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The Loud House?

Apparently, the Carrier Dome is supposed to provide Syracuse with an indomitable home-field advantage. Or at least this is the kind of drivel that is often passed on as fact nowadays.

There has been a ton written about home-field advantage and whether or not playing in one's home stadium actually has a quantitatively negative impact on an opponent's ability to play the game of football. While provocative, I'm not particularly interested in dissecting such assertions. What I am interested in is examining how Syracuse has fared at the Carrier Dome with a special eye focused on the Orange's performance in home openers.

The methodology behind this examination is simple: look at the total number of home games Syracuse has played in the Carrier Dome and place wins and losses into different analytical categories. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Maybe a few days down the line I'll take a look at how Syracuse has fared at home compared to how the other members of the Big East have done on their home turf. But for now, I'm just looking at how Syracuse has done on its own artificial carpet.

Note: The assembled data is courtesy of James Howell. His diligence is very much appreciated.


1980 - 2004: Syracuse Home Records
Home Games102442.699
Big East Home Games37110.771
Home Openers14110.560
Season Home Openers550.500

If there is a team that starts off worse at home than Syracuse, please step forward. How is it possible that a team that wins virtually 70% of its home games has no discernible advantage when playing an opponent as a home opener? Simply unbelievable.

I was a bit surprised to see Syracuse's Big East home winning percentage so high. I'll try to explain why I was surprised and what the reasons may be for such a high rate of victory.

Going into this examination, I had assumed that Syracuse's luxury of having perennial bottom feeders Temple and Rutgers at the Dome every other year would dramatically raise Syracuse's overall Big East winning percentage. However, I also thought that these virtual victories would be balanced by losses to Virginia Tech and Miami losses. Thus, the eventual outcome of Syracuse's home Big East rate of victory would be determined by games against Boston College, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia. With that in mind, I assumed that Syracuse would beat those teams at home a few more times than the opponent would top Syracuse, putting the Big East home winning percentage somewhere around .600 or so.

Boy was I wrong. To have a winning percentage approaching .800, Syracuse must've been dominating the middle of the Big East pack as well as scratching out victories against the conference's top teams on a semi-regular basis. That 20 year stretch of whacking Pittsburgh as well as BC's ineptitude in the Carrier Dome significantly impacted the rate of Syracuse's home dominance.

With an eye turned toward Syracuse's home/season opener against West Virginia, some interesting variables will be at play. Syracuse has fared pretty poorly in season home openers, yet has dominated (in a broader sense) its home Big East games.

Which variable will control on September 4th?

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