Ranking Big Ten helmets

Submitted by m1jjb00 on May 20th, 2011 at 5:48 PM

The Omaha article ranking Big Ten helmets was linked by Rittenberg yesterday.  I didn't post this as a "Yeah, we're number one."  As the writer says, "It's obvious".  As for the others, I'm less of a fan of the plain like PSU or Nebraska, than others, but whatever.  What I found fascinating, however, is the stat that MSU has changed its helmet 16 times since 1960.  






May 20th, 2011 at 5:52 PM ^

Penn State #2, Iowa #3...IMO.

EDIT: Challenge flag... Big Blue? Credibility tainted.  Here's the list for people who don't want to click:

  1. Michigan – Obvious, right? Here’s the history of it for Big Blue.
  2. Nebraska – A clean, memorable look. That N is still a masterpiece of typography.
  3. Ohio State – With a full helmet of Buckeye stickers, of course. Chris Spielman style.
  4. Purdue – It’s hard to go wrong with gold, but I also like that fast-moving P.
  5. Iowa – Nothing else like it. Extra points for the “America Needs Farming” sticker on the back.
  6. Indiana – Liberace’s favorite helmet: The IU looks like a candelabra.
  7. Penn State – I’m guessing some will rank the Nittany Lions last.
  8. Michigan State – Its Spartan is no USC Trojan, that’s for sure.
  9. Northwestern – Good colors, but did a mouse nibble away at that N?
  10. Illinois – Illini fans must need to be reminded what team they’re supposed to root for.
  11. Minnesota – Hard to read the trapezoidal-looking M.
  12. Wisconsin – Let’s face it: The W looks like Clip Art.


May 20th, 2011 at 5:53 PM ^

Now I understand why Izzo said MSU has no tradition for its logo.  I wonder if people could use any one of the 16 logos commercially and not worry about TM infringement . . .


May 20th, 2011 at 5:56 PM ^

" MSU has changed its helmet 16 times since 1960."


This is part of the reason why there is no tradition at Michigan State, the only tradition they do have is having at least one member of the basketball team and football team suspended every season. 


May 20th, 2011 at 6:02 PM ^

Course, most of that MSU helmet swapping is just flip-flopping back and forth between a Spartan and an S.

Nobody asked me, but here are the 12 as I say they should be ranked:

  1. Michigan.  Duh.
  2. Iowa.
  3. Michigan State.  Yes, I'm being that way.  I like the Spartan logo.
  4. Northwestern.
  5. Purdue.
  6. Wisconsin.
  7. Minnesota.
  8. Indiana.
  9. Ohio State without weed stickers.
  10. Nebraska.
  11. Penn State.  I like the whole simplicity look, but that's the whole look.  The helmet by itself is so eh and gets its value only from what it does for the uniform.
  12. Illinois.
  13. Ohio State when loaded up with weed stickers.


May 21st, 2011 at 7:21 AM ^

I have to agree with you. There's something I find really satisfying about deep, dark colors, and I like the green they use on their helmets (but not so much the green on their uniforms, unless it's grass stains on their pants from being tackled). USC's color combination has always struck me as quite garish. Similarly, I like ND's colors when they play in that nice deep blue, and I think their helmets complement the uniforms nicely. And say what you will about Indiana's football program, but I love the trident. It's unique, better than a block "I" or spelling out the school.


May 21st, 2011 at 2:32 PM ^

I've been a cream and crimson fan all my life. My dad's an alum, and I grew up rooting for IU hoops under Knight. It's only the bright red I really despise. :-)

And I'll certainly agree that USC's helmet is iconic, if nothing else and if not quite to my personal taste. That's an interesting question, isn't it: which helmets do we like, and which do we find most iconic? Michigan has to top that list for pretty much everyone, don't we?


May 21st, 2011 at 4:03 PM ^

Ironically enough, that's where I go to school. Definitely agree on the crimson vs. the scarlet.

Also, I'm more of a "chalk" kind of guy, so the helmets known as icons are all my favorites, as I said above. I like that M hasn't had a significant helmet change in 70 years, so the PSU, Alabama, ND kind of helmets and uniforms all appeal to me.


May 20th, 2011 at 6:10 PM ^

1 UM   2 PSU  3 OSU  4 MSU  5 Iowa  6 Illinois  7 Minny  8 Purdue  9 Indiana 10 Nebraska  11 Wisconsin  12 NW

Zone Left

May 20th, 2011 at 6:26 PM ^


  1. Michigan.

  2. Nebraska

  3. Iowa

  4. PSU

  5. OSU

  6. MSU (I like green and white, but no consistency means a lower rank)

  7. Wisconsin

  8. Purdue

  9. Northwestern

  10. Indiana

  11. Minnesota

  12. Illinois (Just awful)

FWIW, Yardbarker published a list today. Michigan was number 1 followed by USC. Nebraska and Penn State also made the list at 15 and 17, respectively. My second favorite helmet: Alabama, which checked in at number 4. I just think the red with the number on the helmet is really cool.



May 20th, 2011 at 6:35 PM ^

1.  Michigan
2.  Penn State - Clean and classic
3.  Iowa - Hard as nails!
4.  Ohio State - Not all is wrong with the enemy
5.  Nebraska - Simple is good
6.  Purdue - Starting to enter the weak side of the bracket
7.  Indiana - Eh
8.  Minnesota - Does it still have a gopher on it
9.  Wisconsin - Used to be better before it got Lion-ized
10.  Illinois - eh
11.  MSU - Why do they call us Walmart when all of their gear looks to be from aisle 3.
12.  NW - Because it's terrible.


May 20th, 2011 at 6:41 PM ^

The Michigan and Iowa helmets are the only ones that consistently work for me.

I get (at least I think I do) why people are into Penn State's simple design, but for me it's too close to non-design in the guise of design, if that makes sense.  (It may not.)  Same idea, largely, for Nebraska ...


May 20th, 2011 at 6:47 PM ^

Girlfriends (who doesn't pay much attention to football) top helmets. This is sure to get negged but WTF, I'll post anyway.

  1. PSU
  2. IU
  3. Michigan
  4. NU
  5. Wisconsin
  6. MSU
  7. OSU
  8. Iowa
  9. Nebraska
  10. Purdue
  11. Minnesota
  12. Illinois

Louie C

May 20th, 2011 at 7:04 PM ^

1. Michigan

2. Michigan

3. Michigan

4. Michigan

5. Michigan

6. Michigan

7. Michigan

8. Michigan

9. Michigan

10. Michigan

11. Michigan

12. Michigan

'Cuz they spit hot fire.


May 20th, 2011 at 7:12 PM ^

Of course Michigan #1 it's tough for me to not like Iowa's helmets. PSU is classic yeah but I don't think the helmet is all that great until you combine it with their uniform the blend works really well.


May 20th, 2011 at 7:30 PM ^

Michigan State should clearly be last. Their helmet has a picture of a helmet on it. What would people say of our pants if they had a picture of pants on them?

Lloyd's Boy

May 20th, 2011 at 7:32 PM ^

I really feel like the Big Ten as a whole is pretty weak in the helmet category. But here it goes...

1. Michigan

2. Iowa

3. Purdue

4. Nebraska

5. Penn St. 

6. Indiana

7. Ohio (w/stickers)

8. Northwestern

9. Minnesota

10. Michigan St.

11. Wisconsin

12. Illinois


May 20th, 2011 at 7:35 PM ^

I have to give credit to OSU for their helmet.  I would say they are #2 behind us in the B1G in that department.  I like the metallic silver/gray color and the stripe is cool.  I don't like it as much when it is covered in those stupid buckeye stickers though.


May 20th, 2011 at 9:40 PM ^

Michigan is #1. The rest of the Big 10 is pretty whack except for Iowa. Around the country I like Virginia, South Carolina, Florida State and Texas.