Updated College Home Field (9/6/13)
With another season and change of data to review, it's time to update the college football home field advantage rankings. This is something we added to start the 2012 season and utilized it to aid one of our strongest (if not the strongest) handicapping seasons of any sport in the site's existence.
As a quick refresher, home field advantage in college football is typically presumed to mean "about three points" (the average right now is actually closer to 2.8) difference in the final score. This means that if two teams are identical, neither team should be favored on a neutral field, while the home team would be favored by about three if they played at one of the team's stadium. This can lead to essentially a six point swing from one venue to the next. The truth is that some stadiums could actually mean up to nine points, while some do not help much at all. To read more on the process and the original rankings, see the College Football Homefield Advantage blog entry from June of 2012 and/or the College Basketball Homecourt Advantage blog (where elevation is the most important element to the advantage) from February 2012.
Comparing the updated rankings from what we originally published, it's clear that conference realignment has played a major role in home field advantage (different officials and elevated competition being the biggest factors in this phenomenon, though a team that improves its roster in general should drop in the rankings as it becomes more consistent at home and on the road). The five teams who have dropped most in these rankings in the last 13 months are (in order with biggest drop first): Utah State, Texas A&M, Louisville, Georgia Tech and TCU. The five teams that have risen the most in our home field advantage rankings since last season are (in order with biggest improvement first): Fresno State, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Syracuse and North Texas. Interestingly, two of these teams - Syracuse and North Texas - have changed conferences for last season to this season.
All data goes back to 2000. For teams that have new stadiums, seasons in new stadiums are given stronger consideration. In general, recent seasons are given more weight that seasons long ago, especially for programs that are newer to FBS football (though we have left off all teams that joined FBS last year or this year).
College Football Home Field Advantage by Team:
|49||San Jose State|
|55||New Mexico State|
|57||San Diego State|
|90||Middle Tennessee State|
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