Just like the talent on the field, when it comes to uniforms, the Southeastern Conference is top-to-bottom one of the best in college football. Probably the hardest to rank, the SEC features a collection of timeless looks, as well as a number of modern favorites. Taking each team's current home, road, and alternate looks into consideration, I've ranked the conference below:
1. Alabama (Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images)
Like the Big Ten, the SEC is about tradition. For all of the alternate and throwback uniforms that litter today's game, there's a reason that Alabama's look has remained virtually untouched since Bear Bryant roamed the sidelines: it's college football perfection. The Tide have opted for houndstooth collars for one game and participated in Nike's Pro Combat series for another, but have rarely strayed from such a timeless look.
2. LSU (Chris Graythen - Getty Images)
In 1954, UCLA coach Red Sanders gave his team shoulder stripes that he believed created a feeling of motion. LSU borrowed the design in 1957, and thanks to Nike's latest template, wear the famous UCLA stripes better than the Bruins. Outside of a single game in 2009, when LSU wore Pro Combat uniforms more fitting of the Washington Huskies, and another in 2011, the Tigers keep it simple by wearing white for every game other than non-conference home games. If the Tigers wore their purple uniforms more often, they'd have an argument to top this list.
3. Georgia (Dale Zanine - USA TODAY Sports)
Seeing that this list only takes current uniforms and alternates worn last season into consideration, Georgia's 2011 Pro Combat uniform cannot harm their standing. Outside of those, the Bulldogs have another one of the SEC's ageless uniforms. Updating the numbers from a standard block font were a plus, and recent updates in uniform technology have benefited the Bulldogs, as the team no longer wears cheap-looking mesh uniforms.
4. Auburn (Kevin C. Cox - Getty Images)
Although they sport another classic style, Auburn suffers simply because of the template that they wear. Take a close look at the bottom of Auburn's pants and you'll see that the Northwestern stripes are truncated for no other reason than the strange Under Armour template. Fixing this manufacturer error, along with matching those stripes to the helmet and jersey, would drastically improve the Tigers' outfit.
5. Ole Miss (Spruce Derden - USA TODAY Sports)
The Rebels' home uniforms are among the classiest in the conference and the Harvard Red and Yale Blue scheme compliment each other well, but having two different white uniforms and a nickname down the side of the alternate pants are considerable knocks against Ole Miss. I understand that simplicity is key, but Nike may have gone too far with the latest update.
6. Tennessee (Randy Sartin - USA TODAY Sports)
Using a unique shade of orange, Tennessee stands out in a conference of beautiful uniforms. Unfortunately, the Volunteers sucumbed to Adidas' Smokey Gray unifroms, wearing them in two heartbreaking losses during the 2013 season. Not to mention, the TechFit template the team wears looks as if they were run over by tires.
7. Florida (Steve Mitchell - USA TODAY Sports)
A slight change can fix a uniform, as would be the case with Auburn, or completely ruin another, as it did with Florida. When the team updated to Nike's latest template, they modified their number font to something more streamlined (although the casual fan probably didn't even notice). I'm not a big fan of the cursive font the Gators use on their helmets, either, and would much rather see the team use the helmet logo used with the 2009 Pro Combat set.
8. Kentucky (John Sommers II - Getty Images)
No matter if it's paired with a white or blue lid, the standard home and road uniforms worn by Kentucky are among my favorites. They're very clean and the blue and white visually pops. However, I'm not sure that the Kentucky Derby is a valid excuse to use a checkerboard pattern that is associated with another team in the conference. Pair this with the black and gray alternate uniforms in Kentucky's arsenal, the Wildcats were the most difficult team to rank.
9. Missouri (Dak Dillon - US PRESSWIRE)
Another difficult team to rank, Missouri was in desparate need of a makeover when it entered the SEC. The outcome was a modern, but classic home uniform, a flashy alternate, and road uniform that looks straight from the mix-and-match section of the Nike catalog. I love the sublimated tiger stripes on the home uniform, as well as the bright yellow alternate, but the set loses cohesiveness when anthricite was added to the road jerseys.
10. Mississippi State (Spruce Derden - USA TODAY Sports)
As was the case with Nebraska and Wisconsin of the Big Ten, Mississippi State and Texas A&M have two very similar uniforms. Both teams received a makeover from Adidas prior to the 2012 campaign, each as a nod to the program's past. The Bulldogs uniforms use a single ribbon stripe, while the Aggies use two thin stripes. Basing my rankings on alternate uniforms alone, Mississippi State's Egg Bowl and Snow Bowl uniforms were far more creative than anything Adidas has cranked out for A&M.
11. Texas A&M (Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports)
With former-Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel under center, Adidas used the Aggies as the posterchild for their latest designs. In fact, A&M wore black and dark onyx uniforms, as well as slate and razor wire helmets. So much for the standard home and road designs that honors 1970s-era Aggies. One advantage that A&M has over Mississippi State, however, is the use of the matte maroon helmet.
12. Arkansas (Nike)
Although the uniform design worn by the Razorbacks for the 2013 season was more fitting for the NFL's San Diego Chargers, I liked the attempt at creativity. Like A&M, the design was muddled with anthricite alternates and eventually scrapped. Arkansas most recent attempt is a latteral change, in my opinion, especially considering Nike has used the same template for Washington's rebrand and claimed that what they're calling Arkansas' tusks were a nod to Husky Stadium's roof.
13. Vanderbilt (Don McPeak - USA TODAY Sports)
Another team to receive an updated look prior to the 2012 season, Vanderbilt's uniforms are quite plain. The white helmets are absolutely beautiful, but as a team that constantly ranks in the lower-tier of the conference on the field, the Commodores should attempt to stick out more-visually than it does. I'm still confused as to why the alternate gold jersey has shoulder yoke, while the rest of the uniforms do not.
14. South Carolina (Streeter Lecka - Getty Images)
The Gamecocks seemed to be confused as to whether they want to be a modern team or old-fashioned. The white lid features a traditional stripe and a logo in dire need of an update, while the rest of the uniform uses random piping. South Carolina has also worn camouflaged uniforms during the past few seasons, and while the Wounded Warrior Project is a great cause, there's classier ways to commemorate the occasion.