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An OP Original Homefield Advantage

Discussion in 'OSU Sports Forum' started by Michael H., Aug 29, 2013.

  1. Michael H.

    Michael H. Contributor

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    Greetings, OP.com'ers.

    We've been working on a lot of things behind the scenes here at OrangePower.com, with one of the biggest being the production of more original content.

    We aren't quite ready to show you what we've been cooking up quite yet, but since the college football season officially kicks off today, we thought we'd give you a taste of things to come.

    So, without further ado...

    We've often said as Cowboy fans that the proximity of the Boone Pickens Stadium walls to the sidelines give Oklahoma State an undeniable edge in Stillwater, and even though we like to say they're amongst the narrowest in the country, a thread created by Mr. Orange-Power a few days ago made me curious to see how OSU actually stacks up.

    The stadium's sidelines haven't gone unnoticed by opponents, either, including former Texas A&M coach Jackie Sherrill who summed the situation up nicely --

    "I always hated playing in Stillwater because the crowd is right on top of you. The fans sit right on top of the field. You turn around and there is a fan in your face."

    So, after many hours spent with a ruler, Google Maps and a magnifying glass, I feel fairly confident in affirming that indeed, Boone Pickens Stadium actually does have the tightest sidelines of any stadium in the FBS.

    I'll explain a little more about the process in a moment, but first, bask in the glory:

    [​IMG]

    OK. So now that you've taken that in, let me do a bit of explaining.

    I'm sure naysayers will cite my partiality toward Oklahoma State as skewing my measurements, but in the spirit of being entirely honest, I had actually fully expected the sidelines at both Colorado and Iowa to be as close -- if not closer -- than those at OSU.

    So how did I cull the data?

    I based my measurements on the distance from the sideline at the 50-yard line to the nearest wall, using satellite images from Google Maps whenever possible.

    As Google Maps users likely know though, the system often changes the view from a direct overhead view to a closer-to-the-horizon view the closer you zoom in, skewing distances to the point of inaccuracy. In these instances, I based my measurements off of seating charts, stadium maps and in some cases, blueprints -- assuming they were drawn to scale.

    And, in the very worst case scenarios, I used photographs taken at field-level and used the widths of known objects (like equipment rolling equipment cases and benches) to piece together a reasonably accurate distance.

    So a few things I took away from doing this:

    1. I was under the impression that Boone Pickens Stadium's east/west orientation was something of an anomaly. As it turns out, there are actually 16 FBS stadiums that run east/west, 26 that run northwest/southeast, and five that run southwest/northeast. Even among the remainder that I'd qualify as running "north/south", very few are truly perpendicular to the equator.
    2. The average sideline width is about 15.2 yards.
    3. The average distance per conference goes: Big 10 (13.25 yards), Big 12 (14.3), Pac-12 (14.4), WAC (14.6), ACC (15.2), American (15.5), MWC (15.6), CUSA (15.8), SEC (16.4), MAC (16.4) and Sun Belt (17.3).
    Also, for people wanting to look at a full-size version, click here.

    So anyway. Hope that settles some debate, or at least gives people something to talk about as we count down the hours before the Oklahoma State/Mississippi State matchup on Saturday.

    Orange Power,

    Michael
     
    #1 Michael H., Aug 29, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 30, 2013
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  2. PokealypseNow

    PokealypseNow You Can Dere-Lick My Footballs, Cap-E-Tan

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    That's a whole lotta work. Thanks.
     
  3. Birry

    Birry Federal Marshal

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    No way a T-Rex could lay down on our sidelines and not touch the stands. Also, why is that guy just standing there while the T-Rex approaches? I'm calling BS.

    :koolaid:
     
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  4. cowboycramer

    cowboycramer Deputy

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    Great Work! How long did this take?
    Also, 21-34 are missing from the picture.
     
  5. Michael H.

    Michael H. Contributor

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    Yup. Sure are. I see a fix coming here in a bit.
     
  6. cowboycramer

    cowboycramer Deputy

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    Thanks Mr. Harris!

    Completely random question, Where did you get your black sweater with the orange "O" on it? I want one!!!!
     
  7. OrangeBosco

    OrangeBosco Cowboy

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    Another great resource for someone looking to measure stuff from satellite pictures is http://geodistance.com

    Great work, btw!
     
  8. Michael H.

    Michael H. Contributor

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    Actually got that in the Student Union a few years back. Not sure if they still make them, but it was in that Nike throwback line.
     
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  9. PrincetonPoke23

    PrincetonPoke23 Sheriff
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    Duke should be required to hand out binoculars at their home games!
     
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  10. t1m0thy

    t1m0thy Walker told me I have AIDS
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    To both fans or do they have to share?
     
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  11. PrincetonPoke23

    PrincetonPoke23 Sheriff
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    Only to visitors since they're too cheap to build a new stadium for their home fan-base.
     
  12. NET

    NET Cowboy

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    And I thought I spent a lot of time with OP.com... do baseball next.

    Seriously, thanks for the info that we didn't even know we wanted to know. We will be publishing a similar story Sunday in the Oklahoman.
     
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  13. Lab Rat

    Lab Rat Hold on while I make a chart
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    This is an impressive amount of data collection and a nice graphical representation. I wonder if there is actually a correlation between the sideline distance and home field advantage? There are some mediocre teams near the top of the list, but are those teams significantly tougher at home than on the road?
     
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  14. Michael H.

    Michael H. Contributor

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    One other thing I didn't mention earlier in that write-up - there are a ton of schools that have either completed renovations and expansions to their stadiums within the past decade, and even more that have renovations and expansions on the drawing board. I honestly had no idea so many schools are in the middle of capital improvements until I started researching for that chart.

    I didn't get enough into the timeline of the infrastructure improvements to say definitively whether or not Oklahoma State sparked the arms race, but we were certainly in the thick of it.

    I'd also say (and again, as impartially as possible) that the things OSU did to Boone Pickens Stadium are by far the most comprehensive by any school in the country. I'd say there are schools who have individual components that exceed what OSU has done in terms of sheer extravagance (the recently unveiled renovations to Oregon's "Performance Center" come immediately to mind), but in terms of the whole package (everything from overall aesthetics to fan amenities to locker rooms to administrative facilities), what we have in Stillwater is unquestionably still amongst the nation's best.

    In a more personal, slightly disheartening note - I also learned that t-rexes aren't quite as tall as I'd imagined during my childhood.
     
    #14 Michael H., Aug 29, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
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  15. dds115

    dds115 Free Roverto!!!
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    As someone pointed out elsewhere... Georgia Tech is listed as #4 and #7. @Michael H.
     
  16. Binman4OSU

    Binman4OSU Legendary Cowboy

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    This is now popping up on my twitter feed being tweeted by multiple Oklahoma sports casters...great work
     
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  17. Michael H.

    Michael H. Contributor

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    Both really good questions, and probably something I'll definitely look into once I get a chance.
     
  18. Michael H.

    Michael H. Contributor

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    Aaaaaand that's why I should have had somebody proof read ;)

    Thanks for the correction. Should be updated momentarily.
     
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  19. Chris H.

    Chris H. administrator emeritus
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    Fixed.
     
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  20. EmptySeat

    EmptySeat Territorial Marshal

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    Great work!!!
     

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