Love the Lid: Power Ranking All 120 College Football Helmets

Brandon Galvin@bgny3Featured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2011

Love the Lid: Power Ranking All 120 College Football Helmets

0 of 120

    What’s the one thing synonymous with football uniforms?

    The helmet.

    The helmet is the almighty magical link to the football uniform. Every player who puts on a football helmet feels empowered. Some feel invincible when they put that helmet on.

    The grand appeal to college football is the atmosphere. The raucous fans, body paint, cheers, fight songs, cheerleaders, bands, team colors and, of course, tradition. For many players, their alma mater means everything to them, perhaps even more than their professional team, if they make it to that level. So many incredible athletes have worn the following 120 helmets.

    From style and colors to athletes and tradition, let's rank all 120 FBS college football helmets.

120. Temple Owls

1 of 120

    Wow, the Owls have an awful helmet. The burgundy is fine, but the Temple font is terrible and has absolutely zero appeal to it whatsoever. They had awesome Owl logos during the ‘90s and even in the new millennium. What went wrong?


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Steve Joachim, QB

    Bill Singletary, OG

    Paul Palmer, RB

119. New Mexico State Aggies

2 of 120

    A poor helmet and very boring. The font is very thin for the “NM State.” The only thing I like that they did with this helmet was put the “NM” on top of State. So much more could have been done with this, though. It’s a shame too, because NM State actually had some respectable helmets in the past.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Charley Johnson, QB

    Devin Manns, RB

    Pervis Atkins, RB

118. Northwestern Wildcats

3 of 120

    Wow, can it get any more boring? This “N” looks awful. At least the one in 1979 looked good as a lower-case scripted “n” in purple on the white background with the purple facemask and purple stripe down the center. This current helmet is pathetic.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Pat Fitzgerald, LB

    Brett Basanez, QB

    Tim Lowry, C

117. Nebraska Cornhuskers

4 of 120

    Boring! I absolutely hate the Cornhuskers’ team helmet. There is no appeal whatsoever. The “N” looks awful. Move on!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Ndamukong Suh, DT

    Johnny Rodgers, RB

    Eric Crouch, QB

116. East Carolina Pirates

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    I don’t understand East Carolina. First off, I don’t understand the purple and gold—it just doesn’t flow well with a Pirate theme. Even worse, all the helmet consists of is “ECU” with a sword underneath it...except that you can barely even see the sword! Ugh.

    It’s actually frustrating. They need to do something more with this Pirate theme since it can be an awesome logo a la the skull and crossbones.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Chris Johnson, RB

    James Speight, RB

    Roger Thrift, QB

115. UNLV Rebels

6 of 120

    I’m not going to outright call the UNLV Runnin' Rebels’ helmets boring, but there’s just not much here. The UNLV font is decent, and I do really enjoy the silver-and-red effect. Still, there’ve been better helmets in the school’s past, and they should really incorporate something with Las Vegas on the helmet.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Randall Cunningham, QB

    Ickey Woods, RB

    Keenan McCardell, WR

114. Eastern Michigan Eagles

7 of 120

    Wow, it’s a shame Eastern Michigan has put together awful helmets this new millennium. The 1996-1999 Eagle with its chest out was the epitome of what every Eagle player feels like. How they could do away with such an awesome helmet is beyond me, especially for a silly “E”?


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Charlie Batch, QB

    Jason Jones, DT

    L.J. Shelton, OT

113. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

8 of 120

    I understand the Tulsa helmet—doesn’t mean I accept it. It’s rather boring considering they’ve shown a special helmet with a nice-looking hurricane swirl surrounding the “UT” for University of Tulsa.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Paul Smith, QB

    Howard Twilley, WR

    Jerry Rhome, QB

112. Washington Huskies

9 of 120

    The Huskies have terrible helmets all things considered. Why they don’t utilize the team mascot is beyond me. The Washington “W” is boring—always was, always will be. Move on!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Greg Lewis, RB

    Warren Moon, QB

    Steve Emtman, DT

111. Ohio Bobcats

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    The Ohio helmet is rather poor. The shade of green on the white is fine, but just saying “Ohio” is very boring. I don’t care if it’s similar to Clemson—the helmet with the paw print under “Ohio” from the '70s to '90s is far superior.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Dave Zastudil, P

    Taylor Price, WR

    Kalvin McRae, LB

110. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

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    The current Western Kentucky helmet is average. Nothing stands out. Yes, it’s better than the former helmets, but plenty more needs to be done with this lackluster helmet.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Virgil Livers, CB

    Dale Lindsey, LB

    Mel Mitchell, S

109. Miami (OH) RedHawks

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    Wow, what a disappointing helmet. The white and red is a fine color scheme, especially considering it's part of the team name. Yet with awesome potential logo, Miami does absolutely nothing with it. Let’s get a red hawk on here, people!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Ben Roethlisberger, QB

    Bob Babich, LB

    Paul Dietzel, C

108. Houston Cougars

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    The Cougars helmets are OK. It’s your typical “University” logo with the “UH” intertwined. How nice would it be to have a cougar coming through the “H," though? They could definitely spice this helmet up with some more flare. I like that they do stick with the symbol throughout, but the modernized logo is unnecessary.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Andre Ware, QB

    Wilson Whitley, DT

    Case Keenum, QB

107. Iowa State Cyclones

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    Iowa State’s new helmets are boring. Why they changed from the “ISU” logo with the cyclone behind it is beyond me. The red looks nice, but they reverted back to a traditional logo, which just looks boring now.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Troy Davis, RB

    George Amundson, RB

    Ellis Hobbs, CB

106. Central Michigan Chippewas

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    The current Chippewas helmet is the best in school history. It’s still fairly bland, though the yellow on crimson does look nice. The Chippewas logo could really use some spicing up, though.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Cullen Jenkins, DE

    Brian Pruitt, RB

    Dan LeFevour, QB

105. North Texas Mean Green

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    The current North Texas helmet is rather pathetic considering the team has such an awesome logo. The green is a nice shade, but just “North Texas” in white on the side? Please. Do something here!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Joe Greene, DT

    Abner Haynes, RB

    Brian Waters, OG

104. Maryland Terrapins

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    The Terps have had some decent-looking helmets throughout their history. The current helmet is one of the better ones. The red and white is nice with the stripe down the middle, and the script-looking bubble letters highlight the nickname.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jack Scarbath, QB

    Bernie Faloney, QB

    Boomer Esiason, QB

103. Utah State Aggies

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    What happened here? The Aggies had such great helmets in the '70s, '80s and '90s, yet now in the new millennium the helmets have been treated like trash. It’s a shame seeing a helmet go from good to bad.

    There is little appeal to this helmet other than the colors. The “state” inside the “U” would be a nice touch if you could actually read it!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Chris Cooley, TE

    Kevin Curtis, WR

    Kevin Robinson, WR

102. Baylor Bears

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    I appreciate the tradition of Baylor and that it constantly uses the “BU.” Still, I’d love to see a bear coming through the “BU” logo. The green and gold is synonymous with Baylor and always meshes well.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Mike Singletary, LB

    Don Trull, QB

    Thomas Everett, S

101. Kentucky Wildcats

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    The Kentucky Wildcats use an amazing shade of blue, though I could do without the “U” in “UK.” I think the standalone “K” was far more effective, though their Wildcat logo would be great to see planted on the side of the helmet.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Bob Gain, DT

    Tim Couch, QB

    Lou Michaels, DL

100. Connecticut Huskies

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    Boring, boring, boring! How UConn could have a poor helmet is beyond me. There’s so much they can do with the helmet, yet the Huskies take the lazy route and just use the “C” for now. At least give me the “UConn” love.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Brian Kozlowski, TE

    Dan Orlovsky, QB

    Donald Brown, RB

99. Buffalo Bulls

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    The Bulls have a rather boring helmet. I don’t completely hate the “UB,” but come on, we can do more with this! Even the previous helmet with the horn on the side looks far better than this. The best helmet of their history, though, was when the Bull was on it! Go figure.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    James Starks, RB

    Drew Willy, QB

    Trevor Scott, DE

98. Bowling Green Falcons

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    I hate the Bowling Green helmets. Maybe it’s because the Falcon isn’t used or maybe, just maybe, I always associate the color green with “Bowling Green!” I mean, let’s do something that makes sense for once!

    The 1980 helmet owns their current one and makes me forget all about the orange because I’m distracted by the killer falcon logo. I must say, though, guilty as charged, I like that my initials are on the side of the helmet...


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Brian McClure, QB

    Vince Palko, LB

    Josh Harris, RB

97. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns

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    The Cajuns’ helmet is rather boring, simply spelling out the name. I like the red—it works, of course. Of the few helmets in team history, the script white “Cajuns” looks far better, working well with the white stripe down the middle. The current one is just, well, there.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jake Delhomme, QB

    Charles Tillman, CB

    Ike Taylor, CB

96. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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    I must say, Wake Forest has some odd helmets in its history. At this point, its current logo is just refreshing after looking through its history. The simplistic look bodes well for Wake Forest. The black is always a crowd pleaser, and the “WF” looks nice too.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Aaron Curry, LB

    Brian Piccolo, RB

    Chris Barclay, RB

95. Kansas Jayhawks

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    The Kansas Jayhawks are one of my all-time favorite mascots and logos. Yet Kansas’ current helmets are terrible. “KU?” That’s all I get? Come on, go back to the Jayhawk struttin’ its stuff!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Gale Sayers, RB

    Aquib Talib, CB

    John Hadl, RB

94. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Ugh, another boring helmet. It’s really a shame when a team has a boring helmet, especially when you know they can do more.

    Rutgers has a fantastic team name in the Scarlet Knights, yet they do nothing to show it on their helmets. The helmet is where the team can shine as they drive their skulls into their opponent's chest. They had an awesome Scarlet Knight logo back in 1996, which lasted all of one season! Blasphemy!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Ray Rice, RB

    Deron Cherry, DB

    Paul Robeson, DE

93. Pittsburgh Panthers

28 of 120

    Is the Pitt helmet boring or what? We have a Panther as our mascot yet no panther on the helmet? Come on now! Let’s get our acts together and put some time and effort into making this a presentable helmet.

    How they ever switched from the panther to “Pitt” is beyond me. Work out a medium where you can get both on the side of the helmet.

    I must say, though, there are too many amazing Pitt players to just pick three.


    Top Players to Wear Helmet

    Dan Marino, QB

    Tony Dorsett, RB

    Larry Fitzgerald, WR

    Mike Ditka, End

    Mark May, Tackle

    Hugh Green, LB

92. North Carolina State Wolfpack

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    I’m not a big fan of the NC State helmet since I think it would be really cool to see them use the Wolfpack to their advantage to strike fear into their opponents.

    What I do like, though, to separate themselves from some of the other more generic helmets is they put the “N” and “C” inside the spaces in the "S." Now that I like!

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Mario Williams, DE

    Philip Rivers, QB

    Torry Holt, WR

91. Navy Midshipmen

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    I’m a fan of longevity, and I respect that the Midshipmen have been donning this helmet since 1986, but they need to do something about it. I’m a fan of the anchor logo to do something to spice up the helmet and add appeal.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Roger Staubach, QB

    Joe Bellino, RB

    Napoleon McCallum, RB

90. Stanford Cardinal

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    The "S" could be spiced up a bit and I could do without the stripe down the middle. The back of the helmet is indeed very nice though.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jim Plunkett, QB

    Andrew Luck, QB

    John Elway, QB

89. Missouri Tigers

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    The Missouri Tigers helmets are nice, simple and slick. The “M” with the white trim is the best they’ve used in school history. It would be even better for me, a huge fan of black and white, if they made the “M” white and used the colored trim to surround it.

    The black background is great to go along with the two stripes down the middle.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Kellen Winslow, TE

    Brock Olivo, RB

    Roger Wehrli, CB

88. San Diego State Aztecs

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    The Aztecs can’t seem to go wrong with their helmet. It always looks nice with the red and black. Plus, “Aztec” in general is just a cool word. It has a mystique about it. The current logo is nice and simple but done well with the spear around the “A.”


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Marshall Faulk, RB

    La’Roi Glover, DT

    Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, DE

87. Troy Trojans

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    The current Troy Trojans helmet isn’t nearly as nice as the one they used in the early '90s. The black base with white outline of a Trojan warrior was the perfect helmet for this team. Why they would ever decide to change is beyond me.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Osi Umenyiora, DE

    DeMarcus Ware, LB

    Levi Jones, OL

86. Boston College Eagles

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    I respect Boston College’s tradition, old school feel and willingness to stick by it all. Honestly, that’s about it. They need a soaring Eagle flying on the side of the helmet, badly.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Doug Flutie, QB

    Matt Ryan, QB

    Mike Ruth, Tackle

85. Marshall Thundering Herd

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    The current Marshall helmet is the best of the past 20 years, but that doesn’t make it very appealing. Although I respect the tradition here, plenty more can be, and has been, done with this helmet. I do like the darker shade of green, at least.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Chad Pennington, QB

    Randy Moss, WR

    Troy Brown, WR

84. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    The Yellow Jackets have one of my favorite logos in sports, which is why it’s so disappointing for me that the Yellow Jacket is not featured on the side of the helmet. The “GT” helmet is just boring and needs to be revamped with the supreme logo on the side.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Calvin Johnson, WR

    Billy Lothridge, QB

    Joe Hamilton, QB

83. UCF Knights

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    I like the UCF helmet, but I can only wonder how much better it would be with an actual Knight on it, or at least the current logo with the black background. Their current “UCF” font is easily the best in history, but the 1981 black knight logo coming out from behind “UCF” would look even better.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Daunte Culpepper, QB

    Brandon Marshall, WR

    Asante Samuel, CB

82. Tulane Green Wave

39 of 120

    I don’t really like the Tulane helmet much, but it all works very well. It’s all right there for you on the side of the helmet with the green “T” and wave behind it. It all makes sense and isn’t over the top or too simple. The green stripe and face mask is nice as well.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Shaun King, QB

    Patrick Ramsey, QB

    J.P. Losman, QB

81. Hawaii Warriors

40 of 120

    Hawaii has nice dark green helmets. The logo is slick, and the black face mask works perfectly. I always liked the Warriors’ uniforms, but think emphasizing the warrior on the helmet would be a nice touch.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Colt Brennan, QB

    Jason Elam, K

    Davone Bess, WR

80. Army Black Knights

41 of 120

    The Black Knights have an all-time great logo, yet they refuse to plaster it on the side of the helmet. Instead, Army boringly has a clean-cut gold helmet.

    Honestly, I’d appreciate it more if it was just the special black or camouflage helmets they wore last season, but even then, I still desire seeing their awesome logo. It’s a damn shame this helmet is so limited.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Doc Blanchard, FB/LB

    Glenn Davis, RB

    Pete Dawkins, RB

79. Brigham Young Cougars

42 of 120

    I like the color scheme of the BYU helmet, but it could definitely use some spicing up. Of their history of helmets, their current is my favorite with the darker blue and traditional “Y,” but I think they should do something to incorporate the Cougar into the helmet.

    Actually, maybe they should put a picture of men’s basketball star Jimmer Fredette on it...


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Ty Detmer, QB

    Steve Young, QB

    Jim McMahon, QB

78. UTEP Miners

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    My personal favorite UTEP helmet used the logo of the miner himself. However, I still enjoy the “UTEP” logo with the mining axe being used for the “T.” It’s creative and works very well to incorporate everything onto the helmet.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Ed Hochuli, LB

    Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR

    Quintin Demps, S

77. Wisconsin Badgers

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    The Badgers’ current helmet is the best of all the ones with the “W” on the side. At least this “W” has some pizzazz to it with the shadowing effect and larger than life appeal. Personally, I like the one with Bucky Badger on it—now that’s something I can root for!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Alan Ameche, RB

    Joe Thomas, Tackle

    Ron Dayne, RB

76. UCLA Bruins

45 of 120

    UCLA has a nice helmet. For them, I accept the script calligraphy on the side of the helmet since it adds style. I do think the current face mask would look better in blue or gold.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Troy Aikman, QB

    Gary Beban, QB

    Jimmy Johnson, CB

75. Syracuse Orange

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    I’m usually not a fan of solid colors representing a team, but since Syracuse doesn’t use the cute, lovable mascot on the helmet, I’d prefer the “S” to be removed and just stick with an orange helmet. The navy “S” and stripe down the center is just unnecessary.

    Plenty of all-time great talent has worn the orange—it’s difficult to pick just three.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    John Mackey, TE

    Jim Brown, RB

    Larry Csonka, RB

    Floyd Little, RB

    Ernie Davis, RB

    Art Monk, WR

    Donovan McNabb, QB

74. Idaho Vandals

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    Idaho has a nice, rather traditional-looking helmet. The “I” with the “Vandals” draped across looks very nice. The black face mask is always a fan favorite for me too. A well-designed helmet.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Mark Schlereth, OL

    John Friesz, QB

    Mike Iupati, OG

73. Purdue Boilermakers

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    The Purdue helmet is another clean-looking helmet that flows with tradition, as the helmet is rarely ever changed. The “P” looks good, and the double stripe doesn’t take anything away but adds to the helmet overall.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Drew Brees, QB

    Bob Griese, QB

    Rod Woodson, S

72. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders

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    Middle Tennessee has nice silver and blue helmets. The “MT” looks good, and they add the logo for extra pizzazz, which I always appreciate.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Kelly Holcomb, QB

    Tyrone Calico, WR

    Dwone Hicks, RB

71. FIU Golden Panthers

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    FIU hasn’t been around long, but it caught on quick, as it has now added the team mascot to the side of the helmet. The dark blue is a great shade and complements the gold well. Good work.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Chandler Williams, WR

    Antwan Barnes, LB

    Nick Turnbull, DB

70. Southern Miss Golden Eagles

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    I’d like to see the Eagle incorporated into the logo, but this is a nice, sleek, traditional-looking logo. The “Southern Miss” yellow looks great on the black background, and the double stripe works extremely well with the horizontal triple stripes next to the “Southern Miss” font.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Brett Favre, QB

    Adalius Thomas, LB

    Sammy Winder, RB

69. Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Of all the Minnesota Golden Gophers helmets, I prefer their current the most. I like the maroon helmet, and the “M” looks nice. All it needs is a little gopher popping its head out from above the “M!”


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Bruce Smith, RB

    Tyrone Carter, DB

    Laurence Maroney, RB

68. Illinois Fighting Illini

53 of 120

    Illinois currently boasts its best helmet in school history. They have a nice blend of orange, blue and white. The double stripe is nice down the center of the helmet, and the blue shadowing effect on the logo itself looks good.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Simeon Rice, DE

    Dick Butkus, LB

    Jim Grabowski, RB

67. Arkansas State Red Wolves

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    I normally don’t appreciate location-based logos, but Arkansas State, for a team with an awesome team mascot, does the “State” logo well. By emphasizing the “A” in “State,” it coincides well representing “Arkansas.” Of course, the black and red is excellent.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Tyrell Johnson, DB

    Stan Winfrey, RB

    David Johnson, TE

66. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    The Red Raiders have fantastic sleek helmets. The black and red is a perfect mix! The double “T” is a nice change from other helmets that use the location as the focal point of the helmet. I enjoy the current look without the stripe down the center, as it wouldn’t add any appeal to the helmet overall.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Graham Harrell, QB

    Michael Crabtree, WR

    Donny Anderson, RB

65. Oklahoma State Cowboys

56 of 120

    I’m not a fan of the Cowboys’ helmet. I wish they would incorporate a Cowboy into it. The Dallas Cowboys merely have a star on theirs; it would be nice to see these Cowboys utilize the mascot, Pistol Pete, to their advantage.

    Even so, I prefer the helmet they mix in from time to time with the OSU label in black with the orange trim over the OSU label in pure orange. I do like the white background though.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Barry Sanders, RB

    Justin Blackmon, WR

    Thurman Thomas, RB

64. Arizona Wildcats

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    The Wildcats helmet is decent. At least there’s a border around the “A,” and I like how it looks like there are three A’s to go along with the red, white and blue color scheme. This is a fine-looking helmet—not over the top, but not too boring.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Ricky Hunley, LB

    Tedy Bruschi, LB

    Chris McAlister, CB

63. Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Mississippi State is one of those teams that at least does something with its location promoting logo. I’d prefer a bulldog on the helmet, but at least it has some flare to it with the banner draping over the “M.” I like the switch to a white logo with the maroon backdrop and face mask.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    D.D. Lewis, LB

    Jackie Parker, QB

    Billy Stacy, S

62. Utah Utes

59 of 120

    The Utes recently made a change and decided to stick with the traditional look of old-time college football. It works, and I like it. The pure red is nice and of course fits in perfectly with the black and white trim. The logo is simple and effective with the tail.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Larry Wilson, DB

    Eric Weddle, S

    Alex Smith, QB

61. UAB Blazers

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    The Blazers’ most recent helmet combines everything into one. They have the “UAB” across the side of the helmet with the blazing dragon spitting hot flames from its mouth beneath it. Pretty cool.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Roddy White, WR

    Joe Webb, QB

    Bryan Thomas, LB

60. Ball State Cardinals

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    Ball State has had very nice helmets since incorporating the cardinal into the helmet in the '70s. I personally really enjoy the white-out cardinal on the red background.

    The current logo is far more modernized and sleek. Actually, it’s far more futuristic than just about any other logo. It looks good and separates Ball State from the other schools.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Nate Davis, QB

    Dante Ridgeway, WR

    Brad Maynard, P

59. Colorado Buffaloes

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    Colorado has very nice helmets, as they incorporate everything about the team: the colors, the location, the logo and the mascot. Actually, Colorado has always had nice helmets as I look back in its history.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Rashaan Salaam, RB

    Byron White, RB

    Kordell Stewart, QB

58. Colorado State Rams

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    Like the St. Louis Rams, these Rams share a similar helmet but with a nice dark shade of green. The gold horn looks great around the helmet, of course. The green face mask looks good too.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jack Christiansen, DB

    Cecil Sapp, FB

    Joey Porter, LB

57. Toledo Rockets

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    The Rockets have nice blue helmets and utilize everything about the team. The rocket is a great logo and is shooting out of the “Toledo,” which looks very good.

    The newest helmet with the black face mask looks better than the yellow one the helmet previously had, as the black doesn’t take away from the overall helmet.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Lance Moore, WR

    Dan Williams, DE

    Nick Kaczur, OL

56. Akron Zips

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    The Zips currently boast their best helmet to date. The mascot coming out of the Akron “A” looks great, as if it was “zipping” away. The shade of blue meshes great with the background as well as the face mask.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jason Taylor, LB

    Charlie Frye, QB

    Dwight Smith, S

55. Rice Owls

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    Rice has fantastic helmets throughout its history. Although I prefer many of the older ones with the owl on the helmet, the new-look “R” is a far different font than you will find on other college helmets. This adds to the appeal. The shade of blue is fantastic as well.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Trevor Cobb, RB

    Chase Clement, QB

    Jarett Dillard, WR

54. Oregon State Beavers

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    The current helmet is very cool. It encompasses everything. The black is nice, and the Beaver logo looks cool coming out of “beavers.” Overall a very nice-looking helmet.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Chad Johnson, WR

    Terry Baker, QB

    Steven Jackson, RB

53. Air Force Falcons

68 of 120

    I’m a huge fan of the Falcon as a logo, and although Air Force doesn’t use it, I still enjoy its helmets. The lighter shade of blue on the white fits appropriately with “Air Force.” It’s a great fit and one that doesn’t need to be changed.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Chance Harridge, QB

    Beau Morgan, QB

    Dee Davis, QB

52. Vanderbilt Commodores

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    Vandy always has nice, traditional-looking helmets. They’re sleek and never over the top, but they have just enough spark to attention. Their current helmet is nice, but I prefer the black background with the gold star outline and gold “V” inside.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jay Cutler, QB

    Earl Bennett, WR

    Bill Spears, QB

51. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs

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    Normally, I’d complain about the non-use of the bulldog mascot. In Louisiana’s case, I understand because the boot is synonymous with Louisiana. The state looks like an “L,” and the “T” atop the “L” looks very nice.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Terry Bradshaw, QB

    Troy Edwards, WR

    Willie Roaf, OL

50. Florida State Seminoles

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    Of the long list of Seminoles helmets, their current is my favorite. I like the red and gold scheme. Even better, I enjoy the logo. The logo adds extra intensity to the Seminoles. The logo has been around for 35 years yet still looks modern.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Charlie Ward, QB

    Chris Weinke, QB

    Deion Sanders, CB

49. Virginia Tech Hokies

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    The Hokies always have nice uniforms and helmets. The helmets have a traditional feel yet are still sleek with the white “VT” with orange trim on top of the burgundy. I’m glad they took away the unnecessary stripe down the middle of the helmet too.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Michael Vick, QB

    Bruce Smith, DE

    Corey Moore, LB

48. TCU Horned Frogs

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    The TCU helmet, and team in general, just makes me smile and laugh. The Horned Frog as a logo is just funny to me. The purple is bizarre, which adds to the appeal of the team. The best part is the bloated frog on the side of the helmet. Epic.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    LaDainian Tomlinson, RB

    Davey O’Brien, QB

    Sammy Baugh, QB

47. Duke Blue Devils

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    I love the Blue Devil logo, but the Duke “D” represents so much tradition that you just can’t complain about the simplistic white and blue helmet. A great and necessary fit.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    George McAfee, QB

    Ace Parker, RB

    Mike McGee, OL

46. Florida Atlantic Owls

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    The “FAU” logo looks pretty nice. The red, white and blue is always a nice touch, and I like the white helmet itself. I really like that the tips of the logo incorporate the owl wings.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Rusty Smith, QB

    Jared Allen, QB

    Chris Laskowski, LB

45. Virginia Cavaliers

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    I like the simplistic Virginia blue helmet, highlighting the “V” with the orange swords crossing at the bottom to represent the Cavaliers. It’s traditional and aesthetically pleasing. The current version is my personal favorite without the stripe down the center.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Bill Dudley, RB

    Chris Long, DE

    Heath Miller, TE

44. Tennessee Volunteers

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    I respect the Volunteers’ helmet for its tradition. The single orange “T” is synonymous with Tennessee, and therefore it must be a staple on the helmet. The helmet never changes much, which I respect, as they like to keep it simple and traditional.

    It’s incredible how many fantastic players have been “Volunteers.”


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Reggie White, DE

    Peyton Manning, QB

    Doug Atkins, DE

43. USF Bulls

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    The Bulls have an excellent helmet. They don’t need the bull because they use the horns perfectly to round out the tips of the “U.” Perfect. I always prefer the white and green to the gold and green for these Bulls.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Kawika Mitchell, LB

    Anthony Henry, CB

    Mike Jenkins, CB

42. LSU Tigers

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    A little LA Lakers, as I like to say. I like the LSU helmet. I like the mix of colors and the fact that they use everything about the team on the helmet. You have the LSU there with the Tiger underneath.

    This is one of the few teams that actually use everything to their advantage on the helmet. When the Tigers come to town, you know.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Billy Cannon, RB

    Glenn Dorsey, DT

    Tommy Casanova, CB

41. New Mexico Lobos

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    The Lobos have a very nice helmet. I absolutely love the logo, although I feel the red trim is unnecessary. I understand they wanted to put more red into the helmet, as the only red was the face mask. Once again, awesome logo—it shows this is a fierce and vicious team ready for battle!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Brian Urlacher, LB

    Don Perkins, RB

    Robin Cole, LB

40. Wyoming Cowboys

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    The Cowboys have nice white helmets spotlighting the black cowboy and horse with yellow trim. It’s a great silhouette look of the classic Wyoming Cowboys logo.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jim Kiick, RB

    Jerry Hill, RB

    Jay Novacek, TE

39. San Jose State Spartans

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    San Jose State has great helmets, and its newest is my favorite. The Spartans have now eliminated the “San Jose” to emphasize the fantastic Spartan logo striking his spear into the hearts of its opponents. Simply awesome.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jeff Garcia, QB

    Art Powell, WR

    Louis Wright, DB

38. Indiana Hoosiers

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    A simple yet effective logo and helmet, old school college football appeal oozes from this helmet. The logo reeks of college tradition. A very nice and clean-looking helmet.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Anthony Thompson, RB

    Antwaan Randle El, QB

    Pete Pihos, DE

37. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks

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    The Warhawks have a fantastic helmet. The white looks great with the crimson Warhawk on the side. The Warhawk is sleek, vicious, ferocious and intimidating—everything a football logo should represent. This is easily the best helmet in team history.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Bubby Brister, QB

    Marty Booker, WR

    Chris Harris, S

36. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    The Gamecocks have nice helmets with a good mix all around. The color scheme is great with the red, black and white. Even better, they use the gamecock in the middle of the “C” for Carolina. Everything is shown on the helmet, and you feel all of the tradition right there in front of you.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    George Rogers, RB

    Sterling Sharpe, WR

    John Abraham, DE

35. Kent State Golden Flashes

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    Kent State’s current helmet is by far my favorite in school history. The shade of blue is fantastic, and the blue “K” looks great in the middle surrounded by the “golden flash.” It has a mean streak on it with its teeth clenched and piercing beak. Great helmet overall.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    James Harrison, LB

    Jack Lambert, LB

    Joshua Cribbs, QB

34. Washington State Cougars

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    Definitely, definitely, definitely an awesome helmet! These Cougars actually have it right! They have everything you need on the helmet. Great school colors and the script “WSU” all attached to each other with the "S" and "U" resembling a cougar. Awesome!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Drew Bledsoe, QB

    Ryan Leaf, QB

    Jerome Harrison, RB

33. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    I actually appreciate the tradition of the Fighting Irish, even though I hate the team. The Fighting Irish scream college football at me. The immense tradition and old school flavor works well with the plain, gold helmet.

    Although I would like to see their incredible logo on the side, I still appreciate the old school traditional college football look.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Paul Hornung, QB

    Tim Brown, WR

    Johnny Lattner, RB

32. Florida Gators

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    Oh, the Gators. You can spot these Gators from a mile away. Personally, I’d love for them to stick the actual gator on the side of the helmet instead of writing it out.

    Still, there’s something about the orange and blue that makes it all work well. I always thought it would be interesting to see the face mask in blue or orange to match instead of the white.

    Picking just three players for this school is just too tough though.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Tim Tebow, QB

    Emmitt Smith, RB

    Chris Leak, QB

    Jack Youngblood, DE

    Danny Wuerffel, QB

    Steve Spurrier, QB

31. West Virginia Mountaineers

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    Of the West Virginia helmets, their current is by far the best. Although I would normally suggest using the Mountaineer on the side of the helmet, I really enjoy the crafty, jaded “WV” where they insert the “V” into the “W.” Well done.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Pat White, QB

    Major Harris, QB

    Dan Mozes, C

30. Memphis Tigers

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    Memphis always has awesome helmets because they utilize the Tiger mascot logo perfectly. The blue is a great shade, and the Tiger stands out, roaring from the Memphis “M.” Gotta love the Memphis helmet.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    DeAngelo Williams, RB

    Isaac Bruce, WR

    Dave Cainelli, RB

29. Southern Methodist Mustangs

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    The Southern Methodist helmets are awesome because they constantly highlight the great mustang logo. This is what football helmets are all about. The current red silhouette logo looks amazing with the white background and blue trim.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Doak Walker, RB

    Chuck Hixson, QB

    Don Meredith, QB

28. Fresno State Bulldogs

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    The Fresno State Bulldogs helmet is amazing. I love it. The mascot and logo is incredible. The red looks great. It’s all about that bulldog though!

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Trent Dilfer, QB

    Ryan Mathews, RB

    David Carr, QB

27. Kansas State Wildcats

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    The Wildcats have an awesome logo and plant it right on the side of the helmet for everyone to see. The purple logo on the silver background looks great and makes the Wildcat stand out. The current helmet is easily my favorite in team history.

    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Gary Spani, LB

    Josh Freeman, QB

    Terence Newman, DB

26. Louisville Cardinals

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    The Louisville Cardinals have one of my favorite sports mascots and logos. Louisville will make slight tweaks here and there, and they always work well, because they have one of the best logos in sports.

    I like both the single red stripe down the center and the current helmet with the double red and black stripe down the center of the helmet to complement the black and red cardinal logo.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Johnny Unitas, QB

    Chris Redman, QB

    Elvis Dumervil, LB

25. Cincinnati Bearcats

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    The Bearcats always have awesome helmets. The black, white and red is always a perfect combination of colors. The Bearcat logo is great, and I enjoy that it still looks like a claw while incorporating the Cincinnati “C.” I’m also glad the face mask is in black instead of white; it meshes better with the helmet overall.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Tony Pike, QB

    Mardy Gilyard, WR

    Brent Celek, TE

24. Michigan State Spartans

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    Although I’m not a big fan of green in general for sports, for some reason I can accept Michigan State’s darker shade. I love the Spartans helmet featuring none other than the Spartan himself. It is more refreshing than just the “S” for State.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Percy Snow, LB

    Plaxico Burress, WR

    Brad Van Pelt, LB

23. California Golden Bears

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    No matter what they do, I always seem to like the Cal helmets. I really enjoy the blue and yellow color scheme. Their current helmet is a simple script “Cal,” but for some reason, it works and appeals to me. Lucky them, or I’d blast them! I even enjoy the stripe down the center.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Tony Gonzalez, TE

    Aaron Rodgers, QB

    Russell White, RB

22. Texas A&M Aggies

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    Texas A&M has some nice crimson and white helmets, I must say. I always admired that despite the helmet simply boasting the school name and neglecting the mascot, Texas A&M made it work. The “T” being larger than life, with the “A” and “M” resting comfortably underneath the engulfing “T”—I like it.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    John David Crow, RB

    Dat Nguyen, LB

    Von Miller, LB

21. Arizona State Sun Devils

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    I always really liked the Sun Devils' helmet. The mascot just makes me smile and laugh every time I see it. The red and yellow is absolutely perfect. I like the red face mask. It all works well, which unfortunately cannot be said for some of the other teams’ helmets.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Terrell Suggs, LB

    Darren Woodson, S

    Pat Tillman, LB

20. Oregon Ducks

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    I like and respect the Oregon helmet. I like their shade of green and like their yellow “O” even more. The “O” is synonymous for me with Oregon, but I would love for the team to use their awesome mascot. I enjoy the simplicity of the helmet, though, considering the Ducks usually have some fantastic uniforms to go along.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Dan Fouts, QB

    LaMichael James, RB

    Joey Harrington, QB

19. Arkansas Razorbacks

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    I really like the Razorbacks’ helmet. The red and white is a great touch, as usual, but the white razorback is what separates Arkansas’ helmet apart from most of the rest.

    It’s also refreshing that the school decided to keep using the razorback throughout the helmet’s history. Thank you, Arkansas, for understanding mascot logos make helmets better!


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Darren McFadden, RB

    Lloyd Phillips, Tackle

    Bud Brooks, QB

18. Northern Illinois Huskies

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    These Huskies have great helmets. If you couldn’t tell by now, I love the black and red. I could do without the NIU, but I understand the inclusion. At least it looks nice! The Huskie looks great on top of it, and I love the all-black helmet and face mask. Awesome helmet here.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Michael Turner, RB

    Garrett Wolfe, RB

    LeShon Johnson, RB

17. Mississippi Rebels

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    We finally get to the Ole Miss helmet. This is another helmet that yells college football to me. The tradition oozes from its helmet, uniform and name too! I love the calligraphy of the Ole Miss writing on the side of the helmet. The color scheme is fantastic as well.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Archie Manning, QB

    Eli Manning, QB

    Charlie Conerly, QB

16. Western Michigan Broncos

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    The newest Western Michigan helmets are amazing. The tan and brown looks awesome together, and the Bronco is a fantastic, intimidating logo. The double stripe adds to the helmet instead of taking away from it. Overall, just a fantastic-looking helmet and the best one in school history.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Louis Delmas, S

    Jason Babin, LB

    Greg Jennings, WR

15. Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Penn State is one of the most widely recognized college football programs in college football history. Perhaps it’s the Joe Paterno factor and that his longevity fits perfectly with the longevity of the simplistic, yet effective uniforms and helmet.

    I’m usually not a fan of empty helmets, and with such a cool mascot as the lion and a fantastic lion logo, it would have been nice to see it used, but for the sake of tradition, I’m fine with leaving the helmet as is.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    John Cappelletti, RB

    Richie Lucas, QB

    Larry Johnson, RB

14. Auburn Tigers

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    Cam Newton has really made this helmet for me, and I’m not ashamed to say it. Now when I see this helmet, I think of pure athletic excellence. Yes, Newton did that for me, which is exactly why Auburn brought him in.

    The Tigers boast a nice-looking helmet with its navy and orange double stripe down the center with the cool AU logo on the side.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Cam Newton, QB

    Bo Jackson, RB

    Pat Sullivan, QB

13. North Carolina Tar Heels

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    Maybe it’s the Michael Jordan factor, maybe it’s the baby blue that I love so much meshing perfectly with the white and maybe it’s the cool NC logo that works well together. Actually, scratch the maybes and treat it as fact.

    The Tar Heels logo is awesome. This is currently their best helmet as well, and the dark blue stripe on the top is a nice touch. The program has a great tradition and a long list of fantastic athletes.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Lawrence Taylor, LB

    Julius Peppers, DE

    Dre' Bly, CB

12. Nevada Wolf Pack

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    The Wolf Pack helmet is awesome. They use a great shade of blue but use the Wolf Pack logo to their truest advantage. It’s a sleek, appealing and terrifying logo of the wolf. They use a great color to complement the blue and use the face mask to match.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Nate Burleson, WR

    Colin Kaepernick, QB

    Trevor Insley, WR

11. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Using the old school, generic letter technique, I actually do like the Bulldogs helmet. I love the red, white and black and think the “G” looks good. I also like the white stripe attached to the white face mask. With such an awesome mascot in the bulldog, though, I’d love to see the dog featured on the helmet.

    Picking just three Bulldogs would be too tough.

    Top Players to Wear Helmet

    Herschel Walker, RB

    Frank Sinkwich, RB

    Charley Trippi, RB

    Garrison Hearst, RB

    Champ Bailey, CB

    Fran Tarkenton, QB

10. Clemson Tigers

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    I’ve always liked the Clemson helmet and uniforms. There’s something about them that separates them from most of the other “Tigers” in college football. I’ve always loved the paw print on the side of the helmet—it really gives Clemson a unique sense of intensity and power.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    C.J. Spiller, RB

    Brian Dawkins, S

    Jeff Davis, LB

9. Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Iowa boasts not only one of the best names in sports with the Hawkeyes, but also one of the best logos. Iowa actually uses its mascot to its advantage with its helmet.

    They use the yellow and black perfectly, highlighting the Hawkeye in yellow in front of the black background. Even better, they tweaked the logo to have a fierce, ferocious and vicious look.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Nile Kinnick, RB

    Cal Jones, QB

    Duke Slater, Tackle

8. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Another simple, yet effective piece of artwork here that takes people back to the old school days of college football. Nothing outlandish here—it’s not needed for a program like Alabama. They let their play and tradition do the talking here.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Mark Ingram, RB

    John Hannah, OL

    Harry Gilmer, RB

7. Boise State Broncos

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    The Boise State helmet is simply awesome. They use a great shade of blue, and the orange fits well. The best part is the iconic Bronco linked to “Boise State.” This modern look is better than most others.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Jim McMillan, QB

    Kellen Moore, QB

    David Wilcox, LB

6. Miami (FL) Hurricanes

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    The U! The tradition of the Hurricanes is almost unmatched. Isn’t it crazy how they can just call it “The U” and we know exactly who they’re talking about—the Miami Hurricanes. For that, they simply need the orange and green “U” on the side of the helmet, and everyone bows down.

    Despite their current slump, “The U” will be back on top soon enough.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Vinny Testaverde, QB

    Warren Sapp, DT

    Gino Torretta, QB

5. Oklahoma Sooners

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    It’s simple but effective. It’s mostly all about the immense tradition of the school, but that’s what happens when you’re a winning program: People respect it. There’s just something about that red with OU on the side that every time I see it, I know there’s so much history and winning behind it.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Adrian Peterson, RB

    Jason White, QB

    Billy Sims, RB

4. Michigan Wolverines

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    Probably my favorite team, it’s a shame that this program has been down and out in recent years. Michigan used to be a dominant program, and there’s more than enough tradition here for me.

    I still adore the navy and yellow setup. The helmet just reeks of awesomeness with the yellow wing draping over the helmet. No matter how down this team gets, I’m forever a fan.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Tom Harmon, RB

    Desmond Howard, WR

    Charles Woodson, DB

3. Texas Longhorns

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    The Longhorns have one of the best uniform and helmet combinations in sports. The orange and white is a great mesh. Even better, the white helmet with the beloved Longhorns logo is perfect. So many incredible athletes have worn the longhorns in their lifetime, and the immense tradition oozes whenever you watch the team play.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Earl Campbell, RB

    Ricky Williams, RB

    Vince Young, QB

2. USC Trojans

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    One of the greatest programs in college football history, this helmet screams out college football for me. It’s simple, effective and still extremely powerful with that Trojan symbol plastered on the side.

    The amount of talent that has worn this helmet is absolutely remarkable. It’s one of the most decorated schools in history. Despite its recent struggles, kids still respect the program and are lining up to play.

    USC defines college football for me, and to pick just the three top players to don the helmet is next to impossible, so I’m adding to the bunch.


    Top Players to Wear Helmet

    O.J. Simpson, RB

    Marcus Allen, RB

    Keyshawn Johnson, WR

    Ronnie Lott, S

    Reggie Bush, RB

    Matt Leinart, QB

    Junior Seau, LB

    Lynn Swann, WR

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Ohio State ranks No. 1 for many reasons. First and foremost, the helmet is flat-out sick. There’s nothing that compares to it in college football. The school’s fantastic tradition is plastered all over it with its silver buckeye leaf decals acknowledging a player’s success.

    That is the best part of the helmet: the acknowledgement. We all love being rewarded, sort of like when you were in elementary school and the teacher gave you a smiley face sticker next to your perfect score. Ohio State rewards its players for the whole nation to see.

    The pure silver may as well be pure gold, as it is just a beautiful-looking helmet.


    Top Three Players to Wear Helmet

    Eddie George, RB

    David Boston, WR

    Troy Smith, QB