Top 10 Best College Football Helmet Stickers
10. Paw Prints (Houston)
We love the paw print logo in general that serves as Clemson’s helmet decal and helmet stickers plus Houston’s helmet stickers. The Clemson stickers can be a little bit of overkill, but we love the white paw print on the red helmet at Houston (Kentucky also uses paw prints, but only for the white helmet). The only problem? It’s not exactly original.
There were certainly plenty of helmet stickers to go around in recent years at Houston under Kevin Sumlin but it remains to be seen if new head coach Tony Levine will have the same success.
9. Ax Blades (Stanford)
The ax blades on Stanford’s helmets are great for two reasons: They’re intimidating and they give a nod to the Stanford Axe that is given out each year to the winner of the Cal-Stanford game.
We can’t rate them any higher than this because we think it would actually look much better if the entire axe was used as a helmet sticker instead of just the blade (the current sticker looks somewhat like a Monopoly piece) but we still give the overall sticker a thumbs up.
8. Warrior & Spears (SMU)
June Jones, who took over the SMU program in 2008, installed the
skull & crossboneswarrior & spears tradition for those Mustangs who stood out on the field after arriving from Hawaii. No, it has nothing to do with Mustangs or Dallas but no matter - one can never really go wrong with that iconic look that looks like a skull & crossbones.
That being said, it should be noted that it’s a good thing that the warrior & spears are being used to show good since the Mustangs - with their history of the NCAA death penalty - have experience with the sport’s evil.
7. Sledgehammers (Arkansas)
We would like to say that sledgehammers could be coach Bobby Petrino’s lasting legacy, but his legacy already is spoken for based on the way he left Fayetteville. But Petrino - who took over as the coach of the Hogs in 2008 - added the sledgehammer decals in 2009 as a reward for the most hard-working and prolific players.
We can assume that the sledgehammer is a metaphor for chipping away at what needs to be done each and every day. It certainly is a cool addition to a simplified helmet that was served well with a little extra sizzle.
6. Ship Anchors (Vanderbilt)
Oh, you didn’t know about the ship anchors given to those who achieve at Vanderbilt? Well, that’s because you were probably under the impression that none of the Commodores were worthy of being rewarded for good plays.
But we think these have been great additions to the helmet since, you know, under James Franklin players actually deserve them. Yes, you’ve heard that Franklin has changed the culture at Vandy for the better. And that’s true. But most importantly, you should see more ship anchor decals in coming years - a nod to Commodores, who are high-ranking naval officers.
The highest-ranking members of the Vandy’s improving football program certainly will be noticeable with this sharp look.
5. Fleur-De-Lis (Tulane)
The Fleur-De-Lis is a great logo that is just New Orleans to the core. That’s probably because many fans connect that logo to the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, who display the French symbol prominently on their helmets. As far as Tulane goes, the Green Wave play sort of like the old Saints; Tulane hasn’t had a winning season since 2002 and has had just two since going undefeated in 1998.
But what do we like best about this logo? It’s much better than the logo on the team’s helmets, which have a block “T” with a wave behind it. The decals, for their part, do a better job of capturing the better days of the New Orleans-based team that was a poor man’s version of Boise State in the 1990s.
Photo: Derick Hingle/US Presswire
4. Cajun Peppers (Louisiana-Lafayette)
One might think that Louisiana-Lafayette has been sponsored by Chili’s - the restaurant chain, not the pepper - when you see the helmet stickers given out. But the decals are actual hot peppers that fit in well with the school’s nickname, the Ragin’ Cajuns, and a oft-used logo that has a similar pepper as the apostrophe after the word “Ragin’.”
We defintely think it’s the most-creative helmet sticker, which also makes us want to eat some really spicy food and sweat it out down on the Bayou. It’s an all-around great look, even if it doesn’t have the same traditional feel as other helmet stickers.
3. Bones (Georgia)
The bones on the back of Georgia lids fit perfectly with the feel of the school. Its Bulldog nickname and live mascot, UGA, play such a big role in the school’s tradition from fan crying in support of their Dawgs. But the bones hold even more significance in Georgia football history.
Ex-UGA coach Vince Dooley came up with the idea after conducting football camps on European military bases with ex-Michigan coach Bo Schembechler. The military, of course, hands out medals for a job well done, so the newspaper said that Dooley wanted to do something similar for good play on the gridiron.
As a result, Dooley started handing out stars in 1971 - then given for a game-winning or game-saving player - and now has been widened to “football excellence,” according to USA Today. The star morphed into a bone with a white bone is give for the aforementioned and a black one for success in the classroom. What a great tradition.
Photo: Kim Klement/US Presswire
2. Tomahawks (Florida State)
While Florida State’s tomahawk helmet stickers are a close second on this list, they are No. 1 on a list of the most-intimidating helmet logos. Let’s face it, they are just awesome looking. What red-blooded American football player wouldn’t want to earn an axe on the back of his lid?
The stickers’ history makes it even more special. Stickers had long been handed out for achievements on the field but, in 1997, FSU started giving them out for academic achievements as well.
A focus on academics in college football? Shocking, to say the least.
Photo: Brad Barr/US Presswire
1. Buckeye Leaves (Ohio State)
What’s an Ohio State helmet without Buckeye leaves as helmet stickers? The whole thing is steeped in college football tradition so, when you see an OSU helmet full of leaves, you know that a player has earned his stripes, so to speak. Actually, players at Ohio State - much like other schools who give out the stickers - earn them for stellar plays on offense, defense and special teams.
But there’s something that makes OSU - which has adopted the leaves as its default decal - different in the helmet sticker world. It can claim to be the godfather of the practice as many believe helmet stickers started with legendary coach Woody Hayes and trainer Ernie Biggs in 1968 - even though some challenge that history.
Either way, this is Ohio State’s rightful spot on this list.
Photo: Phil Sears/US Presswire