Alabama Football: Toughest Tide games and home-field advantages


A few days ago, 247’s Brad Edwards projected 17 games to have the “loudest stadiums” this fall. His take was different from a usual approach or ranking teams based on their home-field advantage. Alabama football fans will find his projections interesting.

Edwards chose the No. 1 – No. 3 loudest games to be Georgia at Tennessee, Florida at LSU and Alabama at Auburn. Tennessee at Florida came in at No. 6. Clemson at South Carolina was No. 7 and Texas at Alabama was No. 8. Alabama at Texas A&M was No. 11. There was no explanation for why Tennessee at Alabama and LSU at Alabama did not make the list.

Alabama football fans may well feel short-changed. Perhaps fans in Tuscaloosa are a bit less raucous and a bit too genteel (as in less angry) to match home fans in Auburn, Knoxville, College Station and Baton Rouge. I can attest that in Red Stick’s Tiger Stadium, running into LSU fans who want to fight is not uncommon.

More important to whatever happens between fans is how much advantage does home field give top teams. I have seen it argued that a home crowd can be worth up to a touchdown. That claim is extreme. Betting sites calculate a home team’s plus points, from zero to around four points. In explaining the use of his algorithm, Jeff Sagarin suggests giving every home team a 3-point advantage. Even if Sagarin is mostly correct, I question if games like Alabama at South Florida, give the home team any points advantage.

Alabama Football Toughest Games

If we generally agree with Brad Crawford, then the toughest 2023 games for the Crimson Tide might be in College Station and Auburn. Reinforcing such a perspective is that the Crimson Tide has not been an outstanding road team in recent seasons. Not counting neutral site games, against Power Five teams Alabama was 6-3 in the 2021 and 2022 seasons. But two of those wins were nail-biters against Florida and Auburn, by a combined total of only four points.

I’ll make a counterargument that the Tide’s toughest games will be in Bryant-Denny. Texas, LSU and Tennessee will all be much better teams than Auburn. Auburn at season’s end will be dangerous because it often is in Auburn, but the Tigers will not have a roster able to pull off an upset. Perhaps, the Aggies might be as good as the Vols, but not LSU and probably not Texas.

Next. Multiple SEC teams have OCs with much to prove.. dark

A month away from the season, my toughest Alabama games are in order: Texas, LSU, at Texas A&M, Tennessee.