A few more thoughts on home field advantage

My post yesterday about Matt Melton’s statistical look back at the last four seasons in the SEC got a fair amount of attention, which I appreciate, although, again, it bears repeating that Matt did all the heavy lifting.  Anyway, one thing I wanted to go back to briefly was what he provided on home field advantage

… Now here is how homefield advantage shakes out in the SEC (in conference play only) with respect to the nation at large (with rank out of the 11 IA conferences in parentheses).As you can see, homefield advantage has meant next to nothing in the SEC over the past four seasons. Home teams have won about 51% of the time, meaning its accounted for a little more than what we would expect from a coin flip.

… in order to provide a little context.  If you compare that to what Matt found about the Pac-10

Now here is how homefield advantage shakes out in the Pac-10 (in conference play only) with respect to the nation at large (with rank out of the 11 IA conferences in parentheses).As you can see homefield advantage in the Pac-10 has improved a little each season, culminating with home teams winning at the second best clip of any conference in 2008 (second to the Sun Belt). That’s a far cry from 2005, when home teams didn’t even win half their games.

… the ACC

Now here is how homefield advantage shakes out in the ACC (in conference play only) with respect to the nation at large (with rank out of the 11 IA conferences in parentheses). As you can see the ACC is usually in the top quartile of homefield advantage (until 2008). Overall, the home team in ACC conference games has won about 58% of the time. If we remove Duke’s record, that number jumps to 62.5%.

… the Big East

Now here is how homefield advantage shakes out in the Big East (in conference play only) with respect to the nation at large (with rank out of the 11 IA conferences in parentheses). As you can see, with the exception of 2007, the Big East has consistently been one of the most home-friendly conferences. From 2005-2008, they rank behind only the Big 12 in homefield advantage, with home teams winning nearly 60% of the time in conference showdowns. If we remove the record of the moribund Orange from Syracuse, that number climbs to 66.2% (nearly two wins for every one loss).

… the Big Ten

Now here is how homefield advantage shakes out in the Big 10 (in conference play only) with respect to the nation at large (with rank out of the 11 IA conferences in parentheses).Overall, the Big 10 has been mediocre in terms of homefield advantage…

… and the Big XII

Now here is how homefield advantage shakes out in the Big 12 (in conference play only) with respect to the nation at large (with rank out of the 11 IA conferences in parentheses).Homefield advantage has meant more in the Big 12 than any other conference since 2005. That makes sense considering the fact that the Sooners have yet to taste defeat at home to a Big 12 foe since 2005, and that other five teams are five games better at home than they are on the road (with Kansas narrowly missing the cut at four and a half games better at home).

… it’s clear that life at home has been much more dog-eat-dog for SEC teams than for their peers at the other BCS conferences over the last four seasons.  I’m not entirely sure why that’s the case, especially when you think about all the hostile road environments in the SEC, but Matt suggests one factor in his analysis of the Big Ten’s numbers.

… However, it is interesting to note that while the ACC and Big East have had their whipping boys (Duke and Syracuse are a combined 3-27 at home versus conference foes the past four seasons), the Big 10 teams with the worst home records are Illinois and Minnesota at 5-11. That winning percentage is more than three times the mark of the aforementioned Blue Devils and Orange.

The bottom of the stack in the SEC over that time period would be Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the West and Vandy in the East.  While each has had its moments (the Rebels put up a goose egg in conference wins in Coach O’s last season of glory), I don’t think any school in the conference has been as consistently bad over that time frame as either Syracuse or Duke.

In fact, here are the home records of SEC schools for that time:

Look at all the teams bunched up in the middle of the pack.  Looks to me like a very competitive group that’s clawed away at each other for the most part.

Anyone else have any other thoughts about this?

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5 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

5 responses to “A few more thoughts on home field advantage

  1. The Realist

    I don’t know what this means, but in 2005-2006, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, and Arizona went a combined 5-29 in conference at home. When 4 out of your 9 teams are dreadful at home, it explains the .450 winning percentage, but what of the .533 the next season?

    Over the entire four year period, Wash. & Wash. St. went a combined 6-29:
    Wash — 2-15
    Wazzou — 4-14

  2. MacAttack

    When it comes to UGA, I feel a LOT BETTER when our big games (except UF) are on the road.

    Richt has a history of big road wins and big home chokes. Not to say Richt chokes all big home games but there is a better chance at home than on the road.

  3. Wolfman

    I don’t think that’s unique to Richt. I’ve been going to games in Sanford Stadium for almost 20 years now, and I’ve never felt we produce the kind of environment that is dominating. In fact, the only games I’ve felt that the crowd really was a major factor was the Blackout and LSU ’04.

    As a Dawg fan, I’ve always felt that opposing fans felt playing between the hedges was special, beautiful, fun, filled with tradition, great for spectators and a great place to watch a game…but not intimidating.

    However, to be fair, the more you win in someone else’s house, the more comfortable it gets. I feel at home all over the SEC now. (See: Tiger Stadium, Jordan-Hare Stadium, Neyland Stadium, Bryant-Denny Stadium) So maybe other people feel in our house the way we do in theirs. As a fan, anyway, I always realize we bring our best fans to away games. (If you’ve been to away games, you know the atmosphere I mean.) Any way to recreate that kind of atmosphere in our own house?

  4. Big Albany Dawg

    Dude,

    You’re making my head hurt. I’m better at beer math!