BCS of uniforms: SEC

The Auburn road all-whites are just about as good as their home blues. Overall, just a stellar look. Photo by Getty Images

Things are getting very tense right now with the National Championship just on the horizon, so here is my best attempt at finishing this in a somewhat timely manner. Now going to the best conference in the nation on the field, at least.

1. Auburn

The Tigers have a great combination of navy blue and white helmets. The orange accents along the numbers and the pants add a very nice touch, and the interlocking logo is very neat.

2. Alabama

There is a huge dropoff here from Auburn to the rest of the SEC, it starts with the Tide. These are classic uniforms and only become noticeable considering the historic success of Alabama.

3. LSU

The Tigers are one of the few teams in college football to wear white at home, along with Georgia Tech. The stripes along the shoulders are the best part of this uniform. The helmet could use some work and creativity.

4. Ole Miss

My favorite version of the Rebels’ uniforms come with their red home alternates. They are very nifty. Also, the primary road uniforms are stellar.

5. Kentucky

There’s nothing too special about these uniforms, but someone has to be ranked among this countdown. The Wildcats are a pretty solid blue most of the time, and blue is a good color.

There's a whole lot of creamsicle-like orange going on when Tennessee gets ready for its team photo. Photo by Knoxville News Sentinel

6. Tennessee

I usually really like orange, but the orange the Volunteers go with see a little too creamiscle-like to me. I do however, like the white helmets and the large T on the helmets.

7. Arkansas

One cool feature of this uniform is how small the Razorback is on the helmet. It works.

8. Vanderbilt

The star with the small V inside it is all right. The general color scheme of gold and black is a good idea but they go with an all-black look too often.

9. South Carolina

The Gamecocks have a cool combination of maroon and white, but it is very difficult to tell what is going on in a complicated logo when it is so small on the helmet. There’s a lot more going on there than with Arkansas.

10. Georgia

The logo is basically the same as the Packers. Plus, I had to subtract many points for their debacle against Boise State to begin this season.

11. Florida

The Gators along the helmets are kinda bland. I always found it a little odd.

12. Mississippi State

Too plain, plus the logo is nothing to get too excited about.

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Helmets like White Elephants

Here we have another entry from Alex. This one regarding the emergence of white helmets in football.

Auburn has employed the white helmet for a long time. Always looking good at home and on the road.

But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?”

– From “Hills Like White Elephants” by Ernest Hemingway

Indeed, there was a time, particularly in pro football, when white helmets were considered a white elephant, or rather, a fashion faux pas. When the Houston Texans were born in 2002 and they introduced white helmets, many alleged “experts” bristled at such a uniform statement.  Arguably, an expansion team should have made a better impression on the league with a better helmet idea, or could have actually made the playoffs once in their first nine seasons.  With neither feat accomplished, perhaps the Texans were on to something with their white helmets. Today, the trend toward the white helmet, in the NFL and even more so in college, is quite prevalent.

More and more teams have gone to the white helmet because it offers that classic look. With the constant uniform changes happening in college football, many teams have either opted to keep or have opted for the white helmet. This weekend, LSU, wearing their not-as-deplorable-as-it-could-be Nike Pro Combat looks, opted for a white helmet with purple “LSU” on each side, went up against Auburn in a rare white helmet vs. white helmet matchup.

Also this weekend, Oklahoma State, in their victory over Mizzou, looked good with an all-white getup that included white helmets.  A revisit to the Oklahoma State Combo Creator reveals that OSU, in addition to their gray and black helmets, actually have two white helmets, one that features an orange “OSU” and another that features that same logo in black.  Of course, OSU has always had white helmets, but it was nice that, when they did decide, for whatever reason, to redo their football unis, they kept those two white helmets, rather than discarding for something that looks like this.

Barry Sanders sported a white helmet with Oklahoma State in the late 80s. The letters on the helmets were bigger, but the helmet has largely remained the same.

Like the Cowboys, many schools have had white helmets as far back as anyone can remember, making the white helmet not a burden to an team’s look, but rather an enhancement. Penn State and Stanford have never deviated from their white lids (although Standard will feature a black helmet on November 27th, when they Pro Combat for a primetime game against Notre Dame). Many other schools have also gone to the white helmet in recent years, with even Oregon finding room in their cornucopia of unis for a classic, white topper.

But this trend is not only limited to the college game. In addition to the Texans, the Jets, Cardinals, Dolphins, Colts, and Titans (formerly the Oilers) all sport white helmets. Additionally, both the Bills and Chargers have made the move from their old helmets to white helmets.

Clearly, the white helmet is (and has) made a comeback.  And, rather than being like white elephants, are embraced by teams looking to return to a more classic, and overall better look.