|Daily Blog • August 23, 2014|
I have gotten many requests to do a blog to explain how I compute each teams home field edge in the magazine. I have 27 different factors in my computer’s grade of a team. I then compare the computer’s analysis to my own and make the final decision.
While I mention that there are 27 factors in my home field computer ratings, there are actually nine individual factors that I use each year and I then combine the grades for the last three years giving half of the grade to last year, 30% to the numbers from two years ago and 20% to the computer rankings from three years ago.
Today I will go over the nine different areas that I use to rate home field edge. The first category is the stadium capacity. The largest stadium in the country last year was Michigan, which held 109,901 and my computer gave them the maximum score of 6 for that category. My home field edges go from 0 to 6 in the magazine so they have the same scale in the computer. The smallest capacity is Idaho’s Kibbie Dome which seated just 16,000 and they received a 0 in that category. The rest of the capacities are done with a simple equation of Capacity-16,000 divided by 15,650. The reason I divide by 15,650 is that Michigan at 109,901-16,000 = 93,901 and 93,901 divided by 6 (0-6 scale) = 15,650. You can figure out what your favorite team is graded in this category by using this simple equation.
The second category is actual attendance reported by the school in 2013. Once again Michigan was at the top with 111,592 and this time the team at the bottom was Eastern Michigan, which averaged just 4,051 fans per game last year. I used the same method as above to turn this data into a 0 to 6 rating where Michigan received a 6, Eastern Michigan a 0 and as an example Notre Dame with an avg attendance of 80,795 earned a 4.28 grade.
The third category is % of capacity. Let’s face it, a crowd of 45,000 in a 45,000 seat stadium is louder than a crowd of 45,000 in a half-full 90,000 seat stadium. The winner in this category last year was Oregon at 107% of capacity as they had an avg attendance of 57,660 with a listed capacity of 54,000. There were 13 schools that had a larger average attendance than their listed capacity last year. At the bottom of this category was Eastern Michigan, which again brought in an average of 4,051 fans to their 30,200 seat stadium which is just 13%. Five teams had an average attendance of less than 40% capacity and 12 had an average attendance of less than 50% of capacity.
The next category is last years straight up win/loss record for each team at home. There were 18 teams last year that finished with an undefeated record at home while there were 5 teams last year that went winless at home.
The fifth category is the last 3 years straight up records at home. Northern Illinois is the only team in the country to be undefeated at home each of the last three years at 17-0 There are 4 teams that have had just 1 loss at home in the last 3 years as Stanford is 20-1, LSU is 20-1 and South Carolina is 20-1 while Baylor is 19-1. At the bottom of the scale is Georgia St, Idaho and Massachusetts who have won just 3 home games in the last 3 years. Once again this is on a 0-6 point basis.
The next category is the last 5 years records at home. Northern Illinois is #1 here at 26-1. Next up is LSU, Stanford and Boise St with just 3 losses. New Mexico is at the bottom over 5 years with a 7-23 record.
Sometimes teams compile great home records because they play a bunch of cupcakes. Sometimes teams compile a weak record because they play a large amount of ranked teams. The easiest way to determine if a team played above or below expectations is to look at their records against the Las Vegas spread. If a team was favored to win by 30 that means the opponent was weak and a 3 point win is unimpressive vs that caliber of opponent. I weigh each of the different factors and the actual home win record is given twice the weight of the ATS record. I used the records for last year, the last 3 years and the last 5 years. The best record over the last 5 years is Baylor at 21-10 with Ohio St #2 at 24-13. At the bottom is Eastern Michigan at 8-19.
I then factor in the 9 categories from the 2012 and 2011 seasons, which gives me 27 categories for the computer to factor in and I have them appropriately weighted. I then look at the computer’s grade, which had Alabama #1 with a 5.56 home edge, South Carolina #2 at 5.49 and Baylor #3 at 5.49. At the bottom the computer has Idaho #128 at 2.00, Georgia St #127 at 2.01 and Eastern Michigan #126 at 2.06.
The final category is my own personal grade. I have 12 TV’s in front of me and watch 12 games all day long on Saturday and watch every nighttime game on ESPN. I can hear the crowd noise at each stadium and I weigh in how many times I thought it was a factor in a game. I look at how good the team has been the last 5 years and what percentage of games they win at home and on the road in my personal evaluation.
After that evaluation, I did not give out any 6-point or 5.75 point edges this year. I did give out eight 5.5 homefield grades and they were to Ohio St, Wisconsin, South Carolina, Oregon, Oklahoma, Alabama, LSU and Boise St. At the bottom of the scale I gave a 1.75 home edge to Georgia St and a 2-point home edge to Massachusetts, Eastern Michigan and New Mexico St.
Here are all my 2014 Homefield edges for all 128 teams.
2014 Homefield Edges
|9||Oklahoma St||5.25||69||Iowa St||3.5|
|9||Virginia Tech||5.25||69||San Diego St||3.5|
|13||Florida St||5||82||Georgia Southern||3.25|
|21||Kansas St||4.75||82||Wake Forest||3.25|
|21||Texas A&M||4.75||82||Louisiana Tech||3.25|
|31||Michigan St||4.5||96||Middle Tennessee||3|
|36||Miss St||4.25||96||San Jose St||3|
|36||Georgia Tech||4.25||96||Texas St||3|
|36||West Virginia||4.25||96||Western Michigan||3|
|48||NC State||4||96||South Alabama||3|
|48||Fresno St||4||118||New Mexico||2.5|
|58||Vanderbilt||3.75||125||New Mexico St||2|
|58||North Texas||3.75||125||Eastern Michigan||2|
|58||Miami, Fl||3.75||128||Georgia St||1.75|