The History of Ohio State’s Rose Bowl Helmets

When the Buckeyes take the field against the Oregon Ducks in Pasadena on New Year’s Day, their famous scarlet and gray uniforms will be packed away. In their place: A set of alternate blue jerseys with a subtle checker pattern and a brand-new maize helmet with a white rose emblazoned on it. This isn’t just another new look for the Buckeyes. These pieces of equipment are extremely special because they’re paying homage to Ohio State’s storied history as an elite team in college football. The team will be rocking some throwback looks straight out of 1925 with these game-day staples — as well as continuing its tradition as one of only two teams to wear an alternate home blue jersey every year. In this article, we explore a brief history of Ohio State football, explain why their Rose Bowl helmets have a special meaning, and discuss why these alternate jerseys might just be the most important change for OSU since their 2014 championship season.

The History of Ohio State Football

The Buckeyes have been playing college football since 1890. That makes them one of the oldest football programs in the country, along with the Crimson Tide, the Badgers, and the Tigers. Their storied history includes 5 national championships, 7 Heisman Trophy winners, and 20 BCS/New Years Bowl appearances. They’ve had some of the best college football players of all time on their roster, including Joe Jacoby, Archie Griffin, and Jim Houston. The Buckeyes are also one of two teams that wears alternate home jerseys every year (the other is Oregon). They have used the same basic design since the 1950s, with a few tweaks along the way. That’s a long time to keep wearing the same look. So, why do the Buckeyes wear alternate jerseys? It’s mostly for tradition.

The Importance of the Rose Bowl Helmet

In 1925, Ohio State went to the Rose Bowl for the very first time. It was also the first time the school had ever worn a logo on its helmets. Their new gear was adorned with a bright white rose, a symbol of the host city (Pasadena, California), and a “Go Bucks!” style slogan. The Buckeyes defeated the Stanford Indians 49-28, and they’ve been wearing the same logo on their helmets ever since. This isn’t just any logo, though. It’s a very important symbol to the OSU football team and its fans. The Rose Bowl logo prominently features a white Buckeye leaf. And that’s not just any Buckeye leaf — it’s the exact same kind of leaf that grows on Ohio’s state tree, the Ohio Buckeye. By incorporating their state tree into the logo, Ohio State is paying tribute to their roots. They’re honouring the rich history of their football program and the people who created it. Plus, they’re showing their loyalty to the Buckeye state and the city of Columbus, which is nicknamed “The Ohio State”.

The Return of the Maize Helmet

The Buckeyes’ famous white rose helmet wasn’t the only important change to the team’s gear in 1925. In fact, it was just one of two major uniform upgrades. The other was a brand-new helmet colour. The Buckeyes had been wearing black helmets since 1908. But in 1925, they debuted a new colour: Maize. The team has used this colour ever since. The OSU football helmet is not only important for its colour. It also features a distinct shape — a rounded “crown” with a single stripe running down the middle. The shape and colour of Ohio State’s helmets have remained almost exactly the same for nearly 100 years. So, why have the Buckeyes stuck with the same style for so long?

The Checker Alternate Uniform

The Buckeyes are one of only two teams to wear alternate home jerseys every year. Rose Bowl Helmets. For Ohio State, wearing a new set of blue uniforms every season is a way to honour their tradition while keeping things fresh and new. And the team’s most recent change to their uniform is a doozy. In 2019, they’re wearing an all-blue uniform, decked out with a subtle checker pattern. But this isn’t just any old checker pattern. It’s a special design that was inspired by the very first Ohio State football team of 1890. And it’s not just the uniforms that are getting a major upgrade — the helmets are getting a fresh new look, too.


The Buckeyes are one of the most storied teams in college football, and they’ve been playing since the 1890s. Their logo is a white Buckeye leaf, and they’ve been wearing a maize-coloured helmet since 1925. Their uniforms are often blue, and they’ve been wearing their current style of helmet since the 1920s. The Buckeyes’ uniforms have changed over the years, but they’ve kept their logo, helmet shape, and colour. And, of course, they’ve always worn their home white when they play at home.

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