Daily Blog •August 4, 2012 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 Michigan which held 109,901 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 15,650. The reason I divide by 15,650 is that Michigan at 109,901-16,000 = 93,901 and 93,901 divided by 6 (0-6 scale) = 15,650. 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 2011. Once again Michigan was at the top with 112,179 and this time the team at the bottom was Eastern Michigan which averaged just 4,267 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, Eastern Michigan a 0 and as an example Florida St with an avg attendance of 77,842 earned a 4.33 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 Oregon at 110% of capacity as they had an avg attendance of 59,344 with a listed capacity of 54,00. There were 14 schools that had a larger average attendance than their listed capacity last year. At the bottom of this category was Eastern Michigan which again brought in an average of 4,267 fans to their 30,200 seat stadium which is just 14%. Six teams had an average attendance of less than 40% capacity and 10 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 13 teams last year that finished with an undefeated record at home (Michigan and Arkansas were 8-0!) while there were 12 teams last year that only had 1 win at home.

The fifth category is the last 3 years straight up records at home. There are 7 teams that have had just 1 loss at home each of the last 3 years and Wisconsin leads the % at 20-1. At the bottom of the scale is New Mexico and WKU who have won just 3 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 31-1 and 30-1 at home respectively. TCU is next up with just 2 losses. North Texas is at the bottom over 5 years with a 7-21 record.

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 Arkansas at 24-10 with Louisiana Tech #2 at 17-8 and California #3 at 21-10. At the bottom are Fresno St 7-20 and Tulane at 9-22.

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 Wisconsin #1 with a 5.78 home edge. Oklahoma #2 at 5.66 and Alabama #3 at 5.46. At the bottom the computer has Tulane #124 at 1.91, Memphis #123 at 2.13 and Eastern Michigan #122 at 2.21.

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 two teams a 6-point home edge in this year’s magazine in  Boise St and Oregon. Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech have a 5.75 grade while Alabama and Arkansas have a 5.5 edge from me. At the bottom of the scale I gave a 2 point home edge to Eastern Michigan, Memphis and Tulane.

Here are all my 2012 Homefield edges for all 124 Teams.

# Phil Steele's 2012 Homefield Edges

 Rank School Edge Rank School Edge 1 Oregon 6 58 Marshall 3.75 1 Boise St 6 58 Ohio 3.75 3 Wisconsin 5.75 58 Western Michigan 3.75 3 Oklahoma 5.75 58 Navy 3.75 3 Virginia Tech 5.75 58 Louisiana Tech 3.75 6 Alabama 5.5 68 Illinois 3.5 6 Arkansas 5.5 68 Purdue 3.5 8 Ohio St 5.25 68 Kansas 3.5 8 Penn St 5.25 68 Baylor 3.5 8 LSU 5.25 68 Miami, Fl 3.5 8 Florida 5.25 68 Rutgers 3.5 12 Iowa 5 68 Temple 3.5 12 Michigan St 5 68 Washington 3.5 12 Oklahoma St 5 68 Wake Forest 3.5 12 Clemson 5 68 UTEP 3.5 12 Georgia 5 68 UNLV 3.5 12 South Carolina 5 68 Louisville 3.5 12 Hawaii 5 68 Toledo 3.5 12 TCU 5 68 ULM 3.5 20 Michigan 4.75 82 Northwestern 3.25 20 Nebraska 4.75 82 Syracuse 3.25 20 Missouri 4.75 82 Maryland 3.25 20 Texas 4.75 82 Virginia 3.25 20 Texas A&M 4.75 82 Fresno St 3.25 20 West Virginia 4.75 82 SMU 3.25 20 USC 4.75 82 Army 3.25 20 Stanford 4.75 82 Central Michigan 3.25 20 California 4.75 82 Utah St 3.25 20 Auburn 4.75 82 Louisiana 3.25 20 BYU 4.75 92 Indiana 3 20 Nevada 4.75 92 Minnesota 3 32 Kansas St 4.5 92 Washington St 3 32 Texas Tech 4.5 92 Mississippi 3 32 Oregon St 4.5 92 Vanderbilt 3 32 Tennessee 4.5 92 Rice 3 32 Utah 4.5 92 Wyoming 3 32 Cincinnati 4.5 92 Colorado St 3 32 Southern Miss 4.5 92 San Diego St 3 32 Northern Illinois 4.5 92 Miami, Oh 3 32 UCF 4.5 92 Bowling Green 3 41 UCLA 4.25 92 North Texas 3 41 Arizona St 4.25 92 Middle Tennessee 3 41 North Carolina 4.25 105 San Jose St 2.75 41 NC State 4.25 105 UAB 2.75 41 Georgia Tech 4.25 105 Buffalo 2.75 41 Florida St 4.25 105 Kent St 2.75 41 Houston 4.25 105 Idaho 2.75 41 Connecticut 4.25 105 FIU 2.75 49 Notre Dame 4 111 Duke 2.25 49 Pittsburgh 4 111 New Mexico 2.25 49 Boston College 4 111 Ball St 2.25 49 Arizona 4 111 Akron 2.25 49 Air Force 4 111 New Mexico St 2.25 49 East Carolina 4 111 Florida Atlantic 2.25 49 Arkansas St 4 111 Western Kentucky 2.25 49 South Florida 4 111 South Alabama 2.25 49 Troy 4 111 Massachusetts 2.25 58 Colorado 3.75 111 Texas St 2.25 58 Iowa St 3.75 111 UTSA 2.25 58 Mississippi St 3.75 122 Tulane 2 58 Kentucky 3.75 122 Memphis 2 58 Tulsa 3.75 122 Eastern Michigan 2