On Monday, BYU set social media ablaze upon the release of their new alternate helmets. BYU has not wavered from their white lids since Bronco Mendenhall brought back the oval Y helmets following the 2004 season.
KSL’s Mitch Harper highlighted the possible 26 combinations of uniforms BYU has at their disposal heading into 2021 thanks to the updated lids.
BYU released royal and navy helmets that can either have gray, royal or navy facemasks.
I will give my top 10 combinations. Disclaimer- With more and more royal options, I am not a fan of navy. That’s a color reserved for Utah State. However, two navy combinations make the list.
Before you break out the pitchforks, these are just one man’s opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs. Frankly, these are all fantastic and it was very difficult to narrow it down.
10. Royal helmet, gray facemask, white top, white pants with royal trim
I am huge fan of the all-white uniforms with royal trim. I think they are one of the best uniforms in college football. Honestly, I still like it better with white helmets. The all-white look with royal as the name, numbers and stripes is just a clean, fresh look. I feel the royal helmet interrupts that a bit. However, it’s still a great look, especially with the gray facemask. This does not make my top 10 without the “GIFF” facemasks.
9. All navy everything
Normally I do not like monochromatic uniforms if it isn’t white and normally I do not like navy but this won me over at first glance. If BYU wants to have a “midnight” game feel and not do anymore black uniforms (some of hinted that the previous black uniforms have been retired), this would be an excellent option for a sort of “blackout” theme. It’s dark enough. It’s a crisp, clean look that positively amplifies the school’s second-best shade of blue.
8. White helmet, royal facemask, royal top, white pants
This is basically the classic home uniform now. It’s funny to me that just over a year ago, this was my favorite current BYU uniform. It’s still great but that’s just a testament to how many great new combinations there are. The Cougars in white helmets and royal tops with white pants is just iconic BYU. The chrome royal facemask has been an excellent addition to the kit that has been around for over seven years now.
7. Navy helmet, navy facemask, white top, white pants with navy trim
Again, navy is normally reserved for Utah State up in Logan. However, this look is nostalgic. It’s a call back to the 2001 team. The Cougars donned a navy dome with all-white road uniforms that season on their way to an incredible 12-0 start before finishing 12-2 in one of the most memorable seasons in BYU history. This uniform calls back to mind visions of Luke Staley running down the sidelines for a touchdown.
6. White helmet, gray facemask, white top, royal pants
The road uniform with royal pants is just a solid look all around. Between the gray and royal facemasks on this set, I favor the royal masks. However, it’s a clean uniform however you slice it. These should become a part of the normal road rotation.
5. White helmet, royal facemask, white top, royal pants
The white top and royal pants look is one of the best the program has to offer. This is shades of 1996 when Steve Sarkisian led BYU to a 14-1 season and a Cotton Bowl victory. The only thing it is missing from those sets is a black trim around the numbers. Either way, the royal facemask works really well reflecting off of the royal pants. That’s why it has a slight edge over its gray-facemasked counterpart.
4. White helmet, gray facemask, white top, white pants with royal trim
Where gray facemasks do belong is on the all-white sets. It’s a perfect opposition to the “blackout” crowd, going for the “icy” look. I still favor the royal facemasks in this instance but the all-whites with gray facemasks is as pure white as BYU can get. Imagine this set going against a blackout for Utah State in Logan next year.
3. Royal helmet, gray facemask, white top, royal pants
Frankly, I tried to find a way to get this uniform even higher on my list. There are just that many great options. The white top sandwiched between a royal lid and royal pants is sheer perfection. There is a wonderful balance between royal and white/gray on this set. I am really excited to see these in action. Perhaps the Cougars will flaunt these in Week 1 against Arizona in Las Vegas? Please?
2. All royal everything
It hurt a little to only put these at No. 2. After years and years of pining from fans, BYU finally came through with an all-royal look that includes a royal lid; and how magnificent it is indeed. If I had to nitpick anything, I would say the facemasks being pearly white would be absolutely stunning here. However, if you are going to go all-royal, just go all-royal. Royal is BYU’s best color and this is as flamboyantly royal as you can get. This will be one of the most highly anticipated uniforms in recent memory. Which game does BYU flex these beauties next season? My money is in Week 2 against Utah. What a beautiful contrast it would be to the brazen red of the Utes.
1. White helmet, royal facemask, white top, white pants with royal trim
Last year I declared these uniforms the best in BYU football history. If I had the choice between an all-white getup or all-royal, I think all-white just pops more on the TV. Really these and the new all-royals could be choices 1a and 1b for best current uniforms in BYU’s repertoire. I feel that this set compliments BYU’s royal color so perfectly. It just jumps off of the mostly-white canvas. It also doesn’t hurt that BYU has several big wins with this set already, such as a blowout win over Utah State in Logan in 2019, beating Boise State on their home blue turf for the first time, and the big win over UCF in the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl.
This could be one of those scenarios where once I see the all-royal sets on my TV or in person, they could jump ahead of this kit. It’s neck-and-neck.
However you look at it, BYU hit a home run with these new alternate helmets. Players and fans will enjoy mixing and matching a la the Oregon Ducks for years to come.