Ed. Instant historical analysis of the Outback Bowl jersey reveal compliments of Steve Sapardanis aka Dr. Sap:

HELMET
The matte finish is a first for the U-M headgear.  Back in the 70s and 80s there was no gloss finish on the Michigan helmets.  Much like their coach, there was no flashiness to them – they were maize and blue and that was that.  You’d be surprised at how basic and crude those old helmets look compared to the newer ones of today.  From 1977:

1976 helmets

If you wanted the old ones to look shiny, you would have to rub some car wax on them! 

In the past 10 years or so the paint used has been more automotive grade with a much more durable and glossy finish to it.  As long as it’s not a chrome finish, I can deal with it.  The blue color seems deeper and darker, but might have more to do with the matte finish more than anything else.  Can’t really speak to the yellow unless I see it next to a current helmet that has the newer "neon" yellow color to it.   The Outback Bowl helmet seems to have a more deeper yellow than (older helmet) orange hue to it.

jerseys Via mgoblue.com photo gallery

JERSEY
You have to go back to Jim Mandich in 1968 to see when the yellow "M" first appeared on the sleeves of the U-M jerseys:

mandich 1968But that was on the home, blue jerseys, not the road whites.   [Ed. Reader Brian noted this blue block M on the road jersey in the 1965 Rose Bowl]:

1965 Rose Bowl Block M

The yellow numbers are a first for the road whites as well.   Speaking of the road whites, here’s a look at the 1976 Orange Bowl whiteys:

All Whites 
The bowl game patches are now commonplace, but that took a long time for U-M to accept them on their jerseys.  The first U-M bowl game "patch" was the 1984 Sugar Bowl when MIKEHAMMERSTEIN and crew hounded Bo Jackson all day:

1984 Sugar Bowl Michigan

It wasn’t really a “patch”– it was silk-screened and printed on the shoulders of Michigan’s white jerseys.

Editor’s take:  If you are going to go white, go all the way and toss in the pants.   I don’t like what appears to be multiple different shades of maize.   I’m good with block M on the jersey, don’t like the maize numbers, I’m ok with the matte helmet.  I also like the band Rush.

Other takes:  Brian at mgoblog    Brad at MBN    Zach T. at MnB

 

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[Ed 4/27/2011:  Originally posted November 19, 2009 – bumping up this interview with Ira and Mandich because you should hear it.]

Excellent interview this morning on WTKA 1050AM, as Michigan legend and current Miami, FL radio personality Jim Mandich dialed up Ira Weintraub to discuss Ohio State, 1969, the current team, Bo, Chad Henne and Jake Long on his Dolphins and much more.

Gotta love that he’s flying up to the big game on Steve Ross’s luxuriously private jet.

Definitely worth a listen:

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You can hear all of the WTKA podcasts here, anytime.