The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Assessing College Football’s 2013 Helmet Trends

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After a few years of wild, unruly uniform design, the NCAA has cracked down for the 2013. Let’s quickly mourn the loss of bizarro game day dress. Done. Ok. Here are the specifics:

“Jerseys must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, and be of one solid color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number.” [source]

What does this mean? Essentially, the NCAA wants clarity and legibility. So, gone are the days of really wild prints within numbers, insane font choices, and potentially bold patterns that compromise the integrity of the numbers. Does this signal an end to fun in college football uniform design? NO.

The helmet remains a free territory and plenty of teams are taking advantage. But despite opportunity for great variety, preseason reveals prove acceptance and adoption of two trends: matte black and chrome finishes.

Kicking off a season of coverage, Sneaker Report presents the best and worst of college football’s latest crop of helmets.

Nick Schonberger is Deputy Editor at Complex Media and a formerly a mediocre Water Polo player.

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