As I was perusing through the RazorBloggers copy of Phil Steele’s 2008 College Football Preview (a.k.a. the annual college football bible), a couple of interesting things caught my attention.
For those of you who are familiar with Steele’s preseason magazine, you know how easy it is to get completely lost in it. Never has so much been put into 328 pages for the college football crazy.
If you’ve never seen it, take it from me, you can find yourself mesmerized to the point where you wonder out loud if this is the long lost cure for Attention-Deficit Disorder.
Home Field Edge — One of the things that Phil does every year is give each team what he calls a “Home Field Edge” value. This equates to the amount of points a team can expect to benefit when playing in front of the home crowd.
As you can see below, the Hogs fare very well in this ranking. And when you look at home points divided by average attendance, Razorback fans are actually the most valuable in the SEC.
|Rank||School||Home Field Edge||2007 Avg Attendance|
Strength of Schedule — We all knew the Hogs’ 2008 schedule was brutal…and Steele just confirms that. Only the University of Washington ranks ahead of Arkansas nationally.
Here’s the list of SEC schools, and you can see the complete ranking here.
|Rank||School||Strength of Schedule|
As much as I like the Georgia Bulldogs, it’s going to be tough to negotiate that schedule and win a national championship.
Phil Steele has been the most accurate of the preseason magazines over the last nine years. For 2008, he picks the Hogs to finish dead last in the SEC West, with a below .500 record overall.
Here’s hoping that at the end of the year, Phil wishes he had put us in his “Teams Most Likely to Surprise” list.