Southeastern Conference


West Division

ALABAMA ARKANSAS AUBURN
"Crimson Tide" "Razorbacks" "Tigers"
Tuscaloosa, AL Fayetteville, AR Auburn, AL
LOUISIANA STATE MISSISSIPPI MISSISSIPPI STATE
"Tigers" "Rebels" "Bulldogs"
Baton Rouge, LA Oxford, MS Starkville, MS
TEXAS A&M
"Aggies"
College Station, TX

East Division

FLORIDA GEORGIA KENTUCKY
"Gators" "Bulldogs" "Wildcats"
Gainesville, FL Athens, GA Lexington, KY
MISSOURI SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE
"Tigers" "Gamecocks" "Volunteers"
Columbia, MO Columbia, SC Knoxville, TN
VANDERBILT
"Commodores"
Nashville, TN

Comments

Missouri and Texas A&M are new members of this conference in 2012; both will apparently use at least two new helmet designs in 2012 (one for each shown above).

Mississippi State has a new helmet design for the 2012 season (shown above).


Historical Helmets

ALABAMA

1969 1969 c.1950s - 1971 (some games);
1983 - 1984 (some games)
*see note 1 below
1960 -

Alabama has one of the smallest sets of different historical helmet designs for the period covered by this web site (1960 to present), and the team's current helmet design may qualify as the "oldest helmet design still in use" (at least among the Division I teams), though Notre Dame's current design would surpass it as the "oldest continuously-used helmet design" (since Alabama used different helmet designs in 1969 and has used white helmets during some games). The style of numerals worn on the helmets was somewhat different during the early 1960s.

White-shelled helmets were used by Alabama occasionally during both the 1960s, and in 1983 and 1984. According to information at the team's web site, crimson helmets were apparently first used during the modern era for a Bowl game on December 17, 1960 vs. Texas (white helmets had been used during the 1950s). Crimson helmets were then used for several years, but "at times during the 1960s, Alabama used white helmets on eligible receivers in games at night or when another teamıs helmet matched or resembled ours in color" - one report I have received indicates that this was done only for a single season (year unspecified) before an NCAA rule was instituted mandating that all players on each team use the same color helmets. There were also occasions during the late 1960s when the entire team team used white helmets. This was also the case during at least two games in 1971, vs Southern California and Houston; the Houston game was the last occasion when white helmets were used by Alabama until 1983. (Source: http://www.rolltide.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=8000&ATCLID=291762).

White helmets were again used for some games in 1983 and 1984. In 1984, white helmets were used for road games and crimson ones for home games, but this scheme was apparently not in place in 1983 - Alabama used white helmets during at least one home game (vs Mississippi State). Games at LSU, at Boston College, and at Vanderbilt in 1983 are three other known instances of the white helmets having been used in 1983.

*1 This design was apparently used during most of the 1969 season, but a report I received earlier indicating that the team had not used white helmets in 1969 has been falsified by the photograph below, which is from Alabama's 1969 game against Virginia Tech - it shows that Alabama used white helmets with the "100" logo during at least one game. The color of the football-shape is unknown (though it was in all likelihood crimson or red). I would appreciate a clear color photograph of this helmet design.

Additionally, it has been reported to me that the "100" logo was worn only on the right sides of Alabama's helmets in 1969 - the usual uniform numerals were worn on the left sides.


ARKANSAS

1958 - 1963 1964 - 1966 1967 - 1977
January 2, 1978 - 1994 1995 - 2000 September 10, 2011
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below *see note 3 below
2012 - 2001 -
*see note 4 below

Arkansas modified the razorback logo slightly for the 2001 season; you can see some minor differences particularly around the hog's front shoulder.

*1 White facemasks were first used in the Orange Bowl game against Oklahoma at the end of the 1977 season.

*2 The razorback decal was enlarged slightly but noticeably in 1995.

*3 Worn during the 2011 home game against New Mexico.

*4 First worn September 22, 2012 (vs Rutgers).


AUBURN

1960 1961 - 1965 1966 - 1978
*see note 1 below
November 28, 1981 1979 - 1983 October 6, 2007
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below
1984 -

Auburn began using the traditional "AU" logo in 1966 and has used it ever since; it is apparently the only helmet logo that the team has ever used. Auburn used large uniform numerals on the sides of the helmets through 1965.

During 1960, most Auburn players were wearing white helmets with a single darker stripe of some unknown color (orange would be my first guess, but I have no color photographs from this year); a few other players were still wearing a blue/white/orange/white/blue stripe sequence that had first appeared in either 1956 or 1957. The helmet numerals appear to have first been used in 1958, and they were unusually large even then.

*1 In 1960 most Auburn players were wearing this helmet design, but some photographs show a few players still wearing a blue/white/orange/white/blue stripe sequence that had first appeared in either 1956 or 1957. The helmet numerals appear to have first been used in 1958, and they were unusually large even then. 1960 was the only year that a single orange stripe was used.

*2 The Auburn team wore black bars (probably pieces of black tape) above the helmet decals during the 1981 game against Alabama, as a tribute to team members Alan Manley and Cary Condray, who were both killed in an automobile accident on November 17 of that year.

*3 This design was worn during a home game against Vanderbilt to commemorate the 1957 "national championship" team, which used helmets of this appearance.


FLORIDA

? - 1962? 1962 1963
1964 - 1965 1965; 1967? 1966
1967 1967 1967
1968 1969? - 1970? 1970
1971 - 1975 1976 - 1978 September 30, 2006
November 28, 2009;
December 5, 2009
October 30, 2010 1979 -
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below

Florida's helmet history during the 1960s is complicated by the fact that the team switched between blue and white helmets more than once, apparently in mid-season on at least one or two occasions, and helmet stripes were added or dropped frequently. The dates listed above for the mid- to late-1960 are for now very approximate.

During the very early 1960s, white helmets were used; each of these had a single stripe of some unknown color (I think probably orange) and numerals on the sides that were also of a color that I cannot yet identify (but I would guess that they were probably blue). By some point during the 1962 season, the numerals were apparently moved to the fronts of the helmets and replaced on the sides by "Confederate Battle Flag" logos, which were apparently used for only a short time - perhaps only a single game, according to this information I received from site visitor Bill C.:"In 1962, Florida put the Confederate Battle Flag on the side of their helmet for one game. That game was the Gator Bowl game with Penn State. Florida was 6-4 and Penn State was 9-1 and Penn State felt that playing Florida was a slap in the face since they were 9-1. Since Penn State felt that way Florida put Battle Flags on the side of the helmet to pump the team up. It worked when Florida won 17-7." Below is a photo of this helmet:

One person has observed that there appears to be something - perhaps a cotton boll - in the center of the "flag", while another has suggested that this may be the Florida state Seal, which appears at the middle of the Florida state flag.

At least three different helmet designs were used in 1967. During the first six games, the helmet logo visible in the photograph below was used; I do not know the color of either the "F" or the football shape that surrounds it, so I would appreciate some color photographs from this year. Two different stripe sequences were used with this design, a single orange stripe for the first two games, and a blue-orange-blue sequence for the next four games. For Florida's seventh game of the 1967 season vs. Georgia, the "F" logo was replaced with players' uniform numerals of some unknown color, probably blue, but perhaps black or some other color. The numerals were also used for the team's next three games.

Below is a composite of two interesting photographs that I received from a visitor to this web site showing a set of helmets on display at Florida. I noticed that these appear to be replica helmets rather than actual ones (due to their pristine, undamaged conditions), and I was rather surprised by the omissions. I would be interested to hear about other places (particularly college stadiums or other facilities) where such a chronological display of helmet designs may be seen. (Thanks Jarrett for the photos).

*1 This design was worn during the 2009 home game against Florida State and during the 2009 SEC Championship game against Alabama.

*2 Worn during the 2010 game against Georgia played in Jacksonville, FL.


GEORGIA

1962 (some games) 1960 - 1963 1964 - c.1977
*see note 1 below
December 29, 1991 1996 - 2000 October 31, 2009
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below
September 3, 2011 c.1978 - 1995; 2001 -
*see note 4 below

I am not aware of Georgia having used any helmet logo other than the traditional oval "G", and the earlier block "G" that was used during the 1962 season, during the period covered by this site (1960 to present). I believe this is one of the few teams for which the set of historical helmets represented at this site is complete.

*1 The red "G" logo was not used during all games in 1962. It is visible in photographs from games against Florida State and an unknown team in plain white helmets, but is not seen in photos from the Clemson and Florida games.

*2 This helmet design was apparently used by Georgia only during its appearance in the 1991 Independence Bowl against Arkansas.

*3 Black helmets were worn during the 2009 game against Florida played in Jacksonville, FL.

*4 The white stripe on the "2001 - present" helmet is slightly wider than that used in 1995 and earlier; I did not think the difference was great enough to warrant a seperate helmet image here.


KENTUCKY

1960 - 1961 1962 only? 1963 - 1968
*see note 1 below
1969 1970 - 1971 1972
1973 - 1974 1975 - c.1981 c.1981 - 1989
*see note 2 below
1990 - c.1992 c.1990 - 1996 1997 - 2002
*see note 3 below
'B'
October 2, 2004 2001 - 2010 2011 -
*see note 4 below
'A'
2011 -

In 2011 Kentucky used the following sequence of helmet designs: A-B-B; A-A-B; B-B-B; A-A-A.

Kentucky used both blue and white helmets in 2001 and 2002. The team first used the blue "UK" helmet for the team's fourth game of the 2001 season, a home match against Mississippi. The blue helmets were used for five games altogether during 2001: Sep. 29 vs Mississippi; Oct. 6 at South Carolina; Oct 20 at Georgia; Nov. 10 at Vanderbilt; Nov. 17 vs Tennessee. During the 2002 season, the blue helmets were used during these six games: Sep. 14 vs Indiana; Oct. 12 vs South Carolina; Oct. 19 at Arkansas; Nov. 2 at Mississippi State; Nov. 16 vs Vanderbilt; Nov. 30 at Tennessee.

During at least 1960 and 1961, white helmets were used; these had players' uniform numerals on the sides and a single stripe, both of which were of some unknown dark color (very probably blue; a color photograph would be appreciated).

It would appear that the team used plain blue helmets in 1969 - no stripes or logos are visible on the helmets in the two photographs that I have from that season. I do not have any color photographs, so it is unclear whether the team was still using the relatively light blue shells that were in use earlier.

*1 Apparently throughout the period when these helmet numerals were in use (1963 - 1968), they were worn only on the left sides of the helmets; on the right sides was a "wildcat head" logo (below is a close-up photo). The logo was unusually intricate for the time, with the cat's head apparently depicted in several gradients of some unknown color (perhaps gray or light blue) and with at least some black parts, and red or pink in the cat's mouth. I would greatly appreciate a large, clear color photograph of this helmet design.

*2 Blue facemasks may have not been used until 1983, but a switch to a relatively light royal blue color was apparently made when Jerry Claiborne became head coach in 1982.

*3 This design was used by the entire Kentucky team beginning in about 1993, but as early as perhaps mid-season 1990, Coach Bill Curry began rewarding his players for outstanding performances with the right to wear this design.

*4 This design was used during a home game in 2004 against Ohio.


LOUISIANA STATE

c.mid 1960s - 1971 1972 - 1976 1977 - c.1979
*see note 1 below
December 28, 1997;
September 29, 2007
November 28, 2009 October 22, 2011
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below *see note 4 below
c.1980 -

I have seen a small number of photographs from the year 1970 showing another possible helmet design for LSU - the "tiger head" logo appears inside a purple circle, with the letters "LSU" beneath the tiger and outside the circle. However, none of these photographs are from a game situation, and I doubt that this design was ever actually used by the team during a football game.

*1 Different styles of numerals than those shown on this helmet were used earlier during the 1960s; this "block" style was used from at least 1967 onwards.

*2 White-shelled helmets were used by LSU for its 1997 Independence Bowl matchup against Notre Dame. It had been reported to me that this design was also used during the October 5, 1996 game against Vanderbilt, but I subsequently received this contradictory report: "In 1995, new coach Gerry DiNardo petitioned the NCAA to let LSU wear its traditional white jerseys. The NCAA granted the request, but had one condition: the home team had to request permission from the visitors to wear white. Every team granted that wish in '95. In '96, Vanderbilt came to Baton Rouge, and they had been in an ugly separation with DiNardo, who was fired by Vandy in '94. To be difficult, Vanderbilt denied LSU's request, so LSU came out and wore gold jerseys with white numbers outlined in purple, and plain white pants. The headgear stayed the same"..."I am an LSU season ticket holder, and I was at both games." (thanks J.N.)

This design was again used during the 2007 game against Tulane "as part of a Nike promotion benefiting Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts".

*3 This helmet was worn during the 2009 home game against Arkansas.

*4 Worn during the 2011 home game vs Auburn.


MISSISSIPPI

c.1960s 1969 1970 - ?
? - 1978 1979 - 1982 November 4, 1989
*see note 1 below
1983 - 1994 1995 -

It is somewhat difficult to summarize the helmet history for Ole Miss, due to the fact that the team has apparently made several changes to the blue color used on the helmets through the years, and some of these changes were quite minor. For the purpose of this web site, I have lumped these color changes into just two shades, the navy blue of the current helmet, and a much-lighter "powder blue" that was used during at least two earlier periods. Based on photographic evidence, it appears that the helmets were a rather light blue color throughout the 1960s (with the apparent exception of 1969), the early 1970s, and from 1983 through 1994. The light blue color may have varied to some extent from one year to the next, as different mixtures of paint were used on the helmets. Darker helmets were used from at least 1975 through 1982, and from 1995 to present. The helmets used in recent years may be somewhat darker than those used during the earlier period.

*1 During the 1989 home game against LSU, the entire team wore the numerals "38" on the left sides of their helmets as a tribute to team member Chucky Mullins, who had suffered a severe spinal injury the previous week during a game against Vanderbilt.


MISSISSIPPI STATE

1951 - 1962 1966 - 1968 1969 - 1971
1972 1973 - 1977 1978
1979 - 1985 1986 - 1988 1989 - 1995
2000 - 2002 November 27, 2003 1996 - 2003
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
November 1, 2008 2004 - 2008 2009 - 2010
November 26, 2011 2011 - December 30, 2011
*see note 3 below *see note 4 below *see note 5 below
2011 2012 -

I believe this to be a complete set for MSU back to 1966, although it is possible that more than one style of numeral may have been used on the helmets during the 1966-1968 period. From 1963 through 1965, MSU used maroon helmets with a white "bulldog head" logo on the sides, and it is possible that more than one logo was used during this period. I have received a few different logos which may have been used on the helmet, but unfortunately no photographs sufficiently clear to show which (if any) of these is/are the correct one(s). Below are some of these logos:

And below are the clearest photographs I have received of the MSU helmets used during these years (thanks to everyone who has contributed these):

Obviously I will need to get some much clearer photographs of actual helmets from these years in order to draw this helmet accurately. These photos do appear to suggest that there is a white outline around the bulldog's head that is absent from some of the "interpretations" that I have received.

*1 This white helmet design was first used for MSU's appearance in the 2000 Independence Bowl against Texas A&M. It was subsequently used in games during the 2001 regular season vs Memphis, at Florida, vs LSU, and at Arkansas; and in 2002 at Oregon and at Mississippi.

*2 This design was used for MSU's 2003 game against Mississippi.

*3 Worn during the 2011 home game vs Mississippi.

*4 First worn October 1, 2011 (at Georgia); subsequently worn October 15, 2011 (vs South Carolina), and October 29, 2011 (at Kentucky).

*5 Worn vs Wake Forest during the 2011 Music City Bowl at Nashville, TN.


MISSOURI

1969 1958? - 1970 1971 - 1977
*see note 1 below
1980 - 1981 1983 - 1984 1990
*see note 2 below
1978 - 1979; 1982;
1985 - 1995
November 28, 2009 1996 - 2011
*see note 3 below
2012 - 2012 -
*see note 4 below

In 1969, Missouri used a version of the "100" decal that many teams used that year in recognition of college football's 100th anniversary. Missouri's version featured a dark-colored football shape with a light-colored outline and light-colored numerals. It appears to have been worn only on the left sides of the helmets, with players' numerals worn on the right sides. Below is a photo of the 1969 helmet:

*1 This design has been reported as being used at least as early as 1958. The 1956 helmet was similar, but lacked the numerals.

*2 The decal shown on this helmet was actually worn only on the right sides of the helmets in 1990, with the left side appearing as on the next helmet. This special decal contained text (not legible at this size) reading "*100* YEARS" (along the top of the football-shape) and "UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI" (along the bottom).

*3 Worn during the 2009 game against Kansas.

*4 First worn September 8, 2012 (vs Georgia).


SOUTH CAROLINA

1956 - 1960 1961 - 1962 1963
1964 - 1965 1964 - 1965 1966 - 1967
*see note 1 below
1968 1969 - 1974 1970 - 1974 (seniors)
*see note 1 below *see notes 1 & 2 below
1975 - 1981 1982 1983 - 1988
*see note 3 below *see note 4 below
1989 - 1998 1999 - 2000 2004
*see note 5 below
October 1, 2011 2000 - 2003; 2005 -
*see note 6 below *see note 7 below

In 1963, South Carolina used white helmets with an "SC" logo on the sides and with a single dark-colored stripe; I have no color photographs of these helmets, so I cannot yet determine the color of the "SC" or of the stripe (which are very probably either black or garnet/red).

During 1964 and 1965, two different helmet designs were used: a garnet-colored helmet with a white "SC" (different from the 1963 "SC"), and a white helmet with the same "SC" in some unknown dark color (I suspect garnet more likely than black). Neither of these designs featured any stripes on the helmet.

*1 On these helmets, the gamecock is clutching a banner on which is printed the phrase "Scholarship - Leadership", which is obviously not legible at this size.

*2 Coach Paul Dietzel awarded black helmets to his senior players during at least parts of the 1973 and 1974 seasons, possibly only for the annual games against Clemson. I have also received some photographs from games during the 1970 and 1972 seasons in which at least some USC players are wearing black helmets like this one, but without the stripe.

*3 The size of the logo may have varied somewhat during these years.

*4 The 1982 helmet featured an "asymmetric" stripe sequence: the white middle stripe was bordered by a red or garnet stripe on the left, and by a black stripe on the right.

*5 During at least the 1996 season, a "special teams player of the week" was "awarded" with the opportunity to wear a single, rather wide white stripe on his helmet for the next game.

*6 For South Carolina's 2011 home game against Auburn, some alterations were made to the teams' helmets: the interior of the "C" helmet logo was changed from black to a camouflage pattern, and the outline changed from garnet to black; also the middle black stripe was replaced with one having the camouflage pattern. These changes were made in support of the "Wounded Warrior Project", a charity benefiting wounded military service members.

*7 A mid-season switch to this design was made for the fourth game of the 2000 season. A slight widening of the garnet stripes may have been made for the 2001 season.


TENNESSEE

c.1950s - 1961 1962 1963
1965 1964 - 1966 1973
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
1967 - 1976 1977 - 1982 1983 -
*see note 3 below

Like several other SEC teams, Tennessee has used basically the same design for many years; I believe this set is complete for the period covered by this site (1960 to present).

*1 A black cross was added to the logo for the last few games of the 1965 season as a tribute to three assistant coaches (Charlie Rash, Bill Majors, and Bob Jones) who lost their lives as a result of a train/automobile collision which occurred in West Knoxville on October 18.

*2 The orange-white-orange stripe sequence was apparently used only during the last three games of the 1973 season.

*3 The orange stripe was narrower from 2004 through 2006, though I have not depicted the change here - such a change would be barely noticeable from the vantage point I use at this web site.


TEXAS A&M

1959 - 1962 1963 1964
1965 - 1971 1972 - 1977 1978
*see note 1 below
1978 1999 - 2003 1979 - 1998; 2004 - 2006
*see note 1 below
October 2, 2009;
November 14, 2009
November 26, 2009 2007 - 2011
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below
2012 - 2012 -

To the best of my knowledge, these are all of the helmet designs used by Texas A&M from 1960 to present.

*1 During the 1978 season, the two maroon stripes were present for all of the team's games except the Texas game and the Hall of Fame Bowl game against Iowa State.

*2 This design was worn during the 2009 game against Arkansas played in Arlington, Texas, and during the 2009 game at Oklahoma.

*3 A special helmet logo was worn during the 2009 home game against Texas; the logo added a "ribbon" to the traditional "aTm" logo as a tribute to the victims of the 1999 bonfire collapse which caused the deaths of twelve Texas A&M students. The text on the "ribbon" reads "1999-2009".


VANDERBILT

? - 1965 1966 - 1968 1969
1969 - 1972 1973 - 1975 1976 - 1978
1979 - 1983 1984 - 1985 1987
*see note 1 below
1986 - 1989 1990 1991 - 1998
'B' 'C'
1999 - 2001 September 10, 2011;
additional games 2011
2012 -
*see note 2 below
'A'
2002 -

During the 2011 season Vanderbilt used the following sequence of helmet designs: A-B-A; B-A-B; B-A-B; B-A-A; A (the last of these being the Liberty Bowl game vs Cincinnati).

In 1969 Vanderbilt used a version of the "100" college football centennial logo during at least two games (vs Alabama and Kentucky). I have very few photograph from this season and the extent to which these decals were used is unclear. In one photograph from the Alabama game the "100" logo is visible on both of the two Vanderbilt helmet left sides which are visible, while the star logo is present on the right side of a third helmet. A second photograph from the Alabama game shows the star logo on the right side of the only visible Vanderbilt helmet. A single photograph from the Kentucky game shows only the left side of one Vanderbilt helmet, on which the "100" logo is present. A black stripe also appears to be present on each of these helmets.

*1 The "73" was worn on the left sides of the helmets only during 1987 as a tribute to team member Paul Lomanto, who had worn uniform number 73 prior to his death that year.

*2 First worn September 10, 2011 (vs Connecticut); subsequently used September 24, 2011 (at South Carolina), October 15, 2011 (vs Georgia), October 22, 2011 (vs Army), November 5, 2011 (at Florida), and November 12, 2011 (vs Kentucky).