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Okay, so it seems I've caught the college football fever a tad early this summer, and I've had the concept in mind for some years now, so I decided to run with it (finally). My idea comes from the ever popular idea of super conferences in college athletics. You've heard it all before I'm sure, sixteen schools, four divisions, the whole nine. Personally, I value regional location for conference affiliation over the money, so however unrealistic it is for some schools to be in certain conferences monetarily, this is the time where I point out it's my concept ?. Uniform updates will follow with all. First up will be the Southeastern Conference, being Mississippi native for my entire life and a graduate of Ole Miss I'm somewhat partial to the SEC. So here goes. The Southeastern Conference will have a centralized location and headquarters in the mecca of the South, and one of my favorite (and possibly future home of) Atlanta, Georgia. This includes location for all championship matchups and tournaments, meaning not only the SEC Championship Football Game, but for the purpose of this concept the Basketball and Baseball Tournaments. Atlanta is more than capable of hosting such events with a plethora of hotels, metro areas, and state of the art facilities, two of which are completed and brand new (Mercedes Benz Stadium - SEC Football Championship, SunTrust Park - SEC Baseball Tournament), and one of which is undergoing renovations currently (Philips Arena - SEC Basketball Tournament). This brings us to the member institutions and how they will be divided up. My vision for the SEC has the conference leaving the Big 12 footprint of Texas and Missouri, and instead focusing on states already within the geographic footprint of the "current South," including the state of North Carolina (where I believe the SEC Network is currently located). There is also a heavy emphasis on developing and continuing in-state rivalries, as well as historic rivalries, in this concept. As I said earlier in the post, there will be four divisions. They are as follows: The SEC East, The SEC North, The SEC South, The SEC West, giving us a total map look as follows. I tried to split these up geographically as best I could. Here are Division Specifics: The SEC East: - Clemson University. Location: Clemson, South Carolina. Mascot: Tigers. Colors: Purple, Orange, White. ~110 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - University of Georgia. Location: Athens, Georgia. Mascot: Bulldogs. Colors: Red, Black, White. ~59 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - Georgia Tech University. Location: Atlanta, Georgia. Mascot: Yellow Jackets. Colors: Old Gold, Navy, White. 1.8 Miles from Downtown Atlanta, GA. - University of South Carolina. Location: Columbia, South Carolina. Mascot: Gamecocks. Colors: Garnet, Black, White. ~195 Miles from Atlanta, GA. The SEC North: - University of Kentucky. Location: Lexington, Kentucky. Mascot: Wildcats. Colors: Royal Blue, White, Silver. ~296 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Mascot: Tar Heels. Colors: Carolina Blue, White, Navy. ~338 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Location: Knoxville, Tennessee. Mascot: Volunteers. Colors: Orange, White, Smokey Grey. ~157 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - Vanderbilt University. Location: Nashville, Tennessee. Mascot: Commodores. Colors: Black, Vegas Gold, White. ~216 Miles from Atlanta, GA. The SEC South: - University of Alabama. Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Mascot: Crimson Tide. Colors: Crimson, White, Grey. ~186 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - Auburn University. Location: Auburn, Alabama. Mascot: Tigers. Colors: Navy, Orange (Auburn), White. ~115 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - University of Florida. Location: Gainesville, Florida. Mascot: Gators. Colors: Royal Blue, Orange, White. ~310 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - Florida State University. Location: Tallahassee, Florida. Mascot: Seminoles. Colors: Garnet, Vegas Gold, White. ~230 Miles from Atlanta, GA. The SEC West: - University of Arkansas. Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mascot: Razorbacks. Colors: Cardinal, White, Black. ~576 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - Louisiana State University. Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Mascot: Tigers. Colors: Purple, Athletic Gold, White. ~460 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - University of Mississippi. Location: Oxford, Mississippi. Mascot: Rebels. Colors: Navy, Red, White. ~300 Miles from Atlanta, GA. - Mississippi State University. Location: Starkville, Mississippi. Mascot: Bulldogs. Colors: Maroon, White, Grey. ~256 Miles from Atlanta, GA. I do plan to write a post for each school as to why they are in the SEC (if they aren't a current or founding member), what makes them a good fit, and what they bring to the table for the conference, the rivalries, and the tradition. I will also note that this concept (when it comes to uniforms) will put huge emphasis on uniformity of design across word marks, scripts, logos, and sports. In other words, a school is it's brand, and that brand and it's elements will be seen across all three of the big sports in their uniforms, fields, courts, etc. C&C please! Like I said, not perfect realistically or logistically, but what my SEC would be in a Super Conference era, perfect HuntTheJones world!
With the college football season coming to a close, fans start to look back on the season as a whole and talk about what needs to be improved. Of course, this generally applies to on-field performance, but the same principle can be applied to uniforms. Some teams already have theirs perfected. Some have a good base and just need to build off of it. Others need a complete rebrand. None of the three FBS teams in Mississippi have reached that stage of perfection yet, but none are at stage zero, either. Mississippi State’s 2016 pants and road jerseys are as close to perfection as possible, but they need to update the home jerseys to be consistent. Ole Miss has a pretty classic look, but color inconsistencies, some of which can’t be fixed without deviating from tradition, are prominent. Southern Miss is farthest from a great look, but they have a solid foundation and some great throwbacks that they should build off of. ------------------------------------ 1. Mississippi State The last few seasons, Mississippi State’s football uniform changes have followed a pattern of two steps forward, one step back. This past season, they added , a road jersey with no black outlines, and a silver helmet that fit well with rest of set. However, they kept the maroon jersey with black outlines, got rid of the matte maroon helmet, and wore a head-scratching black jersey with a templated Adidas design- Louisville wore the exact same one. What needs changing in 2017: I. Make the maroon jerseys match the white jerseys. Remove the black outlines on the numbers and put white-gray-white stripes on the sleeves, matching those on the maroon pants. Granted, I would have gone with gray-white-gray, but it looks like they’ve settled on w-g-w, presumably to retain two white stripes on the sleeve. II. Bring back matte maroon helmets. The biggest disappointment of 2016 was the lack of matte maroon helmets. They were replaced by the silver helmets, which admittedly worked in their own right. However, the matte maroons were the Bulldogs’ best helmets. I’d like to keep both the matte maroon and silver helmets, but if one has to go, let it be silver. III. Make the gray pants match the white and maroon pants. By far the most minor change needed, the gray pants just need to be updated to match the format of the other two. Remove the M-State logo from on top of the stripe on the left side and put one on the front left. IV. Add gray alternates instead of black. State has a silver helmet and gray pants. A gray jersey, with stripes matching the gray pants, only makes sense. It would look so much better than the string of black alternates do. IF they were to go back to a black jersey though, it should match the other jerseys, with white-maroon-white or silver-maroon-silver stripes. More like the 2015 version than 2016. Helmets for Mississippi State: Primary Uniforms for Mississippi State: Alternate Home Combos for Mississippi State: Alternate Road Combos for Mississippi State: Alternate Gray combos for Mississippi State: