In honor of the college football season starting, I did a ranking of college football logos of each of the Power 5 Conferences. I especially wanted to do this because I know most teams won’t be playing this season due to COVID-19. As a note, each school has several variations of their logo, I am simply referring to the logo posted above the pick. These are their main logo listed on espn.com.
North Carolina Tar Heels
This logo was an easy choice for the ACC. The light blue is so iconic that it’s named “Carolina Blue”. The monogram just feels effortless with the interplay you get in the letters. I love the way the N has some curve to it and feels consistent with the C. All topped off by an outline of darker blue that pairs well and is a secondary color that can be used in branding. I think this is one of the best monograms in college sports (more to come on that).
Florida State- This pick might be surprising and possibly problematic due to our current climate. This logo is a lot more detailed and vintage than I lot more of the other logos I chose and that’s exactly why it gets an honorable mention in the ACC.
When I think of Big 10 football logos, the first name that comes to mind is not Michigan State but after looking at the competition, I had to pick the Spartans. This logo is very economical in that it portrays the idea really succinctly but there is still a lot going on. It’s difficult to do both of these things but I feel that this logo deserves my pick for the Big 10.
Indiana- I admit there is some bias in this pick as I was raised by a Hoosier but I feel confident that this logo deserves an honorable mention. I love that the monogram becomes its own shape when paired together.
The Big 12 has by far the strongest logo game. There are so many classic logos but also a bunch that have been rebranded flawlessly (shout out, Oklahoma State). The Longhorns earned their top spot on this list due to the simplicity, history and recognizability. I tip my hat to the use of color in their logo. Burnt Orange is a tough color to use in a logo and pull off. I know this isn’t a list of uniforms but Texas does some really cool stuff with their Orange and White combos come gameday. Well done Texas, you somehow made the cow look good.
West Virginia- The color alone deserves an honorable mention. I can’t ignore how well the W and V fit together in this logo like puzzle pieces. It looks great on a white or blue background (where the stroke disappears).
A sleeper in this conference but for some reason, this rebrand is doing for me. I love the symmetry, sharp angles and simplicity. This logo is simple but it keeps your eye moving because of the line-work. It’s tough to make a logo that’s essentially a line and not have your eye automatically go to one place. Great use of color. Ten points to Gryffindor!
Washington State- This logo might be my guilty pleasure. I’m a little embarrassed by how much I love this logo. I’ll admit it, this logo is one of the weirdest in all Power 5 logos but you have to respect how hard it is to make letterforms into an icon. Also, I’ve loved what they’ve done in the last few years with their uniforms.
The Razorbacks were an easy choice in a weaker conference. If I was given the assignment of making a logo for a feral pig, I’d start looking for a new job but the execution is fantastic. I love the tough look on the Razorback’s face and how it’s teeth peek out of the mouth. The small details are really great in the tail and the sharp lines on the back. The one critique I have with this logo is the color. Cardinal and Black aren’t ideal for this logo but what can you do?
Texas A&M-Speaking of weird colors: Maroon and White. Color is very subjective but I have never liked maroon. Despite this fact, the way the T stands out and has some depth to it, is really cool. Everything is bigger in Texas, even typography.
I didn’t feel good about leaving out the rest of the field so I gave some attention to 3 other logos.
I know that Notre Dame is basically part of the ACC but they deserve to have their own spot. I also want to make it clear that I’ve never been a Notre Dame fan because I’m about to give a lot of love to the Irish and want to make sure you know I’m not biased at all. This logo is amazing. If I were making a list of overall best logos in the FBS, this one would be in the top 3 for sure. The color is iconic with the dark blue and gold. The gold matches the historic helmets worn by the team. I also have to bring attention to the fact that their name is “The Irish” and they don’t use green as one of their primary colors. Bold move but it’s paying off in a big way. I mentioned the Tarheels previously and the only reason I said it was “one the best monograms in college sports” was because Notre Dame is probably the best. Both letterforms on their own are weird and wacky but together, their visual weight is even and consistent. I just really love this logo and feel like it’s a perfect blueprint of what a monogram should be. Also, the film Rudy is the only film that’s ever made me cry.
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles
Until making this list, I had never heard of this school. There are a lot of logos of birds, not just in college football but in professional sports. I think this logo is at the top of it’s game. The simplicity of the birdhead is fantastic. I like that it’s portraying a Golden Eagle because most eagles in logos are bald eagles. There is another version of this logo that this school uses and they should consider scrubbing it from their branding guide because this one is king (of the eagles).
New Mexico State Aggies
There are so many great logos from small schools that I wanted to add and I grappled with this last choice but I had to go with my first gut reaction. I really like the style of this logo. I’m not sure why but it makes me want to watch a western. The mustache on this cowboy is pretty amazing. I also love the shading done so it feels more 3 dimensional. Overall, just a solid logo, worth mentioning.
Note: This should go without saying but I don’t own any of the logos featured in this post.