College Football Home Field Advantage

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College Football Home Field Advantage

Which college football teams really have the best home field advantage? Most sources try to generalize home field advantage into a simple number that can be applied to every game. The fact of the matter is, there is no magic number that applies to every team for every game. Each team has built their own home field profile, and that is what I have tried to capture. I will go into more detail about how I came up with these numbers below, but the table that follows shows how much better each team has performed historically (represented by points) at home compared to on the road. The data was taken for each team for games between 1989 and 2012 in conference play only to help remove outliers caused by playing inferior non-conference opponents. Keep in mind that some of the best teams in the nation over the past few decades show up at the bottom of this list. This doesn’t mean they don’t have any home field advantage, but rather that they play just as well on the road as they do at home, so their true advantage is simply not as significant.

So, where do these numbers come from? Like I said, I pulled game data for each team for all of their conference games from 1989 to 2012. I took then took the difference of each team’s home margin of victory and road margin of victory and divided that number by two to get each team’s advantage at home over a neutral field.

Home Field Advantage in College Football
Team
Home Wins
Home Losses
Home Scoring Margin
Road Wins
Road Losses
Road Scoring Margin
Home Field Advantage
Cincinnati
54
42
1.06
35
73
-11.96
6.5
Connecticut
22
13
2.51
9
25
-8.03
5.3
Missouri
58
61
1.47
39
83
-8.66
5.1
California
66
68
1.43
58
77
-8.42
4.9
Utah
82
44
8.85
61
64
-0.86
4.9
Kansas State
69
50
3.52
46
79
-6.17
4.8
Florida State
112
17
23.21
75
28
14.19
4.5
Clemson
93
31
11.11
65
52
2.13
4.5
Texas Tech
73
52
5.14
53
73
-3.72
4.4
Nebraska
105
20
21.14
87
33
12.36
4.4
Oklahoma
93
23
17.68
80
34
9.35
4.2
Kansas
47
74
-7.85
27
93
-16.05
4.1
Oregon State
53
76
-4.25
63
66
-12.38
4.1
Arizona State
78
53
6.16
56
70
-1.93
4.0
Penn State
99
32
12.35
72
42
4.37
4.0
Syracuse
71
49
5.03
53
64
-2.85
3.9
Maryland
64
53
2.03
49
72
-5.8
3.9
Louisville
62
41
2.67
47
60
-5.13
3.9
Arkansas
74
52
5.57
58
68
-2.16
3.9
UCLA
89
44
6.39
63
68
-1.16
3.8
Washington
86
45
6.65
67
66
-0.87
3.8
Wisconsin
74
56
5.41
57
75
-2.09
3.8
Oklahoma St.
60
60
2.5
52
71
-4.94
3.7
Purdue
68
63
0.69
45
87
-6.63
3.7
Indiana
48
84
-6.29
29
105
-13.59
3.7
Virginia Tech
74
26
12.29
60
40
5
3.6
Minnesota
52
80
-4.31
34
101
-11.53
3.6
South Carolina
55
52
0.65
37
59
-6.48
3.6
USC
97
32
13.53
83
49
6.42
3.6
Ohio State
105
28
15.97
91
38
8.99
3.5
Iowa
84
46
7.08
67
64
0.24
3.4
North Carolina
69
53
3.18
52
71
-3.63
3.4
Florida
88
19
16.06
76
32
9.37
3.3
Rutgers
43
66
-5.37
31
88
-12.04
3.3
Miami (Florida)
86
24
16.42
75
29
10.01
3.2
Colorado
72
52
2.41
57
66
-3.94
3.2
Ole Miss
46
66
-2.85
35
81
-9.13
3.1
Texas A&M
88
41
8.97
73
53
2.72
3.1
Washington St.
54
77
-2.84
47
83
-9.05
3.1
Wake Forest
39
80
-6.55
39
90
-12.71
3.1
Boston College
51
47
1.68
39
57
-4.46
3.1
Oregon
82
46
6.79
72
64
0.76
3.0
Kentucky
39
83
-7.48
25
97
-13.51
3.0
South Florida
18
20
2.74
14
22
-3.14
2.9
Iowa State
43
79
-7.85
28
92
-13.64
2.9
Auburn
76
39
5.99
63
51
0.23
2.9
Vanderbilt
25
96
-10.25
20
102
-15.99
2.9
Mississippi St.
49
63
-4.1
30
87
-9.8
2.9
Michigan State
75
57
4.96
62
69
-0.61
2.8
Baylor
56
70
-4.87
39
88
-10.39
2.8
Michigan
107
27
14.4
90
40
8.89
2.8
TCU
70
57
4.35
57
70
-1.14
2.7
Temple
41
62
-6.07
34
90
-11.43
2.7
Tennessee
83
38
8.69
69
47
3.64
2.5
Georgia Tech
74
42
3.9
53
61
-1.06
2.5
West Virginia
83
39
8.67
68
49
4.09
2.3
NC State
67
54
0.54
48
71
-4.03
2.3
Texas
93
29
12.9
81
38
8.38
2.3
Duke
31
91
-9.54
25
102
-13.91
2.2
Pittsburgh
72
53
3.81
54
58
-0.27
2.0
Northwestern
47
85
-10.17
42
94
-14.19
2.0
Virginia
76
46
2.79
55
68
-0.74
1.8
Illinois
64
69
-0.9
53
77
-4.05
1.6
Arizona
70
66
0.94
58
68
-2.15
1.5
Georgia
74
33
8.48
73
32
6.09
1.2
Stanford
70
62
-0.02
60
76
-1.97
1.0
Alabama
79
39
9.03
81
36
8.71
0.2
LSU
74
47
3.51
67
49
3.34
0.1

There are a few things to keep in mind when you look at this data. First, obviously there is a lot of turnover for college football teams, so there is going to be some fluctuation from year to year, however, over this length of time there are certainly some patterns that emerge. You will also notice that the teams at the top of this list are mostly bad road teams, which influences how much “better” their numbers look at home.

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