Spring football is in the books for the SEC and so are the attendance numbers. Fans talk about how bad they miss football and can't wait to see their team in action. The spring game gives them a chance to fill the void from now until the month of August finally arrives.
But which teams have some of the best fans? Better yet, which fanbase actually was willing to show up to the spring game and sit through horrible football to watch the glorified spring practice?
It is one thing to talk about how excited you are, but it is another to make a team part of your plans on a Saturday afternoon. These attendance numbers also give certain programs bragging rights, as it is a way for fans to say they are more passionate than the rival right down the road.
The numbers are in.
Here are the 2013 spring game attendance numbers for each SEC team.
It is no surprise that Alabama fans showed up to watch their Crimson Tide play against one another. When they provide championships and win as much as they do, it is really the least the fans can do to give back to the team.
Andrew Gribble of AL.com tweeted the numbers, which happened to be one of the biggest crowds in college football.
Alabama A-Day attendance: 78,315— Andrew Gribble (@Andrew_Gribble) April 20, 2013
Life continues to be great if you are a supporter of this university.
Arkansas fans don't care that there are issues on offense and that the defense has a lot of improving to do. There is a big name head coach in Bret Bielema on the sidelines, and the Razorbacks believe that he will be able to get things back on track.
Bo Mattingly of
51,088 is official announced attendance at Arkansas Red/White game— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) April 20, 2013
Usually when a team finishes the season 3-9, there isn't a lot of fan support in the air the next year. This wasn't the case for the Auburn Tigers. According to this Auburn Athletics tweet, the program set a new record for attendance during the spring game:
No pressure head coach Gus Malzahn, but the Auburn faithful believes in you.
Quick question: Which team had the lowest spring game attendance in the SEC? I bet you didn't pick the Florida Gators.
According to Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel, the crowd was extremely disappointing this year.
More than 38,000 attended last year’s Orange and Blue Debut, today there were probably 10,000 fans in attendance.— Matt Murschel (@osmattmurschel) April 6, 2013
To be fair, the spring game was turned into more of a regular spring practice, which likely turned a lot of fans away. But even with that being the case, there is no reason to have the lowest attendance in the SEC for such a powerhouse program.
When your program is almost guaranteed to win double-digit games each and every season, fans are going to show up and support. Things aren't expected to change this year, which is why Jen Smith of the Lexington Herald-Leader posted the new attendance numbers for the Bulldogs.
Georgia set a new spring game attendance record this year with 45,113. And Kentucky might have 15,000 more? Crazy.— Jen Smith (@jenheraldleader) April 12, 2013
We'll get to Kentucky in a second, but it is sure nice to be a Bulldog fan right about now.
Maybe Kentucky thought the basketball team was going to show up. Or maybe the hire of Mark Stoops is considered to be so great that Kentucky fans can actually believe that the football program is going to make significant strides.
Whichever one it is, Izzy Gould of AL.com reported the hard to digest numbers.
Kentucky fans defy attendance trend as announced crowd of 50,831 show up for spring game ow.ly/2wbcos— Izzy Gould (@IzzyGould) April 15, 2013
Can we please get a recount?
If there is ever a sign of being a spoiled fanbase, it has to be the LSU Tigers. Look, I know the defense has questions and the quarterback play could improve, but everybody knows deep down this team will once again compete for an SEC title when all is said and done.
So why is Jim Kleinpeter of NOLA.com tweeting such low numbers?
Tiger's fans, you have some explaining to do.
Even though Missouri took its licks last year, the fanbase still supports its team. Well, somewhat.
According to the official Missouri website, a total of 18,384 people decided to show up and see how this second-year SEC program is looking. You would like to see a larger crowd, but this is about what was expected from a team you can't quite figure out heading into the new season.
For those that did show up, they were able to see running back Henry Josey for the first time since 2011, which has to be very exciting for this offense.
This isn't going to be good for Mississippi State fans once they see what Ole Miss put up during its spring game. According to John Talty of the Clarion-Ledger, the Bulldogs had a decent showing for what it is worth, but it wasn't nearly enough as far as the in-state rivalry goes.
Today's attendance at Maroon/White: 21,000— John Talty (@JTalty) April 20, 2013
If the Bulldogs can finally get over the hump and start knocking off some ranked teams, this number doubles next season.
The excitement for this Ole Miss program is as high as it has ever been with head coach Hugh Freeze taking over. The recruiting has reached insane levels, and I'm sure some will have this team competing for an SEC title once we get closer to the regular season.
However, Hugh Kellenberger of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported a smaller crowd than expected.
On the bright side, I'm sure this is still larger than the program has seen in a while.
Another team that could have done better was South Carolina. Steve Spurrier is turning this program into a serious contender, so you would think fans would be running in the street naked due to the overwhelming joy this must bring.
According to Josh Kendall of The State, the crowd was a little on the disappointing side.
South Carolina spring game attendance: 35,218.— Josh Kendall (@JoshatTheState) April 13, 2013
And to think everybody missed the Clowney touchdown. I bet you will all show up next year.
Don't try and tell Tennessee fans that their program is in a slump. Wes Rucker of 247Sports reported that there was the second biggest crowd in Volunteers history for a spring game.
Today's Orange and White Game attendance at Tennessee: 61,076. Second biggest in program history.— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) April 20, 2013
Is Butch Jones really the answer to turn things around?
Well, I'm pretty sure the attendance of this game would tell you a lot of people in Knoxville believe so.
You just knew that if there was any school in the country that was going to see an increase in attendance, it was going to be Texas A&M.
How big of a difference from last year's game was there? Not only was a record set, but the SEC Logo shows you just how much excitement there is in College Station.
Texas A&M Spring Game Attendance:Last Year - 15,000This Year - 45,212— The SEC Logo (@SEC_Logo) April 15, 2013
It is amazing what one year can do for a program.
The fanbase that I am probably the most disappointed in would be Vanderbilt. News flash Commodores fans: You are no longer the doormat of college football. Head coach James Franklin has turned you guys into a respectable program you can be proud of. You may not be competing for national titles, but progress is being made rapidly.
So I need to see bigger numbers next year than the estimated 14,000 that showed up, according to the Vanderbilt official website.
Grab a friend, tell them to grab some friends and help make those numbers much larger when next spring comes around.