The LSU Tigers men’s basketball team took the court in throwback uniforms on Saturday. The occasion has us thinking about our favorite LSU football uniforms of all time. So we begin by discussing the most incredible uniform in all of college football.
Favorite: Gold helmet, white jersey, gold pants
There will never be another football uniform that tops this iconic LSU uniform. Very few teams wear white jerseys at home, especially outside Florida. LSU has predominantly done such since adopting the gold helmet, white jersey, and gold pants combination back in 1958. The uniform is the brainchild of former head coach Paul Dietzel.
Dietzel coached the Tigers from 1955 to 1961 and served as LSU’s athletic director from 1978 to 1982. Among Dietzel’s many accolades, none are more significant than the football team’s tradition of wearing white jerseys at home. Unfortunately, NCAA uniform rules disrupted the convention from 1983 to 1994. However, Gerry DiNardo successfully appealed to the rules committee and restored LSU’s white-at-home tradition in 1995.
One must appreciate that LSU’s primary uniform remains essentially unchanged. Such is impressive, considering we’re in a day and age where countless uniform combinations is a college football norm. Minor changes include Nike shortening the shoulder stripes and modifying the font type in 2012. In addition, LSU’s names and numerals are in “58 font,” a font type designed in honor of the 1958 National Champion Tigers.
Runner up: White helmet, purple jersey, white pants
LSU’s white helmet, purple jersey, and white pants might be one of the best alternate looks in college football. Either way, the uniform combination is an example that, sometimes, minor uniform changes produce major aesthetic upgrades. LSU’s favorite alternate is patterned the same as their primary set but with an inverted color scheme. The helmet, jersey, and pants combo also tones down the gold.
The Tigers first debuted white helmets in the 1997 Independence Bowl vs. Notre Dame. The pale lids returned during the 2007 season, during which the university promoted Hurricane Katrina relief. Since then, the Tigers have paired white helmets and pants with purple jerseys in select games from 2015-17 and 2019 to the present. The combination remains popular among fans and recruits on official Baton Rouge visits.
Honorable mention: Throwback gold helmet, white jerseys, gold pants
LSU’s subtle helmet alteration with their primary uniforms is an outstanding look. Something about a gray face mask and helmet numerals screams ‘throwback.’ But, of course, helmet numbers are primarily associated with the Alabama Crimson Tide thus turning some fans ‘off’ on the look. LSU wore helmet numbers from 1956 until the tiger decals took over in 1972. The Tigers last donned the throwback helmet, white jersey, and gold pants in a game against Ole Miss in 2018.