 2012
This is kind of a random pick, especially considering it was Bill O’Brien’s first year at Penn State and an objectively strange time in Happy Valley. Despite that, this is unique compared to the rest of the White Out shirts of late.
“Tradition” across the front is different than any other shirt, and the Nittany Lion standing just past the opened gates to Beaver Stadium on the back is pretty sweet. The yardage markers on the front also adds a perfect amount of football grittiness.
Penn State also lost this game to, guess who, Ohio State, but whatever.
No. 4 — 2016
Penn State stuck with the white-on-white look in 2016, and it clearly was a great decision. In case anyone forgot, fans stormed the field wearing these shirts after the unranked Nittany Lions upset Urban Meyer’s second-ranked Buckeyes.
It’s sort of hard to see, but the “Ready, Set, Roar” below the White Out square is pretty damn cool. While the back has nothing on it, this simple design was well done by Penn State.
No. 3 — 2011
2011 was a bumpy season for Penn State football, but these shirts are really, really awesome. The simple “Penn State White Out” across the front is fine, but the “S” on the back made up with 30 rows of “Success With Honor” is fantastic.
Penn State lost to Alabama in the 2011 White Out and finished that sanction-filled season with a 9-4 record, but anyone wearing this shirt at Beaver Stadium was looking pretty damn snazzy.
No. 2 — 2017
The 2017 White Out was fun on several levels. Penn State dominated Michigan in what at the time looked like a run to the College Football Playoff, and these shirts were hopefully being rocked by everyone at Beaver Stadium.
The cool use of the sound-waves on both sides is about as Beaver Stadium as it gets, and the white-on-white design was perfect for a primetime night game. Pair all of that with the “Avalanche Of Sound” across the back, and you’ve got yourself a great shirt.
No. 1 — 2020
Folks may try to argue that this is recency bias, but this year’s White Out shirts are freaking awesome. The front is nice and simple, with a Nike and Penn State logo placed over an outline of Pennsylvania. Mind you, this is only the second time Penn State has involved the shape of the state on the shirt, but I think it should be used a lot more.
The state is again used on a larger-scale on the back, but it’s placed under “Bring The Volume In The Valley.” It’s kind of cheesy and sounds like most of the other loud, overly used Beaver Stadium sayings, but who cares? It fits well and will remind people to keep yelling.
It’s a shame that Nittany Lions fans probably won’t get to experience a full White Out at Beaver Stadium with this gear on, but you can still rock it while watching the game at home.
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