We are only 100 days until the start of the 2021 college football season, but we’re also in that time when there is little actual news to report. Recruiting won’t pick up speed until June, we won’t have media days until July, and actual practice seems oh so far away. But that also means it’s a perfect time to delve into one of the more inane aspects of football One that most people pay little attention to, but I tend to obsess over. And that is football field design.
There are lots of little ways you can trick up a field to either enhance the look or completely ruin it, and I’ll likely be doing a bit of both today, so strap in as we try to redesign the football field for every SEC team. LET’S GO!
Alabama Crimson Tide
Overall the Tide have a very clean-looking design, and I tried to maintain the overall look, including the crimson outlines around the yardline numbers and the 20 yard line. But I reduced the side of the midfield logo a bit to fit it within the 45 yard lines, and drastically changed up the endzone lettering. While many Bama fans are likely fond of the italicized, sans-serif lettering because of so many good memories tied to it, it also fits in with noting else in their branding package. So I switched it out for the font already used in their other athletic wordmarks, and added some personality by changing “CRIMSON TIDE” to just “ROLL TIDE.” You’ll also notice that the 18 yard line hashes are colored gold, signifying Bama’s 18 national championships.
Arkansas just switched back to natural grass in 2019 (always a welcome move), and I love having a colored-in endzone, but having the red stop short of the sidelines drives me crazy. The patches of green just make it look so much worse. Almost incomplete So I filled in the red all the way to the edge and removed the red sideline borders for a streamlined look. I also ditched their official athletic wordmarks for one that more closely matches what’s on the chest of their jersey. I realize this somewhat contradicts what I did for Bama, but Arky’s official wordmarks just don’t mesh with their current throwback-style uniform.
Like other schools on this list, I respected their choice not to color in the endzones (the theory is that it’s better for the grass to remain unpainted). The only major change to what is currently a really good-looking field is I added the “War Eagle” A logos at the 25 yard lines (this isn’t a big stretch, because Auburn has a history of putting anniversary/one-off logos in these spots).
Oh also there’s an orange dotted line to commemorate the Kick Six.
Almost everything I’ve done here is something the Gators have done at one point or another, including the blue borders around the field and the “F” on the 25 yard lines. But the biggest new wrinkle is putting the “Gators” script seen on their helmet into the endzones. To me this screams Florida football, and I think it’s much more identifiable than any of their other wordmarks they normally use in the endzones.
UGA is another team that already has a great-looking field. I especially love the modified “G” logo to mark the goal line, and the bold endzone lettering. My only real change was in the endzones and the colored outlines around the field. Currently, the endzone lettering has a red outline, and the field borders are also red. I tweaked this to where one side has red letter outlines with a black field border, and the other has black letter outlines with a red field border. Since Georgia uses red and black almost interchangeably anyway, I felt this was fitting, and makes for a very unique look.
As the first turf field on this list, the Wildcats have the ability to do something a little more bold. Kentucky has taken to using a checkerboard pattern throughout their visual identity for several years now, but let’s leave the checkerboard endzones to those chumps in Knoxville. Instead, let’s do something much more subtle and CHECKERBOARD THE WHOLE GOSH DARN FIELD!
As tempting as it was to put LSU’s tiger head helmet logo at the 50, I’m not foolish enough to remove the greatest midfield logo in college football, so the eye remains. As do the yardline numbers on the 5s (another fun quirk). What I did change was the endzones. The purple and yellow endzones look solid, but when you’re in Louisiana and your colors are purple and yellow, you aren’t going for understated. So I went full on zubaz tiger stripes in these bad boys, and the result is, well it’s something.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
Like A&M, MSU is an agriculture school and prides themselves on their playing surface. And for good reason, it’s won awards as the best field in college football many times. So why not show off that luscious green grass and let it speak for itself? I did just that by simplifying the endzones to simply have the Bulldog’s “State” banner they love so much. And for added flair, some cowbells on the 25 yard lines. And if you look closely, you just might see Elijah Moore watering the grass to ensure it stays in tip top shape.
Mizzou’s field is easily my least favorite in the SEC. The midfield logo and the SEC logos are garishly oversized, the italicized yardline numbers don’t work, and they ruined a classic-looking endzone design by trying to shoehorn their current wordmarks into it. I tried to marry the old with the new, keeping the black and yellow coloring of the current endzones, but reverting to the old font, and spelling out “MISSOURI” so that the diamonds run the full width of the endzones. I also shrunk the midfield/SEC logos and reverted to traditional yardline numbers.
Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss is another team that recently switched back from turf to grass, and as such, their design has been toned down, namely, the colored endzones. But I also never loved the “Ole Miss” script at the 50 yard line, so I moved that to the endzones and replaced it with their black M at midfield. The red and blue outlines at the 20 are a nice pop of color too. Considering that Rebel fans considering themselves the epitome of southern classiness, I think this field suits them perfectly.
South Carolina Gamecocks
Overall, SC’s field looks pretty darn good. My only gripe was that the endzones lacked a bit of personality. I tried to change that by adding in the school’s primary logo as the C in CALOLINA and the middle C in “GAMECOCKS.” I also noticed that they use the C with a white outline at the 50 (the version used on the black helmet), but I subbed that out for the one with the red outline (which is what’s used on their white helmets). I obviously left the palmettos at the 25s because [chef’s kiss].
Much like Arkanasas’s red endzones, it’s always bothered me how much green we see around the edges of Tennessee’s checkerboard. So why not make the checkerboard bigger and just fill in the edges orange? It’s essentially the design they used when they had articifial turf in the early ‘90s. And because the Vols love that gaudy orange so much, I also brought back the orange field borders from a couple years ago. That’s a lot of orange.
Texas A&M Aggies
This being an A&M blog, I know this is the one most of you came here to see. Overall I’ve always liked the relatively understated nature of A&M’s field design, but my biggest gripe is the midfield logo. Logos with so much trapped white space just don’t look as good on a field, so with that in mind, I used our lone star logo and boy do I love it. It provides a needed pop of maroon while also throwing the state of Texas on our field (and being the only SEC school in Texas is a recruiting pitch the Ags use constantly). And because we love to tout the 12th Man whenever we can, I’ve added “HOME OF THE 12TH MAN” lettering on the 25 yard lines and the 12 yard line hashes are colored maroon. And in a straight up pandering move, I changed out “TEXAS A&M” in the endzones for “TEXAS AGGIES.” Not only does it look better because it takes up the entire endzone, A&M actually has a long history of having this in our endzones during our heyday. This is a change many fans have been clamoring for, so I’m happy to bring it to you, even if only in this silly fantasy world.
Oh, and if you’re seeing the yellow goal lines and thinking “huh, that’s weird.” A&M has done this for decades now, so I thought I’d just run with it since it’s a bit of a unique quirk.
Somewhat surprisingly, Vandy already had a really good field design overall. I kept the midfield logo, the “ANCHOR DOWN” along the sidelines, even the two-tone outline around the field. All cool touches. However I decided that five V-Star logos was a bit much. so I changed up the endzone designs just slightly. One now just has “VANDERBILT” with a solid gold star, while the other says “COMMODORES” with their anchor logo. I think it provides just a bit more visual intrigue. And for one more unique touch, I made the goal line gold. This field will look so good as the ‘Dores go 0-4 in SEC play on it.
And that’s it! Do you love your team’s new field? Did I ruin your day by looking at these monstrosities? Let me know in the comments.
Which redesigned SEC field is the best?
This poll is closed