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Berry Tramel


OSU homefield advantage not what we thought

by Berry Tramel Modified: March 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm •  Published: November 2, 2009

The Oklahoma State-Texas football series always seems to deliver the unusual. Close games when you’re thinking rout; routs when you’re thinking close games. The only constant is a Longhorn victory. But here’s another kooky element to the Oklahoma State-Texas series: the Cowboys seem to play as well in Austin as they do in Stillwater. Which is most definitely not the case with most teams and most series.

OSU now is 2-22 vs. Texas and 1-13 in the Big 12 era. But look at the recent games in Stillwater. Discounting the 38-35 classic in 2007, the ‘Horns largely have won easily this decade: a 41-14 drubbing Saturday night, 47-28 in 2005 (despite OSU’s 28-9 lead, that’s the one blown lead everyone expected), 55-16 in 2003, 45-17 in 2001, 34-21 in 1999.

Meanwhile, down in Austin, we had 28-24 in 2008 in a great game, 36-10 in 2006, 56-35 (after OSU led 35-7, a comeback that really was a stunner), 17-15 in 2002, 42-7 in 2000, 37-34 in 1998.

So that’s three close calls for Texas in the last six games at Austin, plus a game in which the Longhorns had to rally from a 28-point deficit. Meanwhile, at Stillwater, there’s one close call, one decent game (34-21) and one big comeback.

Everyone says Stillwater is a tough place to play, and I believe it. But does the evidence support such a theory? In Bedlam, obviously the answer is yes. Against Texas Tech, yes. The home team has won every game in that series since 2001.

But against Texas A&M this decade, OSU is 2-3 at home and 2-3 at College Station, with both routs and close calls in both venues both ways.

The North Division is tougher to analyze, since there are only half as many games. But OSU’s win over Missouri on Oct. 17 was the first home victory in the series since 1993.  Home teams are 3-4 in the last seven OSU-Kansas games. And home teams have lost the last four OSU-Colorado games. During the Big 12 era, home teams are 5-1 in the OSU-Kansas State series and 5-2 in the OSU-Iowa State series.

Big 12 competition suggests that OSU’s home advantage and road disadvantage is not as great as maybe we’ve been led to believe.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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