The rest of the conference didn't uphold its end of the bargain.
Seven of the thirteen teams didn't qualify for the postseason with a trio of squads going a dreadful 3-9.
2017 brings UAB football back from the dead to give Conference USA an even 14 teams. And while the Blazers probably won't challenge for a conference title this year, its helmets are certainly worthy of first-place consideration.
Can UAB nab the top spot as we rank all 14 Conference USA helmets?
Only one way to find out.
Note: These rankings are for each team's standard helmets. We'll be ranking the best overall Group of 5 alternate helmets soon. In the meantime, check out our helmet rankings for the AAC, Sun Belt, Mountain West, and MAC.
A big, giant, green "M."
That's literally it.
[credit]The Speedy Cheetah[/credit]
13. Southern Miss
The Golden Eagles logo and overall helmet looks stuck in the early 1980s.
12. Middle Tennessee
The concept is solid, but the white horse atop the "MT" blends in too much with the silver background.
11. North Texas
For a team that used to have easily the worst helmets in all of college football, UNT has come a long way.
10. Old Dominion
The crown above the "ODU" is an original touch, but it needs to be jazzed up a bit.
Just as the NFL's Buffalo Bills did, we like the Bulldogs' switch from a red background to a solid white to help the "T" inside the state of Louisiana stand out better.
[credit]La. Tech Athletics [/credit]
We love the color scheme, but also miss the roadrunner logo for its originality.
We're not normally a fan of plain-text helmets, but the old fashioned script on Rice's lids are a nice touch.
We hope they put their new logos on their helmets this year.
[credit]Creative Sports Enterprises, Inc[/credit]
Not too bad, but the Panthers have had this logo for quite some time and might be in need of an update.
It's all about the wings coming off the tips of the first and last letter of "FAU" that really makes this helmet unique.
[credit]Bowl-Bound Sports Store[/credit]
Kudos to the Miners for the funky color combination and shoehorning the pickaxe into the letter "T."
Entering just its third season of FBS play, the 49ers have made their mark in the helmet department already.
[credit]DICK'S Sporting Goods[/credit]
Chrome domes for the win.
Welcome back UAB. Conference USA just wasn't the same without you.