How Good is Your Home Field Advantage?

Five weeks 'till kickoff...Five weeks 'till kickoff...Five weeks 'till kickoff...

Phil Steele gave us a look inside his rankings of home field advantage data today. As he makes his predictions each week, he adjusts for home field advantage. Ah, but not all home fields are created equal. A trip to Eugene, Oregon is not the same as a trip to Ypsilanti, Michigan. So what kind of home field advantages do we have in the Big Ten?

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Not a great Home Field Advantage

You can look at the article and see Steele's 27 categories. Steele adds 6 points as the greatest home field, 1.5 as the worst. The median is 3.75 points. When all is computed, the B1G does not register with one of the three best home field advantages. Those were nailed down by Oregon, Oklahoma, and Boise State - the only schools who receive a perfect 6 point bump in Steele's predictions. As a conference, we have 7 above-average home fields, and 5 below-average home fields. The B1G rankings after the jump.

National Ranking School Points Added Comparable National Schools
4 Ohio State 5.75 Virginia Tech
6 Penn State 5.25 Florida
6 Wisconsin 5.25 Alabama
12 Iowa 5.00 LSU
14 Nebraska 4.75 West Virginia
32 Michigan 4.25 Kansas State
32 Michigan State 4.25 Georgia Tech
67 Illinois 3.50 Mississippi
67 Purdue 3.50 Iowa State
82 Northwestern 3.25 Toledo
89 Indiana 3.00 Temple
89 Minnesota 3.00 Utah State

So what to make of this? Frankly, it strikes me as about right. Just watching games, which is part of Steele's methodology, Ohio State has always seemed like the harshest environment. Wisconsin, Penn State, and Iowa seem to logically fit in the next grouping. Nebraska and the Michigan schools also fit nicely together. Tough places to play, but not as tough as the previous four. The other five? Yeah, the road trip is based entirely on the caliber of the opponent, not the crowd or venue. So, where is Steele wrong?

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