Monday, August 04, 2008

Ranking Homefield Advantages and The Zook Zone

I was watching the Big Ten Network over the weekend because, lets face it, they have football on and I have little else to do. As I was watching a commercial popped up where Coach Ron Zook was promoting the new Zook Zone towel for Illinois. Here is the video:

Here is the towel:

$1 of every sale goes to benefit Coaches vs. Cancer and if you would like one or just to support the fight against cancer, well, go ahead.

This got me thinking about home field advantage and the Big Ten. Gimmicks can go a long way for a football program. Obviously, Penn State's Whiteout has been hugely successful and has been widely copied not only around the Big Ten but also the entire nation.

However, this whole Zook Zone towel thing is just sort of stupid. Why make it the "Zook Zone"? I know he is the coach and the Illinis just had a great season but why not do something which can't flee the school in a moments notice?

Also, Illinois, no matter how hard you try you will never have a the best atmosphere in the Big Ten. The stadium you have, with very limited end zone seating and a maximum capacity of under 70,000 you just really don't have a shot.

I also wonder, how many towels will look like this once Zook ultimately leaves Illinois? (All for you Orson)

The following is my rank for each Big Ten Stadium and home field advantage. The top five schools get video proof of their excellence. The bottom five are punished with no videos!

1. Penn State

2. Wisconsin

3. Ohio State

4. Michigan (if you key-shaking bastards would cheer once in a while you might be #1)

5. Michigan State (I personally love when the Crowd does the bit from 300)

6. Iowa

7. Minnesota

8. Illinois

9. Purdue

10. Indiana

10. Northwestern (smart kids can't cheer. It is a fact of nature)



Anonymous said...

First off, I am a die-hard Penn Stater and an alum. I've been at every stadium except Iowa (going this November to complete the tour) so I personally have experienced it.

I pretty much agree with your list, except I'd throw the Shoe in there at #2 behind Beaver Stadium.

One sidebar, Wisconsin is to me the most intimidating place for opposing fans (the list was homefield advantage though). That's mainly because the Badger fans are such jerks. I've been treated pretty great outside of Madison, even in... sigh... Ann Arbor.

JB said...

I certainly can't dispute that the horseshoe is a tough place to play.

I have heard that Wisconsin is a very fun place to go and watch a football game.

Good luck with your tour of the Big Ten!

Lanebc2 said...

Eh, smart kids can cheer too... maybe not at northwestern... but at least at Duke- Cameron Crazies?

JB said...

Yeah, but Cameron only requires a five thousand kids to go nuts to make it a tough place. At PSU there are about 20,000 kids losing their minds the entire game.