54 Power 5 teams lost a home game in 2019. Can the remaining 11 teams keep their home streak going in 2020?
Alabama lost a home game in 2019.
That loss to LSU not only paved the way for the Tigers to win the national championship, it was the Tide’s 1st home loss since 2015. Among the 65 Power 5 teams, Alabama had the longest home winning streak in the country.
Clemson, which hasn’t lost at home since 2016, now owns that honor.
Clemson was 1 of 11 Power 5 teams that didn’t lose a home game in 2019.
How long can those 11 keep their streak intact?
By year of their most recent home loss, let’s take a look and predict whether the streak is extended or broken in 2020.
Protecting The Swamp is Dan Mullen’s mission. The Gators obviously catch a break in that they always play Georgia in Jacksonville. The most obvious home hurdle in 2020 is LSU’s visit on Oct. 10. But the Gators better not sleep on Kentucky in Week 2. They learned that lesson the hard way in 2018.
Prediction: LSU ends the Gators’ home winning streak.
Is Texas back? Really back? Or just kind of back? Sam Ehlinger is back, and maybe that’s enough to gain a meaure of revenge against the Tigers, who outlasted Texas last year in Austin. If the revamped but still dangerous Tigers survive Texas in Week 2, there’s still a tangle with the most motivated Alabama team they’ll ever encounter.
Prediction: Alabama ends LSU’s home winning streak.
Ohio State visits in Week 2. And Justin Herbert is in the NFL. How much more analysis would you like?
Prediction: Ohio State ends Oregon’s home winning streak.
Iowa typically is sneaky good, especially early, but the Hawkeyes are starting over at quarterback. The following week, Ohio State visits. The Buckeyes have won the past 3 in the series, but the Nittany Lions have kept the games closer than most. Ohio State lost more than Penn State, but the Buckeyes also have recruited better. Look for Justin Fields to have a Heisman performance in Happy Valley.
Prediction: Ohio State ends Penn State’s home winning streak.
Utah’s lone regular-season loss last season was at USC. The home team has won each of the past 7 in the series. That trend ends in 2020. USC has shown up in a few way-too-early Top 25 rankings, but that could be as much reputation as ability. But the Trojans will have plenty of talent at QB. Kedon Slovis replaced injured starter J.T. Daniels and had a sensational freshman season: 3,502 yards, 30 TDs. Daniels is back in the mix for the starting job. Last year, USC beat Utah with its 3rd-string QB.
Prediction: USC ends Utah’s home winning streak.
The Cavaliers are part of this list because they finally beat Virginia Tech in 2019. They cross over and face Clemson in 2020, but the game is in Death Valley. So a loss there doesn’t impact this list. Go ahead and circle Oct. 3. UVA likely will have 2 losses by that point — to Georgia and Clemson. North Carolina visits and, with UVA starting over at QB, the Tar Heels have the decidedly better QB in Sam Howell, who threw for 3,641 yards and 38 TDs as a true freshman.
Prediction: UNC ends UVA’s home winning streak.
The Badgers’ home slate is as friendly as a Midwestern county fair. Indiana visits in the opener, which could be tricky because the Hoosiers can score and it will be the Badgers’ first game without Jonathan Taylor. But … Wisconsin has beaten IU 10 consecutive times, usually by a lot. Minnesota visits in mid-October, but the Badgers hammered the best Gophers team in recent memory, in Minnesota, last year.
Prediction: Wisconsin goes 6-0 at home, carries streak in 2021.
I love Notre Dame’s schedule. Without a true conference, the Irish play 10 opponents from 4 Power 5 leagues. The home slate is relatively easy … until it is decidedly difficult. Clemson visits Nov. 7 in a game that very likely will have Playoff implications for both. And, sure, upsets are possible, but keep in mind Notre Dame hasn’t lost to an unranked team since 2016.
Prediction: Clemson ends Notre Dame’s home winning streak.
Michigan visits. That’s the only challenge. And you know how that ends.
Prediction: Ohio State goes 7-0 at home and carries its winning streak into 2021.
Baylor is an obvious obstacle, and I’d feel better about the Bears’ chances if they weren’t replacing 9 starters on defense. But they are. Oklahoma is replacing QB Jalen Hurts and several top skill players, but the Sooners repeatedly have proven they can plug-and-play on offense. Especially by then. Tennessee visits Norman in Week 2. This is sneaky dangerous for the Sooners. Inexperience could be a factor. And the Vols’ offensive line is huge, physical and has experience. This is bold, but I think Jeremy Pruitt gets a signature win.
Prediction: Tennessee ends Oklahoma’s home winning streak.
Virginia visits. Louisville is reemerging. South Carolina remains hopeful.
The Tigers have won 22 consecutive home games since their upset loss to Pitt late in 2016.
Prediction: The nation’s longest active home winning streak is a lock to continue into 2021.