Weighing in on the Big 12's best helmets

June, 2, 2011
6/02/11
1:15
PM ET
I hope you all enjoyed yesterday's Mailbag, but sometimes, a piece of mail warrants its own post. This is one of those posts.

And before I introduce the email, let me reiterate that it is real. You'll see very shortly why I mention this.

No One in Particular wrote: Your NFL bloggin' colleagues recently ranked their top-ten favorite NFL helmet designs. How would you rank the Big 12's current 10 teams' helmets? (Bonus points if you also rank your top ten favorites of all the FBS programs.)

Oh yes. I can do this. I'm always surprised at how fired up people get about these things, but helmet designs, like it or not, are a huge part of college football. The Big 12 lost a pair of great ones in Nebraska and Colorado that were in my top five, but here's how I'd rank the Big 12's lids.

1. Texas

Simple. Classic. Iconic. The burnt orange Longhorn logo is about as good as it gets in college sports, outlined by Texas' signature white helmets.

2. Oklahoma

The Sooners' logo is close cousins with the paperclip, but like the Longhorn, is one of college football's enduring, unmistakable symbols.

3. Texas A&M

The Aggies' aTm logo is solid, and at its best when it's white on the classic maroon helmet. I'm not a fan of the white helmets, but when the maroon helmets top Texas A&M's maroon jerseys, the Aggies look their best.

4. Texas Tech

The Red Raiders should ditch the Auburn doppelgänger white helmets, but the shiny black helmets on top of Texas Tech's all-black uniforms are sharp.

5. Oklahoma State

The Cowboys' unique OSU logo is solid, and I'm one who believes the black logo and orange trim on the white helmets are some of the best in the league. Of course, if Oklahoma State is actually going to become the "Oregon of the Midwest," who knows what we'll see them do next year.

6. Missouri

The Tigers lose points for ripping off Michigan's block M, but it's still a solid helmet and Michigan doesn't put the logo on its helmets. The black and gold colors mesh well. The Tigers might score some points in this category if they went with their Nike Pro Combat helmets year-round.

7. Kansas

The Jayhawks new "KU" helmets are much better than the old block letter helmets they wore previously, but the recent change costs them in this list.

8. Baylor

Baylor's white helmets with the green logo are their best, but the Bears can't seem to settle on one design, either. The gold helmets with green letters, their usual design, is just OK.

9. Iowa State

The Cyclones made the right call in getting the cardinal in the cyclone logo off their helmet, and the new Block I design is a huge improvement, but far from iconic just yet. Copycatting USC's jerseys is no good.

10. Kansas State

Like my thoughts on Willie the Wildcat, I am no fan of the Powercat. Sorry, K-State fans.

And I'll take those bonus points. My general rule for college football's best helmets is pretty simple: If your helmet design is that great, you won't change it and you won't have alternates. Oregon is my one exception, but the Ducks didn't make my list. Here's my top 10 nationally:

1. Michigan
2. Miami
3. Texas
4. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
6. Tennessee
7. Alabama
8. Oklahoma
9. Nebraska
10. Florida State

(I feel it's necessary to give a shoutout to TCU's Rose Bowl helmets, also. Those might be among my favorite ever.)

How would you rank the Big 12?

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