Blog Entry

Bullet's Top 10 Toughest College Stadiums

Posted on: December 31, 2010 4:06 pm

Home field advantage is often debated, but there really is no argument against it.  Most teams have a winning record on their home field.  As a matter of fact, only 10 FBS teams have a losing record on the field they call home.  That's proof enough, the home field is a true advantage. 

There is obviously more of a home field advantage for some over others.  For instance, Western Michigan has won nearly 62% of their home games since 1936 while Georgia has won 75%, with undoubtedly a much tougher schedule.  This basic comparison is the point of this thread.  It would be difficult to argue Western Michigan having one of the toughest home fields for opposing teams to win, given the level of competition throughout history.  For the purpose of my ranking, playing top level competition matters.

I decided to take a quick and rather simple look at program performance in home stadiums since the AP began ranking teams in 1936.  Although overall home records were considered, more emphasis was placed on performance versus season-ranked opponents.  A season-ranked opponent is one who finished ranked after all bowl games were played in either the AP or Coaches polls since 1936.  The Coaches poll did not begin until 1950, and the polls didn't always rank 25 teams.  I used a point system based on number of wins in five categories (versus teams ranked 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20 and 20-25), winning percentage in each of those categories, and overall number of home wins during the same time period.  Disclaimer:  I personally believe the polls are very subjective in nature, human and computer.  I used both the AP and Coaches poll for this research in order to help reduce the level of subjectivity.

A program had to play a minimum of 75 season-ranked opponents at home since 1936, had to win at least 225 games at home overall and had to win a minimum 40 games versus season-ranked opponents at home during the same period in order to be considered.  Based on my research, the following are my top 10 toughest stadiums for a visiting team to win throughout the history of the major poll system, based mainly on level of competition played and performance against that competition.

1.  Notre Dame (156 points)
2.  Michigan (153 points)
3.  Ohio State (140 points)
4.  Southern California (139 points)
5.  Oklahoma (123 points)
6.  Alabama (119 points)
7.  Tennessee (117 points)
8.  Penn State (105 points)
9.  Florida (98 points)
t10. UCLA (96 points)
t10. Miami (FL) (96 points)


Since: Jul 8, 2008
Posted on: February 4, 2011 10:19 am

Bullet's Top 10 Toughest College Stadiums

Sorry but how can ND be #1 when they haven't been decent and I mean mediocre since the early 90s?????????

Since: Jul 2, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2011 10:30 pm

Bullet's Top 10 Toughest College Stadiums

I like what you factored in, but the results leave me a bit suspicious.

It seems to follow all time wins a bit close
I suspect it follows overall winning percentage closer.
(though these could be a result of home field advantage)

Most don't consider the Big House a particularly tough venue because it is not designed to trap the sound.
When Miami was in the Orange Bowl, it wasn't the venue (rarely filled unless Miami was on a roll) which was intimidating.

Incorporating the home vs. away record using the same criteria might be more telling (wouldn't bother with neutral fields).  You need some reference for a baseline, otherwise it is a ranking of the best teams in a specific category, not the home field advantage.

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