On Independence Day, a holiday commemorating the birth of our nation, could there be a better time to consider the importance of homefield advantage? The United States' continental army had just that during the Revolutionary War. The British had more troops. They also had a bigger and better navy. But it was the American patriots won the war on their own home turf.
Below you'll see that we've dug up the numbers on six years worth of SEC wars. (Hold off on the "sports is not war" emails... it's called a metaphor.) We've looked at each team's home record and then each team's road record (including any game or bowl played away from home).
From 2008 through 2013, here are the programs with the best homefield advantage...
|School||Home '08-'13 (Win %)||Road '08-'13 (Win %)|
|Alabama||39-3 (.928)||33-6 (.846)|
|S. Carolina||38-5 (.883)||18-18 (.500)|
|LSU||37-5 (.880)||24-13 (.648)|
|Georgia||30-7 (.810)||24-19 (.558)|
|Florida||32-9 (.780)||24-14 (.631)|
|Auburn||35-10 (.777)||15-18 (.454)|
|Missouri||28-11 (.717)||25-15 (.625)|
|Arkansas||28-14 (.666)||13-20 (.393)|
|Texas A&M||27-15 (.642)||19-16 (.542)|
|Miss. State||25-15 (.625)||25-21 (.543)|
|Tennessee||27-17 (.613)||6-24 (.200)|
|Ole Miss||23-18 (.560)||16-19 (.457)|
|Vanderbilt||19-20 (.487)||16-21 (.487)|
|Kentucky||20-22 (.476)||9-24 (.272)|
There aren't many surprises at the top of that chart. Alabama has easily been the SEC's best team at home and on the road over the past six seasons. Schools like LSU, Georgia, Florida and Auburn take care of their home business as well.
South Carolina, however, stands out. Riding an 18-game winning streak at home, the Gamecocks have won about nine out of 10 home games while winning only half of their travel dates during the same stretch. Gotta face Carolina? Hope your team catches them away from Williams-Brice Stadium.
At the other end of the spectrum, Vanderbilt and Kentucky are the only two SEC squads that have stumbled into losing records on their home turf since 2008.
One other interesting note, despite the "12th Man" crowd advantage at Texas A&M, the Aggies rank in the bottom half of the SEC in home winning percentage. Missouri, on the other hand, ranks in the top part of the league in home game winning percentage.
But which SEC teams really, really need for a game to be played within its own friendly confines? Below we compare each team's home winning percentage with its road winning percentage.
|School||Home Win % - Road Win %|
Obviously, some schools are so good (Alabama, for example) that a game's location means very little to them. Others -- like Tennessee, South Carolina and Auburn -- desperately need homefield advantage. Over the last six years, the Vols have won just six games away from Neyland Stadium. They won 27 home games during that stretch.
Carolina only falls to a .500 team when it travels, but that's still quite a dip from the Gamecocks' stellar .883 winning percentage at home.
Auburn is yet another school see a steep decline in results when on the road. The Tigers have gone 35-10 at home since 2008. They've gone just 15-18 on the raod.