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College Football: Power Ranking the Celebrity Fans

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMarch 24, 2011

College Football: Power Ranking the Celebrity Fans

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    You've seen them. I've seen them. We've all seen them.

    Celebrity fans have been spotted on the norm at sporting events, and one of the big draws is college football.

    Whether they're alumni of a school, have a tie to the program or are just a fanatic, celebrity fans have become a big part of college football, and some are even becoming symbolic with your favorite school.

    Today, we're going rank the top celebrity college fans in the country and see which programs actually have pull around here.

    Which of your favorite schools can actually draw and attract some superstar names?

    Which program is home to a celebrity that on Saturdays in the fall becomes just another crazy fan of the team?

    Who's the top celebrity college football fan?

25. Erin Andrews: Florida

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    Andrews grew up a Gator fan and has had some family history that ties her to the program. Before her days at ESPN, she worked as a sports reporter for a Tampa area TV station, and has followed the Gators since her youth.

    Now known as perhaps the most attractive female sports reporter in television, Andrews is also known to take big time pride when asked to cover and report on Florida athletics, especially Gator football.

    Tim Tebow even got her to do the Gator Chomp with him on television a few years back. If I'm Will Muschamp, I'm definitely using the prospect of Andrews' affection for the Gators as a recruiting selling point on the trail.

     

24. Michael Wilbon: Northwestern

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    Sure, Wilbon is a sportswriter, but in this day and age of the "celebrity" hosts, reporters and writers, Wilbon fits the bill.

    As a Northwestern grad, Wilbon supports everything that is Northwestern, especially Wildcat athletics.

    It's nothing to hear him call for a shocking Northwestern upset during the football season on PTI. You can debate whether Wilbon is a flat out homer or not, but he is a big fan of the football squad.

    He isn't over the top in his statements about the program and knows that winning a BCS title is a reach, but he supports the Purple Boys through and through.

23. Dave Letterman: Ball State

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    An alum of BSU, Letterman is a big supporter of the football team. He's been seen at a solid share of games through the years and will sport attire showing his proud support.

    Letterman is one of the biggest names in television and is a pillar of late night television. Ball State proudly boasts him as a proud alumnus, and Letterman has given back to the school and the football program.

    He knows the BSU squad and program isn't a frequent BCS title contender, yet he still attends games when he can and is an avid follower.

22. Tom Arnold: Iowa

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    Arnold is a huge Hawkeyes fan and a big time admirer of the football team. A fan during the Hayden Fry days, Arnold has stated flocking to watch Iowa football is a big time passion of his.

    I can't get over him being married to Rosanne Barr. No, do not send me comments saying she was hot back in the day. She wasn't. Case closed.

    But learning that Arnold is a rabid Hawkeye football fan definitely puts him back in good graces with me, but he's always been well received by Iowa football.

21. Burt Reynolds: Florida State

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    Reynolds is a celebrity, even though he actually suited up for the Seminoles in his college days. Before making The Longest Yard, Reynolds actually lined up at defensive back in Tallahassee.

    Now, Reynolds is a big supporter of the 'Noles, and has been known to donate big cash flow back to the program.

    One of the best actors of all time, and a star of some the most well known films ever made, Reynolds' college football alliance is with Florida State.

20. Larry the Cable Guy: Nebraska

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    Yep, Larry the Cable Guy is a supporter of the Blackshirt defense and Big Red football.

    When he's not on his comedy tours or making appearances around the world, you can find Larry among the sea of red at Cornhusker football games.

    He's known to pop up at practices to check on the team and has even served as a guest coach at a game or two in the recent seasons.

    Having grown up in Nebraska on a farm, he really takes pride in what the Red N on the Cornhuskers' helmet truly represents.

19. Joe Scarborough: Alabama

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    A politician is said not to be trusted, yet the Crimson Tide know they can trust Scarborough's allegiance to the program. He's a huge Alabama fan and will let a "Roll Tide" slip out during his TV and radio shows.

    Scarborough went to Florida for grad school and law practices, but never was a supporter of Gator football.

    Why?

    Because he resided in Tuscaloosa when in school for his undergrad degree and has never swayed in his love for the Tide.

18. James Gandolfini: Rutgers

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    Wow, I was a bit nervous putting Tony Soprano at 18th, and if you never hear from me again, just know I''m likely sleeping with the fishes for having him this low. Capisce?

    But in the real world, Gandolfini is a Scarlet Knight fan through and through.

    He attends many Rutgers home games and follows the program very closely. He becomes one of the guys at the games, and is known to throw a few drinks back and relax while cheering on the Scarlet Knights.

17. John Mellencamp: Indiana

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    Johnny Cougar, as he was formerly known, grew up in the Hoosier State and is a big fan of Indiana basketball and especially football.

    He's seen the football program go through some dark times through the years, but has never swayed in his affection.

    A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Mellencamp released "No Better Than This" last summer and the album has become one his best known during his stellar music career.

    He's so well connected at Indiana that he received an honarary doctorate in Musical Arts from the university.

16. Bill Cosby: Temple

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    Cosby is similar to Reynolds, as he also is a former athlete turned celebrity.

    He played for the Owls in the late 60s and 70s, running track and playing on the football team.

    Word is, Cosby had aspirations of being a shutdown corner, but found comedy was his calling.

    To this day he is a big presence in the Philadelphia area program, and serves as an adviser to many high ranking officials in the university.

    The Owls even have had Cosby speak to a few coaches on behalf of attracting them to take over the football program, and he does what he can to help with recruiting.

15. Jimmy Buffet: Florida

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    Buffet is a legend and really became a big time Gator fan when he learned that former head coach Urban Meyer was an avid fan of his.

    Meyer hosted Buffet in the Gator locker room once, and reportedly was extremely giddy more so of Buffet being in the locker over the Gators winning the actual game.

    Sure, getting into the locker room is a huge feat in itself as a fan.

    But when you can make the head coach of Florida Football giddy with your presence, then you're doing it big in life.

14. Toby Keith: Oklahoma

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    Born with Sooner blood runnin' all through his veins, Keith can be seen at many Oklahoma football games and practices.

    He's huge Sooner supporter and takes pride in following OU football.

    He performed during a tribute to the late and great Wayman Tisdale, who had Blake Griffin status before anyone in Norman ever heard of the Clippers' All Star forward.

    Keith's presence around the program has become almost as symbolic as the white OU on the helmets and Bob Stoops.

13. Rush Limbaugh: Nebraska

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    Whether you agree with his political and socioeconomic views or not, you can't deny Limbaugh's affection for Big Red football.

    He tries to find time to take in a good share of Cornhusker games in Lincoln when he can, and believes Nebraska is one of the better football states in the country.

    A polarizing and controversial figure, Limbaugh has had a history with football, serving as a member of the Sunday NFL countdown team in 2003, until he made racial comments about then Eagles QB Donovan McNabb.

    Yet, Limbaugh's ultimate support lies with the Cornhusker football team, as he is one of their top celebrity fans.

12. James Carville: LSU

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    Known as the Ragin' Cajun in the political realm, Carville will tell he's a Tiger fan in everything college sports.

    Some say Carville is a political and analytical genuis, while Republicans may disagree with that notion.

    Yet, on Saturdays in the fall, Carville forgets politics, dons purple and yellow and cheers for the LSU Tiger football squad like nobody's business.

    He's a big fan of Les Miles' team and can be seen regularly hootin' and hollerin' in Death Valley on Saturday night games.

11. Ashton Kutcher: Iowa

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    Hailing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Kutcher is another big supporter of Iowa athletics along with Tom Arnold. He is an alumnus of the university and sports Hawkeye attire when he can.

    He has a solid presence around the program and even got into some hot water with the NCAA recently as Kutcher and Demi Moore met with several recruits, which is an NCAA violation.

    However, even though he spends much of his time in Hollywood, Kutcher will catch a live Hawkeye game or two in the fall.

10. Kenny Chesney: Tennessee

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    Chesney is known as a fan that if he could suit up for the Vols, he would.

    He is a native of Tennessee and grew up on rooting for the Rocky Top football team and serves as one the program's biggest admirers.

    When he's not on tour or making best selling albums, you can find Chesney reading up on the latest Tennessee football news, at a practice or at a game as one of the fans.

    He gives back a ton to the program and has a big presence around the team.

9. Phil Knight: Oregon

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    You wanna know how Oregon has what many consider the best facilities? Or why they basically never wear the same uniform twice? Because of Knight, the man behind Nike.

    Knight is an Oregon alum and does everything possible and legal to help the football program and the overall athletic program.

    Yes, Oregon is a Nike sponsored school. Their faciltities are amazing and it is pretty convenient that Nike's headquarters is not too far way in the state.

    Knight is on the sidelines for many Ducks games and speaks to coaches and teams on the norm.

8. Snoop Dogg: USC

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    Snoop has done a remarkable job of reinventing himself through the years to remain relevant in pop culture.

    Hailing from Long Beach, California and an alum of Long Beach Poly high school, which is a huge USC and NFL pipeline, he has become one of the main celebrities that regularly attends USC games.

    Pete Carroll had Snoop in to surprise the team and speak with players during his tenure. While this likely won't happen with Lane Kiffin, Snoop still can be seen at home games at the Coliseum.

7. LeBron James: Ohio State

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    Not sure if you know this, but if Kobe Bryant had been forced to attend college, its generally known that he would have gone to Duke.

    The same goes for James and Ohio State.

    Sure, the King is a Dallas Cowboys and New York Yankees fan, but the Akron native is one of the biggest Buckeye supporters out there.

    He even serves as a mentor of sorts to Terrelle Pryor, has donated to the athletics program and, when he has time, will make it to a Buckeye game or two in Columbus as the NBA season falls in line with football season.

    James was an All-State receiver before his senior year in high school, and there is still talk to this day that football was his best sport. Not bad for a two-time NBA MVP.

6. Tiger Woods: Stanford

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    You know you're supporter of a program when you announce you will not be rooting for a certain team to win the Super Bowl because their QB played at your school's rival university.

    Woods did that in saying he could not root for the Packers due to Aaron Rogers being a Cal alum. Woods is the world's most popular athlete, even though he has not won a tournament in more than a year.

    Yet, when it comes to anything Stanford related, you can bet Woods' will be cheering for the Cardinal. He has even started to take to Twitter for a little trash talking about this year's Cardinal football team.

5. Regis Philbin: Notre Dame

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    Even though he is retiring soon, Philbin will not be retiring from following his beloved Irish football team. An alum of the university, Philbin has been seen at Notre Dame Stadium almost as much as the coaching staff.

    He's quick to talk about the team with anyone, and he lets it be known that the Irish will be back soon atop the college football world.

    Some say his retirement from his morning show may be motivated by his desire to have more free time to follow the team.

    Others say he got tired of Kelly Ripa's cheesiness.

4. Matthew McConaghy: Texas

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    McConaughey told Oprah a few years back that Texas beating USC in the Rose Bowl for the National Title was a better feeling for him then winning an Oscar.

    Some love McConaughey's movies, others not so much, but he's accepted as the top celebrity Longhorn fan by leaps and bounds.

    He sports Texas football gear anytime he can, tailgates in Austin with fans when he's in town, and attends just about all of Mack Brown's squad's bowl games.

    He takes the cake as the top Texas celebrity football fan.

3. Will Ferrell: USC

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    Ferrell is an alum of USC, but he didn't study film or drama at the university. Ferrell actually majored in sports information at USC, so he actually is a sportsman turned comedian.

    His passion became truly known during the Pete Carroll era as he routinely visited practices and helped Carroll play practical jokes on the team.

    Ferrell showed up as a mock superhero named "Captain Compete" and had the Trojan players in stitches.

    He's a big supporter of the program and is USC's top celebrity fan.

2. Luke Campbell: Miami

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    Luke is as symbolic a figure of the rise of Miami football in the 1980s as Jimmy Johnson, Vinny Testaverde or Dennis Erickson are. He is a huge fan of the program, and really is seen as a big brother to many former players.

    Campbell does anything he can to help Miami Hurricane football, as he has donated money, helped pay for uniforms, urged local high school players to consider the Canes and much more.

    A former member of the 2-Live Crew, Campbell's music served as a soundtrack to the program in the 80s.

    He was consulted, featured and interviewed for the recent ESPN 30 For 30 documentary on The U.

1. Adam Duritz: California

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    Duritz is a member of the award winning band "Counting Crows", but if he wanted to, he could probably serve as director of football operations for the Bears. He's that connected, passionate and into Cal Football.

    He's served as a guest analyst for pre-game telecasts, has been a halftime and pre-game reporter for the program and is a frequent reader of message boards and recruiting sites.

    He has a lot of inside knowledge of the program and is among the most passionate Bears fans, celebrity or not.

    He easily takes the top notch of the top celebrity college football fans.

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