PSU Home Advantage is Overrated

omahabeef1337's picture
October 25, 2012 at 4:28p

It’s funny to me that PSU fans always look back to the 2005 OSU game to cite their great home advantage. No doubt the stadium had something to do with that win, but (though it’s hard to believe) that was SEVEN years ago. In the OSU games @ Happy Valley since then, Tod Boeckman had a career day and Terrelle Pryor got revenge for the loss in Columbus. Also to put those 7 years in perspective, in 2005 Braxton Miller was in 7th grade.

I’m not feeling overly confident about a win this weekend, but it will have more to do with the teams on the field than the fans in the stands.

Since PSU fans always go back to the atmosphere of a game 7 years ago, I began to wonder how they've done at home in big games since then. Here's a slice:

Looking back at recent years, here’s the results of big home games for PSU:

Alabama wins 27-11
Nebraska wins 17-14

MSU wins 28-22

Iowa wins 27-10
OSU wins 24-7


PSU beats Illinois 38-24
PSU beats MSU 49-18

OSU wins 37-17

Ater going through these, PSU’s home field advantage seems to be one of the most overrated environments in college football.

(I'll save you the Google search. You can see their past schedules here.)

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BuckeyeinAnnArbor's picture

Or it means that PSU just wasn't very good.

omahabeef1337's picture

That's sorta my point. Home field advantage doesn't win games. The team that plays better wins the game. The "home field advantage" isn't as important as we like to think, at least in this case.

gwalther's picture

Nebraska only won by 3 during the week after the Sandusky/Paterno debacle. Losing to Alabama when you were trotting out a Rob Bolden/McGloin hybrid doesn't say a lot.
The MSU and Iowa wins are solid; but Iowa had PSU's number recently and MSU had the better team in 2010 (shared the Big Ten title).
And as for Ohio State: TRESSEL WAS UNDERRATED.
Point being, I still think it's a dangerous place to play.
What's their overall home vs road record in that timeframe?

Class of 2008

osubuckeye4life's picture

I think if any team has ever had a major home field advantage it's Boise State.
When they wore the home blues they practically blended into the damn smurf turf.
As of October 20, 2012, the Broncos are 86–3 at home since the 1999 season with the only losses being to Washington State in 2001, AP #18 Boston College in the 2005 MPC Computers Bowl and to TCU in 2011.
In fact in 2011 as part of a condition for joining the MWC they were banned from wearing their all blues during home games.
This sent me on checking what team still holds the record for longest home winning streak.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, the University of Miami boasted the best program in college football. The ‘Canes were fast, mean, brash and, most importantly, utterly dominant.
And nowhere were the 'Canes more dominant than the Orange Bowl, the stadium they called home.
Between 1985 and 1994, Miami won an astounding 58 straight games at home, breaking the record for the longest home winning streak previously held by Alabama, which won 57 straight at home between 1963 and 1982.
Below is the list the longest home winning streaks in college football history.
Miami (Florida): 58 games (1985-1994)
Alabama: 57 games (1963-1982)
Harvard: 56 games (1890-1995)
Michigan: 50 games (1901-1907)
Nebraska: 47 games (1991-1998)
Washington: 44 games (1908-1917)
Texas: 42 games (1968-1976)
Notre Dame: 40 games (1907-1918)
Notre Dame: 38 games (1919-1927)
Florida State: 37 games (1992-2001)
Yale: 37 games (1904-1908)
Yale: 37 games (1900-1903)
USC: 36 games (2001-2003)
Marshall: 33 games (1995-2000)
Nebraska: 33 games (1901-1906) 

NoVA Buckeye's picture

The irony: none of those schools are known for having a hostile environment.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

One Bad Buckeye's picture

DUDE! It absolutly SUCKS to play @USC!

"I'm One Bad Buckeye, and I approve this message."

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Their fans aren't as rowdy as the crowds at Oregon, despite having nearly double the attendance.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

osubuckeye4life's picture

Miami (Florida)Good point that is rather ironic. 
Though, I think with the Hurricanes it was more that they were just better than the team they faced at their home most of the time. Not necessarily that the Orange Bowl was a hostile environment. However, I do remember some of their games being quite loud at that place. 
The same thing with Florida State.

BuckeyeinAnnArbor's picture

We would need a much more comparitive analysis to determine anything about PSU's home field advantage.  I think you'd actually find it to be pretty effective.  That said, if they think Miller is going to be phased by a bunch of skinny screaming virgins in white, they've got another thing coming.

DetroitBuckeye's picture

I think that has more to do with the talent on the field than anything else, they also trucked us in our house last year and the atmosphere was not any different.  A 5:30 start time, in that stadium, during a white out=Yikes.

jfunk's picture

I think the weather gives PSU a distinct home field advantage. The sudden downpours of urine filled ziploc bags never seem to be distracting to the Lions...

Scotch: It may be too early to drink it, yes; but people it is never to early to think about it.

hail2victors9's picture

6 of the last 13 meetings, the winning team vacated the win. 

Those who stay will be CHAMPIONS!

~Bo Schembechler

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Schaudenfreude at its finest.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

jthiel09's picture

Look at the teams PSU has had of recent compared to a while back, starts to make sense.


cbusbuckeye's picture

Is there anything about Penn State that isn't overrated?

NoVA Buckeye's picture

Their annoyance.

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Urban John Simon Meyer's picture

That was a very loud stadium for the first 3 quarters. 

MAJbucksfan's picture

I was at the game, agreed, the first 3 quarters were some of the loudest I've seen.  Right after the blocked punt, I actually looked around to make sure the stadium was stable, the floor was moving up and down a couple inches.  Fantastic atmosphere!  However, I have to admit, just after Brax's PS3 style TD, I texted my sister and said "... and the crowd just went quiet"