Home records vs Away

Submitted by SCarolinaMaize on October 30th, 2013 at 11:34 AM

One of the main gripes I see keep popping up is the team’s road record, or more specifically, how they can be so good at home and so poor on the road.  My position is that winning on the road is hard to do this day and age, and the ability to win on the road is what separates championship teams from the rest of the herd.  I don’t think many on here expected MI to be a championship team this year, yet many seem to think that MI should be playing as such.  I think, if someone had the data, if you were to add in the percentage of underclassmen to the roster, the stats would even be more separated.  This is not an excuse thread of why MI isn’t performing to expectations on the road, but more of a note to some that maybe their expectations should be tempered a bit.

I went to a couple different places to see if I could pull up the stats.  I found an article from Phil Steele in 2010 where his data showed that, from 2000-2010, all 120 teams averaged a .634 winning percentage at home and a .397 winning percentage on the road.

I didn’t find a site that broke down the records all at once, so I cherry picked a few teams and ran their records from 2000-2012.

Alabama – Overall = .683 / Home = .739 / Away = .586

Oregon – Overall = .745 / Home = .821 / Away = .701

OSU  - Overall = .800 / Home = .880 / Away = .733

Notre Dame – Overall = .609 / Home = .646 / Away = .587

Wisconsin – Overall = .682 / Home = .789 / Away = .569

MSU – Overall = .549 / Home = .640 / Away = .453

Michigan - Overall = .656 / Home = .789 / Away = .508

Hoke - Overall = .758 / Home = 1.00 / Away = .454


I bolded OSU because wow.  I picked the teams to give an idea of what the benchmarks could be and to show what our main competitors have been doing. 

I truly believe as the MI team matures, there road record will get better.  Their talent level is rising and it should correlate to more wins on the road.

One final statement, this is not a preemptive excuse post in regards to this weekend’s game.  I think MI wins this weekend in a hard fought, close game.  GO BLUE!


814 East U

October 30th, 2013 at 11:47 AM ^

Stats are somewhat misleading in this case. Look at the opponents they lost to on the road. SEC teams probably play tougher road schedules overall.

When M loses to OSU on the road I am not as disappointed compared to Michigan losing to Iowa on the road.

Hoke has lost to ND, MSU, OSU, Iowa, Neb, and PSU on the road (maybe the Bama/S.Carolina) so I really can't complain too much. Most teams lose those road games.

MI Expat NY

October 30th, 2013 at 12:13 PM ^

I don't think they're misleading at all.  I think Hoke's Michigan squads having a far, far higher differential between home and road records than any of the compared teams indicates that he is also losing more frequently to lesser opponents on the road than one would expect from his home record.


October 30th, 2013 at 5:28 PM ^

We haven't been blown out on the road since Hoke's been here, though I would guess that the Cowboy Classic crowd was more SEC/Alabama.

The problem is that our quality of play on the road has been very average to be kind.  We haven't been blown out on the road, but we also haven't won a game on the road that we controlled for 3-4 quarters, except for Purdue last year.  


October 30th, 2013 at 11:49 AM ^

I won't pretend to be able to do statistical analysis. But it looks like, overall among all programs, there's a 60/40 split on the bump one receives from playing at home vs. the liability of playing on the road. For Hoke, since he's been here, we have a 100/45 split. That seems to be orders of magnitude higher than average. Sample size caveats apply.

I think your facts undercut your analysis.


October 30th, 2013 at 12:03 PM ^

The comparison is distorted by all the non-conference home games played against cupcakes.  The way to control for that would be to compare only home and away conference records over the time period.  That would be a better comparison.


October 30th, 2013 at 12:18 PM ^

For me the issue isnt that we lost on the road.  It's more HOW we lost on the road that is so bothersome.  The gameplan for Iowa 2011 (Denard under center), OSU 2012 (Denard in game - must be run & Vincent up the middle) & PSU 2013 (27-27) that seemed so completely out of character or fundimentally flawed that it hurt our chances of winning.  

The others we just lost and that's going to happen.


October 31st, 2013 at 9:53 AM ^

While this seems reasonable it is a rationalization that really bothers me.

When teams lose, things happen to cause that. Saying, I don't mind losing it's just how they lost that bothers me and then listing random things doesn't make any sense. They lost to PSU because they couldn't kick a FG. They lost to OSU because OSU was good. Maybe they did lose to Iowa because the offensive gameplan was bad.

There is always a reason why a team loses. All you did was list a few that weren't even particularly bad like "looking like they have no idea what they are doing" "totally falling apart" or "self destructing."

What are the acceptable ways to lose?


October 30th, 2013 at 12:23 PM ^

We should really only look at conference records as non-conference tends to be easy opponents at home so this skus results.  If you look only at conference then the home/away strength of opponent should average out over 12 yrs.


October 30th, 2013 at 12:26 PM ^

I think we'll mature and begin to win more on the road down the line, but we still haven't beaten a ranked team on the road and that makes a good bit nervous for this weekend

MI Expat NY

October 30th, 2013 at 12:52 PM ^

I seemed to recall a lot of Alabama's big losses under Saban coming at home, so I went back and looked.  After Saban's first season, they've gone 23-2 on the road!  That's insane.  Over the same time period, they've gone 37-3 at home and 9-2 on neutral fields.  His Home/Away/Overall percentages over that period are 0.925/0.885/0.907.  

I guess when you're great, it doesn't matter where you play.  


October 30th, 2013 at 1:29 PM ^

I think one of the things we would need to be careful about when using Steele's data is that, at least in our case, it is across three different staffs as well - I think that has to be taken into consideration to some extent. I went through some the data just back to 2002, and if broke away records specifically down by coach between 2002 to now, you would get 19-9, 4-10 and 5-7 respectively. I just think it might be more useful, if we were to use the records in an analysis, to be more granular than Steele. 


October 30th, 2013 at 1:42 PM ^

I used Steele's number for all 120 teams.  The data I got for the teams on the post came from http://football.stassen.com/records/.  I basically threw the overall and home records in to give an idea of how the teams performed over the time period.  I was more or less isolating the away win percentage to see how well teams do on the road.  So an average team would be in the .400 range, good teams in the .550 range, and top teams in the .650 range. etc. Honestly, I don't know where you get your numbers or how you do what you do.  I'm not a stat guy, and I appreciate the content you put out using them.


October 30th, 2013 at 9:17 PM ^

the win/loss record on the road so much as the fact that there has been a recurring lack of execution on the road from both a player and coaching perspective, Sloppy play, poor playcalling, etc.

I certainly understand that it is difficult to win on the road, and that this team isn't at elite status right now. However, I think the level of execution on the road is not something that has been good enough, and I am sure that is what Hoke would say as well. Hopefully it gets better, but so far the team has flat out looked unprepared on the road far too often. There is no excuse for that loss at Penn State in retrospect, and not having a single win over a ranked team on the road under the current staff is somewhat concerning. Hopefully that changes this week.


October 30th, 2013 at 10:56 PM ^

Traditionally home field advantage counts for a score. Then you add in the turnover bug. Then you add youth. Then you add poor coaching. That takes a 2 score favorite and makes them on level playing field. We have seen that this year.

But it can't continue for ever. Time to regress to the mean ... Local rival (probably a solid mix of both fans) and limited TOs just based on a reversal of luck. Those two should help us this weekend.


October 30th, 2013 at 7:42 PM ^

And isn't that the big fear for this week. Under Hoke, they haven't won a road game against a team that could be described as above average (maybe NW 2011). Those 6 road losses are a combo of bad game plans (2011 Iowa and '13 Penn State), bad turnovers ('11 Sparty and '12 ND) and bad luck ('12 Nebraska and Ohio). We've had problems with 2 of the 3 again this year.