Ten College Football New Helmet Suggestions
By Jim Weber
With the college football uniform craze in full force, we've seen a lot of great alternate helmets already this fall. Appalachian State's throwback lids, Cincinnati's cherry-red matte helmet and Toledo's new look are among my three favorite.
Here are my suggestions for 10 more alternate helmets that would have recruits and fans drooling.
Let me start by saying Kansas' current helmet - "KU" in Trajan font - is an abomination to the eyes. It's time to go back to the Jayhawk logo helmet that the team wore during the early 1980s. And not only does Kansas need the Jayhawk logo back, KU needs it to be supersized.Have you ever seen the size of the Jayhawk logo on the floor of Allen FieldHouse? It's ridiculously large and yet, somehow, it works.
The same can be said about this eye-popping concept by designer Charles Sollars.
Last month I wrote about why Texas State should change its name from "Bobcats" to "Armadillos." I take it from comments like this that not everyone agreed with me: "The author is a moron. I feel dumber for having read this article."
Regardless of how you feel about that column, I think we can all agree an Armadillo alternate lid - like the biker helmet pictured here - would raise eyebrows across the nation for its boldness and creativity.
Heck, Texas State can keep the Bobcats nickname for all I care as long as the players run out of the tunnel one time wearing beauties like this.
First, let me say that I absolutely loved Navy's Pro Combat uniforms for last fall's Army game. Now I'd like to see the Naval Academy and Nike team up to honor the Navy pilots that are the best our armed forces has to offer.
As anyone that has seen Top Gun will tell you, fighter pilot helmets are incredibly badass. And just imagine how cool it would be if Navy's football team got customized lids like Tom Cruise's "Maverick helmet" from the film (bonus points if every Midshipman player got a tinted visor to go along with it).
I know the NCAA would never allow this, but in my dream world, the NCAA would allow each Navy player to have his own customized design and nickname like real fighter pilots. For all my problems with the NCAA, I would salute president Mark Emmert if he allowed this for an Army-Navy game.
If the Tigers ran out in these helmets for a night game in Death Valley, there might just be another earthquake at Tiger Stadium.
The "Eye of the Tiger" is already located at LSU's midfield but it would be nice to see the Tigers bring more flare to their helmet than the bolded "L-S-U" and small tiger logo. Engulfing the lid with tiger fur and putting the eyes above the face mask would be very intimidating and one-of-a-kind.
Crazier is always better in the world of Les Miles and these helmets would definitely be crazy.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is always one to think outside the box, whether it's with new Pro Combat uniforms or trying to schedule a basketball game with USC in Athens, Greece. (Get it? Spartans vs. Trojans in a second Trojan War).
But one thing Michigan State has yet to do is wear an alternate helmet that actually looks like an ancient Spartan lid. This beautiful concept by Sollars gives you the feel of a textured helmet from centuries ago and the mohawk down the middle just screams, "THIS! IS! SPARTA!"
I have a soft spot for the color orange and I love Florida's helmet but the script "Gators" is a little boring for such a cool school mascot.
Sollars came up with a great way to keep the helmet almost identical to its current look - but with an awesome new twist: Gator scales in the background. This would upgrade an already cool helmet and add the dimension of intimidation to them.
Come to think of it, these shouldn't just be alternate helmets. This should be Florida's fulltime helmet. I have a feeling current Gator players and recruits would agree with me.
The Longhorns haven't worn an orange helmet since the 1950s, and it's hard to argue they should since UT's white helmet is among the best and most iconic in college football. But wouldn't it be nice to just once see the colors inverted so that the Longhorn logo is white on a burnt orange background, like this concept by Sollars?
Ideally, Texas would throw a matte finish on the helmets (you can never go wrong with a matte helmet) and trot these out for a night game at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
Houndstooth is the unofficial pattern for the University of Alabama and the entire Yellowhammer state, as a tribute to the hat worn by legendary head coach Bear Bryant.
Alabama doesn't normally do alternate uniforms but the Crimson Tide are very big on tradition. What better way to spice things up than by breaking out the houndstooth to honor Bryant and also show off an eye-catching and completely unique alternate helmet? Alabama's giant script "A" logo is sorely underused and is like the cherry on top of this awesome concept by Sollars.
When we first posted this on our site in July, people lost their minds in euphoria over the gaudiness of this helmet.
Unfortunately, the helmet didn't turn out to be the real deal. Instead, it was a present that Auburn recruit Auburn recruit Jahmere Irvin received after attending a football camp.
Either way, it's an insanely in-your-face design. This chrome helmet makes Oregon's "liquid metal" chrome helmet look tame. But the helmet's also spectacular looking.
And let's face it, Gene Chizik is desperate for any kind of spark after an 0-2 start to the school. He should look no further than this chrome dome.
Yes, Chief Illiniwek has been retired after being deemed offensive and the school has moved away from its Native American logo, but can't the university and NCAA make an exception for this masterpiece?
The idea of a headdress wrapped around the front of Illinois helmet like a Native American chief is just too awesome not to use. It's also a heck of a lot better than the colossal bore known as its current helmet with the underlined "Illinois" logo.
The creativity, uniqueness and execution of this helmet concept are all perfect.
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