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Not that it needed saying, but OSU is a different team at home

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone but the numbers are astounding.



Phil Forte and Le'Bryan Nash hold serve at home. (USATSI)

Phil Forte and Le’Bryan Nash hold serve at home. (USATSI)

Anecdotally the story is easily told.

OSU is great at home and abysmal on the road. Remember that Kansas game in GIA in 2014? What about 2015? And social media only exacerbates Travis Ford’s conference road woes.

But what about empirically? Does the data back up what I believe I’m seeing with my eyes. Is OSU really Jekyll at home and Hyde on the road?

Yes, it is.

Doug Drinen of Sports Reference threw some data at me at the very end of January that hasn’t been updated in the last two weeks but I trust you’ll see the point I’m trying to make.

Here are the biggest discrepancies in home winning percentage and road winning percentage of the big-conference teams in their respective conferences (min. 50 games) since Ford took over in 2008.

Oklahoma State: 55 percent difference[1. OSU was 43-12 at home and 13-42 on the road through January 2015. I calculated the four games since then for them only — none of the other teams on this list — and it still has a greater than 50 percent swing.]
Missouri: 48 percent
Alabama: 48 percent
Utah: 46 percent
Arkansas: 46 percent
Iowa State: 43 percent
Wake Forest: 40 percent
Colorado: 40 percent
Maryland: 40 percent
Clemson: 37 percent
Ole Miss: 36 percent
OU: 36 percent

Now there are two ways to look at this. One is that of the teams on this list only OSU, Mizzou and Bama have more than 40 wins at home.

When you win that much at home, even a mediocre road winning percentage is going to stick out like a sore thumb.

Look at Iowa State, for example. It has nearly the exact same road record as OSU (13-42 for the Pokes, 13-41 for ISU) but OSU’s sticks out more because it has been far better in defending home court (43-12 vs. 37-18).

Still, it’s not pretty when you’re the only school with a 50 percentage-point swing between home and road record because it means you have to win nearly all your home conference games every season just to sniff the tournament.

Case in point.

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