Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Home/Road Splits So Far

Every team is now eight games into the conference season, after Portland State beat Eastern Washington on Monday night. Though schedules are starting to normalize, I thought looking at how many home/road games each team has played could be interesting, since it could at least give a little indication on if records are helped or hindered by schedule.

This is especially true becuase Big Sky teams are 35-9 at home in conference games, the highest home winning percentage for any conference. The home team is winning 79.1% of their games in conference play, an astounding amount. So, here are the splits:

Northern Colorado (7-1) - 6 home, 2 road
Weber State (7-1) - 6 home, 2 road

North Dakota (5-3) - 5 home, 3 road
Northern Arizona (5-3) - 3 home, 5 road

Idaho State (4-4) - 5 home, 3 road
Portland State (4-4) - 4 home, 4 road
Montana State (4-4) - 4 home, 4 road

Montana (3-5) - 4 home, 4 road
Eastern Washington (3-5) - 3 home, 5 road

Sacramento State (2-6) - 2 home, 6 road

Southern Utah (0-8) - 2 home, 6 road

- There are obviously two ways of looking at the home record being 34-9. One theory is that the home-court advantage is huge, and that would explain why teams like Northern Colorado, Weber State, and North Dakota are on top, while Southern Utah and Sacramento State are on the bottom. The other theory is that the home teams having such a great home record because the best teams have happened to start the year by playing at home. After looking at things, the latter seems a bit more likely (though certainly both are contributing).

- This makes things a little more promising for Northern Arizona, the only team that is at least .500 that has played more road games than home games. They are 3-0 at home, and beat Montana and Southern Utah on the road.

- This could also help explain Eastern Washington's slow start. They are 3-0 at home and 0-5 on the road, typical of young teams.

- Northern Colorado and Weber State are clearly the two best teams in the conference to my eye, but they have also benefited from generous early schedules. That is why I think the Big Sky winner will have at least 3 losses, and probably 4, by the time the conference season is over.

Any other thoughts or insights gleaned?

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