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BC's Home Field Edge and the Big Finish

Brian: Phil Steele recently posted an explanation of his home field edge that he used in his preview magazine. There are nine individual factors that go into the calculation, including stadium capacity, actual attendance, percent capacity, win/loss records, 5 year records at home and record against the spread (as a measure of strength of schedule).

BC ranked 23rd overall, behind only Virginia Tech in the ACC.

3. Virginia Tech 6
23. Boston College 4.5
25. Clemson 4.5
33. Georgia Tech 4.25
54. Virginia 4
58. Florida State 3.75
60. Miami 3.75
64. North Carolina 3.75
71. Maryland 3.5
77. Wake Forest 3.5
89. N.C. State 3
114. Duke 2

Now BC certainly doesn’t have the largest stadium (at 44,500, Alumni Stadium is just the 74th largest stadium capacity in I-A). Also, in recent years, we’ve struggled to fill Alumni Stadium with an average attendance of 35,716 in 2009 (good for 65th nationally).

So at least three of Steele's nine individual factors are working against BC in his home field edge calculation. So what factors do you think go into the home field advantage that BC has enjoyed over the last 5 seasons? Your thoughts?

Jeff: There are many things aside from attendance and noise that go into home field advantage. Even though Alumni Stadium is smaller than many other stadiums in the conference and the country, the metal bleachers that extend very close to the playing field allow the crowd to be a big factor despite their size. Also, many opponents are used to playing on grass, rather than field turf which we have at Alumni.  

I think the biggest factor that helps BC's home field advantage is that every team has a long way to travel. Many times it's a program's longest road trip of the season. The opponents might be on a little less sleep or a little further out of their routine when they come to Chestnut Hill compared to other away games during their season. And going along with that, we now play many warm climate teams who have to play in Boston in November which would certainly seem like an advantage for BC.


Big Finish

Brian: Statistically Speaking uses stats and logarithms and stuff to determine that BC will go 3-5 in the ACC this year. Make any sense?

Jeff: Not really. They have Maryland going 4-4 and finishing ahead of us. I haven't heard that anywhere yet.


Jeff: Josh Haden has decided to transfer to Florida and will join the Gators in January. How do you think he’ll fare in Gainsville?

Brian: I wish the kid well, but I can't see him faring much better than he did at BC. So ... about the same?


Brian: In his most recent conference poll update, Phil Steele predicted BC will go 5-3 in conference and only gives them a 39% chance of beating Clemson.

Jeff: Not worried about that yet. He's too high on Kyle Parker.


Jeff: Herzlich hasn't practiced all week because of his right foot injury. Worried?

Brian: Not worried at all. I'd be more worried if he tried to rush his return to the field.


Brian: Lost Letterman ranks the ten worst NFL coaches that went back to coach college, and BC’s Dan Henning comes in at number 7. That cool with you?

Jeff: Sounds reasonable.


Jeff: When the head coach says every position is wide open, do you worry that BC is in a rebuilding season?

Brian: I certainly hope not. This is the year to take advantage of a very favorable schedule.


Brian: Last one, HD ranks BC seventh in her preseason rankings (no surprise there), but ranks Miami as the preseason number 1 over Virginia Tech. Isn’t that a bit premature?

Jeff: Absolutely premature. HD loves the Florida schools though and will always overrate them.