Nothing in sports gives teams a home-field advantage quite like a raucous crowd, but it’s not a luxury every Big 12 school has.
Here’s a look at which schools have the best home-field advantage, taking into account attendance, atmosphere, tradition and student section.
Home field: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium
Kansas is notorious for being one of the worst football programs in the last decade, and its football atmosphere has reflected it. Since 2013, the Jayhawks have only had one home game that exceeded 80% capacity and regularly struggle to fill half the stadium.
Home field: Amon G. Carter Stadium
TCU has tried to spoof up its game day atmosphere throughout the years with various renovation projects, but still has a difficult time exciting the crowd for anything less than a game with Big 12 Championship implications.
8. Iowa State
Home field: Jack Trice Stadium
“The Jack” doesn’t hold one of the most raucous crowds in the Big 12, but it does hold a consistently improving one. In 2017, the Cyclones cracked the Top 25 for the first time since 2005, and the crowds have been flooding in since, but there’s still some work to do.
Home field: McLane Stadium
The 50-year-old tradition of the Baylor Line behind the visiting bench has consistently badgered opposing teams since 1970, even when the stadium’s overall attendance has been lacking. Its non-student crowd leaves something to be desired, but its students are pulling their part.
6. Kansas State
Home field: Bill Snyder Family Stadium
The house that legendary head coach Bill Snyder built is a nerve-wracking stadium for ranked opponents. Almost everyone has struggled in Manhattan, Kansas, since Snyder returned to the team in 2009. Texas has struggled beating Kansas State on the road. In fact, Texas has gone 2–5 in Manhattan since 2002.
5. Oklahoma State
Home field: Boone Pickens Stadium
The Cowboys have one of the best traditions in football, the “Paddle People,” who bring wooden paddles to every home game and slam them against the field’s inside wall. These fans look for any excuse to get rowdy. The fact that the fans are practically stacked on top of the sidelines also makes for a chaotic atmosphere.
4. West Virginia
Home field: Milan Puskar Stadium
Milan Puskar Stadium has some of the best single-game day traditions in the Big 12. Once a year, fans wear blue and gold to stripe the stadium based on their section to create a vibrant atmosphere. Throw in a rowdy tailgating experience and an even rowdier student section, both of which create an intimidating road trip for opponents.
3. Texas Tech
Home field: Jones AT&T Stadium
Tech easily has the most relentless football student section in the Big 12. Whether the Red Raiders are winning or not, this crowd won’t hesitate to come early, stay late and bring demoralizing signs, unabated jeers and flying tortillas like none other in the conference.
Home field: Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium
Attendance took a brief downturn in the Charlie Strong era, but the 2018 season proved Texas fans are back. At long last, the deafening roar of “Texas Fight” up and down San Jacinto Street has returned. From Bevo Boulevard to the Longhorn City Limits pregame concerts, the Longhorns offer one of the best game day experiences in the country.
Home field: Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
While Texas offers the best overall game day experience in the Big 12, nothing beats attendance. The Sooners have given their fans plenty of reasons to spend their Saturdays at Gaylord over the past two decades. Oklahoma holds a 128-game sellout streak, dating back to 1999 — one of the longest-active streaks in college football, and one that will likely go untouched by other Big 12 fanbases.