A New Look is the New Norm: Part II

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Last updated: 08/11/2012 5:30 PM
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A New Look is the New Norm: Part II
By Andrew Lind

(Editor's Note: Andrew Lind is a guest contributor to The-Ozone who came to us with a passion for college football and an idea for this piece on the changing uniforms around the country. He is currently a student at The Ohio State University, where he works as a sports reporter for BuckeyeTV. An aspiring journalist, Andrew was the editor of his high school newspaper in Gibsonburg, Ohio and has also worked as the Director of Baseball Operations with Block "O.")

COLUMBUS — Once upon a time, Ohio State fans could bet that every Saturday when they turned on their television, they would see their beloved Buckeyes donning silver helmets covered in pride stickers.

While this is still true for the majority of the season, even a traditional powerhouse such as Ohio State has diverged from its traditional look on occasion. With nationwide recruiting and ever-changing conferences, schools are looking for a way to capture the attention of the top recruits and stand out among their peers.

To help sort through the madness, we’ve compiled a conference-by-conference rundown of all the new looks fans can expect for the 2012 season—and beyond.

We continue today with a look at the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Mid-American conferences.

Big 12

Baylor: Nothing can bring excitement and attention to a university quite like having a quarterback win the Heisman Trophy.  With Robert Griffin III having gone pro, the Bears are hoping that an all-black look can overshadow the inevitable drop off on the field.

Oklahoma State Orange Helmet

Oklahoma State: Having a billionaire booster leads to the university having the latest in facilities and uniforms, and Oklahoma State, like Oregon, has the best of both worlds.  With a rebrand last season, the Cowboys had three helmets and four jerseys to mix and match at their disposal.  This season, they’re adding the option of an orange helmet.

TCU Frogskin Helmet

TCU: In one of the most controversial events of the offseason, TCU released an updated version of the Horned Frog logo.  With fans having such a negative reaction, the university scrapped the idea, similar to what Michigan State did with their updated Spartan helmet logo.  With a rebrand as recent as a year ago, TCU only added an anthracite jersey and chrome, frog skin helmet to their already unlimited amount of jersey and helmet combinations.

Texas Tech: Since great players such as Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell left Lubbock, Texas Tech has struggled to remain relevant, even in its own state.  Adding a matte black, white and silver to the rotation may help bring in a few more recruits, but it’ll still be hard to compete with Texas and TCU, on and off the field.

WVU jersey

West Virginia: With rumors of a rebrand coming on the heels of a move to the Big XII, the Mountaineers simply added a gray helmet and jersey.  With such a positive reaction to the Pro Combat jerseys used a few years ago, it was only logical for West Virginia to continue to use the connection to the states rich mining history.


Arkansas Two Helmets and Three Jerseys

Arkansas: With the firing of head coach Bobby Petrino bringing negative publicity to Fayetteville, it’s not a surprise the Razorbacks decided to go with a new look for the upcoming season.  Widely regarded as a positive change, the Hogs now feature two helmets and three jerseys, becoming the latest team to add anthracite to their combinations.  The Razorbacks also added a unique feature, with bolts on the shoulders, similar to the back of the wild boar in their logo.

Kentucky: Unlike the basketball team, the Wildcat football team isn’t rich in tradition, so wearing a black jersey on occasion doesn’t cause uproar in the Bluegrass State.  The only thing missing is a black helmet, which coveted recruit Patrick Graffree claims head coach Joker Phillips told him the team would be wearing this season.

Mississippi State: With Texas A&M joining the SEC, the Bulldogs will reflect on one of the most historical bowl wins in the program’s history.  When the Aggies come to Starkville, State will wear commemorative jerseys based on what they wore during the infamous “Snow Bowl”.

Missouri Three Jerseys

Missouri: In their first year in the SEC, Mizzou got a school-wide rebrand to separate themselves from the other Tiger nicknamed schools.  They ditched the Block M, a logo associated with other schools,in favor of using tiger head on two new helmets.  While it’s definitely an upgrade over their old cookie cutter Nike template, the three jerseys all use different design features.

Ole Miss: With such little recent success to showcase, the Rebels will be wearing throwback jerseys and helmets, reminiscent of the glory days of Archie Manning.

South Carolina: The Gamecocks will be wearing camouflage jerseys against ECU, UAB, or Wofford as part of The Wounded Warrior Project.

Texas A&M New Jerseys

Texas A&M: Like Missouri, Texas A&M wanted to create a new look as they move into the SEC.  Unlike the Tigers, the Aggies new jerseys have a retro look, resembling the uniforms the team wore in the 70’s.  Aside from the vertical stripes, the most unique features include the bevels in the numbers, as seen in the A&M logo, as well as the nod to the ‘12th man’, the Aggie fans.  The ‘12th man’ sleeve will also be unique to one player - the designated walk-on for that specific game.

Vanderbilt White Helmet

Vanderbilt: In an effort to distance themselves from other schools, like Wake Forest, who uses a similar template and color scheme, the Commodores simplified their look, while adding a white helmet and a gold jersey to their repertoire.  Like Missouri, every jersey does not follow the same template.

*Note: All teams will be wearing a circular SEC patch.


Arizona Copper Helmet

Arizona: In honor of the State of Arizona’s Centennial, the Wildcats will add a copper helmet to their repertoire for the 2012 season.  Arizona has a rich copper mining history and many buildings on campus are layered with the shiny metal.  The Wildcats have also displayed a red helmet for recruits, but whether or not the helmet is used in a game has yet to be determined.

Arizona State: Like their rivals to the south, the Sun Devils will be wearing a copper helmet to commemorate the state’s centennial.

Colorado: When current head coach Jon Embree took over in 2010, he brought back the jerseys the Buffaloes wore during their glory days of the 90’s, much to jubilation of the Colorado faithful.  This past year, the team debuted black helmets and over the offseason, Embree hinted towards a new look for the Buffs in 2013.

Oregon Robot Wings

Oregon: If you thought Oregon would go a year without changing anything, you don’t watch enough college football.  From their diamond-plated shoulders to robot wings and finally liquid metal helmets, the Ducks have always been testing the limits of what is fashionable to wear.  While nothing official has been released, this season’s jerseys will feature a wing pattern like the team wore in the Rose Bowl.


Bowling Green: The Falcons are expected wear helmets with a matte orange finish instead of their previous glossy helmets.

Toledo Yellow Helmet

Kent State: Head coach Darrell Hazell, a former Ohio State assistant, has said that if the Golden Flashes make it to a bowl game, they will wear special yellow helmets. 

Toledo: BGSU will not be the only team on I-75 with a new matte helmet.  The Rockets are adding an alternate yellow helmet, something never worn in Toledo history.


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