"If my mother put on a helmet that wasn't the same as the one I was wearing, I'd run over her if she was in my way. And I love my mother."
- Bo Jackson
College football helmet designs have come a long way since the idea of the helmet was introduced to football.
Helmets started off as an after thought in football. Most of the college football games between 1890 and 1920 were actually played without helmets. They were the last part of the pads to be mandated.
At first, nearly all games were played in unadorned helmets that all looked the same. School logos and other designs were rarely used.
As the rivalries between schools began to intensify, colleges and universities began to hand-paint their helmets. It was part school pride, part strategy.
The theory was that simple colors allowed receivers to be distinguishable to the quarterback down the field while they were heavily covered. Quarterbacks have an easier time finding their receivers when all the players aren't wearing the same helmets.
It wasn't until 1948 that the first logo, the Rams horns, was painted on a pro football helmet. It didn't take long before every college marketing department took over and put school logos and mascots on helmets.
Forget their protective nature, helmets are prime advertising real estate for schools!
So, which schools take advantage of that prime real estate the best?