Friday, April 1, 2011
Best and worst home field advantages
By ESPN.com staff
There's no question having home field advantage plays a role in the outcome of some games, and Brian Fremeau of Football Outsiders used a formula to help figure out which teams in the country have had the best home field advantage from 2003-2010, and which teams have been the worst on the road during that same span.
Surprisingly, Virginia showed up on both lists. The Cavaliers had a 30-17 home record against FBS teams and was 14-29 in all road FBS games. If you would have asked me which teams in the ACC have the best home field advantages, Virginia would not have been my top choice. NC State, which has been 23-23 at home over the past eight seasons, and Duke, which is 7-35 in Wallace Wade during the same time frame, were both among the nation's top 10 worst home field advantages. While the attendance and interest at Duke has increased measurably since David Cutcliffe was hired, Duke's appearance on this list was expected. NC State's? That surprises me. Florida State had the ninth-worst home field advantage among BCS schools, and the decrease in attendance over Bobby Bowden's final seasons has been well-documented.
I'm one of the least scientific people out there, but based on my travels and game day experiences, the teams I would expect to have a significant home field advantage would be Virginia Tech and Clemson. The least likely to have a home field advantage would be Miami. Why? Its field is not at home. Even Duke has that.