NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Independents


ARMY WEST POINT BRIGHAM YOUNG LIBERTY
"Black Knights" "Cougars" "Flames"
West Point, NY Provo, UT Lynchburg, VA
MASSACHUSETTS NEW MEXICO STATE NOTRE DAME
"Minutemen" "Aggies" "Fighting Irish"
Amherst, MA Las Cruces, NM South Bend, IN

Comments

New Mexico State (previously a member of the Sun Belt Conference) and Liberty (previously in the Football Championship Subdivision Big South Conference) will both play as FBS independent teams in 2018. Liberty's membership in FBS is "provisional" in 2018, but the team will attain full FBS status and bowl eligibility in 2019.


Historical Helmets

ARMY WEST POINT

1957 - 1971 1972 - 1973 1972; 1974 - 1977
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
1979 - 1980 1981 - 1982 2008
'B' 'C'
1977 - 1978; 1983 - 2007;
2009 - 2011
2008; 2010; 2013; 2014 2010; 2014; 2016 - 2017
*see note 5 below *see note 3 below *see note 4 below
'D' 'E'
2012 (first 11 games) 2014 2014
*see note 6 below *see note 7 below
'F' 'G' 'H'
November 15, 2014 November 7, 2015 December 12, 2015
*see note 8 below *see note 9 below
'I' 'J' 'A'
December 10, 2016 December 9, 2017 2012 -
*see note 10 below

During recent years Army has used the following sequences of helmet designs:

*1 In 1969, Army used a version of the college football centennial "100" decal on their helmets; it was worn on the back of the helmet, just above the bottom, and would not be visible from the perspective I use at this web site. The football shape was some dark color (perhaps black, but quite possibly blue or some other color), outlined in white, and with white numerals. I have seen one photograph where some renegade player had placed the decal on the side of his helmet, but the rear placement was clearly the standard position for it. The 1969 helmets were otherwise identical to this one.

*2 This design was used throughout the 1972 and 1973 seasons with the exceptions of games #3 and #4 in 1972; for those games (vs Lehigh and Penn State), the logo was absent and the helmets therefore resembled the one shown above labelled "1972; 1974 - 1977".

*3 Helmets with a digital camouflage pattern were worn December 6, 2008 (vs Navy), October 30, 2010 (vs Virginia Military Institute), November 2, 2013 (at Air Force), November 9, 2013 (vs Western Kentucky), October 11, 2014 (vs Rice), and October 18, 2014 (at Kent State). The patterns apparently varied from one helmet to the next, at least during the more recent seasons.

*4 Worn November 6, 2010 (vs Air Force) and September 6, 2014 (vs Buffalo).

*5 Army first used black faceguards for the 1977 game against Navy; gray ones had been used for all earlier games that season.

*6 I have received conflicting descriptions of the color of the stripe on this design - some people have reported that a white stripe was used, but it appears to be pale gray in the clearest photographs which I have seen.

*7 This design differs from 'D' in that the stripe has a camouflage pattern.

*8 Worn at Air Force in 2015.

*9 Worn vs Navy at Philadephia, PA. Uniform numerals were worn on the left side only of each Army helmet during this game. On the right side of each helmet was one of seventeen different logos representing "the 17 branches [of the Army] cadets can enter after graduation"; below are representations of these designs.

Adjutant General Branch Air Defense Artillery
Branch
Armor Branch
Aviation Branch Chemical Branch Corps of Engineers
Branch
Cyber Branch Field Artillery Branch Financial Management
Branch
Infantry Branch Medical Services Corps
Branch
Military Intelligence
Branch
Military Police Branch Ordnance Branch Quartermaster Corps
Branch
Signal Corps Branch Transportation Branch

*10 Worn vs Navy at Baltimore, MD. During this game seven different helmet "logos" were worn by Army; these were the insignia of various units of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division as constituted during the Second World War; below are representations of these designs. Many helmets had the logo on one side only; the left side of many helmets was "blank".

504th Parachute
Infantry Regiment
505th Parachute
Infantry Regiment
508th Parachute
Infantry Regiment
307th Airborne
Engineer Battalion
325th Glider
Infantry Regiment
456th Parachute Field
Artillery Battalion
Paragliders

BRIGHAM YOUNG

1955 - 1960 c.1962 1964 - 1965
1966 - 1968 1969 1969 - 1977
*see note 1 below *see note 1 below
'C'
1978 regular season October 28, 1989 December 22, 1978 - 1997;
2009; 2013; 2014
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below
1998 1999 - 2004 December 30, 2011
*see note 4 below
October 13, 2012;
November 15, 2014
September 11, 2014 October 3, 2014
November 26, 2016 2005 -

A couple of people brought to my attention some information formerly posted at BYU's web site which appeared to contradict some of the information I have gathered. The page listed the following for the years 1955 to 1965: "1955-1960 -- White helmet replaced with a plain, silver helmet; 1961-1963 -- Blue player numbers are added to the silver helmet; 1964-1965 - Silver helmet is replaced with solid blue helmet." No mention, however, was made of the two-color helmet that you can see quite clearly in the photo below:

Notice that the caption appears to confine this picture to either 1962 or 1963. All of the (few) photographs that I have seen from 1962 and 1963 show this two-color helmet without any numerals or logos on the sides, and I have seen no photographs of the alleged silver helmet with blue numerals. If such a design was ever used, it was apparently used in 1961 only - I would greatly appreciate any photos of BYU helmets from the 1961 season.

*1 In 1969 the "100" logo was worn on the left sides of BYU's helmets and the "Y" logo was worn on the right sides.

*2 During the 1989 game at Hawai'i, BYU used a "logo" of a red circle on the left sides of their helmets (see photo below); the usual "Y" logo was in place on the right sides. Highlights from the game can be see at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwnbkqkV0VI . Previously I asked here if anyone knew why BYU was wearing these red circles during this game - three possible explanations have been offered. From one visitor to the site: "As the BYU Sports Info people tell me, it was to support a Hurricane Food Drive that was going on at that time. It was the only game they wore such a logo and there is apparently no sports documentation to indicate that this is in fact the case." (This game did take place about five weeks after Hurricane Hugo caused extensive damage and loss of life in South Carolina and several Caribbean islands.) Another visitor to the site brought to my attention the newspaper article at this link. It describes an anti-drug use program occurring in the state of Utah at that time, and while there is no mention of football helmets, it does mention that some BYU football players would be speaking to local elementary school students during "Red Ribbon Week". A third person suggested that the red circles were worn as a gesture of friendship towards the large Japanese immigrant population of Hawai'i (the Japanese national flag features a red circle on a white background, and there is a related school - BYU-Hawai'i - in Laie, Hawai'i). Any other definite information would be appreciated. If you know any former members of the team, please ask them why they used these and then report back to me. :)

*3 This helmet design was first used during BYU's appearance in the inaugural Holiday Bowl game against Navy at the end of the 1978 season. Site Visitor Dan C. reported that both blue and white faceguards were used by different players on this helmet in games from 1979 to 1983, although blue was always the predominant color. This design was used once again during the home game against Utah on November 28, 2009, in observance of the 25th anniversary of BYU's 1984 "national championship", and again during the Las Vegas Bowl game against Oregon State at the end of the 2009 season (December 22). Additional appearances were September 21, 2013 (vs Utah) and October 3, 2014 (vs Utah State).

*4 Worn during the 2011 Armed Forces Bowl game vs Tulsa at Dallas, TX. Those parts of the helmet normally blue in color (the oval-shaped logo and the two outer stripes) were replaced with a camouflage pattern during this game.


LIBERTY

1973 - 1974 1975 1976
1977 - 1978 1979 - 1983 1984 - 1985
1987 - 1988 1986; 1989 - 1990 1991
*see note 1 below
1992 1993 1994 - 1999
2000 2001 - 2003 2004 - 2005
November 20, 2010 2006 - 2010 2011 - 2012
'A' 'B' 'C'
2013 - 2013 2013 -
'D' 'E' 'F'
2014 - 2014 - 2015 2016 -
'G'
2018 -

During recent years Liberty has used the following sequences of helmet designs:

This university's first football team played in 1973, at which time the school's name was Lynchburg Baptist College and the school colors were gold and green. In 1976, the name was changed to Liberty Baptist College and blue, red, and white were adopted as the school colors. The team was affiliated with both the NAIA and NCAA for a few years before switching solely to NCAA Division II in 1983. The school was renamed Liberty University in 1985 and, in November of that year, its campus endured a devastating flood which washed away the football team's practice facility, leading to the cancellation of its last two games. A move to NCAA Division I-AA was made in 1988.

*1 The stripe sequence on this helmet went (from left to right) blue-white-red.


MASSACHUSETTS

1963 - 1968 1970 - 1972 1973
1974 - 1984 1985 ? - 1962; 1986
1987 1988 1989 - 1992
*see note 1 below
1993 - 2002 2003 - 2004 2005 -
September 1, 2011
'B'
2011 October 20, 2012 2013;
September 27, 2014
*see note 2 below
'C' 'D' 'A'
2013 2013 2012 - 2013
'E' 'F' 'G'
2014 - 2016 2015 - 2017 -
'H'
2018 -

During recent years Massachusetts has used the following sequences of helmet designs:

The helmets shown above apparently represent a complete set for Massachusetts for the period covered by this web site (1960 to present), with the exception of the design used in 1973, which is visible in the photograph below. The 1973 helmet featured the word "UMass" within an outline of the state of Massachusetts; I need a copy of the helmet decal, or else the artwork printed on it from some other source, in order to add this one to the web site.

*1 This design is identical to the one used in 1988 but for the addition of the word "AMHERST" in small letters below the "UM" logo (the letters are obviously not legible in the image size used here).

*2 First worn during the second game of the 2011 season (September 17 vs Rhode Island). This design featured an asymmetrical stripe sequence - the white middle stripe was bordered by a blue stripe on the left, and by a red stripe on the right.


NEW MEXICO STATE

1960 - 1965 1966 - 1968 1969
1970 - 1972 1973 1974 - 1977
1978 - 1982 1983 - 1985 1986
1987 - 1989 1990 - 1994 1995 - 2004
October 18, 2008 2005 - 2008 2009 - 2012
*see note 1 below
'A' 'B' 'C','C1','C2','C3','C4'
2013 - 2015 2015 2016 -
*see note 2 below
'D' 'E'
2017 - 2018 -

In 2017 New Mexico State used the following sequence of helmet designs: C3-C3-C3; C4-C4-C4; C4-C1-C1; C1-D-D; D (the last game being vs Utah State in the Arizona Bowl at Tuscon, AZ).

In 2016 NMSU used: C-C-C; C-C1-C1; C2-C2-C2; C2-C2-C2.

In 2015 NMSU used: A-A-B; B-B-A; A-A-A; A-A-A.

*1 A pink "ribbon" logo was worn on NMSU's helmets (left sides only; the "Aggies" logo remained on the right sides) during the 2008 home game against San Jose State "in an effort to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for research projects in New Mexico".

*2 Uniform numerals are worn on the left side of designs C, C1, and C2, but a different logo is present on the right side of each of these (as represented below).

'C' 'C1' 'C2'
'C3' 'C4'

NOTRE DAME

1959 - 1962;
September 10, 2011
1963 November 12, 2011
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
October 6, 2012 October 5, 2013 September 13, 2014
*see note 3 below *see note 4 below *see note 5 below
November 21, 2015 November 12, 2016 November 18, 2017
November 17, 2018 1964 -

The shamrock helmet logo was introduced in 1959 by Notre Dame's head coach Joe Kuharich; it was used through the 1962 season and replaced with white numerals the following year. New head coach Ara Parseghian brought back plain gold helmets in 1964 and the team used those during every game for 47 seasons, until the shamrock was brought back for use during the 2011 game at Michigan.

*1 Worn during the 2011 game at Michigan.

*2 Worn during the 2011 game vs Maryland played at Landover, MD. The helmet image here may imply that the design involved "camouflage" but this is not the case - the shell was covered with circular, gold "reflectors" (for lack of a better word) that tended to more or less color the helmet in two shades of gold (dark and light).

*3 Worn during the 2012 game vs Miami (FL) played at Chicago, IL. Only the left side was blue; the right side was gold with a texture similar to that of the November 12, 2011 helmet (as represented below). The gold pattern spilled over onto the left hemisphere of the helmet by perhaps 1.5" or thereabouts.

*4 Worn during the 2013 game vs Arizona State played at Arlington, TX.

*5 Worn during the 2014 game vs Purdue played at Indianapolis, IN.