The College Football Centennial Logo


There is a general consensus among historians who study the sport of American football to recognize a game played November 6, 1869 between teams from Princeton and Rutgers as the "first college football game". One hundred years later, during the fall of 1969, the football teams at Princeton, Rutgers, and many other colleges commemorated this centennial by wearing on their helmets a special decal depicting the numerals "100" inside a football-shape. Some teams apparently used the "100" decals for only a single game, while others wore them throughout the season; usually these decals were placed prominently on the sides of the helmets, in place of the respective teams' usual helmet decals.

These "100" decals have posed a particular challenge to the completion of historical helmet images at this web site, because there seem to be very few good photographs of them in existence (particularly color photographs), and because there were significant differences between the versions used by the various teams. Note the substantial differences in shape (particularly of the numerals "100") between the versions used by Rutgers and Northern Illinois:

It should be noted, however, that the vast majority of teams apparently used the 'Northern Illinois' version of the logo. Additionally, the decals were produced in at least a few different colors, which sometimes did not coincide with the official colors of the team wearing them. Nebraska, for example, used a blue football-shape, as did both Bowling Green and Washington State. Rutgers used a gold or yellow football-shape. Having studied this matter for a number of years I have reached the conclusion that the vast majority of teams apparently used a blue version of the football-shape, with white numerals outlined in red. Furthermore, I cannot say that I have ever seen color photographs of these decals in which the football shape is red, green, or black (unless one has slipped my mind). I have added a red one to the website for New Mexico State, but this was done in the very early days of the website (c.2000) and I might have at that time relied upon a description of the color provided by a contributor to the website - I cannot say that I remember seeing a color photograph of that one. The 1970 NMSU yearbook is available online but it does not contain any color photographs of 1969 NMSU football helmets.

While most teams wore these decals on the sides of their helmets, several teams wore them at the back of the helmet:

At least two teams (Nebraska and Yale) wore the "100" decal at the front of the helmet:

Below are some more of the clearest photographs I have received showing the detail within the "100" decals:

Following is a table listing the colleges known to have used the "100" logo during at least one game in 1969 - there were probably many others, and I would appreciate additional reports (including for small colleges).

Schoolshell colorFootball-shape colorNumeral colornote
Akrongold? ? Logo worn only on right side of helmet?
Alabamacrimsonwhite crimson?  
Alabamawhitecrimson? white?  
Arizona Stateyellow? ?  
Arkansas Statered? ? Logo worn only on right side of helmet
Armygold? white? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Baylorwhite? white? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Bowling Greenorangeblue white  
Brigham Youngwhite? ? Logo worn only on left side of helmet?
Colgatemaroonwhite? maroon? actually a "150" logo
Colorado Stateyellowgreen? yellow  
Connecticutwhite? ?  
Davidsongold? or silver?? white?  
Depauw (IN)?blue? ? (No photographic evidence provided)
Dukewhiteblue? ? Logo worn only on left side of helmet
East Carolinagold? ?  
East Tennessee Stategoldblue? white Logo apparently worn on left side of helmet only
Florida Stategoldblue? white? Football-shape reportedly blue (no photographic evidence received)
Fresno Statered?? ?  
Hope (MI)blue? ?  
Idahosilverblue white(?)  
Illinoisorange? ? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Indianared? ? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Indiana (PA)redblue white
Indiana Stateblue? white? Logo worn only on right side of helmet
Iowayellow? ? (No photographic evidence of this reported one)
Iowa Stateyellowblue? white? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Iowa Stateredblue? white? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Jackson Stateblueblue white  
Kent Stategold? ? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Kutztown (PA)gold(?)dark light
Louisiana Techredblue? white Logo apparently worn on left side of helmet only
Maineblue? ?  
Marshallwhite? white?  
Massachusettswhite? ?  
Memphis Statewhiteblue white  
Miami (FL)gold? white?  
Michigan Stategreengreen? white  
Middle Tennessee Stateblueblue white  
Millersville (PA)golddark light  
Mississippiblueblue white  
Missouriblackblack? white? Logo worn only on left side of helmet except during Bowl game
Montana?? ?  
Navygold(none) blue "100" not contained within football-shape
Navywhite(none) blue "100" not contained within football-shape
Navywhite(none) yellow "100" not contained within football-shape
Nebraskawhiteblue white Logo worn on front side of helmet
Nebraska Wesleyanwhite? ? Logo worn on right side of helmet only
New Mexico Statewhitered? white  
Northeast Louisianared? ?  
Northern Illinoiswhiteblue white  
Ohiowhite? ?  
Oregongreen? ?  
Oregon Stateblack? ?  
Otterbein (OH)white? ?  
Pacific Lutheran (WA)black? ?  
Princetonorangeblack white Contradictory reports received as to Football-shape color (blue vs black). It has been reported that a "100" helmet (with black football shape) is present in the "Coaches' Lounge" at Princeton (still no color photos received, though).
Purduegoldwhite black Logo is substantially different from other teams'
Richmondblue?? white  
Rutgersredyellow/gold red  
Southern Californiaredyellow red  
Syracuseorangeblue white  
Texaswhiteorange? white  
Toledoblueblue white  
Tulsagold? ?  
UCLAgoldlight blue white  
Utahwhite? white?  
Vermontwhite?? white? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Virginiaorange? white?  
Washingtongoldyellow? ?  
Washington Stateredblue white  
Wyomingwhite? ? Logo worn on back side of helmet
Yalewhite? ? Logo worn on front side of helmet

Does anyone know of an existing, game-worn helmet from the year 1969 featuring one of these original decals? (One is reported to be at Princeton, see note in table above, and another in the possesion of a former Syracuse player, see note in Syracuse section).

Might we expect to see some "150" decals during the fall of 2019?