Power Ranking the SEC Teams with the Biggest Home-Field Advantage
The SEC has some of the best home game experiences in the nation, but not all home fields are created equal.
Some of them are championship quality while others, well, still have work to do.
In power ranking these teams, I took the number of fans, the number of empty seats and their 2012 win/loss record at home.
So, which teams have the best home-field advantage in the SEC? Read on.
No. 14: Kentucky Wildcats
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This picture just about says it all, doesn't it? This was taken at the Mississippi State at Kentucky game this season.
Kentucky came in dead last in the SEC in percent stadium filled in 2012; 26.86 percent or 18,251 seats went unfilled on average last season.
Coupled with the fact that Kentucky's only home wins were Kent State and FCS Samford, the Wildcats have the worst home-field advantage. We'll see if Mark Stoops can turn things around.
No. 13: Vanderbilt Commodores
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James Franklin and Vanderbilt have made big strides this season, but they have a long way to go in building a true SEC-quality home-field advantage.
The fact is Vandy has the smallest stadium in the conference at 40,550 seats, although the Commodores did a pretty good job filling them at an average 37,860 attendance last season. And to their credit, they beat mighty Tennessee at home.
I'm not sure if it says more about how far the Commodores have risen or just how far the Vols have fallen.
No. 12: Ole Miss Rebels
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Anyone who has gone to Ole Miss knows that the main event on game day is tailgating in the Grove (first class, no doubt about it).
Ole Miss only averaged 57,066 fans in the stadium, but the Rebels did manage to beat Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl as well as Auburn. That counts for something, right?
No. 11: Arkansas Razorbacks
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Arkansas has two homes (Razorback Stadium and War Memorial Stadium), and the Razorbacks really didn't defend either one of those very well in 2012.
They beat Jacksonville State, Auburn, Kentucky and Tulsa, but they also lost to Louisiana-Monroe, Alabama, Rutgers and LSU. And remember, Arkansas was ranked No. 8 in the country coming into the game against the Warhawks.
If you can't beat a Sun Belt team at home, you don't have an SEC-level home-field advantage.
No. 10: Missouri Tigers
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I'm not sure what Missouri was expecting when it moved from the Big 12 North to the SEC, but the Tigers have got a long way to go to build a true SEC experience.
Yes, they beat the Pac-12's Arizona State and a SEC team in Kentucky, but they also lost to Vanderbilt and Syracuse at home.
SEC teams shouldn't lose to Big East teams at home as any fan in the conference will tell you.
No. 9: Auburn Tigers
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It's been a hard year to be an Auburn fan.
Just look at how the Tigers did at home. They needed overtime to escape from Louisiana-Monroe and lost to LSU, Arkansas, Texas A&M and Georgia. The only two other teams the Tigers managed to beat at home other than the Warhawks were New Mexico State and Alabama A&M.
Auburn can certainly move back up the list with a nice stadium seating 87,451, but clearly it has a lot of work to do.
No. 8: Mississippi State Bulldogs
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While Mississippi State may have one of the smaller stadiums in the SEC (just 55,082 seats...), the Bulldogs have one major advantage.
Cowbells. Thousands and thousands of cowbells.
It seems to work well enough. The only team to beat the Bulldogs at home was Texas A&M. Granted, the list of the teams the Bulldogs beat at home isn't hugely impressive, but still...
No. 7: Tennessee Volunteers
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You know, Tennessee's home-field advantage at Rocky Top sure isn't what it used to be.
The Volunteers only averaged 89,965 fans in the stands in 2012. That may seem pretty good, except Neyland Stadium holds 102,455. That means that 12,490 seats went unfilled on average.
That's just sad.
What's sadder is the fact that the Vols didn't beat anyone with a winning record at home.
No. 6: South Carolina Gamecocks
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The Gamecocks may not have the sheer size that some other SEC stadiums have, but they defend it well.
South Carolina was a perfect 7-0 at the Cockpit, including a 35-7 drubbing of Georgia. Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks have no trouble putting an average of 80,001 fans into the stands.
Besides, it's not a bad place to find Waldo.
No. 5: Texas A&M Aggies
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The Aggies proved that they can provide an experience worthy of the SEC.
Kyle Field's listed capacity is 82,589, but A&M jammed in 87,014 on average last season.
Yes, the Aggies did fall to both LSU and Florida at home, but those are two of the conference's elite. Besides, you've got to admire what Texas A&M does to prepare for each opponent.
Namely, the Ags get together for Midnight Yell Practice the night before each and every home game.
No. 4: Georgia Bulldogs
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Playing "Between the Hedges" is never an easy task.
Georgia went a perfect 7-0 at home, but the most difficult opponent to come to Athens was Vanderbilt.
Strange times we live in.
Still, the Bulldogs pretty much sell out every game, and it's hard to concentrate with an average of 92,703 fans making those famed hedges shake.
No. 3: Florida Gators
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Unless you play for Florida, you don't want to find yourself in The Swamp.
No team was able to come out of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium victorious in 2012 with the most notable victims being South Carolina and LSU. And it's just so unsettling to see an average of 87,590 fans all wanting to take a chomp out of you.
No. 2: LSU Tigers
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There's no place like Death Valley.
LSU's Tiger Stadium is listed at 92,542, but the Tigers averaged 92,626 attendance in 2012.
Talk about busting at the seems.
Washington had no idea what was about to hit it when the Huskies came down to Louisiana to start the season. The only team to sneak a win out of Baton Rouge was the No. 1 Crimson Tide, and that was by a measly four points.
No. 1: Alabama Crimson Tide
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Alabama is the only team in the SEC to have more than 100,000 screaming fans packing the stadium every single home game. The Tide only had one game where they didn't completely sell out Bryant-Denny Stadium, and that was against Western Carolina. Even against that cupcake, 101,126 people showed up.
Yes, they got tripped up by Johnny Football at home, but remember that this game propelled Johnny Manziel to the Heisman. That says an awful lot about how much respect winning in Tuscaloosa will get you.
As of right now, the SEC team that has the best home-field advantage is none other than the national champion Crimson Tide.