The 20 Most Popular College Football Teams In The Country
The following list was compiled based on total attendance in 2014, according to College Spun.
20. Wisconsin: 14 games, 66,499 attendance average
Camp Randall Stadium’s capacity is around 80,000, and the team sold out virtually every home game it had in 2014. But the Badgers played a weak Big Ten schedule, which included a number of opponents with smaller fan bases. Games at Northwestern, Rutgers and Purdue dragged down Wisconsin’s average big time. The Badgers also didn’t have any road games against Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State – the teams with the three biggest stadiums in the league. Wisconsin will be higher on this list in most years.
19. Michigan State: 13 games, 68,462 attendance average
MSU and Wisconsin are quite similar. Spartan Stadium seats just over 75,000, and the squad had no problem selling it out most weeks in 2014. But games at Purdue, Indiana and Maryland pushed Michigan State’s overall attendance numbers down. Even the game at Oregon, which drew almost 60,000 fans (way above Autzen Stadium capacity) brought down the average. 100,000 people saw MSU head to Penn State, which is the reason the Spartans just made the list.
18. Oklahoma: 13 games, 68,585 attendance average
17. Missouri: 14 games, 69,752 attendance average
16. Clemson: 13 games, 69,820 attendance average
15. Notre Dame: 13 games, 72,578 attendance average
14. Florida State: 14 games, 73,282 attendance average
13. South Carolina: 13 games, 74,003 attendance average
12. Texas: 13 games, 76,273 attendance average
11. Nebraska: 13 games, 77,404 attendance average
Nebraska has sold out 340 consecutive home games (the longest streak in the nation), and Memorial Stadium seats around 91,585 people. The Cornhuskers also played in front of over 80,000 at Wisconsin, however, they didn’t get to play any road games at Ohio State, Penn State or Michigan to up their average. Instead, road contests at Fresno State, Michigan State, Northwestern and Iowa brought Nebraska down to under an 80,000 average.
10. Auburn: 13 games, 79,141 attendance average
9. Florida: 12 games, 79,170 attendance average
8. Georgia: 13 games, 80,647 attendance average
7. Penn State: 13 games, 81,414 attendance average
Penn State had a huge year in 2014, as the Nittany Lions had their NCAA sanctions lifted and played in a bowl game for the first time since the 2011 season. When it comes to attendance, PSU played games at both ends of the spectrum. Penn State played in front of at least 97,000 fans eight times – seven home games (Akron, UMass, Northwestern, Ohio State, Maryland, Temple, Michigan State) and one away game (Michigan). In games against UCF, Rutgers, Indiana, Illinois and Boston College, there were never more than 54,000 fans in attendance.
6. Tennessee: 13 games, 85,944 attendance average
5. Texas A&M: 13 games, 86,016 attendance average
4. Ohio State: 15 games, 86,943 attendance average
Ohio State actually averaged the most fans in terms of home attendance, coming in at 106,296 per contest. The Buckeyes also played in front of the most people overall, at 1,304,138, over the team’s 15 games. But road/neutral contests against Navy, Maryland and Minnesota bring OSU’s numbers back to earth. Still, we think Ohio State will take the title it won in 2014 over the one we’re talking about in this post.
3. Alabama: 14 games, 90,599 attendance average
2. Michigan: 12 games, 91,321 attendance average
Michigan wasn’t very good in 2014, and attendance did suffer a little bit, but the team’s stadium is so large (close to 110,000 capacity), the Wolverines still land at No. 2 on the list. Michigan had seven home games in 2014, and according to official NCAA statistics, there were over 100,00 at each of them. UM also took on Ohio State at Ohio Stadium in front of 108,610 and Notre Dame in South Bend in front of 80,795. If it weren’t for the team’s road game against Northwestern (42,000), they’d have been No. 1 again.
1. LSU: 13 games, 91,965 attendance average
via College Spun