Palace on the Prairie not as much of a home-field advantage in SEC, according to CBS Sports

Aerial view of Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during a night game.
Aerial view of Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium during a night game. / Brian Bahr/GettyImages

Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium has always been a home favorable environment for the Sooners. OU has won 82 percent, or 421 games, of the 525 games played there since the stadium opened 101 years ago in October 1923.

Originally named Owen Field in honor of legendary head coach Bennie Owen and often referred to as that still today, the century-old home of Oklahoma football has evolved over the years in size, style and substance. When the west grandstands were added in 1925, the seating capacity was 16,000. Today Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium holds as many as 83, 489, although the stadium record is 88,308 in 2017 in a game against TCU.

Since the start of the 1999 season, the beginning of the Bob Stoops coaching era, Oklahoma has reported 152 consecutive sellouts in football (excluding the 2020 pandemic season when fans were restricted from attending the games).

In terms of size alone, Texas and Oklahoma easily ranked one and two in the Big 12, so in that regard they are a good fit for the SEC football environment, where six of the top-10 largest college stadiums in the country reside and arguably some of the most passionate fan bases.

The electronic game company EA Sports recently ranked the 25 "toughest places to play" in the college game as part of a teaser promotional campaign in advance of the release of its new College Football 25 video game. The somewhat controversial ranking was based largely on stadium size and fan involvement and listed Texas A&M's Kyle Field with the famous "12th Man" as No. 1. Oklahoma was No. 8 in the ranking, notably five ahead of Texas.

The Sooners were No. 8 in the EA Sports ranking, but No. 5 among SEC teams in the top 10 behind 1. Texas A&M, 2. LSU, 3. Alabama and 5. Georgia.

During the past week, CBS Sports came out with a separate ranking of the teams with the best home-field advantage in the newly expanded SEC. The Sooners came in at No. 9, but with eight SEC home venues, or half of the conference ranked ahead of them. Interestingly, Texas A&M, the school ranked No. 1 and the toughest place to play at the FBS level of college football by EA Sports, ranked No. 8, just ahead of Oklahoma. Texas' Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium also ranked behind OU, according to CBS Sports.

LSU was ranked as the SEC school with the best home-field advantage by CBS Sports, followed by Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina and Texas A&M.

CBS Sports staff writer had this to say about the Sooners in the article on the SEC stadium rankings:

"If this was 2023, the 'Palace on the Prairie' would likely sit at No. 1 (in the Big 12). But the Sooner faithful will have to prove that OU's home advantage is better than the SEC's legacy programs."

Tennessee, Alabama and South Carolina will visit Norman as part of Oklahoma's 2024 conference schedule. Conversely, however, the Sooners will get their first taste at life on the road in the SEC when they travel to Auburn, Ole Miss and LSU this fall. OU will also face longtime conference rival Missouri on the road next season, but OU owns a 67-24-5 all-time record against the Tigers.