The SEC Power Poll returns with a look at how stylish the SEC is. Rather than a poll based on who is the best team or which quarterback looks most like an idiot because of his Bama Bangs (sorry John Brantley), we're picking who will look the best on Saturday.
One note before we begin; we are not considering novelty uniforms. Florida's Cal-State Fullerton helmet and jersey, Georgia's Project Runway look and Tennessee's great pumpkin will not factor into our rankings. Also, we are using Paul Lukas' Uni Watch update for the new jerseys, as well as the Wikipedia listings. Helmet Project is a valuable source, but we wish there was a college football version of Dressed To The Nines.
12. Arkansas: A traditional football school deserves a traditional jersey. Instead, Arkansas has arm piping and pit stains (comparison by Paul Lukas). The pit stains go up the back, too. The pants are not traditional either; the sides say "RAZORBACKS" with the Hog logo on the hip. This is the result of a new deal with Nike, but you would think someone in Arkansas would have stopped those pants from being made. As for the road jersey, it doesn't look good.
11. South Carolina: We won't even consider that they are hijacking "Carolina" from North Carolina and "USC" from Southern Cal. We will consider the terrible shoulder stripes, collarbone piping, uneven pant stripes and knee tusks. This uniform was designed by someone who didn't know when to quit. The piping should be removed and the shoulder striping should be traditional. The pant stripes need to match the garnet-black-garnet of the helmet stripe. The helmet is the only thing SC got right.
10. Mississippi State: You can't do much with maroon and black, but the Bulldogs did themselves no favors. The shoulder piping is unnecessary, especially when it wraps around. The jerseys don't need alternate color side panels either. Mississippi State could also use a cool Bulldog logo for their uniform.
9. Vanderbilt: Black suits look good. Black football uniforms do not. Vandy's black-on-black desperately needs pants striping. Actually, all of their pants could use striping. The jersey piping needs to go, since it wraps around to the back. However, Vandy does get points for the coolest logo.
8. Kentucky: Aside from random side panels, Kentucky has a traditional design. (The Wikipedia page notes shoulder piping, which is really how the jersey is cut, not an alternate color.) The pants are also a traditional design, with white-blue-white stripes on the blue pants and blue-white-blue on the white pants. The look could be improved with a helmet stripe. Overall, a solid traditional look.
7. Tennessee: My problem with Tennessee isn't the shade of orange. It's allowing black to become a part of the jersey. From black socks (comparison by Paul Lukas), to the black borders and black lettering, it is as if the Vols are Orange, Black and White. Get rid of the black and look like the Tennessee teams of old. As for the orange-on-orange look, I like it. Like the 1984 Padres, orange-on-orange is so ugly, it is cool.
6. Georgia: Georgia has a great uniform. The silver pants are a nice accent to bring out the black and white in the uniform, which is a classic look. The only problem is the traditional "G". Outside of the South, the "G" is for Green Bay. The Georgia "G" was made in 1964, three years after the Packers.
5. Florida: I have always thought UF looked awesome in blue-on-blue and white-on-white, especially when UF goes monochrome for big games (Tennessee, Georgia, LSU and FSU was blue-on-blue; Alabama, SC were white-on-white). I like that Urban Meyer canned the orange pants too. However, the helmet is cheesy. The script "Gators" is iconic now, but I would like to see this at least once a year.
4. Ole Miss: Between the navy and red, gray pants that are just enough of a reminder of their Confederate past and the shoulder stripes, Ole Miss has an awesome uniform set. My one critique would be the "Ole Miss" script on the helmet. I think a block "M" or a smaller "Ole Miss" so the logo isn't stacked would look good.
3. Auburn: Aside from tailoring changes and a modernized word mark, the Auburn uniform is the same as it was 40 years ago. The helmet logo is still the interlocking AU and the jersey is uncluttered. The simple set is classic.
2. Alabama: One of the simplest uniforms is also one of the best. Although, I would love to see Alabama wear a throwback white helmet with their white-on-white set. Bama, like UF, will wear a Nike Pro Combat uniform this season. However, the Bama set is supposed to be traditional looking.
1. LSU: The Tigers have the best uniform in the SEC. The shoulder striping, the helmet stripe that matches the pants stripe, the classic "LSU" helmet with the Tiger head, and always wearing white make this set the best. No team does more with less. There is no alternate jersey or white pants, either. The additions of the fleur de lis and Louisiana state flag to the LSU helmet in recent years are a nice touch, too.