Will LSU Follow The New Uniform Trend?
by Cody Bellaire
May 01, 2014 10:52 AM EDT
Most university football teams wear white on the road, but LSU is not like most universities. The Tigers of Death Valley wear white for their home opener and every SEC home game.
The tradition began in 1958 when former LSU coach Paul Dietzel decided to try it out for no particular reason. The Tigers won the national championship that year and the tradition was born. LSU then proceeded to wear white at every home game, but head coach Nick Saban tweaked the practice into the current format.
But is that tradition now in jeopardy?
The hip thing to do these days is to break out new uniforms. Everyone loves a new look, and when Oregon unleashed its onslaught of uniforms in 2006, the demand for lighter, sharper, more durable and cooler uniforms became a must in the college football world.
LSU has never embraced this new uniform explosion, except in 2011 when it unveiled its Nike Pro Combat uniform for its game against Auburn. The majority of the LSU faithful loved the new look, myself included, but then again, the uniforms should not really matter.
New uniforms add another element for recruiters to pitch to prospective student-athletes in deciding where they want to spend the next three to four years of their life. If high school players actually put value on their future team’s uniforms in making such an important decision, they've already messed up. The uniform your school wears should not in any way affect your decision on where to play college ball. If that were the case, Wyoming wouldn't field a single player.
LSU does not rely on gimmicks to lure recruits, focusing instead on its winning tradition and ability to improve players as individuals and athletes. But I wouldn't be against LSU jumping on the new uniform train.
College football is a game of trends. From recruiting tactics to playing styles, coaches tend to follow the leader. The spread offense is a perfect example. Big 12 teams start throwing the ball on SEC defenses and — boom, you have Texas A&M throwing the ball all over the place.
Teams have to stay relevant. The best way to do that is to make sure you do whatever is working, uniforms included. New uniforms get people excited and bring a lot of attention to the school. Players get hyped about wearing the latest and greatest gear from high-profile companies.
I understand why schools get new jerseys every year and try to show off their new gear. Big programs like LSU do not need to generate more buzz, but it does help.
Could LSU follow other schools in the new uniform trend? Possibly, although the only reason LSU would hop on board is to make sure it does not fall behind in the latest trend. Because remember, all the cool schools are doing it.