Who has the best helmet in the MWC?
CHEYENNE -- Some might call this click-bait. I call it reader engagement.
Plus, I just had this idea and thought it would be fun to see what everyone else thinks.
Today, I am ranking the best helmets in the Mountain West Conference. I am excluding Wyoming.
Why? Because I am from here. I'll be the first to admit it -- I can't be objective on this subject. I feel the Cowboys have the best logo in sports, not just the league.
A ton of thinking went into this. About five whole minutes, to be exact.
So, here goes.
No. 11 -- Nevada
To me, these helmets are about as unimaginative as it gets. This thing looks like the outline of a warthog. On second look, it kind of takes on the appearance of a New York City sewer rat. I love the matte look. The chrome face mask they use is cool, too. That logo needs serious work though. When the Wolf Pack wears the lids with the "Pack" script, they are at least watchable.
No. 10 -- Utah State
OK, so this isn't the worst helmet in the world, but come on. Couldn't the Aggies have a little fun with this instead of using a block "U" with State through it? I must admit, I dig the USU helmets with the bull on the side. Those are pretty sweet. Why not go to those full time? Here are some suggestions. Take them or leave them. They could put bull horns on the side. They could sketch the outline of Merlin Olsen's beard. They could use the actual shape of the state of Utah, which none of the other Division-I schools in that state do. Just a few thoughts.
No. 9 -- Colorado State
Let me reiterate, this fun little exercise has nothing to do with fandom, loyalty or anything else. It's simply fashion, which as you all know, I have down to a "T." CSU started rocking the horns on their helmet in the early 50's, just a few years after the Los Angeles Rams went with that very same look. From 1956 to 1973, CSU went horn-less, according to Coloradoaggies.com. Anytime you "borrow" an idea from another team, it's probably not going to rank high on a list like this. However, if the Rams went back to bright yellow and green -- ditching the gold -- these helmets would be significantly improved.
No. 8 -- New Mexico
The Lobos have some really cool alternate helmets. The white ones with the cherry face mask look great. The black and dark grey ones are pretty sweet, too. Occasionally, the Lobos throw some turquoise into the mix. I get why, but don't. In my professional opinion, when New Mexico ditches the weird-looking wolf and throws the "Zia" on its helmet, that is a thing of beauty. For those who don't know, the Zia is the red sun on the New Mexico state flag. It looks clean and is original. Two things you want in a logo. (See Wyoming)
No. 7 -- Air Force
The Falcons have some amazing alternate helmets, all odes to the United State Air Force. Those are cool. Their regular helmets, eh, not so much. They are clean. They are distinctive. They just aren't that awesome, especially when you consider all the different images the falcons could use. The helmets with the "bomber plane" look are amazing. I don't think anyone would be bummed if Air Force went with those full time. Maybe seeing so many high school teams rock the lightening bolt has soured me on these? Either way, the Falcons should sport their alternates way more. Even this same looks, but with the blue helmet, looks much better, in my very humble opinion.
No. 6 -- San Jose State
Let me preface this by saying I really don't hate the Spartans look at all. I think the helmet is pretty cool and I like the spear used for a helmet stripe. I think my beef with SJSU is the fact that there are hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of Spartans and Trojans, including in their own state. SJSU has a throwback I particularly love. It is yellow and had an interlocked "SJ." It's old school and gets away from the dude in the helmet. I'm a sucker for grey face masks, so this look is just fine with me.
No. 5 -- Fresno State
Speaking of way overused nicknames, the Fresno State Bulldogs, I think, do a decent job of illustrating the logo on their variety of helmets. I think the white ones look great. I am also a big fan of the Trent Dilfer days look (pictured above) the 'Dogs have been wearing as of late. Their Bulldog logo is cool, but once again, used by way too many outlets. I will always dig the "V" Fresno wears on all of its athletic uniforms. It's a shout out to the valley which surrounds the city. Very cool. I can also get behind the team's alternate logo -- the large Bulldog face. Can't find a lot to pick on here.
No. 4 -- San Diego State
The Aztecs had a bit of an image crisis throughout the early 2000's. They tried weird patterns and shading on their lids. They even did a black-to-red fade. Not good. It seems since Rocky Long arrived in 2011, the Aztecs not only found an identity on the field, but on their helmets. The interlocking "SD" with the spear is a good look. Especially on a solid red helmet with a black face mask. My favorite SDSU helmet is from the Marshall Faulk era. The arched "Aztecs" in black. Yeah, those were the days.
No. 3 -- Boise State
Were we just talking about identities? What is Boise State's exactly? The Broncos original helmets, you know, the ones they wore when they came out of nowhere and won the Fiesta Bowl, those were not easy on the eyes. The Bronco took on the shape of a donkey from Pinocchio. Now, the Bronco the school uses is fierce and looks modern. Boise State changes looks like most change underwear, but if they were to stick to a look, this is it. The helmet above is legit. The outline is awesome. The orange eye is a nice touch, too., even on the blue helmets.
No. 2 -- UNLV
I might be in the minority here, but I love the Rebels look from top to bottom. The new red and/ or black matte helmets are sweet. The "Welcome to Las Vegas" logo on the back is a great addition, too. I think the silver coloration inside the logo looks fantastic. UNLV would look really good if they put the cartoon Rebel on the side like the old days, too. To me, they have a great look and really shouldn't change a thing.
No. 1 -- Hawaii
Come on, you know you love the Rainbow Warriors' helmets. They are original, pay tribute to the island and make green and black look really good together. Where I think Hawaii separates itself is its use of silver. That's the color that outlines the shape of the state on one side of the new helmet they wear. It looks amazing. I even dig the Rainbow Warriors throwback uniform. The lighter green with the colorful rainbow coming out of the "UH." Good stuff.