Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Southern Miss Football Uniforms Recap

2017 was another hectic year for college football uniforms, and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles were no exception. After wearing four combinations in 2016 and only two in 2015, the Golden Eagles   never repeated a combo and wore the most uniform combinations in program history in 2017. A few of the records broken by USM's 2017 uniform season include:

  • The 8 color combinations broke 2009's record of 7;
  • The 13 total combinations broke 2011's record of 11;
  • The 8 different helmet designs worn broke 2011's record of 6;
  • The 4 different jersey designs worn broke the previous record (multiple seasons) of 3;
  • The 4 different pants colors worn broke the previous record (multiple seasons) of 3.


Going from 4 combinations in 2016 to 13 of them in 2017 required a good many changes and additions to the Golden Eagles' uniform lineup. Those changes/additions included:
  • The addition of gold jerseys and pants to the lineup.
  • A 1997 throwback uniform that was worn vs North Texas. 
  • Multiple throwback/new helmet designs:
    • The updated Golden Eagle logo was worn on the helmet for the first time ever; it was the first time an Eagle has been on USM's helmets since 2011; the eagle helmet was worn 4 times in 2017.
    • The 1980 helmet design was worn with the all-black uniforms in the homecoming win over UTEP
    • A "blackout" helmet design was worn vs UAB.
    • The 2015-2016 helmet design was worn three times throughout the season.
    • The 2003-2014 helmet design was brought back for the final two games of the season.

In total, 8 helmet designs were worn by the Golden Eagles in 2017, all featuring a shiny black shell and black facemask:


Ignoring the different helmet designs (since they all featured a shiny black helmet), Southern Miss wore the following 8 different color combinations in 2017:


Taking the helmet designs into account, the Golden Eagles wore a different uniform combination each game, totaling 13 on the season:


So, what were the best and worst parts of the uniform season for Southern Miss? My favorite combination that they wore this season was the Black-White-Gold combo, a classic look that they hadn't worn since 2010. The Black-Black-Gold combo that was worn against Charlotte was pretty sharp also. The worst color combination was probably the Black-Gold-Gold look in the opener; I like the idea of gold jerseys, but they really should be paired with white or black pants (as they were in the Independence Bowl.) I would've liked to have seen a Black-Gold-White combo, similar to the one they wore against Tulane back in 2009.

Other positive notes were the 1997 throwbacks, which looked cool for a one-time deal. The 1980 throwback helmets worn against UTEP were also a great look. The helmet design worn against UTSA was probably my favorite of the season; it featured the classic "Southern Miss" wordmark in white and gold with a solid gold stripe instead of the overly complicated one worn from 2003-2014 and in the last two games this season. It was also cool to see the new Golden Eagle logo appear on the helmets a few times.

Probably the worst helmet design worn by the Golden Eagles this season was the "blackout" helmet worn against UAB. Featuring a matte black decal against a shiny black shell, it basically looked like a plain black helmet from any distance. The second worst was the one worn against Louisiana Monroe, which featured the Eagle on one side and the player's number on the other. Asymmetrical helmet designs usually don't work, and these were no exception. I'm also not terribly fond of the helmet design worn in 2015 and 2016 as well as three times this year. I can understand not wanting the wordmark to be white since the black jerseys don't feature any white, but they should've just gone with a solid gold wordmark for that design.

As far as the jerseys and pants go, the Golden Eagles' current uniforms look much better than their first set (13-14) with Russell Athletic did. The white jerseys are great, but I'm not a fan of the gray on black numbers that the black jerseys feature. The gold jerseys follow the same template, but have some unnecessary piping. The pants are fine; I'm glad that they added white pants last season and gold pants this season to mix things up a bit.

Hopefully some of these problems will be fixed soon, as 2017 was Southern Miss's final season with Russell Athletic, who is getting out of the collegiate apparel business. The Golden Eagles will be outfitted by Adidas starting next season. I'm looking forward to seeing what design Southern Miss and Adidas come up with for the 2018 season.

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