Must-See: Marvel College Football Helmets for the Top Schools
College football is awesome. Marvel characters are awesome. Concept helmets are awesome. Put them all together, and what do you have? A gallery of Marvel- and MCU-inspired helmets for Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan and other top college football schools.
In the spirit of our other uniform collections, including NFL helmets done up in college-team colors, we’ve mashed up the FBS and Marvel universe. Oregon Ducks, meet Howard the Duck. Pittsburgh Panthers, meet Black Panther. Rutgers Scarlet Knights, meet WandaVision -- or, rather, Scarlet Witch.
Now, it’s one thing for us to say, "Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if the Florida Gators were recast in the image of the Lizard?" (Florida Lizards, get it?) It’s another thing to make these ideas into graphic reality. Enter digital designer and 247Sports contributor Scott Francisco. Scott took our Marvel-ous ideas for more than three dozen colleges, and created more than three dozen must-see pieces of gridiron art.
The task of creating the helmets meant addressing some tricky questions: How to retain the school spirit of each program's uniform and logo? How to retain the clobberin' spirit of each Marvel character? How to bring everything together? “Sometimes I leaned a little bit toward the school, and for others a bit more toward the character,” Scott says. “[It] just really depended on the original design of the helmet.”
'Nuff said. Let's get to the domes. Trust us, true believers, they're awesome.
Too easy, or too perfect? It's maybe a little bit of both when we transform the Colonial Athletic Association's Richmond Spiders into the friendly, neighborhood Richmond Spider-Men.
And, yes, we know, Richmond is an FCS school, not FBS. But here's the thing, Richmond Spider-Men was just sitting there, waiting for us. It was too good to pass up.
The Oregon Ducks have sported a lot of different looks, but they haven't sported this one. Until now.
The helmet plants a Howard the Duck logo on the Ducks' green-and-yellow color scheme.
It's hard to improve on the classic Pittsburgh Panthers helmet. But we did.
As they would say in Wakanda (if Wakandans were big college football fans): Pittsburgh Black Panthers, forever.
The Syracuse Orange haven't won (or tied for) a conference title since their 2012 run in the Big East. Could a new attitude help?
Maybe it's time they had the Fantastic Four, er, fantastic power of the Syracuse Things.
The North Texas Mean Green have a great name. But may we suggest that the North Texas Hulks have an incredible name?
This concept helmet replaces the Mean Green's winged logo with a mean-looking Hulk.
So far this century, the Toledo Rockets have powered their way to 12 bowl games, but won only five.
Maybe what they need to level up is a blast -- or, blaster -- courtesy the Guardians of the Galaxy's Rocket Raccoon.
Converting the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to the Marvel-vibing Georgia Tech Yellowjackets required not much more than a backspace keystroke -- and a whole lot of design panache.
In the concept helmet, Georgia Tech's "GT" logo is replaced by a Marvel Yellowjacket.
Sure, the Marshall Thundering Herd bring the noise. But nobody brings the thunder like the god of bolts himself.
On the concept helmet, Marshall's big "M" logo is replaced by Marvel's mighty Thor.
In one of college football's biggest annual rivalries, the Tennessee Volunteers battle Alabama. Now, as for the Tennessee Avengers?
We're guessing the Tennessee Avengers would battle Thanos. (And, no, we're not sure which team has the tougher opponent.)
As Comic Vine puts it: Fin Fang Foom is, "an alien dragon from Kakaranathara which is also known as Maklu IV." Got that? Cool.
Now forget what you just read, and just admire our imagining of the UAB Blazers' Blaze the Dragon done up in Fin Fang Foom-style.
Texas A&M fans, are we sure Aggies isn't short for Asgardians?
This concept helmet retains Texas A&M's logo script -- and accents it with the skyline of Thor's beloved home.
The Iowa State Cyclones aim to play up a storm, so why not just adopt a powerful X-Men character -- and become the Iowa State Storm?
The concept helmet stars Marvel's Storm, a character originally played in the X-Men movies by Halle Berry.
On the football field, the Duke Blue Devils could use the otherworldly senses of Marvel's Daredevil.
The concept helmet doubles up on the Duke "D," and adds an illustration of the so-called "Man Without Fear."
The Michigan State Spartans made their Big Ten debut in 1953. The robotic Sentinels made their Marvel Comics debut in 1965. So, yes, it's about time these two kids got together.
This concept helmet gets the job done, embedding a Sentinel in Michigan State's field of green.
In the spirit of Marvel Comics' What If, what if Homer wrote Hercules into The Iliad, and had the strongman single-handedly defeat the Trojan warriors? Well, clearly, what would happen is modern-day college football fans would be rooting for -- or against -- the USC Hercules instead of the USC Trojans. Clearly.
And, yes, Hercules is indeed a Marvel character. The figure of Greek mythology was first appropriated for Marvel's purposes via the Thor-fronted title, Journey into Mystery.
The Marvel hero Moon Knight debuted in the pages of Werewolf by Night -- and right here on the helmet of the Army Black Knights. Sorry, the Army Moon Knights.
In this design, Army's usually golden dome goes dark -- the better to let the Moon Knight logo rise.
What are the young, super-powered members of Marvel's Runaways collective if not rebels? And what are the Ole Miss Rebels if not a collective of young people with superpowers -- or, you know, fundamentally sound tackling abilities?
Face it, this concept helmet features a combo that was meant to happen. In the Marvel universe, at least.
In the comics, Man-Bull bedeviled Daredevil. Here, the villain gives an extra edge to the USF Bulls.
A former member of the old Big East conference, USF now competes as an AAC school.
In Netflix's Marvel shows, including Jessica Jones, Patsy Walker, aka the heroic Hellcat, is played by Rachael Taylor. Here, Hellcat is played by the Arizona Wildcats.
Clever? We prefer cool.
Sure, the Boston College Eagles secured a special place in college football lore via Doug Flutie's "Hail Flutie" touchdown pass. But what if they'd done so as the Boston College Vultures?
Why, then the program would be iconic and in step with a Spider-Man super-villain! Probably not the vibe that BC's going for, but nonetheless ...
This one's a natural. In the real football world, Air Force plays as the Falcons; in our Marvel football world, they play as, yup, the Falcons!
Our helmet design riffs on Air Force's bolt insignia, morphing it into the wings of Captain America's crime-fighting friend.
The Sun Belt Conference's Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns are reimagined here as the Louisiana Gambits.
The concept helmet is a collective nod to the Ragin' Cajuns' red-and-black-trim helmets -- and the red-on-black eyes of X-Men associate Gambit.
Whether in the Big Ten, or on our imagined football field of Marvel's Earth-616, the Iowa Hawkeyes are simply the Iowa Hawkeyes.
But this concept helmet is no replica: It trades the school's avian logo with one fit for a sharpshooting member of the Avengers.
Here, the crossed sabers of the Virginia Cavaliers become the air flaps from Pepper Potts' Rescue armor.
The endgame, er, end result of this design helmet is pretty sharp-looking.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights could use the extraordinary powers of Scarlet Witch to make a dent in the Big Ten football world.
This concept helmet at least is a real vision -- a WandaVision, if we do say so ourselves.
In Marvel-speak, Terrans are Earthlings. In our Marvel concept helmet for Maryland, the word Terrans becomes a fine substitute for Terrapins.
And so, without further ado, we introduce the new Big Ten football school: the Maryland Terrans!
Add a dash of an iconic Captain America villain, and just like that, the Texas Tech Red Raiders become the Texas Tech Red Skulls.
In this helmet design, Texas Tech's signature "T" is usurped by none other than Red Skull his dastardly self.
Cosmo, the Cold War-era space dog, is glimpsed but briefly in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. But the character gets a star turn here.
Behold our Marvel helmet for the Washington Huskies -- or, rather, the program formerly known as the Washington Huskies.
In the U.S. Navy of yore, commodore was a rank above captain. We suppose, then, that we're downgrading the Vanderbilt Commodores by rechristening them as the Vanderbilt Captain Marvels.
But we're also making the helmet design just a little bit cooler, so ... even?
This is not one of the god of mischief's tricks: We really have recast the Virginia Tech Hokies as the Virginia Tech Lokis.
Not even Loki, though, can mess with Virginia Tech's signature orange-and-maroon coloring.
Bucky Badger is the mascot for the O-line factory that is the Big Ten's Wisconsin. We think, however, that it's time Captain America's pal Bucky, aka Winter Soldier, got a crack at the gig.
In the concept helmet, Wisconsin's "W" logo gets Marvel-ized, but otherwise retains its prominent role.
Yes, LSU has won national championships on the football field, but we can't help but wonder how much more bite the school would have if it was aligned with X-Men's Sabretooth.
Tigers are fierce, but Sabretooth is extraordinary.
The Stanford Cardinal does not have a mascot. But the Stanford Groot? It does!
As an added bonus, Groot's space-alien branches are a good fit with the school marching band's Stanford Tree.
Face it: The Michigan Wolverines sport a classic look, whether they're in the Big Ten, or Marvel's X-Men universe.
In this concept design, Michigan's helmet gets a little brighter -- and a lot more fierce-looking.
In the real world, Florida's helmet and logo pay tribute to the alligators that bedevil Sunshine State residents. So, how about in our Marvel concept world?
Our new version of Florida's helmet and logo pay tribute to the villain that bedevils Spider-Man.
Here. the Texas Longhorns become the Texas Hellcows, in honor of the Howard the Duck foe, Bessie.
Bessie is the cow who's turned into a vampire in Giant-Size Man-Thing #5, and becomes known as, wait for it, Hellcow!
Obscure reference? Nah. Perfect fit.
In the real football world, the bulldog is the perfect mascot for the always-fierce Georgia.
In our Marvel world, Lockjaw, the telekinetic bulldog sidekick of Marvel's Inhumans, is the perfect mascot for our fierce-looking take on the SEC powerhouse.
Conventional wisdom says Notre Dame's iconic gold helmet is not to be messed with -- and we agree.
See, we did not mess with the Notre Dame helmet. We just made it more powerful-looking. This concept design, as Thanos himself would say, was inevitable.
Here, we've recast the Clemson Tigers as the Clemson Flying Tigers after a character that first appeared in the pages of Marvel's Spider-Woman title in the 1980s.
Given the aerial attacks that Clemson has produced courtesy of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and others, we think Flying Tigers is an apt name, Marvel theme or no.
Odin's eye is the peeper that the Asgardian ruler lost in pursuit of a higher purpose. It is thus a symbol of a great leader ... and, perhaps, the nickname of an FBS powerhouse.
Somewhere out there in the Marvel multiverse, we like to think that the players of Ohio State Odin's Eye are on the field, and giving it their Ohio State Buckeyes best.
If you follow college football, you've seen the Alabama Crimson Tide. If you've read Iron Man comics, you've seen the armored Crimson Dynamo.
And now you've seen the Alabama Crimson Dynamo. Your life is complete. You're welcome.