Home Field Edge Part 1: Last 3 Years Home Records.

On the right-hand pages of the magazine for all 134 teams, I list the home field advantage. I think college football crowds are the best in sports and some teams have larger home field edges than others. In Las Vegas the standard is to give 3 points to the home team. I believe there is a large difference in home field edges in college football. Traveling to face Mississippi St and having to face the cowbell noise is a daunting task. Some stadiums that may not be 100,000 but are very loud like Oregon and Washington are a lot tougher venue than traveling to Akron or Connecticut. Last year my home field edges in the magazine ranged from 2 to 5.5.

This will be a multi-part series showing you some of the numbers that I use to determine the home field edge. I put each category into my computer and then weight the columns. My computer comes up with a home field edge number. I go down the list and adjust them based on my thoughts of each home field and how tough it is to play but I basically stay within a half point of my computers numbers as they are well thought out.

The first category we will look at is the Straight Up win percentage of each team for the last three years. There is a clear home field edge in College Football. Last year when I did this blog over the previous 3 years the 133 FBS teams were 1635-919 at home for a winning percentage of 64%. The last three years which include games from 2023, 2022, 2021 the 134 FBS teams (Kennesaw St moved up) are 1624-936 for 63.4%.  Last year teams were 543-310 at home for 63.7%.

Here is the last three years home field records chart.

In 2022 when I wrote this blog there were four teams that had not lost at home over the previous three years’ and they were Oklahoma, Clemson, UCF and Cincinnati. Interestingly those 4 teams combined to lose 5 home games in 2022 with none being unbeaten! Utah last lost a home game back in 2018 so that year dropped off and Utah went 6-0 in ‘22 and they were the only team in the FBS to have a perfect home record over the previous 3 years (did not include 2020 because no crowds). You will notice that the perfect 100% is good enough to earn a 6.0 home field edge for the three years. Much like 2022 the unbeaten team Utah lost a home game and are no longer unbeaten. Back in 2019 both Georgia (South Carolina) and Michigan (Ohio St) lost home games but they have not lost home games the last three years so they jump to the top with unbeaten records of 22-0 and 19-0. Alabama lost at home to Texas last year and is 20-1 the last 3 years with Utah 18-1 and Ohio St 19-2. A surprising name at the top is Oklahoma St at 19-2 (not a traditional power).

At the bottom of the chart last year were USF, Northwestern, UMass and Akron. Northwestern was the lowest ranked Power 5 teams and at home the previous 3 years as were just 5-15 including a perfect 0-6 at home in ’22. Akron was 2-15 at home the last 3 years which only received a 0.71 home field edge for this category. This year the bottom teams are FIU, Vanderbilt, Akron, UMass and Stanford. Stanford is at the very bottom with a 3-16 record but that does figure to change this year as they host teams from the East coast which should heighten their home field edge. In this part of my home field edge equation they only get a 0.95 grade.

The average team wins 64% of their home games and the median of the 1334teams is 63.6%. Last year Washington and Florida St came into the year at the middle of the pack but both teams went unbeaten at home (and on the road) and Washington is not #34 (16-5) while Florida St which was just 3-4 at home in 2021 is at #48 with a 14-6 record the last 3 years.

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Once again, my computer will add up all the different categories, weight them and then spit out a computer number which I will modify for home field edge for the magazine. Tomorrow I will look at the last 5 years records for each team at home.


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