Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2016-17 Season Review

Another year of Auburn Athletics has come to a close. Let's take a look back at the season by way of each program's uniforms.

auburn athletic uniform 2016 2017

One of the biggest additions to (almost) all the uniforms this season was the SEC's new Graduate patch. The SEC Grad patch was an initiative from the league office and commissioner Greg Sankey to put an emphasis on academics. The Arkansas football team was the first to try this out with a test run at the beginning of the football season. Come October, all the conference teams were sporting the new look for their athletes that have already earned a degree. Unfortunately for volleyball and soccer, these patches came out towards the end of their seasons, so none of their athletes were able to wear it if they qualified to do so. The remaining sports each had at least one graduate on the team sporting the new patch. Below you can find a collection of SEC Graduate patches for each sport.

Auburn SEC Graduate Patches

Baseball

The second year of the Butch Thompson regime at Auburn was not expected to be much. The media members voted that Auburn would finish tied for last in the conference before the season began. Then the Tigers hit the field.

auburn baseball throwback uniform
The throwback uniforms are always a fan favorite.
(photo via Wade Rackley, Auburn Athletics)
Auburn was 14-5 heading in to conference play, swept then #5 Florida at home, and quickly rose through the many college baseball national rankings. The Tigers topped out at #4 before struggling through the tail end of the season. A 7-game losing streak was the low point of the year and put the team in a hole they struggled to climb out of with the remaining games.

Even without sporting any brand new uniforms, there was plenty of uniform news for this Auburn baseball season. The beginning of the season saw the team heavily favor the blue and white hat that was typical saved for the pinstripe uniforms. The sans-orange hat was actually paired with five different combinations on the year. For the first time in over a year, the fan favorite and spectacular Auburn throwback uniforms saw the light of day. Unfortunately, the inconsistencies still existed from the last time they were worn.

Much like the Softball team, the Baseball program debuted a new batting helmet design this year. The new design featured an orange bill and AU logo that was to be paired with the matching hat. The old design with simply the white AU logo was worn with the sans-orange caps.
Of the eleven different combinations, four of them were brand new for the program. Auburn had previously worn blue tops on pinstripe pants, but never paired with the blue and white hat. The same holds true for the orange jersey and white pants combo. The Tigers paired the script Auburn orange jerseys with grey pants for the first time since the 2013 season, when the pants had a different design. We also saw orange tops and pinstripe pants for the first time this year.

auburn baseball uniforms 2017


Men's Basketball

A year that started out promising ended with disappointment for the Auburn Men's Basketball team. Although the team finished with a winning record for the first time since the 2008-09 season, it was hard to not wonder "what if?" A lot of talent, little chemistry, and a few key injuries derailed the promising season for the Tigers.

Last year we saw Auburn transition over to a new throwback-inspired uniform design. This year, they were tweaked a little and updated to the newest Under Armour template. Many of the tweaks were considered improvements - such as the full collar stripes - while some were downgrades - the AU logo on the shorts moving over and interrupting the side stripes. I personally believe that pairing the new jerseys with last year's shorts would be the ideal look for Auburn Basketball.
The new shorts were a little confusing for some, like Ronnie Johnson, who wore them backwards for a half against Boston College.
In addition to the updated uniforms, Auburn broke out a new set of alternates. These new unis featured Auburn's infamous Northwestern Stripes that Under Armour continues to apply to as many places as possible. The biggest aspect of these alts is the chestmark - this would be the first time ever that Auburn basketball had worn the university's nickname front and center on a uniform. The "Tigers" alternates debuted in the conference opener against Georgia, which resulted in a loss for Auburn.

auburn basketball 2016 2017 uniforms

The Tigers played the season on a brand new court design. Gone was the previous orange-dominate court and in was a blue-based, blue-surrounded court. This is the first design change of the Auburn Arena.

auburn basketball 2016 2017 court arena
A look at the new blue-based court design in the Auburn Arena (photo via Dakota Sumpter, Auburn Athletics)

Women's Basketball

For each of the last few years, I've added a new program to my uniform trackings. This year's team was women's basketball. Coach Flo's team was impressive a second season in a row, making two straight NCAA Tournaments.

auburn women's basketball 2016 2017
Auburn women's basketball had new uniforms this season
(photo via Anthony Hall, Auburn Athletics)
Much like the other Auburn athletic programs, things looked great for most of the year, and then a poor finish kept everyone wondering what had happened. After a promising non-conference schedule, the Tigers suffered a six game losing streak during SEC play. The Tigers looked to compete for an SEC Tournament title, but were bounced in the opening round by Georgia. North Carolina State ended Auburn's season in the NCAA Tournament.

Auburn broke out new uniforms this season, updating to the newest template from Under Armour. The new uniforms, like many other Under Armour items, heavily feature the Northwestern Stripes. Similarly to the men's uniforms, the women had an AU logo on the side of the shorts that disrupted the striping. For some reason, mainly because of the template, the striping didn't wrap all the way around the legs.

Even with the three new uniforms this season, the Tigers still wore a pink uniform that was multiple years old. I was told that the team expected Under Armour to send new pink uniforms, so they didn't order any themselves. So expect to see a new set of pink unis - possibly in the same design as the other uniforms - this coming fall.

auburn women's basketball 2016 2017 uniforms


Football

It seems like the theme for many of the Auburn sports this year was "what if?" And it all started with football. The 8-5 season was marred by the rotating quarterback position, especially in the opening game against eventual national champion Clemson.

Before the season started, many Auburn players were spotted wearing the Riddell SpeedFlex helmet, one of the new helmets designed to help limit impact and concussions. The 2017 A-Day game also saw another new helmet - the Vicis Zero1 - being worn by Will Hastings.

The Tigers were expected to wear treDCALs this season, a new addition to thigh pads that add a silhouette of a logo or number, but they never saw the football field.

Montravious Adams was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week in late October after his stellar performance against Arkansas. During the game, though, Adams's AU helmet decal was ripped off at some point.
There wasn't much new added to the football uniforms, other than a new compression sleeve design that was worn by a few players.

There were a few noteworthy sightings at this year's A-Day game. You can see a collection of tweets regarding these sightings here.

Auburn football 2016 2017 uniforms

Looking forward to the new season, Auburn will be fielding a football team for the 125th year. Will the Tigers mark the occasion with a special anniversary patch like they did for 100 years back in 1992? Details are here.

Soccer

A year after a historic and emotion-filled season, the Auburn Soccer team came back and bettered the last year. After reaching the program's first Sweet 16 and finishing the season ranked #12, the best ever, Auburn reached their first Elite 8 this past season, and was ranked #8 in the final polls. The Tigers racked up 17 wins in their 2017 season, breaking the previous program record.

auburn soccer 2016 uniform

The Auburn Soccer team was another program to debuted new uniforms this year, with these making tweaks to the design from the previous season. The Northwestern Stripe sash is tweaked to better reflect the true dimensions of the striping. The odd shapes under the arm and on the shorts are now gone, creating a much cleaner look.

2016 auburn soccer uniforms


Softball

After reaching the final game of the Women's College World Series last year, the goal for the Auburn Softball team was to win it all. With losing so much talent the year before, reaching the final series was going to be a challenge in itself. Unfortunately, and through more than their fair share of turmoil through the season, the Auburn Softball year was cut short after losing in the Super Regional round.

auburn softball helmet
The Tigers changed from orange facemasks to blue midway through the season
Softball received a whole new line of uniforms last year, so there wasn't much expected in that realm this season. Even with no new uniforms, there was still plenty going on the diamond for the Tigers. Auburn sported new batting helmets from game one against Oklahoma in Mexico. These new helmets featured a matte blue shell, orange highlights, and an orange facemask. The Tigers would change over to a blue facemask around the time conference play started.

auburn softball kasey cooper
Kasey Cooper wears the wrong batting helmet
(photo via Wade Rackley, Auburn Athletics)
Not all was well with the new helmets though. On March 2, against Liberty, the legendary Kasey Cooper was sporting the batting helmet from the year before. She would return to the orange-detailed new helmet the following day.

Kasey Cooper was subject of another uniform-related happening later in the season. Before the series finale game vs Missouri in mid April, Cooper mishandled a ball in warmups, resulting in a nasty black eye. To protect the eye and keep from having a repeat incident, she wore a protective mask for two of the three games in South Carolina.

Once post season play began, the Tigers were given another new batting helmet. The second helmet of the year was a glossy white lid, with blue highlights and a chrome-like AU logo on front. They looked better with some uniform combinations than others.

Casey McCrakin sporting one of the two new batting helmets
 this season (photo via Dakota Sumpter, Auburn Athletics)
Although there were no new jerseys or pants for the Tigers, Auburn did add a few new uniform combinations to the history book. Against LSU, Auburn paired the white tops with grey pants and white socks. They would later do the same but with blue socks against Ole Miss. The white jerseys were part of four different combinations, with the two mentioned, the typical white/white/blue look, and a new white/white/white look that debuted against Missouri in mid April. The orange jerseys were also part of four pairs, with two brand new looks - orange/blue/white worn against LSU in the SEC Tournament, and orange/white/white against Cal in Regional play.

The orange/white/white uniforms were part of a last minute change for the Tigers. Due to NCAA rules, teams must contrast in post season play, with the home team wearing light colored uniforms and the road team dark. Cal won the loser's bracket game to face Auburn immediately after. The Tigers were originally wearing all white and had to change to meet the rules.

auburn softball 2017 uniforms

Volleyball

I admit to not being a big volleyball fan, not understanding a lot about the sport, and not having paid much attention to Auburn's program in the past. But this year saw a new uniform style debut, and of course I was all over it.

auburn volleyball 2016
New uniforms for Auburn Volleyball this season
(photo via Dakota Sumpter, Auburn Athletics)
The volleyball team sported new jerseys that featured the Northwestern Stripes across the sleeves at the elbow. The weird part is that the stripes didn't meet on the back side of the arm.

The Tigers showcased a blue and orange version of these new jerseys. Auburn had a pair of shorts that matched the tops with the stripes - as seen on the team's intro video - but they sadly never wore them.

The volleyball team would finish the season 15-16 and missed out on post-season play.
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In Auburn Uniform Database news, this past season was another good one for the site. Even with the slower news regarding Auburn uniforms, the content that was available helped continue to grow the site and my personal Twitter account. The website surpassed 400,000 lifetime views just before the calendar switched over to 2017. Last October, my Twitter account passed 4,000 followers as well. Individual article views have been the highest they've been in the history of the site. And in personal news, I graduated from Auburn University, the greatest school in the country, in May. Don't worry, the uniform content will still be here with plenty more coming in the future.

The 2016-17 athletic season was a rollercoaster for Auburn Athletics. Great talent and expectations, losing streaks and bubbles busting. This past season was another success for this site, and I genuinely thank you all for your continued support.

Here's to hoping for a better overall season of Auburn Athletics and more continued success for the Auburn Uniform Database.

Enjoy uniforms and want to learn more? Be sure to follow the Auburn Uniform Database, like the AUD Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter for even more uniform news. Also, you can support this site by purchasing AUD t-shirts and other merchandise.

1 comment:

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