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I must be completely upfront with you here. I’m a classics guy. I much prefer the simple, traditional look of uniforms and helmets to some of the new age flair we’re seeing now. Give me the plain look of Penn State over the flash of Oregon’s tops. Texas Tech has glittery helmets for fuck sake. That shit irritates me.
I also gave precedence to more prominent programs. This will make the list a little more relevant. There are likely some sharp looking helmets in some lower-tier conferences that I’m going to leave out, but that’s only because not many people care about them. Sorry. It’s just the truth.
10. Texas A&M
There’s something about the obnoxiously oversized “T” that gets me. It could be my Texas roots or just my admiration for all things proud and pompous. I dig it, though. Maroon is pretty bleh, but I’m looking past it.
9. Florida State
Of all the headpieces on my list, the one of the Florida State Seminoles stands out the most. It’s the only one with a little flair to it. I wouldn’t put it in the “busy” category, but it definitely has more going on than the rest here. The garnet and gold color combo works really well too, and the spear is intimidating.
The University of Arizona does have a football team, and they look sharp when they hit the field. The navy helmet is a good look, and the simple “A” in red and white is a great looking natural color contrast. They’re not lighting up any scoreboards in these things, though.
See Arizona. These two teams would hit the field against each other in a brutal knock-down drag-out pillow fight for the ages. The competition for best dressed might be more intense, though. Black and white on gold looks great, and the star is working for them.
6. Penn State
Boring, simple, and clean. I told you I appreciate the classics, and this helmet is a true college football classic. This theme transitions into the home uniforms, too: navy with white block numbers, white piping, and no names on the back. It just screams Penn State, and it is among the sharpest in the country.
The maize and blue winged helmet typically resides in the top 3 of similar lists as this one. The design was originally adopted to assist the Michigan quarterbacks in identifying their receivers down the field. Now, it’s synonymous with the rich tradition of college football’s all-time winningest program and just looking bad ass.
The bright white interlocking block letters against the rich crimson color just looks great. I’m sounding redundant, but it’s classic and understated. It doesn’t need to be over-the-top and flashy. Everyone already knows about OU football.
From all the love I give the University of Alabama football program around here, it would seem as if I’m a Tide fan. I’m not. I just give credit where credit is due, and Alabama has their act together in multiple facets of the game. The simple design of the helmet with each player’s number included is a great touch, and unique.
The University of Texas steer head logo is among the most recognizable in all of sports, and the burnt orange color is the only of its kind. Aside from its recognizable and unique qualities, it’s simple, sharp, and classic looking. Throw that white helmet atop the all-white away jerseys, and you’re looking at one sharply dressed football player.
1. Notre Dame
Iconic. Tradition. History. There are so many words that can be used to describe the Notre Dame football helmet. They are golden in color to resemble the university’s golden dome, making them the most recognizable piece of an athletic uniform, perhaps in sports history. To this day, Notre Dame still uses real 23.9 karat gold flakes in the paint. These helmets are unmatched.
Note: Alternate helmet designs not considered.