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.

End Zone Designs: Painting on the Field

The Super Bowl always does a good job of matching the importance of the game with good end zone designs.

Every player on the football field wants to reach the end zone. Those special ten yards on each side of the field create the most excitement of any game, and therefore, it should be no coincidence they look better than the rest of the field.

While there might be a few exceptions (Boise State and Eastern Washington), football fields stick to green to cover the 100 yards of the playing field, probably because that is the color of natural grass.

As it is with uniforms, it seems like college football has more freedom with end zone design than the NFL.  Two designs in particular that stand out to me are Tennessee and Maryland. The Vols have stuck with the same orange-and-white checkered pattern for many years now.

The pattern works very well for me. It goes away from the usual lettering that goes in an end zone. Everyone knows Tennessee is the home team, so it is a good move by the Volunteers to go outside the box with this.

The other cool feature of this end zone is the pattern does not cover all 10 yards of the space. The yard or so of green showing on all sides of the pattern adds a bit of classiness to the design.

Maryland takes its cues from Tennessee when it comes to their end zone. In similar fashion to their pride uniforms that got everyone’s attention, Maryland’s end zone pays homage to their state flag.

Bowl games are some of my favorite fields because each zone is totally different from the other. Some games like the famed Beef O’Brady’s Bowl decide to keepboring end zones telling everyone what city they are in, which is clearly necessary for those who have made the trip to support their school.

A few other collegiate end zones that stick out are Penn State, who uses a yellow goal line, which is nice. Notre Dame sticks with the stripes in the end zone, keeping with tradition. I’ll throw in Syracuse here too since I have a weakness for blue and orange and the Orange have gone with that since switching over to FieldTurf in the Carrier Dome.

When it comes to the NFL, there is not as much variety form year-to-year, but I will focus on the local teams here.

Since moving to MetLife Stadium (or New Meadowlands Stadium as it used to be known), the Jets and Giants have greatly improved their end zone designs. The move to natural grass for the 2000 season turned out to be a disaster in terms of keeping the grass lush and end zone design.

In the first year, both teams decided to paint the end zones at Giants Stadium, making for a good look, especially for the 2000 NFC Championship victory for the Giants. However, as time went on and even as Giants Stadium went to FieldTurf, the end zones got much more boring. Without any paint in the end zones, it looked like a preseason game for the entire season.

For the last few seasons at the old stadium, the Giants did paint the lettering in the end zones, but it still left much to be desired because of what the field used to look like with AstroTurf.

Now, with MetLife Stadium, the end zone have gone back to their exciting past, and I think we can all say we are glad to see it. They have even added a logo and conference logo at the ends which makes for a nice touch.

That’s all for today’s display of obsessiveness. We’ll take a bit of a break until this weekend’s football action, unless something exciting happens in the uniform world.

College Football Review: It’s Bright in Here

A pretty neat view of Clemson's all-orange statement victory over Auburn as Dwayne Allen gets upended by Erique Florence.

Week 3 of the college football season did not see the outrageous fashion statements we saw in the first two weeks, but it was a banner day for schools who chose to stand out from the crowd with their bright colors.

The biggest victory of the day outside of Oklahoma’s road win over Florida State was Clemson ending Auburn’s 17-game win streak in Death Valley, that had Clemson coach Dabo Swinney a little too excited after the game. But in terms of the uniform selection for the teams, Auburn, who always looks good in all white, was put up against a stark contrast in the all-orange threads of Clemson.

Coming from an orange school that made a splash yesterday with a move to the ACC, I tend to find orange uniforms like this more appealing than the average observer. The all-orange uniforms for Clemson works for me. I like the fact they chose orange pants to go along with the helmets and shirts of the same citrusy color, it is distinct and unmistakable they are the Clemson Tigers.

Clemson has been known to occasionally go to a purple outfit, that might hype up fans but definitely is a downgrade from their usual orange uniforms. There’s no indication of purple in a tiger, and I simply don’t understand the need for the uniform.

Another one of the marquee games Saturrday featured two schools who could be in some serious trouble with the NCAA with Miami and Ohio State.

Besides those obvious overtones, Miami continued the trend of orange uniforms in big games Saturday. Miami usually has the choice to go with a green home uniform, which has it merits, but the Orange definitely suits the hurricanes better.

Being from the south in Florida definitely helps Miami look good on the field in orange.  It helped yesterday as the Hurricanes dominated on the way to a strong victory over the overrated Buckeyes.

A few other bright colors that made an impact on the national scene yesterday were Tennessee and Minnesota. The Vols continued to get dominated by Florida but did win in the uniform department with this improvement to their road uniforms with orange pants.

The orange pants go well with the orange T on the helmet to make this uniform really pop off the screen. I could do without the white stripes along the side of the pants, but overall it is an upgrade from the all-white look the Vols used to employ.

Minnesota also used a bold look with a yellow look complimented with maroon pants Saturday when it dominated Miami of Ohio at home. It’s definitely something different and I really hope the Gophers were using it as to not be too hot in their usual all-maroon in the late summer. I do hope they go back to the maroon when things start to get colder and the season progresses, it simply fits Minnesota better.

A few more quick hits from the uniform world after Saturday’s action:

Oregon could have done better on Saturday. It's nice to see a bit of green, but the gray helmet ruins it.

  • Oregon went with a pretty simple look in a layup game against Missouri State going back to its roots of green uniforms and green pants, but I don’t understand the need to go with the gray helmets all the time. Just once, I would like to see the ducks actually wear green helmets which used to be the standard.
  • Like I showed here earlier this week, Maryland went with an all-black look without anything on the side of the helmet against West Virginia. It didn’t look too bad on the field, but actually worked well for me. We’ll see how things go for the Terps next week.
  • Virginia Tech went with a throwback helmet and white for a home game which I am never really a fan of. The helmets go back to a look the Hokies wore from 1974-77.
  • Arizona State continued to change things up with an all-white uniform in a loss to Illinois. I usually don’t mind all-white like what Boise wore against Georgia, but these just didn’t work for me. I would have never know it was the Sun Devils if I wasn’t told so.
That’s about it for this week, hopefully we’ll have a bit more in the way of fashion statements for next week. If it seems like I missed anything or you want to add your own thoughts, feel free to let me know.