Although the University of South Florida is a large public university with almost 50,000 students, it did not have a football team until 1997. She started her team in 1997 in Division 1-AA (now called Football Championship Subdivision) and moved to Division 1-A (now called Football Bowl Subdivision) in 2001. Surprisingly in that short period of football, the program was ranked second in the country, obtained in an automatic qualifying conference. (Big East) played in various bowls and beat Notre Dame.
The football helmet was originally gold with a green mask. There was a bull’s head sticking out of a green square. The bottom of the bull’s head had a black shadow and you see his eyes; however, its main purpose was the exit of the horns, the mouth and the muzzle. Frankly, it looked like something you might see in USFL, Arena League Football, or NFL-Europe. It wasn’t your prototype NCAA football helmet that often, but not always, has characters or design features emphasizing the school name and not just the mascot. The logo has transformed into the current U logo which is shaped like a bull’s head. This logo has been used since 2003. The U is not connected at the top of the bull’s head. It starts on one horn, goes down over the bull’s head on one side, down its muzzle, down the other side of the bull’s head, and down the other horn. The original U was light to medium green with a black outline after leaving a space in the gold background around the bull’s head. This was replaced in 2005 by a black U, then reverted to a dark green. USF experimented with a white background and green U and green vertical stripe in late 2008 in the St. Petersburg Bowl game and then used it selectively in 2009 and most of 2010. Once in 2010, he returned to the golden helmet.
With the start of 2011, the USF Bulls have three helmet options. All three helmets have the familiar U logo. Options include a dark green helmet with a gold U surrounded by white, a gold helmet with a dark green U surrounded by white, and a white helmet with dark green and gold stripes plus a dark green U surrounded by gold. All three of these football helmets have the familiar dark green face shield. The dark green helmet will go down in history as the one used by the USF during the defeat of Notre Dame on September 3, 2011. The U logo has been used since 2003 and apart from a slight reduction in its size in 2005, it is identical. since then. The trend for many football helmets, and South Florida is no different, is to have more than one style of helmet and sometimes use different ones for special occasions like a bowling game. It will be interesting to see what the South Florida football helmet looks like in the future.