Suppose we went to, say, Montana. And suppose we found 100 "average" college football fans (not necessarily message-board crazies, but not twice-a-year viewers, either) and put them in a room. If I held up a Michigan helmet, my guess is all 100 would know exactly what it was. If I held up a picture of the USC song girls, all 100 would know who they were. If I happened to bring Joe Paterno along with me, all 100 would say, "Hey, look, it's Joe Paterno!"
But if I held up a Georgia "G" helmet, how many of them do you think would be able to identify it off the top of their head?
One entrepreneurial Montana resident and Georgia fan actually went about the task of polling 100 Montanans to determine just how recognizable the University of Georgia "G" helmet truly is. Here are the results:
A 73 percent recognizability factor is damn impressive coming from a random sampling of Montanan college football fans. You've been served, Mr. Mandel.
This got me thinking about Boston College football's lids. Just how well would BC fare in the Montana Project? What about this helmet?
What about the road stained glassing helmets?
My guess is maybe 10-20 Montana residents would correctly guess that these are Boston College football helmets. Maybe even fewer would correctly guess that the road helmets are BC helmets. I'm sure you'd get a bunch of guesses that included Notre Dame, Army, Navy or a San Francisco 49ers helmet whose logos peeled off.
This, my friends, is a problem.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but it might be time to forge a new identity on the gridiron. With a new Athletic Director on the way and a new football coach not too far behind, it would be an opportune time to switch up Boston College's look. Go back to the old interlocking, block B C logo and slap that on the helmet. No more of this awkward stained glassing that makes it look like something's missing from the helmet. No more getting confused for a service academy, the San Francisco 49ers or that school in northwest Indiana.
Hell, if Notre Dame can put a drunken Irish midget on their helmet and Maryland dresses as Crash Test Dummies, I'm pretty sure Boston College football's helmets can evolve too. It's probably time to join college football's escalating helmet design arms race. I'm not convinced that two extra stripes and some stained glassing gets the program there.