Rate the Big Ten's football helmets

Published: May 17 2011 | 4:15 pm - Updated: 31 March 2014 | 4:17 pm in
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ESPN.com is currently asking its readers to rank the helmets of the 32 NFL teams.

My vote there would require some thought. More than I care to give it, actually. Off the top of my head, I like the Saints, Raiders, Dolphins, Chargers,  and lots of  others. I like the Cardinals only because I like that bird. I'm not big on the Browns because I don't like one-color helmets with no logos. 

Which tells you how I feel about Penn State's and Ohio State's, though Ohio State's looks a lot different and better when players have earned some of those buckeye stickers to slap on them.

OK, what about the Big Ten's 12 helmets? It seems to be universal in college football circles that Michigan has one of the best, if not the very best helmet. Do you agree? How would you rank the 12?

I say: 1.  Michigan, 2. Iowa (I'll take a distinctive logo over a block letter almost anytime, and the yellow Tiger Hawk simply works on a black background), 3. Michigan State (I really like that color), 4. Indiana, 5. Ohio State (the striking gray is the best color of the bunch, and not just because it happens to be my hair color), 6. Nebraska, 7. Minnesota, 8. Penn State, 9. Purdue, 10. Northwestern (like the color, don't like that 'N'), 11. Wisconsin (the 'W' swallows the whole helmet), 12. Illinois (the combination of the clutter with the full name 'Illinois' and a line underneath combined with bright orange ... not for me.)

What do you say? You don't have to go 1 through 12 unless you want, but give us what you think. And try to judge each helmet on its own merit, not by who wears it.

I was going to put Nebraska's 12th just to get half of that state's people crossing the Missouri River into Iowa with torches and pitchforks, but you can overplay that card. It's only May.

By the way, the first of you who says the 'N' on Nebraska's helmet stands for 'Knowledge' loses voting privileges. That joke's been done to death. (By the way, why did the chicken cross the road?)

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