The home field advantage is more pronounced in college football than almost any sport in the United States.
But that advantage largely comes from huge, vocal crowds, which are at threat of being diminished by coronavirus restrictions. According to college football analyst Chris Hummer of 247Sports, five teams are likely to be “crushed” by crowd limits if and when they’re implemented.
Hummer identified one school from each of the Power Five conferences that plays tough games that become even more difficult without a crowd on their sides. He also pointed out a number of teams that can just as easily benefit with road games becoming less hostile.
As for the teams that may be hurt by the crowd limits, Hummer’s named Alabama, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State and Virginia Tech. All of them play crucial home games that become a lot harder without that advantage.
For Alabama it’s their games against SEC rivals Georgia and Texas A&M, along with the Iron Bowl Game against Auburn.
Over in the Big Ten, Penn State has tough games against Iowa and Big Ten champion Ohio State.
Oregon has massive games against Washington, USC and Arizona State. A loss to any one of those can damage their chances of getting into the College Football Playoff.
Then there’s Oklahoma, who play the the Red River Showdown at a neutral site, but have Baylor and Oklahoma State to contend with at home.
Finally there’s Virginia Tech, who look to be a top contender for the ACC Coastal Division in 2020. Beating Miami and arch-rival Virginia at home becomes a lot harder without a crowd.
It remains to be seen how far some teams will limit their crowd sizes. But limits are coming.
Which college football teams are going to be affected worse by crowd limits?