Best and Worst Helmets from the Mountain West and AAC

BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 06: Boise State Bronco helmets are seen during the gamed between the Marshall Thundering Herd and the Boise State Broncos on September 6, 2019 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 14-7. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images)
BOISE, ID - SEPTEMBER 06: Boise State Bronco helmets are seen during the gamed between the Marshall Thundering Herd and the Boise State Broncos on September 6, 2019 at Albertsons Stadium in Boise, Idaho. Boise State won the game 14-7. (Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images) /


Best: H, 2015-2017

The white C with claw marks over it looks really good. On a black shell with a black facemask makes it look that much better. Red and white stripes down the middle break the black up and is a simple but good look.

Worst: I, 2015

Take a black helmet and randomly stick scotch tape all over it and you have an exact replica of this helmet. Seriously, it’s solid black with strips of a lighter black on it. It just doesn’t look good at all.

East Carolina

Best: I, 2016-present

Talk about great logos, this one is definitely there. Add in a beautiful all-purple look, which is another extremely unique look, and you have one of the best helmets in the country. And when the Pirates wear these in the chrome version? Unbelievable.

Worst: 1974-1975

East Carolina has never really worn bad helmets. These aren’t bad, just extremely plain. The purple shell is nice as usual, the ECU spaced out isn’t bad but isn’t great, but what really makes this the “winner” is how unbelievably out of place a gray facemask is with those other two colors.


Best: R, 2018-present

A modern version of the logo Houston has used since the 60s, the interlocking UH in white on a red shell fits like a glove. The white facemask on this helmet is substantially better than the red facemask.

Worst: September 16, 2006

Talk about out of place. It’s virtually the same helmet as the “best” but this has a cougar in the middle of the logo. You can barely tell what the lettering says, and the animal looks more like a bear than a cougar.


Best: J, 2015

I’m not sure if the stripes are supposed to be claw marks or what, but this helmet is sweet. The claw marks are a bright blue on a black shell with a blue facemask. Memphis has used different versions of this since, but this particular blue on black look needs to make a comeback.

Worst: 1988-1989

A tiger’s head on a giraffe’s neck? I think? No thanks. I’m assuming the Tigers are going for a Seattle Seahawks look, but its not at all working here. If it’s worse than having a Tony the Tiger lookalike in the early 90s, you know it’s bad.


Best: December 9, 2017

Yes, the Navy’s standard gold helmet is “the” look, but these are gorgeous. Look up pictures of the actual helmet, worn during the 2017 Army-Navy game, because the picture on The Helmet Project’s site doesn’t do justice.

Worst: December 4, 1993

Check out all of the special helmets worn during the Army/Navy game. This one is the most plain and boring of the bunch. It’s not bad by any stretch, definitely one of the nicer “worst” helmets you’ll see in this series. Just compared to, it’s not the best.

South Florida

Best: O, 2018-2019

Neon lime green isn’t the best, but man does it look good on a black shell. The green logo and facemask make this helmet really stand out from the rest. It shouldn’t be the primary look, but it deserves a second run.

Worst: D, November 19, 2011

One of the worst helmets in college football history was appropriately worn during one of the most boring games  in recent college football history, a 6-3 loss to Miami. Its just all over the place and gives zero indication which program it’s affiliated with. Although, that’s probably a good thing.


Best: 1976-1986, 1992-1996

The classic SMU look. Not quite the level of Notre Dame, Alabama or Ohio State, but it’s in that next tier. The red is a slightly darker shade in this than the current version. It’s hard to look at these and and not think of the death penalty.

Worst: G, 2015-present

The same white shell but the logo is a hard to see silver. Its also another case of so many other helmets looking so much better than this one.


Best: T, 1998-1999

Temple has never really had a great helmet, but they’ve also never really had a terrible one. The owl on the helmet should have lasted longer than it did. It wasn’t anything special, but its a cooler look than just the T.

Worst: I, 2013

The “Temple” font on a helmet? Not bad. The T logo on a helmet? Not bad. Both on the same helmet? Bad. It looks way too busy. The matte red shell is really nice, though.


Best: S, 2020-present

Let’s be honest, the angry wave logo is awesome. Its one of the best recent logo creations in any form of sports. That logo on a powder blue helmet with a green facemask may seem like it’s a little too different to mesh, but somehow it works.

Worst: 1970

The powder blue T inside a green football-shaped oval above a number is a lot to have going on. A gray facemask doesn’t help as it looks out of place. The logo by itself is fine, but it would have looked much better on its own.


Best: N, 2018-present

I’ve previously said black and red mix very well and this isn’t an exception. It’s all black and the logo is a hurricane warning flag. It might not sound that good, but when that hurricane warning appears, take shelter. unfortunately, it’s been a while since you could say that about the program itself.

Worst: September 29, 2012

Unbelievably plain. The “Tulsa” letters on the side aren’t anything special. It looks like something created on any computer program in 30 seconds.


Best: F, 2016

A golden knight logo for the Golden Knights. Of course it’s a great look. The design of the knight is hard to explain, but the way it looks on a black shell is fantastic. Another look where I’ll say: bring it back!

Worst: 1985-1994

Black letters on a black shell with a yellow Florida outline is not the best look. The letters are hard to see, except part of the C and most of the F. If the lettering was white, it’d be a great improvement.

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