Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ranking The Toughest SEC Stadiums

A few days ago I ranked the ACC stadiums, now it is the SEC's turn. The last eight seasons home record was used just like for the ACC. On average, the SEC wins about two thirds of their home games and are underdogs just under twice per year.

12. Vanderbilt - Vanderbilt Stadium

00-08 Record: 20-38 (.345)

FBS Rank: 116
Games as Underdog: 32

08 Home Record: 4-3

The Commodores fall into the Duke category with a stadium that people say is tough to win at, but the data doesn't back that up. Even as an underdog 32 times, Vandy has lost 38 times at home. Vandy lacks a true home crowd as many times the fans are at least 1/3 opposition.

11. Mississippi State - Davis Wade Stadium

00-08 Record: 25-31 (.446)

FBS Rank: 104

Games as Underdog: 31

08 Home Record: 4-2

The Bulldogs surprised me a little with their overall record close to 50%. The cowbells can get very loud, just ask Florida who has had considerable trouble in Starkville lately.

10. Kentucky - Commonwealth Stadium

00-08 Record: 29-31 (.483)

FBS Rank: 98

Games as Underdog: 29

08 Home Record: 4-3

The Bluegrass state turns UK's Commonwealth Stadium blue on football saturdays with a fan base that does not show total bias to its highly successful basketball program. Kentucky can be very cold road trip in November for warm weather teams. Rich Brooks has lifted the program to new heights including a home win over then #1 LSU in 2007.

9. Ole Miss - Vaught Hemmingway Stadium

00-08 Record: 36-24 (.600)

FBS Rank: 70

Games as Underdog: 17

08 Home Record: 5-2

The real attraction at Ole Miss is tailgating in The Grove. The Rebels have won a respectable 60% of their games in Oxford since 2000. But oddsmakers have Ole Miss rated a little too high with 24 losses in only 17 times as an underdog. Oh well, at least there are some pretty girls hanging out before, during, and after.

8. South Carolina - Williams Brice Stadium

00-08 Record: 39-22 (.639)

FBS Rank: 56

Games as Underdog: 22

08 Home Record: 5-2

They may have the best entrance in the SEC, but the Gamecocks have been very average at home this decade. But you have to give the Gamecock fans credit because they pack this stadium full every year with hopes of finally obtaining that elusive SEC title.

7. Alabama - Bryant-Denny Stadium

00-08 Record: 43-21 (.672)

FBS Rank: 50

Games as Underdog: 12

08 Home Record: 7-0

This will be the first controversial stat in the list and I agree; this record is largely because of the Mike Dubose and Mike Shula tenures. Nick Saban has brought a new attitude to Tuscaloosa as evidenced by his undefeated home mark in 2008. Bryant-Denny Stadium is sure to rise in the coming years with Saban stalking the home sideline.

6. Arkansas - Reynolds Razorback Stadium

00-08 Record: 45-20 (.692)

FBS Rank: 42

Games as Underdog: 18

08 Home Record: 4-3

Expect to hear the Callling of the Hogs at least once or twice every five minutes when you visit Fayetteville. The Razorbacks have been very steady at home over the years and should be improving over last year as Bobby Petrino enters year two at the helm.

5. Tennessee - Neyland Stadium

00-08 Record: 45-16 (.738)

FBS Rank: 35
Games as Underdog: 9

08 Home Record: 4-3

The Volunteer Navy lines up outside the largest stadium in the SEC on the banks of the Tennessee River for home games. Expect to hear Rocky Top with any remotely good play for UT. The Vols have suffered a little bit as of late in a stadium that only the Florida Gators could win in during most of Philip Fulmers' years. New coach Lane Kiffin looks to return Neyland to a house of horrors for opponents.

4. Auburn - Jordan-Hare Stadium

00-08 Record: 51-13 (.797)

FBS Rank: 15

Games as Underdog: 6

08 Home Record: 4-3

Auburn ranks 15th nationally, but that is good for just fourth in the SEC. The Eagle flight is hard to beat as a non-team entrance in college football. New head coach Gene Chizik has his work cut out for him to reach the heights of his predecessor though.

3. Georgia - Sanford Stadium

00-08 Record: 47-10 (.825)

FBS Rank: 11
Games as Underdog: 3

08 Home Record: 4-2

UGA has played the least number of homes games in the SEC over the last eight seasons, losing a home game to the Fla-Ga series every other year. But the Bulldogs have been underdogs just three times in those 57 games and lost only 10. Georgia is the only team to have a better record on the road than at home since 2000; watch out Oklahoma State!

2. LSU - Tiger Stadium aka Death Valley

00-08 Record: 54-10 (.844)

FBS Rank: 10

Games as Underdog: 5

08 Home Record: 5-3

Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night is one of the top college football road trips. And the Tigers have not disappointed their faithful very much lately with an SEC leading 54 homes. A late, game winning touchdown throw vs Auburn in 1988 registered seismic activity on the Universities Richter Scale. 2008 was a hiccup year for LSU and I look for them improve in '09.

1. Florida - Ben Hill Griffin Stadium aka The Swamp

00-08 Record: 49-9 (.845)

FBS Rank: 9

Games as Underdog: 1

08 Home Record: 6-1

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, coined The Swamp by Steve Spurrier, is no surprise at #1 on the list. Florida has been an underdog just once since 2000. The stadium has had many SEC and National Championship races decided on its surface, including numerous classics with rival FSU. Urban Meyer does not look to be letting up on opponents any time soon either so expect The Swamp to stay here a while.

What are your thoughts on the toughest stadiums in the SEC?

1 comment:

  1. Some tough competition in there, but from an SEC-outsider the list seems like a pretty fair analysis.


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