Ranking Every College Football Team's Fanbases by Loyalty
Loyalty to a college football team is something that is not easy to come by.
There will be 125 FBS teams this coming season, and there is a big discrepancy when it comes to loyalty from the bottom of the list to the top.
Loyalty to a team does not necessarily have anything to do with winning, but it is all about showing up and giving support.
No matter how trying times are for a team, these fans are behind their respective team and support them until the end, whether they are delusional or not.
Here is a ranking of all the fanbases in college football from No. 125 all the way to No. 1.
*Attendance figures are according to al.com
No. 125. Georgia State Panthers
Starting off the list is a team that is brand new to the FBS level in 2013.
The Georgia State Panthers are going to need some time to build a following, particularly after a 1-10 season last year.
They play at the Georgia Dome, but apparently fans in that area have other things to do because there is not yet a lot of support for this squad.
However, it does take time to build loyalty.
No. 124. New Mexico State
There has not been a lot of success on the football field for New Mexico State in recent years, and that has translated to a fan base that continues to disappear more and more.
While there are only two collegiate teams in the state of New Mexico, neither of them garners much support from the home crowd.
The Aggies only averaged 14,247 fans per game last season, which ranked in the bottom 10 at the FBS level.
Maybe a few more wins will help with the loyalty aspect of things.
No. 123. Idaho Vandals
Any college football team that can have a stadium that only seats 16,000 fans and is never even close to being filled to capacity has a little problem in the loyalty department.
The Vandals average attendance of 12,582 ranked ahead of only three other teams.
That is the case for Idaho as the Vandals not only struggle on the field, but also suffer mightily off it to try and attract fans.
Too bad for Idaho as Boise State is not too far away.
122. Eastern Michigan Eagles
Eastern Michigan has not had much success in recent years and it has shown in their dwindling fanbase.
The Eagles were dead last in attendance in 2009, only averaging 5,016 fans a game. Since that time it has only gotten worse. In 2012, the team ranked dead last averaging only 3,923 fans a game.
It has not gotten any better in recent years and continues to be a problem that needs to get fixed before it is too late.
No. 121. Tulane Green Wave
The Tulane Green Wave play their home games in front of a virtually empty Superdome. The fact that the team has been awful on the field is not helping in the loyalty aspect.
This is a team that continues to head in the wrong direction, and only winning a few games every season is not helping either.
A little more fan support might help the performance on the field. Only 18,085 fans show up on average, and it does not seem like much support is on the way.
No. 120. Florida Atlantic Owls
There is a lot of excellent football in the state of Miami with some loyal fans.
Too bad for Florida Atlantic that they are not one of those teams.
Winning a few more games would help generate a few more fans, but it does not look like that is going to happen any time soon.
The Owls averaged 13,459 fans in 2012, a number that certainly can be improved upon.
No. 119. Buffalo Bulls
The Buffalo Bulls have not had what many would call a football tradition. That not only shows on the field, but also with a fanbase that continues to dwindle.
They did manage to win four games a season ago which was a slight improvement, but head coach Jeff Quinn and his staff still have a ways to go to get the fans on board.
Not many loyal fanbases average only 13,242 fans a game. But, that was the case for the Bulls.
No. 118. North Texas Mean Green
It was not too long ago that North Texas was winning a lot of football games and near the top of the Sun Belt.
Even when that was happening, the fan base was not what it should be for a lot of other teams that were having that much success.
They will need to turn things around. But even if they do, it will be hard to get a lot of fans on board, particularly with so many other teams in Texas.
Their average of 18,927 fans was a very slight increase from a season ago.
No. 117. UAB Blazers
The state of Alabama is known for its college football, but the support for the Blazers is virtually non-existent.
With a few other bigger name teams in the state and the fact that the Blazers home field is a virtual dump, the team does not get a lot of fan loyalty or support for that matter.
A few winning seasons might go a long way toward helping that.
Still, with only 15,721 fans per night, it is going to be a long road back.
No. 116. San Jose State Spartans
San Jose State is the first team on this list that has had a lot of success on the field, but that has not translated to fan loyalty at all.
The Spartans ranked third from the bottom in average attendance last season, only averaging 10,789 fans per game despite winning 11 games.
That is downright awful.
No. 115. Akron Zips
The only team below Akron in attendance this past season was Eastern Michigan.
Even though the Zips only won one game, the fact that they only attracted an average of 9,275 fans per game goes a long way when it comes to fan loyalty.
This is a team that needs to put together a few wins before its fan base comes back. That is why it is so low on this list.
No. 114. Ball State Cardinals
Ball State had a successful 2012 season, qualifying for a bowl game.
But, for some reason, there were not many fans in the stands to witness it. They ranked fifth from the bottom with only 12,930 fans showing up each night.
There has never been a lot of support for this program, and that showed big time this past season.
No. 113. Florida International Panthers
Florida International is in a similar boat with Florida Atlantic. They are both small fish in a really big pond and it shows.
Both teams are also relatively new to the FBS level, and it might take them some time to build up the fanbase a little bit.
This past season the Panthers averaged 13,634 fans per game.
That number just might rise as this fan base continues to build.
No. 112. Miami Redhawks
Miami has never brought a lot of fans to its football games, and that was the case once again this past season.
Oxford is an excellent college town, but for some reason has never attracted a lot of fans to any of its sporting events.
The attendance did get a little better a few years ago, but it regressed in 2012 as the average attendance was down to only 14,733 fans per game.
It might get worse in 2013.
No. 111. UNLV Rebels
There must be too much to do in the state of Nevada, because the Rebels have never been able to get a loyal football crowd on its side.
While the team on the field has never been anything to talk about, the fact that only 15,208 fans show up for each game is nothing to talk about.
The loyalty for this team is just non-existent.
No. 110. Western Michigan Broncos
Western Michigan saw a dramatic drop in attendance this past season, losing 27 percent from the 2011 year while only averaging 14,579 fans a night.
There are obviously a few other teams in Michigan that garner much of the attention, but this is yet another MAC team that is struggling to generate a fanbase.
It doesn't look like it is going to grow anytime soon.
No. 109. Kent State Golden Flashes
Kent State is another team on this list that had a lot of success last season but still has a long way to go in the loyalty department.
The Golden Flashes only averaged 17,880 fans a night despite coming within a play of qualifying for a BCS bowl game.
The attendance was still up from 2011, but this team has a long way to go.
No. 108. Northern Illinois Huskies
Northern Illinois is another team that is in the same boat as Kent State. The Huskies had the best season in school history, yet could not draw any fans.
Despite reaching the Orange Bowl, the Huskies could only manage an average attendance of 15,670.
That number was down 17 percent from the previous season.
It is hard to say what the problem is here, but something is going on.
No. 107. Middle Tennssee Blue Raiders
Middle Tennessee had another successful 2012 campaign, but not many fans were there to see it as the loyalty was nowhere to be found.
Attendance was down for the Blue Raiders as they only managed to attract 17,738 fans per game.
This is yet another successful team that just can't get any support.
No. 106. Tulsa Golden Hurricane
Tulsa won 11 games last season, including Conference USA. But for some reason, attendance was down 11 percent.
The Golden Hurricane averaged only 20,020 fans a game, and that might be part of the reason why the larger conferences are not going after a team like this.
While Oklahoma and Oklahoma State certainly rule that state, this team has had a lot of success in recent years.
No. 105. Utah State Aggies
The 2012 Utah State football program had a lot to offer last season, including a dynamic quarterback in Chuckie Keeton.
They produced a double-digit win season, but despite all that only managed to attract 20,054 fans a game.
It's not like there is a lot to do in the state of Utah. While BYU and Utah are certainly viable options, this team was better than both of them last season, yet attendance did not really show that.
No. 104. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers
Everybody knows that the state of Kentucky is known for basketball and horse racing. Football comes third after those two sports.
But, football comes in a distant third, and Western Kentucky is the No. 3 team in that state.
The Hilltoppers only attracted 17,415 fans per night, and that is just not enough for a bowl team.
No. 103. Bowling Green Falcons
Bowling Green is another perfect example of just how bad fan support is in the MAC.
The Falcons had another successful 2012 season and reached a bowl game.
While there are plenty of other teams in the state of Ohio, particularly Ohio State, Bowling Green is virtually an afterthought.
Only 15,632 fans turned out on average for this team.
No. 102. Wyoming Cowboys
There is not a lot to do in the state of Wyoming, but for some reason not many people want to go to the Cowboys' football games and support one of the few teams in the state.
The Cowboys only attracted 19,555 fans per game which was a 12 percent decline from the 2011 season.
A lot of that might have had to do with the decline on the field, as Wyoming only managed to win four games last season.
No. 101. Toledo Rockets
Toledo was undefeated for a good portion of last season, but not many fans were there to witness that.
The Rockets were one of the top teams in the MAC as far as record is concerned, and also when it comes to attendance.
That however does not even compare with a lot of other schools.
Only 20,552 fans turned out on average to watch a very successful team.
No. 100. Texas State Bobcats
Texas State was another of the new teams at the FBS level, and while the loyalty is not quite there yet, there is no question that it could be a few years from now.
The state of Texas is known for both high school and college football, and the Bobcats could take some of that support from the other 11 FBS teams in the state.
Still, there is a long way to go for this squad.
No. 99. Massachusetts Minutemen
The next member of the MAC on the list is Massachusetts.
Similar to Texas State, the Minutemen were new to the FBS level last season and it showed based on their attendance.
While they play in a hotbed for professional sports, there is not a lot of love for the college teams in the state of Massachusetts, and the MAC for that matter.
No. 98. Nevada Wolf Pack
There is a lot to do in the state of Nevada besides sports. That is one of the main reasons why professional sports teams do not exist there.
That is also the main reason why the two FBS college football schools do not get much love from their fans.
Despite making another bowl game in 2012, the Wolf Pack only managed an average of 23,432 fans per game. That number was up 49 percent, which shows this program may be heading in the right direction and allows it to crack the top 100.
No. 97. South Alabama Jaguars
South Alabama hails from a state that is known for its college football.
The Jaguars entered the FBS level last season and did not have a lot of success.
There is not a lot of support for this team yet, but there is still time for it to grow. Because if there is one thing the state of Alabama loves, it is college football.
Stealing support from other teams in the state might be easier said than done.
No. 96. UTSA Roadrunners
UTSA is the last of the five teams that have joined the FBS level in the past few seasons.
The Roadrunners got off to an excellent start last season, winning eight games, but most of that was against lower-level competition.
Head coach Larry Coker has a lot of big-time coaching experience and this team could continue to garner more and more support over the years.
No. 95. Ohio Bobcats
The Ohio Bobcats were ranked in the top 25 for much of last season and have been on the rise in recent years, led by head coach Frank Solich.
Their attendance was up 10 percent from the 2011 season, but the Bobcats still only averaged 21,844 fans a game.
A significant improvement in the loyalty department would be necessary for this team to move any higher on this list.
No. 94. Rice Owls
Even though the state of Texas loves its football, with so many teams it is hard for the support to be there for everybody.
That is certainly the case for a team like the Rice Owls.
Rice had a rise in attendance last season and also had some success on the field which allowed it to move inside the top 100.
The Owls attracted 20,325 fans per game last season. If the number continues to rise, this team could move up significantly in the coming years.
No. 93. Troy Trojans
A few years ago Troy was a force, qualifying for bowl games while putting together winning seasons.
That was not necessarily the case in 2012, as Troy struggled to a 5-7 season, missing out on a bowl game.
Despite that, the attendance was up 17 percent with an average of 20,952.
The fan support is clearly growing, but it will need to be sustained to show proof of more loyalty.
No. 92. SMU Mustangs
SMU is the first team on this list that is currently in a BCS conference, as the Mustangs joined the new American Athletic conference.
Attendance was up two percent last season with an average of 21,292 fans per game.
Head coach June Jones has continued to turn the program around and the fan base is growing.
No question that this team is headed in the right direction.
No. 91. Colorado State Rams
When it comes to college football, the state of Colorado has been down big-time the past few years.
With that being said, the fan support has not been there either.
Maybe it is the emergence of the Denver Broncos, led by Peyton Manning.
Either way, only averaging 19,250 fans per game is not a good sign.
No. 90. New Mexico Lobos
New Mexico definitely shows a lot of support for its basketball team, but that is not necessarily the case when it comes to football. That complete lack of loyalty has shown in recent years.
Despite the fact that the Lobos have been awful on the field for quite some time, the support has really never been there, but did grow a little bit last season.
Last season's attendance was up 11 percent as the Lobos averaged 22,307 fans a game. This team still has a long way to go.
No. 89. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
Louisiana-Monroe had a very successful 2012 season, and they even knocked off Arkansas at the beginning of the year.
Attendance was way up this past season for the Warhawks as the average crowd grew to 24,981.
Prior to 2012, there was not a lot of fan support for this team, but it has continued to grow. That is why the Warhawks are this high on the list.
No. 88. Marshall Thundering Herd
Marshall competes directly with West Virginia for control of the state. There are no professional sports teams, but these two universities reign supreme.
Marshall has always played second fiddle to the Mountaineers and that has shown in fan support.
Last season Marshall averaged 24,896 fans, which was down four percent from a season ago.
No. 87. Louisiana-Lafayete Rajin' Cajuns
Louisiana-Lafayette is another small school from the state of Louisiana that has won its fair share of games in recent years.
Despite putting together another bowl season in 2012, attendance was down 22 percent for the Rajin' Cajuns as they only averaged 22,865 fans per game.
Perhaps a few more winning seasons will help generate some loyal fans.
No. 86. Memphis Tigers
The Memphis Tigers have struggled mightily on the field in recent years, but more and more fans have continued to show up and it appears the Tigers are headed in the right direction.
Average attendance was 24,896 last season. That number was up 24 percent from 2011.
Now that the Tigers are in a new conference, attendance might be up even more.
The fan loyalty looks like it has grown, and that is certainly a good sign.
No. 85. Central Michigan Chippewas
Central Michigan may not attract a lot of fans, but the Chippewas certainly have a strong and loyal fan base.
Last season's attendance was up five percent, that is rare for a MAC team in this day and age.
Still, the Chippewas only averaged 16,036 fans per game, and that does leave a little something to be desired.
No. 84. Cincinnati Bearcats
Cincinnati has long been a professional sports town. That has never shown more than the past few seasons for the football team.
Despite winning 10 games for the fourth time in five years, attendance was down 10 percent from 2011.
The Bearcats averaged 29,138 fans, which is not a bad number but leaves a lot to be desired. The fans have never shown much support for college sports, particularly football.
No. 83. Southern Miss Golden Eagles
The fan support for Southern Miss has never been awful, particularly with how the team has struggled in recent years.
Last season the Golden Eagles averaged 25,751 fans a game.
That is not necessarily a bad number, particularly for a team that failed to win a game last year.
A few decent seasons might allow Southern Miss to climb up this list.
No. 82. Temple Owls
Temple has always been a basketball school, but it appears that might be changing just a little bit.
The Owls averaged 26,580 fans last season, and while that number was down five percent, it could have been much worse considering the season Temple had.
With a new head coach in 2013, it will be interesting to see what happens with the fan support.
No. 81. UTEP Miners
UTEP is a virtual afterthought when it comes to college teams in the state of Texas, but the Miners have attracted a small, but loyal fan base.
Last season they averaged 29,374 fans per game which ranked near the middle of the country. It was also up 11 percent from the previous year.
Some success on the field would certainly help.
No. 80. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Louisiana Tech had the most explosive offense in the country last year, and the fans seemed to love it as the team had a 20 percent increase in attendance.
The Bulldogs averaged 25,841 fans per game. It will be interesting to see whether or not that number grows next season with a completely different team, including a new head coach.
If it does, this is a team that could be on the rise up these rankings next year.
No. 79. Arkansas State Red Wolves
Arkansas State has been very successful the past few seasons and it culminated last year with a 24 percent increase in attendance.
The Red Wolves averaged 26,398 fans per game in 2012.
Whether or not that holds up when the team is not as successful will be an excellent indicator as to whether or not this fanbase is as loyal as it seems.
No. 78. Army Black Knights
Army is always a team that receives a lot of support from the student. But when it comes to the general fan base, it is not nearly as loyal as it once was.
The Black Knights averaged 32,205 fans last season. That number was down three percent from the previous year and a lot of that might coincide with the struggles of the team on the field.
No question that fan support is not what it once was for this team.
No. 77. Houston Cougars
The Houston Cougars are a team that could certainly benefit from a new league as they join the new American Athletic conference in 2012.
Last season attendance took a significant drop, but a lot of that had to do with a new head coach and a team that struggled.
That does not say a lot about the fan base as the Cougars only averaged 27,247 fans per game. That was down 14 percent. It might take a while to win back some of those fans.
No. 76. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Wake Forest did not have the season it was expecting to in 2012, and that was the main reason why the attendance was down 10 percent from the 2011 bowl year.
Still, a loyal fan base would have shown up for its team.
The Demon Deacons averaged 28,912 fans a game last season, and that is a number that could very well be improved upon in the coming years.
No. 75. San Diego State Aztecs
For some reason, not many people like to attend San Diego State football games and it is hard to pinpoint exactly why.
The Aztecs averaged 30,227 fans per game last season, which was down 24 percent from a year ago.
They play at the spacious Qualcomm Stadium, so it is hard to say why people show up on Sunday, but not Saturday.
No. 74. Hawaii Warriors
The Warriors had an excellent fan base a few years ago when they were going to a BCS bowl game, but since the team has struggled in recent years, that fanbase has fallen off.
Attendance was down six percent from last season as the team averaged 30,031 fans per game.
It will be interesting to see what a little success will do for this squad.
No. 73. Duke Blue Devils
Duke had a very successful season in 2012. That was the main reason why the fan support was so strong.
The Blue Devils qualified for a bowl game and attendance was up 28 percent.
Duke averaged 28,170 fans per game, and it would be hard to imagine this team having a better season in 2013. If that doesn't happen, will the seemingly loyal fanbase still be there? That is the question.
No. 72. Connecticut Huskies
Connecticut was a football no-name a decade ago, but thanks to former head coach Randy Edsall, the Huskies made a trip to a BCS bowl game just two years ago.
The fan support continued to grow, but sort of took a step back last season as the Huskies struggled to their second consecutive losing campaign.
Attendance was down five percent and the team averaged 34,672 fans per game. The loyalty for this team appears to be headed in the wrong direction.
No. 71. Air Force Falcons
Air Force has been a decent team over the years as the Falcons have put together some solid seasons.
Despite that, attendance was down nine percent last year as the team averaged 32,015 fans per game.
That is a number that leaves a lot to be desired, particularly at a university like Air Force.
No. 70. Fresno State Bulldogs
Fresno State started to rebound in 2012 as the Bulldogs returned to a bowl game.
The attendance showed that, as it was up six percent from the previous year. Fresno State averaged 30,915 fans per game last year.
Quarterback Derek Carr has one more season in the program. After he departs, whether or not the fanbase stays could move the Bulldogs up or down this list.
No. 69. Navy Midshipmen
Navy is in a similar boat as a lot of the other military academies.
Attendance was down six percent last season. The Midshipmen only averaged 32,363 fans per game in 2012.
Despite the fact that they have had a lot of success on the field, the fan support has continued to dwindle for this team.
No. 68. Central Florida Knights
Central Florida has shown some fan growth in recent years, and that is one of the reasons why the team has been able to join a more competitive conference.
The Knights averaged 34,608 fans per game last season as attendance was up one percent from 2011.
This is a team that continues to grow in popularity and could be much higher on this list a few years from now.
No. 67. Washington State Cougars
Washington State struggled last season, but attendance was still up from the previous year.
Part of that could have been due to the fact that Mike Leach was in town. It was his first season as the head coach and the Cougars averaged 30,252 fans per game. That number was a five percent increase from the previous year.
If that continues in 2013, even if the team struggles, that will go a long way toward determining the loyalty of this fanbase.
No. 66. Baylor Bears
Baylor is the first Big 12 team on the list. That does not have a lot to do with lack of support, but with how much the other Big 12 teams are loved by their fanbases.
The Bears averaged 41,194 fans per game, which was about on par with the 2011 season.
That is an excellent sign considering what that team lost with Robert Griffin III and others departing.
Whether or not that trend continues is a big question mark.
No. 65. Maryland Terrapins
Maryland struggled mightily last season. That was due in large part to multiple injuries at the quarterback position.
The Terrapins only managed to win four games and attendance was down 15 percent from the previous year.
Still, the average was 36,023 for the year and that is nothing to be ashamed about. Another significant drop like that would be a different story.
No. 64. Indiana Hoosiers
The Indiana Hoosiers were a little better last season. But the team still struggled, winning only four games.
Attendance was up eight percent. That is something positive to take away.
The Hoosiers averaged 44,802 fans. That number looks good, but was second to last in the Big Ten.
Everybody knows Indiana will always be a basketball school.
No. 63. Stanford Cardinal
The Stanford Cardinal have been a top 10 team in the country over the past few years, but that has not shown when it comes to fan support.
Last season, despite playing in the Rose Bowl and winning the Pac-12, attendance was down 13 percent.
The team averaged 43,343 fans per night. There is little support for a team that continues to be one of the top programs in the country year in and year out.
No. 62. Boston College Eagles
Boston College has been downright awful the past few years and new head coach Steve Addazio will likely be looking to change that.
Despite losing double-digit games last season, the Eagles still averaged 37,020 fans per game in 2012.
That number was up four percent from the previous year, and with a new head coach, the fan support for this team might be headed in the right direction.
There are certainly some loyal fans around this program.
No. 61. Pittsburgh Panthers
Pittsburgh appears to be a program that has a lot of work to do to be able to compete in the ACC.
The Panthers lost a lot of talent from last years team, and it might be a struggle in 2013.
Attendance was down 10 percent in 2012 despite qualifying for a bowl game. The Panthers averaged 41,494 fans.
That is nothing compared to what the Steelers do on Sundays.
No. 60. Purdue Boilermakers
Purdue is welcoming a new head coach, and despite struggling during the middle part of last season, the Boilermakers still reached a bowl game in 2012.
Attendance was down four percent from the previous year. It became obvious that the fanbase needed a little change.
Still, an average attendance of 43,588 is not bad even though it was dead last in the Big Ten.
The loyalty here might take a few years to come back.
No. 59. Kansas Jayhawks
Kansas was one of the worst teams in the nation in 2012. It does not look like it is going to get better very quickly.
Still, despite only winning one game last season, Kansas still averaged 41,329 fans at its football games.
That number was down two percent from the previous season, but still not as far down as some might think.
No question that this will always be a basketball school.
No. 58. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota did not receive the attendance boost it would have liked last season despite winning six games.
The Golden Gophers attracted 46,637 fans per contest. That number was down two percent from the previous year and is not a good sign of things to come.
There is little chance that the team will have that much success in 2013, so another drop might be in store.
No. 57. Vanderbilt Commodores
The Vanderbilt Commodores had a very surprising season in 2012. That was the main reason attendance was up 15 percent.
Still, that does not go a long way toward determining the loyalty of a fanbase.
The Commodores had not been successful in recent years and it showed by attendance. Now with a winning team, attendance was up to 37,860 in 2012.
We will see what happens if the team struggles this year.
No. 56. Northwestern Wildcats
Northwestern is in a similar boat as Vanderbilt. Time will tell whether or not the fanbase sticks around when times get tough again.
Despite winning 10 games last season, the Wildcats only saw a seven percent increase in attendance with 35,697 showing up each night.
Look for this team to continue to rise and its fanbase to grow as a result of it.
No. 55. Syracuse Orange
Syracuse was excellent once again last year, claiming a share of the Big East crown and winning a bowl game.
However, a lot of fans seemed to miss out on the action as attendance was down six percent.
The Orange averaged 37,953 fans per game.
There is no doubt that Syracuse will always be a basketball school, but will football continue to grow or shrink in a new league?
No. 54. Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State has an excellent home-field advantage, and the fanbase has always supported its team.
Last season was on par with a lot of the others, as attendance was up two percent, and the average crowd was 43,424.
This team might always be second fiddle in the state of Oregon to the Ducks, but the fan support seems to always be there.
No. 53. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech has been a relatively consistent football program over the years.
The Yellow Jackets have been a constant bowl team and the support has followed along with that.
Last season however, attendance was down nine percent despite a seven-win year and another bowl game.
The Yellow Jackets averaged 43,955 fans per game. That is a number that is not likely to fluctuate too much.
No. 52. South Florida Bulls
So much for fan support, as is evidenced by the picture above.
Now Bulls fans will get to welcome a new head coach in Willie Taggart. The fact that Skip Holtz is gone might be enough to attract some more fans.
Last season's attendance was down only one percent to 44,130 despite another awful 3-9 year.
This is a community that would love to support a winner if one was ever placed on the field.
No. 51. Illinois Fighting Illini
It is hard to support a team that has struggled so much in recent years, but that is the card Illinois fans have been dealt.
Despite only winning two games last year, the fans still turned out in 2012 with 45,564 fans showing up every night.
Still, that was an eight percent decrease from the previous year.
Most people would understand why.
No. 50. Kentucky Wildcats
Kentucky has always been a basketball school and that will never change.
But, this team appears to be headed in the right direction as new head coach Mark Stoops is bringing a new attitude to the program.
Last season's attendance was down 17 percent as the Wildcats only averaged 49,691 per game.
That is likely to rise, but mostly because of a new head coach.
No. 49. East Carolina Pirates
East Carolina qualified for a bowl game last season. Despite that, attendance was down six percent.
Still, the Pirates managed to attract 47,013 fans per game.
That is a number that is a lot higher than most other non-BCS schools, and will likely continue to rise with more success on the field.
No. 48. Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado is another team that has been awful over the past few years. That is the main reason why the fan support has continued to dwindle.
Attendance was down 10 percent last year as Colorado attracted 45,373 fans per game.
That number is actually relatively high considering just how bad this team has been.
Look for the fan support to grow a little this season with a new head coach.
No. 47. Arizona Wildcats
Arizona has never been a school known for football, but head coach Rich Rodriguez is looking to change that.
Last season's attendance was down two percent, but the Wildcats still averaged 47,931 fans per game.
That number looks to be on the rise, as this program appears to be headed in the right direction.
Time will tell if the loyalty will be there.
No. 46. North Carolina Tar Heels
Despite a successful season, attendance for North Carolina was down 10 percent. There could be a number of different reasons for that.
A new head coach could be one of those.
The Tar Heels averaged 50,286 fans per game and that was near the middle of the ACC.
Like a few other schools on the list, this will always be a basketball school.
No. 45. Kansas State Wildcats
Kansas State has not been much of a factor as far as football is concerned with the exception of the years Bill Snyder has been running the program.
Even with the season it had in 2012, attendance was only up three percent. The Wildcats averaged 50,278 fans per game.
But without Collin Klein, there might be a drop in attendance this season.
No. 44. North Carolina State Wolfpack
North Carolina State has been another very consistent football team over the years. The attendance figures have shown that.
In 2012, there was a four percent decrease as the Wolfpack averaged 54,106 fans.
This is not the loudest group in the world, but they are very loyal to their Wolfpack and the fanbase should continue to grow.
No. 43. Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia saw a slight attendance drop in 2012, but the Cavaliers did only manage to win four games.
That was part of the reason why the attendance dropped off by three percent as they averaged 46,650 in 2012.
Head coach Mike London will need to find some help on the offensive side of the ball to help get the fan support back.
Still, with how much the team struggled last season, breaking virtually even in attendance from 2011 shows some loyalty.
No. 42. Utah Utes
The state of Utah has some decent football, and for the most part the support is there. Despite a losing record last season, attendance was up slightly for Utah as the Utes averaged 45,347 fans each game.
There is a strong following for this team, and it plays in one of the most beautiful stadiums in the country.
No question that being a fan of this team is something that is not too hard to do, and it shows with a very loyal following.
No. 41. Iowa State Cyclones
Paul Rhoads has helped Iowa State get to two straight bowl games, but it might be hard to repeat that feat for a third straight season.
The fan support has continued to grow as the team has piled up more wins. It was up three percent last season with an average of 55,274.
Will the support continue even if the team drops off?
No. 40. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Rutgers burst onto the national scene thanks to former head coach Greg Schiano.
That success carried over into last season even though Schiano had moved on to the NFL. That showed with the way attendance rose, as it was up 12 percent.
The average attendance was 49,188—not a bad number for the Big East. But it's toward the bottom of the future league the Scarlet Knights will be playing in.
The support will have to continue to grow as the Big Ten is right around the corner.
No. 39. Arizona State Sun Devils
Arizona State looks to be one of the programs on the rise in the Pac-12, as the Sun Devils posted eight wins in 2012.
Despite that, attendance was down four percent with an average of 56,835 fans per game.
Head coach Todd Graham might be just the man for the job and Arizona State could continue to develop a larger following over the next few years.
No. 38. California Golden Bears
California might be a sleeping giant. The Golden Bears only won three games last season, but attendance was up 48 percent to 55,876 due to the fact that the games in 2011 were played off-campus.
Still, that is a significant increase, and with a new head coach in Sonny Dykes this could be a team that is fun to watch a few years from now.
The support appears to be there for Cal in 2013 and beyond.
No. 37. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State suffered a decrease in attendance despite having an excellent season.
The Bulldogs averaged 55,628 fans a game, and that was just below the 2011 season mark.
It would be hard to imagine another decline this season. If that happens, this team will be much lower on the list.
Look for a burst in attendance from the Bulldogs in 2013.
No. 36. UCLA Bruins
UCLA fans are those who love to support a winner. That is precisely what happened last year as the Bruins had an excellent season, and it showed with a 21 percent increase in attendance.
The average crowd of 68,481 was a solid number. If that continues to grow, this could finally turn into somewhat of a football school.
New head coach Jim Mora Jr. has a good thing going here.
No. 35. BYU Cougars
BYU is the third school from the state of Utah, and it's a university that continues to support its football team more and more.
Attendance was up one percent last year to 61,161.
With some talented players coming back, this team could be a force in 2012. The fans will definitely be there to support them.
No. 34. Washington Huskies
Washington was awful at the beginning of last season, but they still managed to qualify for a bowl game and get some decent support from its fans.
The Huskies did see a six percent drop in attendance, but there were still 58,617 fans who turned out every night.
If this team could get back on track, the fans will continue to show support to one of the best programs in the Pac-12.
No. 33. Miami Hurricanes
Miami saw a two percent rise in attendance last season to 47,719 despite not being eligible for postseason play.
The team appears to be a year away from being a real contender on a national scene, and the fanbase is slowly returning to what it was about a decade ago.
There is no doubt that the fans are going to continue to come back as the team improves more and more.
No. 32. Louisville Cardinals
Louisville made a splash on the national scene in 2012. If head coach Charlie Strong hangs around, this program could be a perennial power heading to the ACC.
The fan support has always been decent for this team, but when Papa John's Stadium opened, this program started to turn around.
They travel well as evidenced by the Sugar Bowl, and attendance was up three percent last season to 49,991.
Expect that number to continue to rise, particularly when the team officially joins the ACC.
No. 31. Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss had a similar season to Mississippi State in 2013 as the Rebels qualified for a bowl game.
Attendance was up one percent to 57,066 per game.
Head coach Hugh Freeze certainly has this program on the brink of being a factor in the SEC, particularly with the recruiting class he put together in 2013.
Look for fans to continue to show more support for the Rebels in the coming years.
No. 30. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Texas Tech is welcoming a new head coach, and Kliff Kingsbury will likely help bring more fans to the program.
Last year there was a three percent increase in attendance to 57,209.
With Tommy Tuberville gone, there are going to be some changes with the program and that might be a good thing as far as fans are concerned.
No. 29. West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia has always had a solid fan base, and they might have some of the wildest fans in all of college football.
Morgantown is certainly a college town, and attendance has never been an issue for the Mountaineers.
Despite struggling last season, attendance was only down one percent at 55,916.
It will be interesting to see whether or not the fans show up this season, as there is a great chance this team could struggle.
No. 28. Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State had a down season in 2012, but the fans still showed their loyalty to this team.
Attendance was up two percent to 75,382 despite the 7-6 record.
Head coach Mark Dantonio certainly has something good going in East Lansing, and the support for this team has always been there since the arrival of Dantonio.
It does not look like that is going to change.
No. 27. Missouri Tigers
Missouri saw a significant increase in attendance last season despite suffering a 5-7 campaign.
That could have had a lot to do with new competition in the SEC, but also might be because of a very loyal fan base.
Last season the Tigers averaged 67,467 fans, which was up nine percent from the previous year.
That number should continue to rise this season with a healthy quarterback and possibly some more wins.
No. 26. TCU Horned Frogs
TCU is another team that saw a dramatic increase in attendance last season as it was up 37 percent.
The Horned Frogs averaged 46,047 fans per game despite struggling to a 7-6 campaign. A lot of that might have had to do with the fact that it was the first season in the Big 12 for the program.
Still, this is a program that continues to grow, and there are some fans here who are as loyal as almost any in all of college football.
No. 25. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State has always played second fiddle in the state of Oklahoma to the Sooners, but the gap continues to close, and a lot of that has to do with the growing fan base.
Last season attendance was down one percent, but the Cowboys still averaged 55,557 fans a game.
There is a growing home-field advantage in Stillwater, and head coach Mike Gundy along with the loyal fanbase has a lot to do with that.
No. 24. Boise State Broncos
Boise State might be even higher on the list if their fanbase was a little larger.
But still, this small school attracts a near sellout every game. Last year the Broncos averaged 35,404 fans per night. That number was up four percent from the season before despite the fact that it was somewhat of a rebuilding year.
Expect the number to be even higher this season and the Broncos will likely be even better on the field.
They are also very opinionated as well.
No. 23. Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech broke about even in attendance last season despite suffering through a 7-6 season—one of the worst in recent memory.
The Hokies averaged 65,632 fans per game, and those fans are some of the loudest in all of college football.
As long as head coach Frank Beamer is around, this will be one of the most loyal fanbases in the country.
No. 22. Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas is another team that saw an increase in attendance last season despite having an awful year.
The Razorbacks averaged 68,046 fans which was up two percent from the previous year.
New head coach Bret Bielema will certainly bring some much needed energy to the program after everything it has been through the past few years.
No. 21. USC Trojans
USC has a fanbase that has gotten better in recent years, and it was even up 18 percent from the previous year.
The Trojans averaged 87,945 fans per game. That was a huge bump up and it came despite the struggles in a year filed with disappointment.
This year could tell a lot about just how loyal this fan base really is. Another increase like that and the Trojans faithful might be top 10 worthy.
No. 20. Florida State Seminoles
The Florida State Seminoles had a typical 2012 season, and they have had the same loyal fanbase for a few decades now since the arrival of Bobby Bowden.
With that being said, attendance was down three percent last year to 75,601.
Florida State is in a constant battle with the other teams from the state of Florida for rule, and right now they seem to be just behind the Gators.
No. 19. Oregon Ducks
Oregon was one of the best teams in the country last year, and averaged 57,490 fans per game. That was still down three percent from 2011.
With a new head coach, this very loyal fanbase might be tested in 2013 as Chip Kelly is no longer running the show.
Still, there is so much talent on this team that it is hard to imagine the fans not at least equaling the attendance figures from 2012.
No. 18. South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina is one of many SEC teams with a great following, and they basically split the state with the Clemson fans.
They had one of the highest spring game attendance marks with over 35,000.
That is one barometer of judging just how loyal a fanbase is.
Last year the Gamecocks averaged 80,001 fans which was up one percent from 2011. Look for a similar outcome this coming year.
No. 17. Iowa Hawkeyes
There are not many fan bases as loyal as that of the Iowa Hawkeyes. It has been that way for quite some time. The team travels well and always shows up loud and proud for the home games.
Last season's attendance was on par with the 2011 year despite an awful season.
Iowa averaged 70,474 fans per game. While that is not as high as a lot of other Big Ten schools, it is still near the top in all of college football.
No. 16. Clemson Tigers
Clemson was right behind South Carolina last season when it came to attendance. The Tigers averaged 79,429 fans per game and that was a two percent increase from the previous year.
There is a home-field advantage here that is one of the tops in all of college football.
Death Valley is an excellent place to play, and the fans of this team not only love the home games, but also enjoy traveling on the road for the big showdowns.
No. 15. Georgia Bullogs
When a team gets over 45,000 fans for a spring game, that is usually a good sign. That was exactly the case for the Bulldogs, and Georgia has one of the best fanbases in the entire sport.
Last year the Bulldogs averaged 92,703 fans a game which was right on par from the previous year.
They are right up there with the most intense fans in the SEC and have been for quite some time now.
No. 14. Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma has been one of the best teams in college football over the past few decades, and throughout that time the fan support has been nothing short of excellent.
Last year the team averaged 85,343 fans a game which was right on par with the previous season.
The state of Oklahoma is big on college football, and will show up no matter how good the Sooners are. That is the sign of a loyal fanbase.
Good thing for these fans is their team is always pretty darn good.
No. 13. Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin is another one of the Big Ten powers with an excellent fanbase. Everybody knows just how big of a home-field advantage the Badgers have at Camp Randall Stadium.
Last year they averaged 80,006 fans, which was just about the same as the previous season.
There are a lot of traditions here that take place during the game, and these fans do a great job of carrying it on.
It seems like they have made Pasadena a second home for the Rose Bowl.
No. 12. Tennessee Volunters
Tennessee has one of the largest stadiums in college football. Last season the Volunteers attracted 89,965 fans a game.
That was a five percent decrease from the previous year, and it will be interesting to see whether or not the number increases with a new head coach in town.
This is a fanbase that could very easily be inside the top 10, but the struggles on the field have certainly shown when it comes to the loyalty of this group.
No. 11. Florida Gators
The Florida Gators returned to prominence last season on the football field. But despite that, there was a two percent decrease in attendance. That keeps Florida on the outside looking in at the top 10.
Still, "The Swamp" averaged 87,597 fans a game, which was in the top 10 nationally.
This group could be considered one of the more annoying fanbases with some of the cheers, but that is what helps make them rank so high on the list.
No. 10. Michigan Wolverines
The Michigan Wolverines attract more fans than any other team in the country, and a lot of that has to do with the size of "The Big House."
Last year Michigan attracted 112,252 fans. That was right on par from the previous year and tops in the entire country.
While the Michigan fans might not be as loud and boisterous as some of the other fanbases, the fact that over 110,000 people show up on every Saturday is reason enough to put the Wolverines in the top 10.
No. 9. Texas Longhorns
Texas is yet another team that averages more than 100,000 fans a game. The Lonhorns were fourth last season at 100,884 fans. That number was right in line with 2011, and head coach Mack Brown has built a strong following in Austin.
This group is large and loud.
Even though they might give the head coach a hard time every once in a while, this group supports their Longhorns and produce 100,000 strong every Saturday.
No. 8. LSU Tigers
The LSU faithful is up there with the best of the best in the SEC.
Last season the team averaged 92,626 fans a game. That was just about the same as 2011, and head coach Les Miles has developed a cult-like following in Baton Rouge.
There is a love for the home team here that is hard to find anywhere else, and this team loves to take it on the road—particularly for bowl games. None more so than the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
No. 7. Penn State Nittany Lions
The loyal fanbase of the Penn State Nittany Lions was on full display last season as the group turned out in full force despite what had happened in the offseason.
Even though attendance was down five percent from the previous year, the team was still in the top five in the country with 96,730 fans per game.
Head coach Bill O'Brien has kept the program alive and well since taking over just more than a year ago.
Nobody thought the Nittany Lions would have the success they did on the field last season, but the fans had a lot to do with that.
No. 6. Texas A&M Aggies
There is no 12th man more prevalent than the one in College Station. The fans are as loud here as almost anywhere in the country, and last season the Aggies averaged 87,014 fans per game. That was right on par with the 2011 season.
With Kevin Sumlin running the show and Johnny Manziel calling the shots, there is a lot of buzz surrounding the program.
Whether or not it will continue when Manziel leaves remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: This team has some of the most unique traditions in the entire sport.
No. 5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
There is little question that Notre Dame is the most talked about team in college football, and it has more history than almost anybody else.
The fans might be more spread out than anywhere else in the country. Most people do not have to travel far to find a Notre Dame fan, and those fans will let everyone know about it too.
That enthusiasm and passion is what allows the Fighting Irish to crack the top five.
Last year Notre Dame averaged 80,795 fans, which was exactly the same as 2011. It will likely be right around that point for a long time to come.
No. 4. Auburn Tigers
Not many teams can struggle like Auburn did last season and still not see much of a decrease in attendance.
The Tigers averaged 82,646 fans, which was down four percent from the previous season, but it's still not too bad considering everything that happened.
Now the team has a new head coach and some new found hope. That was shown by the 83,401 who showed up for the spring game.
The support and love for their team is unmatched almost anywhere else in the country.
No. 3. Ohio State Buckeyes
With the exception of Michigan, no team attracted more fans last season than Ohio State.
The Buckeyes averaged 105,330 fans per game, which was up slightly from 2011. That number can not rise much more since virtually every game is played at full capacity.
There is no doubt that Columbus is a college town and everything comes to a screeching halt on Saturday's when the Buckeyes take the field.
These fans travel better than any in college football and are loud in the process.
No. 2. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska sells out every game, and that has been the case for quite some time now.
Last year they it averaged 85,517 fans, which was virtually the same as 2011. It does not matter how many seats the stadium holds, the Cornhuskers are going to sell out the stadium.
The place can get loud and stay loud all game long.
No doubt that this is one of the most intimidating environments in college football, and the loyal fans have played a large part in that over the years.
No. 1. Alabama Crimson Tide
Topping the list is Alabama. The Crimson Tide have one of the most outspoken fanbases in college football, and they are not afraid to give their opinion.
Throw in the fact that the Crimson Tide averaged 101,722 fans a game last year, just about the same as 2011, and this group certainly tops the list.
Just look at the 78,315 fans that showed up for the spring game.
They travel well and have a love for their team that is something special, to say the least.
No doubt that this fanbase is the most loyal in the country. Perhaps even too loyal at times.