Navy falls in title game of March (Helmet) Madness

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds models the runner-up in this year's Helmet Madness contest, which the Navy Midshipmen wore in their 2014 season-opening loss to Ohio State in Baltimore (USA Today Sports photo by Tommy Gilligan)

Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds models the runner-up in this year’s Helmet Madness. (USA Today Sports photo by Tommy Gilligan)

Every college athletic program wants its team in the finals of the big CBS-backed March tournament.

You know the one: 64 teams enter, one leaves victorious as the school with the best-looking football helmet.

The Navy Midshipmen downed powerhouse gridiron programs from Wisconsin, Arizona State, West Virginia, Florida State and Texas to reach the championship of the first ever Helmet Madness, run by

But Navy couldn’t hold an early lead in an online vote against LSU, eventually falling with just 40 percent of the tally.

The bracket included one helmet design from 64 top-tier college programs; Navy was the only service academy in the field.

The public determined the winner of each contest over a two-week period, and the Mids did their best to spread the word:

The Mids wore the featured helmet as part of a summer whites-inspired uniform in their season-opening 34-17 loss to Ohio State. Multiple designs were featured during the season, some with better on-field results.

Hundreds of thousands of votes were cast in the tournament, according to the article on the final showdown — an indicator of  the lure of bracket-based March contests, regardless of topic.

(Navy fans can vote in Military Times’ version here. “Top Gun” and “Midway” still have a shot.)


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