At the conclusion of this article, we will have trimmed our list from 64 to 16. But, before that, let’s take a look at the first round of the best college football helmets tournament. Through our second-round action, we will see five upsets and three double-digit seeds make it to the Sweet 16. Today, we break down our second-round games of the best college football helmets tournament with the results and unveil our Sweet 16.
Best College Football Helmets Tournament: Round of 64
Ann Arbor Region
(1) Michigan vs (9) Virginia Tech
We start off our second round of the best college football helmets tournament with two blue blood programs. There is arguably no other more identifiable helmet than the maize-and-blue winged design. Comparatively, the VT across the helmet has been a big part of the Hokie uniform since 1983. But, the classic Maive-and-Blue are the victors here.
The simplicity of the lightning bolt on the Air Force Academy helmet is very traditional. And, if you think about that on the backdrop of the white helmet, it’s very fitting. Purdue is fresh off their upset of South Carolina in the first round but it’s not enough to hold off the Falcons.
Winner: Air Force
This is a very interesting matchup between two polar opposites. Besides the fact that one school is in the Pacific Northwest and the other is in the deep south, the approach is so different. Oregon is very trendy and changes helmet designs more than any team in the country. However, the G for the Georgia helmet is very definable. But, the knockoff of the Green Bay Packers helmet dings them from an originality perspective.
As nice as the black and gold of the Colorado helmet is, it seems that it would be perfect without the CU in the middle of the Buffalo logo. Conversely, we have the blue Gators written on the helmet for Florida. Maybe it’s just the tradition of the program but blue on orange works here.
It’s hard to get to more of a face of a program than the iconic Longhorn on the Texas helmets. The “Hook Em Horns” mantra is derived from this design. On the other side of this matchup, we have our top bird design in the country. The Hawkeye on the full black helmet is one of the most underrated designs we have. Many of our voters felt the same way as Iowa turns in our biggest upset of the tournament.
Gold and Blue just goes together, doesn’t it? There have been subtle improvements made to the helmet with the addition of the UCLA in the ’70s and to the addition of making the letters bolder. Luckily for SMU, the death penalty didn’t seem their fashion. And, the galloping horse has the Mustangs riding into the Sweet 16.
Alabama likes to stick with what works. And, the number on the helmet has worked for the Crimson Tide since 1960. Even though other teams have adopted the number style only Alabama has stayed consistent with that design over the last 59 years. Much in the same way, the Tennessee helmet has stayed consistent with the “Single T” helmet design since 1964. This is just a matter of personal preference and our voting community prefers the Tide.
Let’s face it, the Beaver doesn’t evoke any sort of intimidation factor in it. But, at least the Halloween color theme is awesome. Comparatively, there’s really not a good segway from Halloween colors to the Army helmet. But, the Cadets let the simple and traditional look do their talking with their design.
Coral Gables Region
We have an ACC Conference matchup in the second round of the Coral Gables region. First, we have Miami with iconic U with one side orange and the other side green. When you think of Miami, the first thing you think of is the U. Meanwhile, for Virginia, they have moved their helmet designs around so much that they don’t have a true identity.
Winner: Miami, Fl
Whether it has been the Sun Devil himself, the pitchfork, or the Sun Devil holding the pitchfork there is an unmistakable trademark of the Arizona State program. The Tulane helmets are odd. The fact that the mascot is a green wave is interesting in its own right. But, what other programs can lay claim that they have an angry wave on their helmet? Unfortunately, for Tulane fans, the originality wasn’t enough to get them over the finish line.
Winner: Arizona State
Traditional powers at it’s best here in the second round of the best college football helmets tournament. Two of the most iconic programs in the country battle it out in the second round. The Scarlet and Gray versus the Crimson and Cream. The interlocking O and U against the traditional gray helmet with the Buckeyes on the back. Unfortunately, one of these teams is eliminated here too early as the Buckeyes head into the Sweet 16.
Winner: Ohio State
Both of these helmets are very similar. For Navy, we have the basic Gold helmet that’s very similar to Army and Notre Dame with no design. It’s just the classic blue facemask. Then, for Florida State, we have the classic Garnet and Gold with the tomahawk on the side. Even though the rooting interest may have been with the Midshipmen, the Seminoles take the win here.
Winner: Florida State
Baton Rouge Region
LSU is the unquestioned Purple and Gold of college football. With Mike, the Tiger being one of the best live mascots in the game the Tiger emblem below the LSU has been a huge part of the uniform in Baton Rouge. On the other side, that’s a pretty intense little bird staring at you from the Louisville helmet. The new version of the helmet with the white cardinal behind the red helmet was enough to pull off the enormous upset here.
Here we have a pair of traditional SEC helmets squaring off for a chance to make it into the Sweet 16. Even though Mississippi has come to the table with fresh new designs, we’re always going to get the cursive Ole Miss. Conversely, Auburn has had the same look since 1969. The colors for both teams are very similar but the traditional look of the Tigers win out here.
Outside of perhaps Michigan and Miami, the golden domes are an unmistakable part of the Notre Dame tradition. Other teams have gold helmets but the Fighting Irish gold always seems to shine a little brighter. Then, we have Colorado State with a little gold of their own in the green and gold. And, if you want to have a Ram as your mascot, you better have those Ram horns on your helmet. Colorado State does and perhaps it’s more due to the overall dislike for the Notre Dame program, but the Rams pull off the monumental upset here.
Winner: Colorado State
For our final matchup, we have two blue bloods and a rematch of one of the greatest Rose Bowl games in recent history. With Penn State, you have the traditional white helmets with the blue stripe down that middle. Then, with Southern California, you have the yellow Trojan in front of the red helmet. Both helmets are as tradition-rich as they come with the USC helmet unchanged since 1972 and the Penn State unchanged since 1962. Much like the Rose Bowl game this one come down to the wire with the same result as Southern California wins by a single vote.