With the college football season starting in earnest Saturday, it’s time for a look at who’s up, who’s down, what’s hot and who’s not.
No, this isn’t about the Top 25 or the early Heisman Trophy hype, and don’t even start with the BCS nonsense yet. Fashion Week is about to get under way in New York, so why not a gridiron critique?
While the Fab Five gave us long, baggy shorts, college football players aren’t typically fashion trendsetters. Too many teams are stuck on that white jersey-white pants combination, and spandex and shoulder pads haven’t been in since the ’80s. Grass stains and mud aren’t on anyone’s list of accessories, and only Jesper Parnevik could love the combinations Oregon has been trying.
That doesn’t mean style isn’t important, though. Between the thousands of fans at the game and the millions more watching on TV, a whole lot of people are going to be giving these guys the once-over.
So let’s examine the good, the bad and the really ugly in college football fashion.
1. Michigan — Maize and blue and winged helmets. Enough said.
2. Florida State — While other schools experiment with shading and accent panels, the Seminoles leave well enough alone. As they should. Garnet and gold looks great on its own, in any combination. Plus, they have the best helmet in the game.
3. Harvard — The black-and-white stripe down the center of the helmet is nice, but nothing beats the school motto on the shoulders — in Latin. The Crimson can run over and educate you at the same time.
4. Texas — This is the only way to wear orange.
5. Louisiana-Lafayette — Simple in either red or white, with “LOUISIANA” in plain block letters on the front, but they work. There’s no need to be flashy when your helmet says “Ragin’ Cajuns.”
7. LSU — One of the few times yellow and purple look good together. The Lakers get the other pass.
8. UCLA — Powder blue and gold is a tough combo to pull off, but the Bruins do it with style.
10. Penn State — Sure they’re boring. They’re also old-school cool.
Honorable mentions: Auburn, Colorado, Fresno State, Mississippi, North Texas, Southern California, Virginia.
CFT: Former Penn State signalcaller Steven Bench joined the South Florida Bulls, he announced on Twitter.
CFT: The University of Nevada is honoring longtime coach Chris Ault, who stepped down in the fall, by renaming the school's football field after him.
Video: Football from NBC Sports
HBO Real Sports: Bill O'Brien
Penn State football coach and 2012 National Coach of the Year shares the challenges in turning around a program shattered by scandal. Real Sports premieres Tuesday, May 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
BCS title game
Pregame color, key plays and other moments from 'Bama's blowout win.
Check out the action from the postseason.
Check out which players were best of the best at each position.
Check out some of the college football cheerleaders from across the country.