Regarding the uniforms -- much ado about little

There were rumors on the internet on Monday that USC was considering a cardinal-jersey, cardinal-pants, black-helmet combination as an alternate uniform combination to be worn Nov. 26 against UCLA.

There is some truth to those rumors, athletic department officials confirmed -- but with an emphasis on the some and the rumors part of that phrase. And the specific colors mentioned in various reports Tuesday were not confirmed by anybody within the department. The gist of the message: USC annually looks into new special jersey combinations for alternative purposes and potential minor updates to modernize the uniform.

At this point in the process, the Trojans are doing just that, once again: looking into it, just like they looked into using black socks at last month's Coliseum at the Spring Game.

That measure earned rave reviews from the players, by the way, as a number of Trojans had pushed for a black-sock movement with the coaching staff over the last few years. Shortly before the end-of-spring scrimmage, Lane Kiffin told his players they would get the chance they had been hoping for with the accessory adjustment.

No decision has been made on sock color for the 2011 season, and no decision has been made on alternate uniforms for the USC-UCLA game in November.

While we're on the topic of USC's jerseys, though, it's worth a look back through the years at the different uniforms the Trojans have sported throughout their 122 years of football existence.

It started in 1888, with a black three-quarters T-shirt and white pants and no helmet. Those were added in 1915, by which time the top half of the uniform had been modified to feature a long-sleeved striped shirt.

The next major change came in the early 1950's, when a single bar was introduced in the lower part of the helmet and a diamond and stripe were added to it. At around the same time, USC made the switch to pants very similar to the ones it uses today.

A decade later the helmets were scrapped and adjusted entirely, becoming only cardinal-colored with numbers on the side. That's also when numbers on the sleeve of the jerseys along with a crescent stripe, the first of its kind for the Trojans.

Those stripes disappeared in the early 1970's. In 1972, USC began wearing helmets with a Trojan head decal and the stripes reappeared on the jerseys, taking the place of the numbers.

The helmet hasn't changed since 1972, save for one year -- 1992 -- when the team switched to a different, more elaborate Trojan head decal that was voted out at the end of the season. The rest of the uniform also didn't change until 2002, when the stripes were re-introduced and a USC logo was added to the bottom of the jersey's neckline.

That last adjustment was made by the late Sid Brooks, who spent five years as the team's director of equipment operations in the 2000's. The current holder of that role is David B. Scott.