Which College Football Team Has The Biggest Fan Base?

Which College Football Team Has The Biggest Fan Base?

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     It’sa debate almost as old as the game itself… Who has the best fans?  It’s an easy debate, because there is no definitave answer.  But the biggest fan base…. that’s one you can at least tackle.  And tackle it we have. 

     First we took something that was posted on ESPN…. a list that combined TV viewing in areas all across the country, revenue generated, and attendance.  We then combined this with the amount of online traffic to the various forums and messege boards online; a very good indicator of a fan base.

     The results were surprising.  Some teams you’d never expect have massive online followings; Rutgers, South Carolina, Iowa.  Others might surprise you with how little traffic there is; LSU and Virginia Tech Come to mind. 

     At any rate, here’s what we found, by combining the factors mentioned: the 100 biggest fan bases in college football.

1. Ohio State

2. Alabama

3. Oklahoma

3. Michigan

4. USC

5. Auburn

6. Nebraska

6. (tie) Texas

7. South Carolina

8. Florida State

9. Wisconsin

10. West Virginia

11. Penn State

12. Florida

13. Rutgers

14. Clemson

15. Texas A&M

15. Georgia Tech

16. Miami (FL)

17. Iowa

18. LSU

19. Notre Dame

20. Michigan State

21. Tennessee

22. Georgia

23. UCLA

24. Arkansas

25. Virginia Tech

26. North Carolina

27. California

28. Kentucky

29. Boston College

30. Virginia

31. Pittsburgh

32. Louisville

33. Syracuse

34. Oklahoma State

35. Southern Miss

36. Illinois

37. Washington

38. BYU

39. Indiana

40. Oregon

41. Purdue

42. Minnesota

43. Texas Tech

44. Arizona State

45. Mississippi

46. Mississippi State

47. Kansas State

48. Duke


50. South Florida

51. Northwestern


53. Colorado

54. Boise State

55. Maryland

56. N.C. State

57. Arizona

58. Oregon State

59. Troy

60. Vanderbilt

61. East Carolina

62. TCU

63. Kansas

64. Utah

65. Stanford

66. Cincinnati

67. Arkansas State

68. Wyoming

69. Hawaii

70. Washington State

71. Fresno State

72. San Diego State

73. Navy

74.North Texas

75. Temple

76. Air Force

77. Buffalo

78. North Texas

79. Conneticut

80. Colorado State

81. Army

82. Akron

83. Nevada

84. LA Monroe

85. Louisiana Tech

86. Florida Intl.


88. Louisiana Tech

89. New Mexico

90. Middle Tennessee State

91. Idaho

92. Northern Illinois

93. LA LaFayette

94. Wake Forest

95. Florida Atlantic

96. UNLV

97. Miami (oh)

98. Bowling Green

99. UTSA

100. Toledo

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  1. Buckjim
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    The reason no Texas teams, The poll only includes teams inside the continental United States.
    I think if you look you will find UT at #6.

  2. Dave
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Tulsa #52, OkState not on list

    Rice #34, Tex Tech not on list


  3. puddin-n-tame
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    y u remove my post

    because it pointed out teh glaring stoopidity of you list


  4. motorb
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Dave, See 34 and 43.

  5. JN
    Posted September 1, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I\’m pretty sure Baylor has more fans that UTSA…

  6. Posted September 2, 2012 at 5:52 am

    I have to laugh at that article…It’s sooo out of whack I really don’t know where to start.

    It has indiana ahead of Oregon…indiana? are you kidding me..Just because their stadium holds more, doesn’t mean people are there.

    It has Pitt, and Cal, and some others ahead of Oregon that are complete jokes. Cal fans think football is a bunch of guys in shorts running around kicking a round ball and then falling down and writhing in feigned agony hoping for attention. Fan base….right. student body…yes…fan base…no.

  7. tp
    Posted September 2, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Texas produce more revenue in football and uga is #2 so why aren’t those 2 program rank higher? Checkout ajc messageboard…..they talk football around the clock. I disagree with your ranking.

  8. rob
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Don’t forget these numbers represent basketball fan base also. You are just looking at football

  9. Daley
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Nebraska #6? Really? Top #3 easily and I am not even a husker fan!

  10. Paul
    Posted September 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Florida #12? Florida State ahead of Florida? This is a joke.

  11. Ryan
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Go Bucks! O-H

  12. Becky
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 10:55 am


  13. Josh
    Posted September 13, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Was this done by a 6th grader? Methodology is beyond a joke. What adult can’t see how absurd this is?

  14. Mark
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Anyone who knows anything about college football fanbases should have expected South Carolina to be really high on that list.

  15. Riley
    Posted September 15, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Wow, I believe some of these listings are from broadcasts where people are watching the opposing teams. LSU #18??? Alabama is probably disagreeing with that one. Please, stick to what you know.

  16. BigGreen
    Posted November 30, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous. Notre Dame has by far the largest fanbase in America. There’s no arguing it. And you have them at 19? Are you on drugs? ND has the largest fanbase, and it isn’t even remotely close.

  17. Henry
    Posted December 11, 2012 at 12:51 am


    You’re crazy. That might’ve been the case 20 years ago. Today? Top 20 is about right. That’s being generous.

  18. Don Thompson
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    That post can be summed up in 1 word… “Buckeyes!!!”

  19. Posted February 1, 2013 at 11:28 am

    No reference list, no detailed lists of methods and procedures for gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing the data. What kind of study is this? this basically just says people in Ohio just surf on the web cuz there is nothing else to do here.

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