Of the 130 FBS programs, only 47 (or 36%) have three or more consecutive home dates scheduled in 2018. It makes a three-game home stretch an exception to the rule.
Of these, Florida, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and UCF standout by having two three-game home stands slated.
Even better than that, arguably, are the scenarios presented for the seven teams below. Representing a mere 5% of the FBS field, each has four-plus consecutive home dates in 2018.
FOUR-CONSECUTIVE HOME GAMES
Home stand: Alabama State (Saturday, Sept. 8), LSU (Saturday, Sept. 15), Arkansas (Saturday, Sept. 22), Southern Miss (Saturday, Sept. 29)
After meeting Washington in the opener in Atlanta, Auburn will be at home for the remainder of September. It ventures out of state again on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Mississippi State. What’s left after that is an even split of three home games and three away.
The Tigers are 57-17 (77%) at home since 2008 vs. 19-25 (43%) on the road. They enjoyed a long run at home as recently as 2016, when they opened the season with five-straight games in Jordan-Hare. They went 3-2 during the stretch – beating Arkansas State, (18) LSU, and ULM and losing to (2) Clemson and (17) Texas A&M. That team finished 8-5 after falling to (7) Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
Home stand: Northern Illinois (Saturday, Sept. 1), Iowa State (Saturday, Sept. 8), Northern Iowa (Sept. 15), Wisconsin (Sept. 22), Bye (Sept. 29)
Add in a Week 5 bye, and the Hawkeyes will spend all of September at home in Iowa City. They finally travel on Saturday, Oct. 6, making the trek to Minnesota. The cost is that they’ll play five of the last eight on the road, including not playing any back-to-back home dates after Oct. 1.
Iowa’s 49-21 (70%) at home since 2008 vs. 28-21 (57%) on the road. The last time it played four-straight home games was in 2012, a run that lasted from Sept. 8 – Sept. 29 and included wins over Northern Iowa and Minnesota and losses to Iowa State and Central Michigan. That squad went 4-8, the Hawkeyes’ worst finish since 2000.
Home stand: Missouri State (Thursday, Aug. 30), South Alabama (Saturday, Sept. 8), Boise State (Saturday, Sept. 15), Texas Tech (Saturday, Sept. 22)
Oklahoma State is one of only six Power teams that won’t face a Power opponent in non-conference play in 2018. Even better, it gets all three of its non-Big 12 foes at home, consecutively, to kick off the season. Add in a visit from Texas Tech in Week 4 and the Cowboys don’t leave Stillwater until a Sept. 29 date at Kansas. After that, they’ll play four of their last seven on the road.
OSU is 52-15 (78%) at home over the last decade vs. 37-14 (73%) in away games. It played four-consecutive at home as recently as 2014, when it opened with a narrow loss vs. (1) Florida State in Arlington, Texas and then hosted Missouri State, UTSA, Texas Tech, and Iowa State consecutively. The Cowboys won all four games, added a victory at Kansas in Week 6, and then dropped the next five. They posted a 7-6 record after beating unranked Washington in the Cactus Bowl. It was their worst finish since 2007.
Home stand: Bowling Green (Saturday, Sept. 1), Portland State (Saturday, Sept. 8), San Jose State (Saturday, Sept. 15), Stanford (Saturday, Sept. 22)
Oregon’s schedule plays out almost exactly like Oklahoma State’s. It also won’t play a Power team out of conference play, gets all three of its non-Pac-12 opponents consecutively at home to kick off the season and finishes its homestand with a visit from a league foe. It’s first road date is Sept. 29 at Cal, then it’s four of the last seven as away dates.
The Ducks are a sizzling 58-10 (85%) at home since 2008 vs. 34-16 (68%) on the road. The last time they played four-straight in Eugene was in 2012, opening with home wins over Arkansas State, Fresno State, Tennessee Tech, and (22) Arizona. It was the beginning of a 12-1 campaign, the only misstep coming in a late season 17-14 loss vs. (14) Stanford. After beating (7) Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl, Oregon finished at No. 2 in the final AP.
Home stand: Northwestern (Thursday, Aug. 30), Eastern Michigan (Saturday, Sept. 8), Missouri (Saturday, Sept. 15), Boston College (Saturday, Sept. 22)
Purdue is one of only two Big Ten schools who double-up on Power non-conference opponents this season. The good news is they get both at home in consecutive weeks. Like Iowa, the Boilermakers will play five of the last eight on the road, but get Ohio State, Iowa, and Wisconsin in West Lafayette.
Purdue is 30-39 (43%) at home in the last decade vs. 10-39 (20%) on the road. It, like the Hawkeyes, also played four-straight at home in 2012, a stretch that lasted from Sept. 15 through Oct. 13. It began with back-to-back wins over Eastern Michigan and Marshall and ended with losses to Michigan and Wisconsin. The ’12 Boilermakers went 6-7, losing to Oklahoma State in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
FIVE-CONSECUTIVE HOME GAMES
Home stand: Towson (Saturday, Sept. 8), Boston College (Thursday, Sept. 13), Notre Dame (Saturday, Sept. 22), Rice (Saturday, Sept. 29), Clemson (Saturday, Oct. 6), Bye (Oct. 13)
After opening at Tulane in New Orleans, Wake Forest gets its next five opponents at home in Winston-Salem. Add in the open date in Week 7 and the Demon Deacons don’t leave their own beds until an Oct. 20 road trip to Florida State. They play three of their last five on the road.
Wake Forest is 34-31 (52%) at home in the last ten years vs. 15-40 (27%) in road action. Though it’s played four-straight home games on three occasions – in 2004 (a 1-3 run in a 4-7 year), 1922 (a 1-3 run in a 3-5-2 finish), and 1913 (an 0-4 run in a 0-8 campaign) – it has never played five-consecutive home dates in program history.
Home stand: Alabama (Saturday, Oct. 6), Ole Miss (Saturday, Oct. 13 in Little Rock), Tulsa (Saturday, Oct. 20), Vanderbilt (Saturday, Oct. 27), Bye (Nov. 3), LSU (Saturday, Nov. 10)
As opposed to every other team listed, Arkansas’ epic run of home games doesn’t come early in the season but instead starts in Week 6 and lasts all the way until Week 12. Throw in the open date in Week 11, and the Razorbacks get 47 days at home between their road trip to Texas A&M on Sept. 29 and their away date at Mississippi State on Nov. 17.
Arkansas is 46-25 (65%) at home since 2008 vs. 14-28 (33%) in away games. Though it played four-straight home dates in 2009, 2007, and 2004 it hasn’t played five straight since the opening of the 2000 season. That squad started 4-1 after home wins over Missouri State (in Little Rock), Boise State (also in Little Rock), Alabama, and ULM. The loss was to (25) Georgia. The Hogs dropped the next four straight games and ultimately finished 6-6 after losing to UNLV in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Historical data courtesy of Sports Reference-College Football.
The game with Texas A&M is a neutral site game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Auburn can rent out the team plane this year. All their games are in Alabama, Georgia or Mississippi their next door states.
The Cowboys won all four games, added a victory at Kansas in Week 6, and then dropped the next five. They posted a 7-6 record after beating unranked Washington in the Cactus Bowl. It was their worst finish since 2007.” What’s funny is that the writer failed to mention that to get bowl eligible that year Oklahoma State went down to Norman to beat ranked Oklahoma in OT with a freshman QB named Mason Rudolph in only his 2nd start of the season.