2013 Big Ten Helmet Bracket: Round 1

Last summer, I compiled a Big Ten football uniform bracket for fans to vote on. Unsurprisingly, Michigan won – although there were upsets along the way. This year, it’s time for a helmet bracket (only primary lids considered).

Here’s how it works: The field is divided into the Legends Division and Leaders Division, with the champion of each meeting for the title, and BTN fans will vote on every matchup. Also, the two top vote-getters from each division receive a first-round bye.

Editor’s note: Seeds were determined by Facebook polls, using the results as of Wednesday afternoon (Legends | Leaders). Why the 4-6/3-5 format instead of the conventional 4-5/3-6? With Michigan and Ohio State earning the top seeds in routs, coupled with the fact No. 2 seeds also receive a bye, I wanted to give the runaway No. 1’s some kind of advantage.

1. Michigan (first-round bye)
2. Iowa (first-round bye)
3. Michigan State
4. Nebraska
5. Northwestern
6. Minnesota


No. 4 Nebraska vs. No. 6. Minnesota (Winner gets No. 1 Michigan)

Ameer Abdullah

Donnell Kirkwood

No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 5 Northwestern (Winner gets No. 2 Iowa)

Tony Lippett

Ohio State (first-round bye)
Wisconsin (first-round bye)
Penn State


No. 4 Indiana vs. No. 6 Purdue (Winner gets No. 1 Ohio State)

Stephen Houston

Rob Henry

No. 3 Penn State vs. No. 5 Illinois (Winner gets No. 2 Wisconsin)

Allen Robinson

Jonathan Brown

About Brent Yarina BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (31 Comments)
Ben on 5/15/2013 @ 6:05pm EDT Said:

It should be Penn State v.s. Illinois. Not Penn State v.s. Purdue.

Clayton on 5/15/2013 @ 6:06pm EDT Said:

You indicated #6 as Purdue, It should be Illinois

Lance LeQue on 5/15/2013 @ 6:08pm EDT Said:

Purdue is listed twice (there’s no option for Illinois).

Brent Yarina, BTN.com on 5/15/2013 @ 6:12pm EDT Said:

Yes, thank you, Purdue was listed twice. The error has been corrected and should be reflected soon. Apologies.

Sameer Gadola on 5/15/2013 @ 6:19pm EDT Said:

I’m a diehard Spartan. Watch out this year for the Defense! #GoGreen!

The Realist on 5/15/2013 @ 6:27pm EDT Said:

Choosing between which sucks less, Indiana or Purdue, is quite the conundrum…

Curtis on 5/15/2013 @ 6:31pm EDT Said:

If either one of Northwestern’s black chrome helmets were competing, there might as well not be a bracket.

HuskerCoug on 5/15/2013 @ 6:45pm EDT Said:

Why is the number 1 seed in the Legends division the Delaware Blue Hens helmet?

gobluehadley on 5/15/2013 @ 6:59pm EDT Said:

You know very well huskercoug that the Delaware blue hens copied the mich. design. But it was pretty funny..wrong..but funny…

Kevin on 5/15/2013 @ 7:04pm EDT Said:

This is already stupid when you don’t know how to assemble a bracket. 3 seeds don’t play 5 seeds and 4’s play 6’s … you’ve watched sports before right?

    Brent Yarina, BTN.com on 5/15/2013 @ 7:21pm EDT Said:

    Good point, Kevin. I originally had it in the traditional 3-6/4-5 format, but in a bracket like this, one with the top two seeds on each side getting byes and the top seeds (Michigan and Ohio State) earning the No. 1 distinction in landslides, I thought it was fairest to give them easiest roads. Hence, the unconventional 4-6/3-5. Thanks.

RMCES4LIFE on 5/15/2013 @ 7:14pm EDT Said:

Nebraska has the best helmets hands down, you can’t beat tradition.

Badger Bill on 5/15/2013 @ 7:15pm EDT Said:

Let’s show that the “W” on Wisconsin’s helmet means WINNERS!!! ON WISCONSIN!!!

Jack Preston on 5/15/2013 @ 7:18pm EDT Said:

MSU chrome and MSU bronze no contest

Todd Bannon on 5/15/2013 @ 7:29pm EDT Said:

How does Iowa get a bye over MSU?

JAY on 5/15/2013 @ 7:47pm EDT Said:


Jim Bunch on 5/15/2013 @ 8:08pm EDT Said:

I know it’s a year from now, but should have included Rutgers and Maryland…

Blake Jorgensen™ (@Blake_Jorgensen) on 5/15/2013 @ 8:08pm EDT Said:

Iowa’s helmets are amazing. You can’t beat the tigerhawk. The ANF sticker is original too.

Bruce Cameron on 5/15/2013 @ 8:19pm EDT Said:

I can’t wait until Ohio States Helmets beat all the others helmets butts.

Gary on 5/15/2013 @ 8:50pm EDT Said:

Because Iowa’s helmet is better than MSU’s.

Lisa Ryba on 5/15/2013 @ 9:19pm EDT Said:

Thought Illinois was getting new helmets for 2013…..

John Ross on 5/15/2013 @ 9:40pm EDT Said:

Go blue… And why isn’t nana in this

John Ross on 5/15/2013 @ 9:41pm EDT Said:

Alabama isn’t in this

John Ross on 5/15/2013 @ 9:43pm EDT Said:

Winner wolverines or Iowa

BuckyBman on 5/15/2013 @ 9:58pm EDT Said:

OSU might have a nice helmet but you can never tell with all those graffiti stickers on them. A beautiful plain Rolling W is THE best

Lance on 5/16/2013 @ 8:36am EDT Said:

Hawkeye Helmet is the best… Hands Down!

Craig on 5/16/2013 @ 9:55am EDT Said:

I think all Big Ten helmets are bad. Minnesota’s is probably the best. Regardless of the helmet you are still voting for the school. If there were no school attached to these helmets they would all tank in a contest.

Brad on 5/16/2013 @ 4:18pm EDT Said:

Leather helmets rule!

Brian Schwartz (@bwschwa) on 5/17/2013 @ 11:52am EDT Said:

how the hell did Wiscy’s ugly domes get a bye!?

chris K. on 5/19/2013 @ 2:33am EDT Said:

Yeah no kidding! Wisconsin’s helmets are the worst in the BIG, imho.

chris K. on 5/19/2013 @ 2:41am EDT Said:

Michigan, Michigan State, & Iowa are the best of the bunch, IMHO. I think Indiana has their best look yet, & I’d make them a darkhorse, but Michigan would be my odds on favorite. How in the world Wisky got a bye is beyond me. That ugly styled “W” is not a good look.