Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, January 30, 2012

Illinois Helmets

The Illinois football team may have a much different look when it takes the field in 2012. Already with a new head coach, Tim Beckman, the Illini could also have new helmets. According to Illinois SID Derek Neal, the team is displaying three helmets for recruits visiting campus.

Two of the lids are orange and have "ILLINI," not "ILLINOIS" as in years past, and one is in blue letters, outlined in white, and the other white, outlined in blue. A few other differences: The "ILLINI" is arched, there's no stripe down the middle and the font is no longer underlined (see the 2011 helmet). The final helmet is blue with a matte finish and an orange "I."

The combination of helmets and uniforms could be plentiful, as the picture above displays four facemask colors (blue, gray, orange and white) and a uniform glossary that shows three jerseys (blue, orange and white) and three pants (blue, orange and white). All together, that would yield 108 different combinations — assuming Illinois went with everything on the table.

So, can we expect to see one of these looks when the Illini open the 2012 season?

"While our coaches have been displaying those for recruits, those are just options we've been exploring for new helmets," Neal said. "No decisions have been made yet on helmet, uniform changes, or if there will even be a change."

If there is a change, I really hope Illinois includes the blue matte helmet. It's easily the best of the three. The matte-finish look is great and that "I" really pops. web editor Brent Yarina writes the Clothes Call features. Send him your Big Ten fashion tips here, find all of his work here and follow him on Twitter at @BTNBrentYarina.