You are setting up your Football Squares game, and now it’s time to enter in each football team but which one goes on top and which one goes on the side?
For Football Squares, the Home team will always go on top while the Away team will go on the left side. For college bowl games, the home team is determined by each team’s BCS score or by conference. For the Super Bowl, the home team status alternates by conference each year.
Whether it’s for an office pool, a huge football party, or fundraiser, you want to make sure that you set up your Football Squares correctly, with the Home team on top. For regular season games, it’s easy to tell which team is the home since it’s just the location of the game. However, there are specific rules (which I’ll cover) to determine which team is the home team for bowl games.
Why Is The Home Team On Top Anyways?
Have you ever noticed that when you are looking at a football game in the newspaper on online, that the home team is always the second team listed?
In the United States, the home team is always listed as the second team when any sports matchup. Since people in the U.S. read from left to right, in Football Squares the team located on the left side will be the “Away” team and then the top team will be the “Home” team.
Even though most of the world will actually list the home team first when listing a game matchup, the United States, Canada, and Japan will list the home team as the last team. If you look at your favorite team’s football schedule, you’ll notice that all your team’s home games will be listed with them second for the home games (example Boise State at Fresno State) or them first on the away games (example New Mexico at Boise State).
U.S. sports started the tradition of listing the home team second from baseball, where the home team always bats second. Since baseball was the first American sport, the other sports followed suit. That’s why not just Football but any American sport will have the home team listed second. And that’s why in Football Squares, the home team will be the team listed at the top.
Which Team Is The Home Team For College Bowl Games?
For most college games, the game will be held at the home football field for one of the teams. However, for college bowl matchups like the Rose Bowl or the Fiesta Bowl, where both teams travel to compete in the game, which team is called the home team?
For college bowl games, the team with the highest BCS ranking is the designated home team. If both teams don’t have a ranking, then the home team depends on which conference tie-ins that each bowl has, and each bowl may have rules to decide the home team.
For college bowl games, the home team is decided by the following:
- If either team is BCS ranked, then the highest ranked team at the end of the season will be the home team.
- Otherwise, we have to look at the actually bowl. If the bowl is associated, or has a tie-in, with a single conference, the team from that conference is the home team.
- However, if the bowl has more than one tie-in, the home team is determined by each bowl. The home team designation usually will rotate between the tie-in conferences.
So for the smaller college bowls where the teams aren’t ranked, the easiest way to tell which team is the home team is to check out the local news or the team websites for either team competing.
Which Super Bowl Team Is The Home Team?
The Super Bowl is the final showdown between the NFC champion and the AFC champion, the two NFL conferences.
Since the Super Bowl will always have an AFC team facing an NFC team, the home team alternates each year between these two conferences. In 2021, the AFC team Tampa Bay was the home team and for the 2022 Super Bowl, the NFC champion will be the home team.
This tradition started with the very first Super Bowl where the Green Bay Packers were the home team and it’s alternated back and forth each since since.
There may be a slight home team advantage since about 55% of Super Bowls have been won by the designated home team. However, the only real benefit of being the home team in the Super Bowl is choosing the jerseys, either white or colored. The coin toss is called by the away team.
Coincidentally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were designated the home team for Super Bowl LV (2021) the same year that their stadium, the Raymond James stadium, was selected as the host stadium for the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl Home Teams For 2021 – 2030
|Year||Home Team||Away Team|
|2021 (LV)||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Kansas City Chiefs|
|2022 (LVI)||NFC Champion||AFC Champion|
|2023 (LVII)||AFC Champion||NFC Champion|
|2024 (LVIII)||NFC Champion||AFC Champion|
|2025 (LIX)||AFC Champion||NFC Champion|
|2026 (LX)||NFC Champion||AFC Champion|
|2027 (LXI)||AFC Champion||NFC Champion|
|2028 (LXII)||NFC Champion||AFC Champion|
|2029 (LXIII)||AFC Champion||NFC Champion|
|2030 (LXIV)||NFC Champion||AFC Champion|
To Recap, Home Team On Top
While the home team always goes on top for Football Squares, if neither team is playing at their home stadium, it can be more tricky to figure out which team is actually the home team. If you do get stuck though, especially for those college bowl games, you can simply check how they teams are listed on the upcoming matchup and the second team will be the designated home team.
If you have any other questions about playing Football Squares and running your own football pool, make sure to check out our other articles or brush up on the rules on our About Football Squares page.
We also have recommendations on the best printable Football Squares, posters, Excel templates, and online options.
Enjoy the game!