Daily Blog •July 28, 2011 Blog Archives

I have gotten many requests to do a blog to explain how I compute each teams home field edge in the magazine. I have 27 different factors in my computer’s grade of a team. I then compare the computer’s analysis to my own and make the final decision.

While I mention that there are 27 factors in my home field computer ratings, there are actually nine individual factors that I use each year and I then combine the grades for the last three years giving half of the grade to last year, 30% to the numbers from two years ago and 20% to the computer rankings from three years ago.

Today I will go over the nine different areas that I use to rate home field edge. The first category is the stadium capacity. The largest stadium in the country last year was Penn St which held 107,282 and my computer gave them the maximum score of 6 for that category. My home field edges go from 0 to 6 in the magazine so they have the same scale in the computer. The smallest capacity is Idaho’s Kibbie Dome which seated just 16,000 and they received a 0 in that category. The rest of the capacities are done with a simple equation of Capacity-16,000 divided by 15,250. The reason I divide by 15,250 is that Penn St at 107,282-16,000 = 91,282 and 91,282 divided by 6 (0-6 scale) = 15,214 and I rounded up to get the 15,250. You can figure out what your favorite team is graded in this category by using this simple equation.

The second category is actual attendance reported by the school in 2010. Once again Michigan was at the top with 111,825 and this time the team at the bottom was Ball St which averaged just 8,947 fans per game last year. I used the same method as above to turn this data into a 0 to 6 rating where Michigan received a 6, Ball St a 0 and as an example Florida St with an attendance of 71,270 earned a 4.15 grade.

The third category is % of capacity. Let’s face it, a crowd of 45,000 in a 45,000 seat stadium is louder than a crowd of 45,000 in a half-full 90,000 seat stadium. The winner in this category last year was Alabama at 111% of capacity as they had an avg attendance of 101,821 with a listed capacity of 92,138. Oregon had a 110% capacity with an avg attendance of 59,398 with a stadium capacity of 54,000. There were 10 schools that had a larger average attendance than their listed capacity last year. At the bottom of this category was UAB which brought in an average of 18,360 fans to their 72,000 seat stadium which is just 26%. Five teams had an average attendance of less than 40% capacity and 9 had an average attendance of less than 50% of capacity.

The next category is last years straight up win/loss record for each team at home. There were 15 teams last year that finished with an undefeated record at home while there were 2 teams last year that were actually winless at home. Those 2 teams were Eastern Michigan and North Texas.

The fifth category is the last 3 years straight up records at home. Oklahoma, Boise St and TCU are all undefeated at home in that span while Alabama, Troy and Utah all have just one loss. At the bottom of the scale is Western Kentucky and North Texas who have won just 1 home games in the last 3 years. Once again this is on a 0-6 point basis.

The next category is the last 5 years records at home. Boise St and Oklahoma come in #1 here at a perfect 32-0 and 31-0 game at home respectively. TCU is next up with just 2 losses. North Texas and Eastern Michigan are at the bottom over 5 years with NT at 5-22 and EMU 5-19.

Sometimes teams compile great home records because they play a bunch of cupcakes. Sometimes teams compile a weak record because they play a large amount of ranked teams. The easiest way to determine if a team played above or below expectations is to look at their records against the Las Vegas spread. If a team was favored to win by 30 that means the opponent was weak and a 3 point win is unimpressive vs that caliber of opponent. I weigh each of the different factors and the actual home win record is given twice the weight of the ATS record. I used the records for last year, the last 3 years and the last 5 years. The best record over the last 5 years is CMU at 16-6 with Oklahoma #2 at 21-8 and TCU #3 at 20-8. At the bottom are Army at 6-18, and Fresno 7-20.

I then factor in the 9 categories from the 2009 and 2008 seasons which gives me 27 categories for the computer to factor in and I have them appropriately weighted. I then look at the computer’s grade which had Oklahoma #1 with a 5.65 home edge. Ohio St #2 at 5.59 and Oregon #3 at 5.23. At the bottom the computer has Eastern Michigan #120 at 1.19, North Texas #119 at 1.36 and WKU #118 at 1.54.

The final category is my own personal grade. I have 12 TV’s in front of me and watch 12 games all day long on Saturday and watch every nighttime game on ESPN. I can hear the crowd noise at each stadium and I weigh in how many times I thought it was a factor in a game. I look at how good the team has been the last 5 years and what percentage of games they win at home and on the road in my personal evaluation.

After that evaluation, I gave three teams a 6-point home edge in this year’s magazine in Oklahoma, Boise St and Oregon. Virginia Tech and Ohio St hav a 5.75 grade while Florida, Penn St, TCU, Wisconsin and Alabama all earned 5.25 grades from me. At the bottom of the scale I gave a 1.5 point home edge to Eastern Michigan with WKU, New Mexico St and Tulane all earning 2s.

Here are all my 2011 Homefield edges for all 120 Teams.

# Phil Steele's 2011 Homefield Edges (higher number the better)

 Rank Team Edge Rank Team Edge 1 Oklahoma 6 57 Kansas 3.75 1 Oregon 6 57 Mississippi 3.75 1 Boise St 6 57 Louisville 3.75 4 Ohio St 5.75 57 Louisiana Tech 3.75 4 Virginia Tech 5.75 57 Miss St 3.75 6 TCU 5.25 57 Iowa St 3.75 6 Wisconsin 5.25 67 Arizona 3.5 6 Alabama 5.25 67 North Carolina 3.5 6 Florida 5.25 67 Central Michigan 3.5 6 Penn St 5.25 67 Ohio 3.5 6 Hawaii 5.25 67 Illinois 3.5 12 LSU 5 67 Rutgers 3.5 12 Iowa 5 67 Wake Forest 3.5 14 Auburn 4.75 67 Arkansas St 3.5 14 BYU 4.75 67 Middle Tennessee 3.5 14 West Virginia 4.75 67 Purdue 3.5 14 Utah 4.75 67 Virginia 3.5 14 California 4.75 67 Marshall 3.5 14 Georgia 4.75 67 UTEP 3.5 14 Nebraska 4.75 67 Washington 3.5 14 Texas 4.75 67 Florida Atlantic 3.5 14 USC 4.75 82 Miami, Fl 3.25 14 Texas Tech 4.75 82 ULM 3.25 14 Texas A&M 4.75 82 Northwestern 3.25 14 Oregon St 4.75 82 Western Michigan 3.25 26 Missouri 4.5 82 Colorado St 3.25 26 South Carolina 4.5 82 Toledo 3.25 26 Arkansas 4.5 82 Syracuse 3.25 26 Tennessee 4.5 89 Temple 3 26 Clemson 4.5 89 Baylor 3 26 Nevada 4.5 89 Indiana 3 32 Michigan St 4.25 89 SMU 3 32 Oklahoma St 4.25 89 Minnesota 3 32 Cincinnati 4.25 89 Wyoming 3 32 Connecticut 4.25 89 Idaho 3 32 Houston 4.25 89 New Mexico 3 32 Arizona St 4.25 89 Utah St 3 32 Boston College 4.25 89 North Texas 3 32 Michigan 4.25 99 San Diego St 2.75 32 Florida St 4.25 99 Rice 2.75 32 Georgia Tech 4.25 99 UNLV 2.75 32 Stanford 4.25 99 Miami, Oh 2.75 32 Kansas St 4.25 99 Army 2.75 44 Troy 4 104 UAB 2.5 44 NC State 4 104 Kent St 2.5 44 Pittsburgh 4 104 Louisiana 2.5 44 UCLA 4 104 FIU 2.5 44 Air Force 4 104 San Jose St 2.5 44 USF 4 104 Vanderbilt 2.5 44 Northern Illinois 4 104 Memphis 2.5 44 Notre Dame 4 104 Buffalo 2.5 44 Colorado 4 104 Bowling Green 2.5 44 Southern Miss 4 113 Ball St 2.25 44 UCF 4 113 Akron 2.25 44 Navy 4 113 Washington St 2.25 44 Fresno St 4 113 Duke 2.25 57 East Carolina 3.75 117 Tulane 2 57 Tulsa 3.75 117 New Mexico St 2 57 Kentucky 3.75 117 Western Kentucky 2 57 Maryland 3.75 120 Eastern Michigan 1.5

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