Although the Tennessee Volunteer football team hasn't been breaking many records on the field this season, they did break one off the field. Well, technically it wasn't off the field.
I don't know if there is a record for quickest turf field assembly, but if there is, Tennessee probably now holds it. The Vols received a nice new upgrade to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex, a brand new Astroturf field, that was thrown together in the week before Tennessee's bye weekend.
Is it really a big deal for this season?
It may not translate to any wins this year, but it is an investment that will hopefully translate to wins in the future.
"Facilities play a huge role in recruiting," said Tennessee Senior Associate Athletic Director David Blackburn, "It will be great to be able to show recruits our commitment to our facilities and the development of young athletes."
Including the new addition to the Neyland-Thompson Sports Complex, Tennessee now boasts one of the best facilities in college football, not just in the nation's toughest conference.
In the SEC, anything and everything you can do to get an edge on the competition (note the recent violations), you have to do. So it's good to see Tennessee doing something for the program that doesn't involve an NCAA investigation.
The field, Astroturf's Gameday Grass 3DH system, is also one of the safest new synthetic grass fields out there. It features a Horseshoe fiber that reduces slippage, and mimics the grip of natural grass. It is not like some of the older field turf that swallows knees and ankles whole. Think back to what the preseason was like...
Both Ben Martin and Marlon Walls tore their Achilles' tendons in the indoor facility. So, who's to say that the ten year-old practice field had nothing to do with the injuries?
The new field is pretty aesthetically pleasing to say the least. It features a power-T at the 50 yard-line and checkerboard end-zones, that also helps the team be familiar with playing defense in the checkerboard at Neyland.
The Vols will begin practicing on the new field on Monday, starting Alabama week in high fashion.
Brett Parisi is the head sportswriter for knoxvilleman.com, and a contributor to bleacherreport.