With college football less than 20 days away football betting fans are ready to make some money on the game they love. In addition to a few rule changes there will be a major change in the NCAA next year, or at least the Big Ten. This upcoming season will mark the first year that the Big Ten schools will play nine conference games. This will have astronomical implications on bowl-pecking order as well as deciding which teams will have a chance at winning a division championship. Even more peculiar is that nine games will force some teams to play 5 games at home and 4 on the road, or 5 games on the road and 4 at home.
Home field advantage is important in every sport, but those who bet on sports know it’s even more important in football. While soccer and basketball fans can help build momentum for their teams and charge the stadium with energy, football fans actually have the power to disrupt the opposing team’s offense. Unlike basketball or soccer, football relies on snaps. Once athletes begin to play at the collegiate level they are expected to make pre-snap adjustments depending on what scheme the defense is in. This is usually done by the quarterback who will call an audible in order to change an aspect of the play they’re running. This can be something as simple as a blocking adjustment to account for a blitzing linebacker, or something as complex as going from a running play to a passing play. Whatever the situation it’s important that the quarterback is heard and that’s why home field advantage plays such a pivotal role in football. Home teams get a nice quiet stadium in order to perform audibles while away teams can’t even hear themselves think.
“Obviously, the pro is you play five at home,” Mark Dantonio, Michigan State head coach, stated during the Big Ten media day. “And the con is you play four at home.”
Teams will alternate every year meaning that if you played 5 home games this season, you’re going to have 5 away games scheduled in the following season. Football betting fans might think this isn’t a problem, but a closer look will reveal that this system is inherently flawed. Alternating advantages can spell disaster for a sports team especially in the NCAA. Schools have a maximum of four years per athlete. This creates a constantly changing landscape on the field resulting in teams having a good squad for only a limited amount of time. If a school is able to put together a great team but don’t find success due to having 5 away games, then that will just give athletes another excuse to come up with. It certainly would be an excuse, but it might be a valid one.
The reason for the change is to add power ratings to the conference. Adding another conference game means there’s one less patsy to play, resulting in tougher schedules for a majority of the teams. While some football betting fans might have liked seeing their favorites dominate a lower level team, this change will help ensure that there’s always a Big Ten school in the national game.