Vanderbilt and Texas A&M were the latest SEC football programs to sashay down the proverbial runway, each debuting new threads this week. Missouri debuted an upgraded look for its inaugural SEC season in the spring. Arkansas followed not long after. That’s four members of the conference sporting updated garb for 2012, but plenty of others have mixed it up in recent seasons.
Black is a fashion statement that never seems to lose appeal in sports, and Mississippi State, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and even Tennessee (to the chagrin of plenty) rocked it in the last few seasons. While UT’s Halloween inspired uniforms departed along with Lane Kiffen, black seems here to stay elsewhere while creeping into other programs like Arkansas.
Combat Pro is the other omnipresent statement in college football alternate attire. LSU, Georgia and Florida have all worn them.
14. Mississippi State
Mississippi State mixed it up in 2011, with three different jersey colors (white, maroon and black) and two helmets (a glossy maroon and matte finish maroon). It’s not that MSU’s uniforms are bad, but the stripes are out of place and don’t seem to match. The black jersey also seems to almost clash with the maroon pants and helmet.
The white helmet UK sported at times last season gets high marks, best when worn with all-white on the road, or blue jerseys-white pants at home. The black alternates just seem misplaced in Lexington — after all, it’s a basketball town, and that looks an awful lot like Duke’s hoop thirds.
Getting away from the all-royal was a good move, a look that seemed too high school for my taste. Even in updating their look though, the Wildcats still have a high school feel. The blue sleeves on the white top is reminiscent of many a high school program I have covered on a Friday night.
12. South Carolina
A big time program, but the uniforms are too small time for my taste. The Gamecocks have three primary colors, and use them all in a mish-mash that looks more at home in the Arena League than the SEC. It feels as if in designing them, Under Armour could not decide if garnet, black or white should be focus. Thus, all are thrown prominently into the mix with swirls and bars and multiple stripes across the helmet.
11. Ole Miss
Classic, but not in the sense that other traditional SEC uniforms convey that this is college football. There’s a fine line between classic and drab, and Ole Miss falls on the latter side. The numbering on the jerseys is so big and blocky, it reminds me of Pop Warner jerseys in the early 1990s (before Purdue style lettering became the go-to for mass producers of youth uniforms).
The red and gray alternates are decent, and not overwhelming but the plethora of stripes on every Rebel uniform is dizzying.
The Razorbacks have always had a great home uniform, but recent roads have been unique for unique’s sake. Getting away from the red panel across the shoulders and chest was a huge step in the right direction. However, that’s fumbled with the caps on the sleeves.
The new black uniform looks very much like Kentucky’s, only with blue replaced by red.
Arkansas’ red helmet is outstanding, because it’s one of the few to use a mascot logo. Typically I’m a fan of white helmets, so the secondary lid would seemingly score points with me, but the Razorback looks hastily applied. Shame, too.
The Tigers’ new look is sharp. Dropping the block M on the helmet for a roaring Tiger head is noteworthy, because it distinguishes Missouri from its SEC brethren. Most every program sports some lettering or a single letter on their headgear. MU is straying from the crowd.
The alternate yellow is an interesting choice. Though the basketball team has at times worn a yellow similar to the new football alts, MU is typically less French’s. Perhaps that was done to separate the Tigers from new conference mate, Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt’s unveiling on Wednesday presented a white helmet with the underrated star-V logo. VU will also wear an old gold alternate jersey, which gets a big thumbs up on this end. Colors like Vanderbilt’s are difficult to mess up.