Updated College Home Field (9/6/13)

By Paul Bessire
Friday, September 6 at 7:00 PM ET

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 StateTexas 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:

Rank Team
1 Oklahoma
3 Wisconsin
4 Houston
5 Hawaii
6 Kansas State
7 Nevada
8 Troy
9 Missouri
10 Oklahoma State
11 California
12 Marshall
13 Michigan
14 Washington
15 Kansas
17 Arkansas State
18 Rice
20 Toledo
21 Clemson
22 Arizona State
23 Iowa State
24 Arkansas
25 South Carolina
26 Colorado State
27 Air Force
28 Cincinnati
29 Baylor
30 Mississippi State
31 Indiana
32 Colorado
33 Tulsa
34 UNC
35 Texas Tech
36 Fresno State
37 Minnesota
38 Northern Illinois
39 Michigan State
40 Arizona
41 North Texas
42 ECU
43 UCF
44 USC
45 Penn State
46 Syracuse
47 UConn
48 Purdue
49 San Jose State
50 Iowa
51 SMU
52 NC State
53 Wyoming
54 New Mexico
55 New Mexico State
56 Pittsburgh
57 San Diego State
58 Western Michigan
59 Rutgers
60 Nebraska
61 Texas A&M
62 Oregon
63 Oregon State
64 Illinois
65 Miami (OH)
66 Maryland
67 Louisiana Tech
68 Kentucky
69 Boise State
70 Georgia Tech
71 Florida
72 Ohio
73 Miami (FL)
74 Tennessee
75 Ohio State
76 Idaho
77 Boston College
78 Southern Mississippi
79 Virginia
80 Georgia
81 Temple
82 Kent State
83 Auburn
84 Ball State
85 Tulane
86 BYU
87 Northwestern
88 LSU
89 Army
90 Middle Tennessee State
91 Wake Forest
92 Utah State
93 UAB
94 USF
95 Buffalo
96 TCU
97 Memphis
98 Virginia Tech
99 Notre Dame
100 Central Michigan
101 Mississippi
102 Washington State
103 Akron
104 Utah
105 West Virginia
106 Florida Atlantic
107 Louisville
108 Eastern Michigan
109 FIU
110 Stanford
111 Texas
112 Duke
113 Louisiana Monroe
114 Western Kentucky
115 Louisiana
116 Alabama
117 Bowling Green
118 Navy
119 Vanderbilt
120 Florida State

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