Missouri is rolling out the red carpet for their new SEC rivals. Actually, they are rolling out a new green field turf instead.
For the third time in Memorial Stadium history, the playing surface has received a significant upgrade.
While some of us remain fans of natural grass, perhaps the idea that Les Miles would be paying a visit made it necessary to stick with artificial turf on Faurot Field. This off-season Missouri ripped up their FieldTurf and replaced it with a new turf with a price tag of $1.5 million.
Missouri will be just the second SEC team to play home games on turf [as the comments pointed out, Arkansas also plays on artificial turf] , instead of natural grass.
Since converting Memorial Stadium to artificial turf in 1985, the Tigers have gone 53-48-3. When the conversion was first made Missouri used Omniturf, which saw a home record of 20-38-3. The most recent FieldTurf, installed in 2003, saw a home record of 33-10. Is it a coincidence, or just the result of an increased dedication to winning?
Perhaps the turf has some benefits to a team that can be built on speed (St. Louis Rams anybody?). Will the next turf continue to help Missouri win some games? That remains to be seen. But here is what we can learn from the new look turf.
Bigger 50-yard line logo
Personally, I was hoping for a Missouri block “M” but I suppose that idea is kind of taken by another program. I will say I am somewhat surprised that Missouri did not use this opportunity to re-do their primary logo.
Moving to a new conference, installing new turf, and sporting a new uniform? Where’s the new logo? Regardless, the logo is a little bigger, expanding to just past the 40-yard lines and touching the hash marks on both sides of the field.
Don’t call us Missouri
I will be honest, I am never going to refer to the program as Mizzou, despite what they are throwing in my face with this new field. The end zones keep a similar pattern with diamonds across the field, but now they spell out “Mizzou” instead of “Missouri.”
Also along the sideline is a giant reminder that you are watching “Mizzou Football.” Honestly, it is kind of lame, but who am I to judge?
Missouri added the SEC logos on the 25-yard lines but guess what. If you sit on the wrong side of the field the conference logo will be upside down. Sure, this probably will not detract from your game-day viewing inside the stadium, and it serves as another way to showcase the logo on television. Missouri is not alone on this. LSU does it too. South Carolina has too.
In case you were wondering, as best we can tell, this is not something mandated by the SEC. Alabama alternates the viewing angles, while Georgia is one school that does not show the SEC logo.
Het, at least there are not any hashtags on the field, right?
More on the end zone patterns
Other than the fact that the end zones now read “Mizzou” instead of “Missouri,” I like where Missouri was going with this pattern. The diamond lettering used before was somewhat identified with Missouri, so it is nice to see that theme continue.
That said, while the black background addition is nice, the yellow diamond coloring pales in comparison to the white diamonds. I probably would have gone with white diamonds with yellow lettering outlined in black, but perhaps that would be too distracting…