In North America, high school football (prep football or preps football) is gridiron football played by high school teams. It ranks among the most popular interscholastic sports in both the USA and Canada.
High school football began in the late 19th century, concurrent with the start of many college football programs. In the late 19th and early 20th century, many college and high school teams played against one another. Other traditions of high school football such as pep rallies, marching bands, mascots, and homecomings are mirrored in college football.
Missouri, a state near the geographical center of the United States, has three distinct physiographic divisions:
The boundary between the northern plains and the Ozark region follows the Missouri river from its mouth at St. Louis to Columbia. This also corresponds to the southernmost extent of glaciation during the Pre-Illinoian Stage which destroyed the remnant plateau to the north but left the ancient landforms to the south unaltered. The Ozark boundary runs southwestward from there towards Joplin at the southeast corner of Kansas. The boundary between the Ozark and lowland regions runs southwest from Cape Girardeau on the Mississippi River to the Arkansas border just southwest of Poplar Bluff.
Sports are an important part of the culture of the United States. Four of the nation's five most popular team sports were developed in North America: American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey, whereas soccer was developed in England. The four Major leagues in the United States are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL); all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. The top professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has not yet reached the popularity levels of the top four sports leagues, although average attendance has been increasing and in fact has matched or surpassed those of the NBA and the NHL.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country.
Columbia // is the fifth-largest city in Missouri, and the largest city in Mid-Missouri. With a population of 113,225 as of the 2012 estimate according to the United States Census, it is the principal municipality of the Columbia Metropolitan Area, a region of 175,831 residents. The city serves as the county seat of Boone County and as the location of the University of Missouri. The college town has a reputation as politically liberal and is known by the nicknames "The Athens of Missouri," and "CoMO." Over half of Columbians possess a bachelor's degree and over a quarter hold graduate degrees, making it the thirteenth most highly educated municipality in the United States. The city is currently in the midst of a construction boom, with numerous high-rise apartments, hotels, and condos going up downtown. As downtown grows upward, the city continues to expand outward, with new subdivision construction in the north, south and west sides of town.
The area that became Columbia was once inhabited by successive mound-building cultures of Native Americans. In 1818, a group of settlers incorporated under the Smithton Land Company purchased over 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) and established the village of Smithton near present-day downtown Columbia. In 1821, the settlers moved and renamed the settlement Columbia—a poetic name for the United States. The founding of the University of Missouri in 1839 established the city as a center of education and research. Two other institutions of higher education, Stephens College in 1833 and Columbia College in 1851, were also established within the city.
The Missouri Tigers athletics programs include the extramural and intramural sports teams of the University of Missouri, located in Columbia, Missouri, United States. The name comes from a band of armed guards called the Missouri Tigers who, in 1864, protected Columbia from Confederate guerrillas during the Civil War.
The University of Missouri (Mizzou, MU, University of Missouri–Columbia or simply Missouri) is a public research university located in the state of Missouri. In 1839 the university was founded in Columbia, Missouri, as the first public institution of higher education west of the Mississippi River. The largest university in Missouri, MU enrolls 34,616 students in 20 academic colleges in the 2013–14 year. The university is the flagship of the University of Missouri System which maintains campuses in Rolla, Kansas City and St. Louis. MU is one of the nation's top-tier R1 institutions, and one of 34 public universities to be members of the Association of American Universities and the only one in Missouri. There are more than 270,000 MU alumni living worldwide, with almost one half continuing to reside in Missouri. The University of Missouri was ranked 97th in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report among the national universities, steady from the previous year.
The campus of the University of Missouri is 1,262 acres (511 ha) just south of Downtown Columbia and is maintained as a botanical garden. The historical campus is centered on Francis Quadrangle, a historic district that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a number of buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1908, the world's first school of journalism was founded by Walter Williams as the Missouri School of Journalism.
The Big Eight Conference, a former NCAA-affiliated Division I-A college athletic association that sponsored football, was formed in January 1907 as the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MVIAA) by its charter member schools: the University of Kansas, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, and Washington University in St. Louis. Additionally, the University of Iowa was a joint member of the newly formed MVIAA and the older Western Conference (now the Big Ten Conference).
The Big Eight dissolved in 1996, when its members joined the newly formed Big 12 Conference. The Big Eight's headquarters were in Kansas City, Missouri. Although Kansas City wanted to be the home for the headquarters of the new conference, the member schools voted, 7–5, to establish the conference headquarters in Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. (The four Texas schools plus Colorado, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State voted for Irving, while Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, and Nebraska voted for Kansas City.)
Black and MU Gold
The Missouri Tigers football team represents the University of Missouri in the sport of American football. The Tigers compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The university and its sports teams officially joined the SEC on July 1, 2012. The team plays home games at Faurot Field, also known as "The Zou", in Columbia, Missouri.