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Rabid Crowd Theory Redux

Ken Pomeroy posted an essay the other day entitled Rabid Crowd Theory. I decided to blatantly pirate this article and apply it to college football. The results were interesting, yet not totally surprising.

Common perception believes that it is more difficult to win in rowdy environments located in the deep south than it is to win on the east or west coast. Hell, even EA Sports has fallen victim to this belief with their "home field advantage" feature on their college football title. What the data below indicates is that an intense environment doesn't matter (if you take for fact that the SEC has the most vocal and fervent fans in the nation); quality of one's opponent is ultimately determinative.

The data below represents conference alignments as of the 2005-2006 season. Therefore, Louisville's 2004-2005 record is included with the Big East, Boston College's record is found within the ACC, etc. Thus, the "dominance" theory is not totally accurate in describing the 2004-2005 season, but it does serve as a necessary starting point for discussing the 2005-2006 season.

Rabid Crowd Theory - 2005


W% = Winning Percentage
AHG/Yr. = Average Number of Home Games per Year
AHGW/Yr. = Average Number of Home Game Wins per Year

Without having before me a larger pool of data to draw from (multiple years of conference home won/loss records) it is difficult to draw any concrete conclusions from the above information. However, there are some things worth noting.

First and foremost, Big East Conference teams should be scheduling more home games. With such a high winning percentage, more games need to take place on the greater east coast. This number was certainly affected by Louisville's awesome 2004-2005 season, but the league average in home wins was high enough to believe that the rest of the conference was chipping in to do their part at home.

Who would've thought the SEC East would come in so low? With Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee in that conference, I would have expected a final finish no lower than about 9th on the list. However, when a 5-year aggregation is completed, I am willing to bet the SEC East finishes much higher.

Finally, Dr. Gross is a genius. Recently, the good doctor indicated that he would like to see Syracuse head out west and play some PAC-10 universities. I say pile 'em on, Georgie! Outside of USC (which obviously lies outside the curve), each university is only winning about three home games a year. Just a terrific chance for a) victory; and b) television/media exposure for playing against another BCS conference member. It's a perfect storm of awesomeness.

1 Responses to “Rabid Crowd Theory Redux”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    The most interesting number on that entire table is the average number of home games an SEC team is playing each season.

    When you get almost seven home games a season, there is no reason to finish at or just above the .500 mark.  

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