Home/Road Factor

Back in my previous lifetime as a sports writer/columnist for the late, lamented Knoxville Journal, I came up with a formula I call the Home/Road Factor. It's a way of projecting a basketball team's success by giving extra weight to home losses and road wins.

Since teams generally win at home and lose on the road, my system provides 1 point for each road victory and deducts 1 point for each home loss. Thus, a 3-3 team that is 1-1 at home and 2-2 on the road will have a better Home/Road rating (plus-1) than a 4-3 team that is 3-1 at home and 1-2 on the road (0 rating). Sometimes the Home/Road ratings mirror the SEC standings. Often as not, they don't.

For instance, both Tennessee and LSU have plus-2 Home/Road ratings, even though the Tigers have a better league record (5-0) than the Vols (4-1). That's because LSU already has played three home games (winning all three), while Tennessee has played just two home games (winning both). Each team has won two SEC road games but Tennessee also has lost one. My system doesn't penalize UT for having played one more road game, nor does it reward LSU for having played one more home game.

Because Ole Miss (3-2) has two losses in league play, the SEC standings show the Rebels two full games behind the Tigers in the West race. Ole Miss is just one point behind in the Home/Road ratings, however, because it is unbeaten (2-0) at home and has one win in three tries on the road.

For what it's worth, a Home/Road Rating of plus-4 (8-0 at home, 4-4 on the road or 7-1 at home, 5-3 on the road) would equate to a 12-4 league record and probably be good enough to win the division.

Here are the SEC Home/Road ratings through Wednesday night's games:

EASTERN DIVISION

Tennessee +2 (2 road wins … 0 home losses)

Florida +1 (1 road win … 0 home losses)

Vanderbilt 0 (1 road win … 1 home loss)

Kentucky 0 (2 road wins … 2 home losses)

Georgia -1 (1 road win … 2 home losses)

South Carolina -1 (1 road win … 2 home losses)

WESTERN DIVISION

LSU +2 (2 road wins … 0 home losses)

Ole Miss +1 (1 road win … 0 home losses)

Alabama + 1 (2 road wins … 1 home loss)

Arkansas 0 (1 road win … 1 home loss)

Mississippi State -2 (0 road wins … 2 home losses)

Auburn -3 (0 road wins … 3 home losses)


Inside Tennessee Top Stories