NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision Independents


ARMY BRIGHAM YOUNG IDAHO
"Black Knights" "Cougars" "Vandals"
West Point, NY Provo, UT Moscow, ID
NAVY NEW MEXICO STATE NOTRE DAME
"Midshipmen" "Aggies" "Fighting Irish"
Annapolis, MD Las Cruces, NM Notre Dame, IN

Comments

Idaho and New Mexico State , both members of the now-defunct Western Athletic Conference in 2012, will compete as independent teams in 2013. New Mexico State has a new helmet design in 2013 (shown above).


Historical Helmets

ARMY

1957 - 1971 1972 - 1973 1972; 1974 - 1977
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
1979 - 1980 1981 - 1982 2008
December 6, 2008;
October 30, 2010
November 6, 2010 1977 - 1978; 1983 - 2007;
2009 -
*see note 3 below *see note 4 below *see note 5 below

This is believed to be the complete set of helmet designs for Army for the period 1957 to present; if you are aware of any others, please let me know.

*1 In 1969, Army used a version of the "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 "Camouflage" helmets were worn during the 2008 game against Navy and again during the 2010 home game against Virginia Military Institute.

*4 This design was used during the 2010 home game against Air Force "as a tribute to the U.S. Corps of Cadets and the Long Gray Line".

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


BRIGHAM YOUNG

1955 - 1960 c.1962 1964 - 1965
1966 - 1968 1969 1969 - 1977
*see note 1 below *see note 1 below
1978 regular season October 28, 1989 December 22, 1978 - 1997;
additional games in 2009
*see note 2 below *see note 3 below
1998 1999 - 2004 December 30, 2011
*see note 4 below
October 13, 2012 2005 -

A couple of people have brought to my attention some information posted at BYU's web site which appears to contradict some of the information I have gathered. At this link, about three-quarters of the way down the page, you can see a "year-by-year breakdown of the evolution of the BYU helmet". The page lists 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, is 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).

*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.


IDAHO

? - 1964 1965 1965 - 1967
1968 - 1969 1969 1970
1971 - 1975 1976 - 1977 1978 - 1979
1980 1981 1982 - 1994
November 17, 2007 1995 - 2007;
November 13, 2010
October 31, 2009
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
September 10, 2011 October 8, 2011 2008 -
*see note 3 below *see note 4 below
September 15, 2012 2012 -
*see note 5 below

Besides those depicted above, there are three other "known" helmet designs which have been used by Idaho since 1960; below are photographs of these:

The first two photographs show a helmet design which was used during the early portions of the 1965 season. The unusual decal apparently represents a "horn" or "wing" or hybrid thereof, as suggested by the fact that the cartoon logo on the "1971-1975" helmet depicts a bearded "vandal" wearing a helmet with horns that look like a bird's wings. The "horn" orientation is visible in the first photo, while some of the "feather" detail may be seen in the second photograph. These decals were apparently gold in color, and are identifiable in photographs from the games against Washington State, San Jose State, Utah State, and Oregon.

In 1969, Idaho used a version of the "100" logo, as may be seen in the two small color photographs. While it was reported to me previously that Idaho's version of the "100" logo was black with white numerals, these photographs appear to indicate that the football-shape was probably blue with white numerals that were outlined in red (which was apparently the most common version of the "100" decal in use in 1969). The "100" decals were reportedly not used during the last two games of the season.

Of greatest uncertainty is the helmet in the last photograph above. It was apparently used at some point in the 1970s, probably for a very short time, as this undated photograph is the only one I have received of this one. The helmet shell is probably silver, and the logo probably gold with a black outline. In January 2009 I received a report indicating that this design was in use during at least the game against Utah State in 1972.

*1 The 1995-2007 design was brought back for use during the home game against Boise State in 2010.

*2 This design was worn during a home game against Lousiana Tech in 2009.

*3 Worn during the 2011 home game against North Dakota.

*4 Worn during the 2011 home game against Louisiana Tech.

*5 Worn during the 2012 game at LSU.


NAVY

late 1960? - 1961 1962 vs Army 1963 vs Army
*see note 1 below
January 1, 1964 1964 1969
*see note 2 below
1969 vs Army 1969 vs Army 1971 - 1972 (some games)
*see note 3 below *see note 3 below *see note 4 below
1960?- 1963?; 1965? - 1968?;
1970 - 1985
December 4, 1993 December 8, 2011
*see note 5 below
1986 -

Navy has apparently used plain gold helmets without any logos or stripes for all but one game since about 1974. However, the team's helmet history prior to 1974 is rather complicated and unclear to me at the present time. The team used several single-game designs during the 1960s, particularly during the tenure of head coach Wayne Hardin (1959 - 1964); most of these were used during the annual game against Army. Two of these designs are well-documented (the 1962 and 1963 Army game designs) but I suspect that there may have been others. Lots of photographs are available for the years when quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach was at Navy (1962 - 1964) but I have relatively few photos from the 1965 through 1968 seasons.

Some of the following information - particularly as to the dates of use for the various designs - is summarized from information posted at the "Helmet Hut" web site (http://helmethut.com).

*1 This anchor-shaped logo was apparently used for at least portions of the 1960 and 1961 seasons. A slightly different anchor logo may also have been used at some point around this time.

*2 Worn vs Texas during the Cotton Bowl game in Dallas, TX at the end of the 1963 season.

*3 During the Army game in 1969, Navy wore white helmets. Two differently-colored versions of the "100" logo were worn, apparently in roughly equal numbers, by Navy players during this game. Earlier during the 1969 season, a blue version of the "100" was worn on gold-shelled helmets.

*4 White stripes were worn on Navy's helmets during a few games in 1971 and 1972. The "Helmet Hut" web site reports that the white stripes were used during four games: in 1971 vs Army and in 1972 during games against Penn State, Boston College, and Notre Dame.

*5 Worn vs Army at East Rutherford, NJ in 1993.


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
2013 -

*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. A visitor to this web site sent me a link to an old article indicating that NMSU was apparently planning to use ribbon decals (in some form) during a home game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff in 2007 also, but photographic evidence suggests that the team did not actually do so (the "Aggies" decals are visible on both sides of the NMSU helmets in photos from this game; if any ribbon decal was worn on the helmets in 2007, it was apparently very small and worn at the back of the helmet, though I have seen no evidence to suggest that even something like this was used. The team did wear pink socks during this game). The article from 2007 stated that the pink ribbons were to be worn "in an effort to promote breast cancer awareness and raise money for research projects in New Mexico".


NOTRE DAME

1959 - 1962;
September 10, 2011
1963 November 12, 2011
*see note 1 below *see note 2 below
October 6, 2012 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. The shamrock logo worn during this game appeared to be a near-perfect copy of the one used during the 1959-1962 era.

*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).