As it turned to the year 2000, only one college football team had multiple helmets: The Washington State Cougars, who rolled out a crimson helmet to wear on the road. WSU continued to rock either a gray or crimson helmet until they released the much anticipated “icy white” helmet in 2014.
Since then, WSU has experimented with their helmets by adding different logo colors or facemask colors to their crimson, gray, white or anthracite helmet shells to create a multitude of different looks that compliment the full uniform perfectly.
While we discovered that the timeless gray shell, crimson facemask is the best helmet combination WSU has worn since their Nike revamp in 2017, it’s not always that simple. Some facemasks have seen more glory than others. It’s time to dive deeper into WSU’s uniform madness. This week’s topic: shells, facemasks, and logos.
Best Shell Color: Anthracite (8-3)
The anthracite shell has been WSU’s most successful of the four options and has seen some of the most important wins, including a top-five upset of USC in its debut with the new uniforms in 2017.
The anthracite lid first debuted in 2016 against Oregon with a crimson facemask and crimson logo with a white outline — what has become known as the senior day look. The fourth shell gave WSU an option to go full anthracite for primetime matchups at Martin Stadium.
Surprisingly, the shell has only been used in two different helmet combinations. The first being with the white logo and facemask as seen above, and the other being the senior day look with a crimson logo and facemask. WSU last wore their anthracite shell in their senior day victory over Arizona last season.
Worst Shell Color: Crimson (10-8)
The first alternate helmet worn by WSU comes in last place in the shell color standings. The crimson shell got off to a hot start with the new Nike uniforms, going 7-2 in its first two seasons, including a 4-0 record in the magical 2018 season. Since 2017, the crimson lids have appeared the most times at 18, but boasts a 3-6 record since the 2019 season.
Traditionally, the shell has been worn with a white facemask but the crimson facemask has appeared more since 2017 (12 times) and carries a better winning percentage.
WSU went 1-2 in the crimson lids in 2021 and were last seen in a 38-24 loss at Oregon last season.
The gray shell has been worn the second most with a record of 9-6 and the white shell falls in third with a record of 7-5.
Best Facemask: Crimson (22-13)
WSU technically has one facemask better, being the anthracite, which won in its one and, sadly, only appearance against Nevada in 2017. However, the crimson facemask has done well as the leader in appearances at 35 and appeared on six different helmet combinations, including the two most worn combos in the all crimson look and the traditional gray helmet, crimson facemask.
In fact, the crimson facemask appeared in the first three games of the refreshed Nike uniform era in 2017, winning all three appearances. The crimson facemask had a winning record in its first three seasons but went 1-1 in 2020 and 4-4 in 2021.
Personally, adding the crimson facemask to the crimson lid has become one of — if not my favorite — look that WSU has for helmets.
Worst Facemask: White (11-9)
The white facemask used to be solely worn on the crimson ‘road’ lids before the icy white helmet debuted in 2014. The facemask has since been seen on every helmet shell color, but comes in with a record of 11-9 despite a 5-0 record in 2018.
Since the magical 2018 season, the facemask has appeared 11 times and only four of those have been wins. Its most trademark look, the icy white helmet, has done its part to boost the white facemask record, going 4-1 in five appearances.
Best Logo: Crimson (13-5)
Finally, we get to the most recognizable symbol of every college football helmet, the logo. WSU’s timeless crimson logo comes in with the best record at 13-5. Now, technically the crimson logo has appeared in 27 games but in nine of those, the logo had a white outline around the logo, as seen below:
The white outline logo also commonly appears on the gray helmet on the road, like against ASU and in the Sun Bowl this past season.
In its five seasons since the 2017 revamp, the crimson logo hasn’t had a losing season with its best record being in 2018 at 5-1 and its worst being the following year at 2-2. Eight of its 18 appearances are on the traditional gray shell, crimson facemask look with the other 10 appearing on the icy whites.
Worst Logo: White (14-12)
WSU has put five different logo decals on their helmets since 2017. The white logo has appeared the most times at 26. There are two logos that have a worse winning percentage than the white logo but the two logos have appeared in a combined three games.
The white logo, similar to the white facemask, was traditionally only worn on the crimson shell. It did make some waves when Jerome Harrison stuck it on a gray helmet for the Senior Bowl, but the ghost look took about a decade or so to appear in an actual Cougar football game.
WSU’s former road logo still remains a staple on the crimson lid but has made it’s appearances on the anthracite helmet for anthracite outs and on the gray helmet for that ghost look Jerome Harrison coined 16 years ago.
The crimson logo with the white outline comes in at second in the logo standings, with a record of 6-3. The other two sparsely used logos, the anthracite and script logos, come in at 1-1 and 0-1 respectively.
Once again, if were to dive deep into the analytics and deliver Jake Dickert and the equipment staff with the best combination to win games, we would be rolling out the ‘senior day’ helmet but dropping the white outline on the crimson logo.
Analytics and numbers aside, which helmet has become your favorite since the revamp?