In honor of the College Football Playoff, it’s necessary we bring some attention to the coolest thing we’ve seen all season. In anticipation for the games, over the past few weeks social media has been flooded with new helmet designs for college football’s most popular teams. While traditionalist fans might be upset with the new designs, there are plenty of fans who love them. Without further delay, we gladly present the best of the best from the new designs.
Disclaimer: All other trademarks and/or registered logos belong to their respective owners. All rights reserved. These helmets are NOT manufactured and are NOT for sale. This is simple fan art.
The Clemson Tigers paw print logo is pretty well known these days, given the program’s rise to the top of college football’s rankings. While black isn’t one of the university’s primary colors, it provides a great “blank canvas” to place a big orange paw print all over the side, making it very clear.
Another helmet designed for the 2017-2018 College Football Playoffs, this helmet design emphasizes the purple color that many people outside of South Carolina tend to forget as being one of the main colors of Clemson University, in addition to the well-known orange. And instead of the white paw print on the side of the helmet, the traditional orange takes its place.
University of Oklahoma
As a promotional design for the 2017-2018 college football playoffs, this Oklahoma Sooners football helmet flip-flops the color scheme somewhat, with the red “blot” actually depicting the school’s Sooner mascot, and encompassing the traditional “OU” on the side.
Baker Mayfield edition
In December of 2017, quarterback Baker Mayfield became the third quarterback who played for the University of Oklahoma to win the Heisman Trophy over the past two decades. This helmet commemorates the Sooners’ newest Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, while keeping true to the original color scheme.
University of Georgia
When you see the University of Georgia’s helmet, in reality, you realize it’s just a red, black, and white version of the helmet worn by the Green Bay Packers, or even by Grambling University. But when you see this helmet, you’ll immediately know that the mascot for Georgia is the bulldog… even if the dog on the helmet has a bit more of a junkyard dog feel to it.
University of Alabama
You better be really careful when trying to change the helmet of perhaps the most legendary football program in all of America. Thankfully, this design stays very close to the essence of the current helmets of the University of Alabama Crimson tide, by keeping the players jersey number — and nothing more — on the side of the helmet, swapping the colors between the helmet and the number, and then applying a little bit of design to the trim itself.
University of Oklahoma
Combining elements of the second and third redesign of the University of Oklahoma helmet, this one ends up being a mirrored — and updated — version of the existing helmet: an all-white helmet with red letters, with different colors swirled in to bring more textural elements to the overall design. The helmet below is our favorite of the four Oklahoma redesigns.
Providing some accent to the current University of Oklahoma helmet, this design brings a little more depth to the red helmet and white “OU” letters on the side.
Most people recognize the iconic gold silhouette of the ancient Trojan warrior emblazoned on the scarlet of the helmet of the University of Southern California football team. But instead, this helmet pulls something of a reverse, with the Trojan warrior being blown up and drawn in scarlet, atop an all-gold helmet. It provides a nice contrast to the usual sea of scarlet that you’d see at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Imagine the deep sky-blue helmet with the sun gold letters spelling out the acronym for the University of California, Los Angeles getting something of a modern facelift. You still get the same blue helmet with gold letters that we’re all familiar with, but it’s layered on top of the paw of a Bruin, the fabled brown bear that’s the mascot of the University.
University of Texas
You want to talk about using the burnt orange of the University of Texas in a totally [email protected] way? How about this stylistic re-imagining of the Longhorns helmet, which stands in stark comparison to the all-white helmet with the burn orange steer that we’ve seen for so long now. The layered burnt orange on the helmet, combined with the black longhorn logo, gives this design a really unique design, without doing too much to the helmet that’s so widely recognized.
The best way to describe this helmet for the LSU Tigers is taking a something of a surrealist interpretation of the school’s mascot, and then adding in the school’s standard purple and yellow colors. The big feline predator eye on the side of the helmet does a great job of still inspiring fear in the hearts of opponents visiting Death Valley.
Conversely, this helmet design for the LSU Tigers looks like it comes straight out of the pages of National Geographic. There’s no two ways about it: the player’s face is coming straight out of the hungry mouths of a very artfully depicted tiger.
If you’re going to redesign the helmet for Rocky Top, you better come correct. With this interpretation, I think we’ve done just that. You’ve still got that recognizable “T” on the helmet, but with different shades of “Tennessee orange” giving more texture to the traditional solid orange we’re used to seeing. It’s a nice balance of keeping with tradition while giving it more of a modern facelift.
For decades under legendary head coach Joe Paterno, the Penn State University football team was about simplicity versus “sizzle.” They beat teams the old-fashioned way: by running the football down the throats of their opponents, and stopping them from doing the same. And their simple blue and white uniforms reflected that mentality. So in this case, we’re keeping the classic blue of the uniform and putting it on the helmet, and emblazoning the Nittany Lion logo on the heads of the boys who call Happy Valley home.
You could definitely call this a departure from the usual green helmet with the yellow “O” on the University of Oregon’s football helmets. The neon green might not necessarily match the school’s standard color palette, but Oregon has always been known for being a trend-setter in and of themselves with their football uniforms. Plus, the duck on the helmet itself is definitely different than any other graphical duck we’re used to seeing.
Notre Dame (1)
The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame University have been nicknamed “The Golden Domers,” thanks to the all-gold helmets the team has worn for decades. This helmet designs sticks true to the tradition, while keeping with the textural thematic applied to the one-color designs of other helmets.
Notre Dame (2)
This one has more of a “bright lights in the big city” feel to Notre Dame football helmet, even though South Bend isn’t anything close to a “big city.” But the lit up “ND” on the side of the helmet, combined with the gold streak near the ear hole, gives this helmet a very “primetime” look.
Why mess with a good thing? The stylized “OSU” across the top of Oklahoma State University’s helmet looks pretty cool as it is. So all that was done here was apply a little bit of a graphical treatment, in the form of a Cowboy silhouette, representing the school’s mascot. It definitely brings a little more life to the helmet, compared to the typical white or charcoal gray background it’s on.
As the saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s clearly what was in mind when this helmet was redesigned, as it’s simply flipping the standard blue with the maize stripes. It also looks like the horns near the stripe at the top of the facial opening are a bit sharper, although that could just be an effect of the reversed color scheme.
When it comes to answering the question of “What exactly is a Buckeye?,” this helmet basically says: “If you don’t know, now you know.” While still paying homage to the flower that is the Buckeye, the new logo on the helmet looks a bit more intimidating, given that it’s being designed with a floral logo on the helmet.
How about giving the red “N” on top the University of Nebraska’s white football helmet something of a medieval, “Game of Thrones”-type design? The “N” now looks like something you would see on the crest of a royal family, and you could just imagine that “N” on the black and red color scheme of a family shield.
To the players, alumni, and fans of the University of Miami, it’s simply known as “The U.” Given that, there’s just no way you could take said “U” off any of their helmet designs. So instead of subtracting, the new design adds on to the helmet; specifically in the form of adding Sebastian the Ibis, the school’s mascot, in the background of the helmet (in silhouette form).
When the University of Maryland started tinkering with different uniform designs over the years, the one thing that stood out the most was that people loved having the various prints of the state flag on the uniform itself. So while the main gold color might not match the university’s colors having the state flag print run right up and and down the middle of the helmet as the trim looks pretty slick.
Another one where it was better to not mess with a classic. The University of Iowa has the image of the Hawkeye (their mascot), which looks a bit like an eagle. In this case, we simply flipped the colors, making the helmet more of the standard yellow color, and the bird black. Add on a little bit of texture on the bird and the face mask of the helmet, and you’ve got a fresh new look.
We get that the mascot for the University of Hawaii is the “Rainbow Warrior(s),” especially considering this helmet is heavy on the “warriors” part, and maybe even more heavy on the “Rainbow” part. There’s the obvious rainbow all over the “H” on the helmet, while the design on the “H” of Hawaii is then placed all over the helmet itself. We don’t know if this is too busy, too colorful, too much, or some combination thereof.
Like their rivals over in Athens, the Georgia Tech is known for having the obvious “GT” on their gold helmets. To anyone who didn’t know otherwise, there’d be little to tell them that the school’s mascot would be a predatory wasp. But when you see this helmet, you quickly and clearly learn that the school’s mascot is an angry yellow jacket, as the school’s usual mascot symbol has been placed on the helmet instead.
Given the spotlight on teams with Native American mascots, this new helmet design was smart, in that it didn’t really do anything to draw the ire of anyone who thinks that this mascot could be construed as offensive. They simply took the spear you’ll usually see on Florida State University’s helmet, and provide more color shading and fading around it.
Same Gator(s), new surroundings. The University of Florida’s reptilian mascot logo remains the same on this helmet, but instead of the “Gators” that’s written on top of the current team’s helmets, you simply have the gator logo on top. Also, the orange helmet gets shades of blue mixed in for a little contrast.
Giving the University of California’s helmet design a more “neon” look, the designers of this helmet kept the standard “Cal” cursive text, and placed it in an enlarged neon-looking yellow layout across the entire side of the helmet. To help accentuate that Cal, the navy blue was lightened up a bit, and given elements of white to mimic the bright blue California sky.
Another helmet design that takes the current design, flips around the colors, and then gives it a little bit of a modern treatment. The yellow text of “Cal” is now the dark navy blue that was on the helmet, and vice versa. Add in some shading onto the yellow all over the helmet, and you have a great alternative to the usual Golden Bears helmet.
We’re not gonna lie, this is one bad ass bronco. The designers could have easily borrowed a design from a team like the Denver Broncos, but instead, they took the Bronco on the current Boise State helmet and somehow made it look even more intimidating, while keeping the same blue and orange color scheme. This is awesome.
Instead of trying to get too fancy with this redesign, why not take the existing helmet of the Baylor University Bears, and snazz it up a little bit? The green “BU” letters with the gold trim were updated by making the helmet black, giving it a more of an “army” or “combat” feel when juxtaposed with the green helmet it still sits on.
At first glance, you might think that this helmet is a major change from the current Auburn University football helmet. But if you actually look closely, you’ll realize that the redesign of this helmet involves little more than taking the orange trim around the “AU” letters, and flip-flopping it with the previously white helmet. It’s a clever way to keep the essence of the school, while making it look totally new.
Louisville (Lamar Jackson edition)
Quarterback Lamar Jackson for Louisville University was the reigning Heisman Trophy winner until December of 2017, when Baker Mayfield became the latest recipient of the award. So, this helmet commemorates Jackson’s selection from 2016, giving it a Louisville-version of the Heisman helmet that was also imagined for Mayfield.
Kudos to the designer of this helmet for not just taking the all-too-common triangular “Cardinal” symbol you see used by many teams, including the Arizona Cardinals, and keeping with that design. Sure, it looks very similar to the current Louisville Cardinal design, but with the white helmet, red trim, and gray filling, it provides a nice change-of-pace.