College Football: The 20 Biggest Bandwagon Fan Bases

Danny FlynnSenior Analyst INovember 12, 2011

College Football: The 20 Biggest Bandwagon Fan Bases

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    Bandwagon fans.

    Every sports team has them.

    The fans who fill up those last few empty seats when the team starts winning.

    The fans who get to the game late and leave early.

    The fans who spend most of the game fiddling on their phone and trying to take pictures, instead of actually watching the action.

    The fans who couldn’t name a player on the team besides the star quarterback.

    And the fans who make the diehards shake their heads in disgust.

    Which college football teams have the most bandwagon fans?

    Well, here’s a look at the 20 biggest bandwagon fan bases in college football.

20. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

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    Wining the 2009 ACC championship got everyone excited to be a Georgia Tech fan again, but as we know, you can only keep an Atlanta sports fan's attention for so long before they start to lose interest.

    Now that the Yellow Jackets have fallen back to the pack in the ACC, some fans have started to put away their old gold t-shirts .

19. Stanford Cardinal

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    Remember back in 2006 when Stanford went 1-11?

    Well, a lot of Cardinal fans don’t, because they didn't come to the stadium to see all those losses.

    You can bet that they’re all there now, though, holding up their "Marry Me Andrew Luck" signs and reveling in the team’s newfound success.

18. West Virginia Mountaineers

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    I hate to put my alma mater on this list, because true West Virginia fans really are some of the best and most loyal fans in college football, but when I went to school there was always a big group that seemed to be more interested in leaving at half time and going to drink in the parking lot then staying and rooting for the team.

    It doesn’t look good when your student section is a ghost town midway through the third quarter.

17. Texas Longhorns

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    I have to imagine that it was pretty awesome to be a Texas fan when the Longhorns were rolling up double-digit-win seasons and winning conference championships.

    Now that Texas is nothing more than a second-tier team in the Big 12, though, it seems like those hook 'em hand signals have lost some enthusiasm.

16. Virginia Cavaliers

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    Virginia has one of the weirder crowds in college football.

    A lot of the fans seem to have a preppy and snobbish attitude, and they don’t seem to tolerate losing all too well, which is why we’ve seen a lot of empty seats in Scott Stadium in recent years.

    But now that Mike London has started to turn the team around, a lot of those seats are starting to fill up again.

15. Kentucky Wildcats

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    This is a picture courtesy of SportsByBrooks.com, which shows Commonwealth Stadium just a few moments before the kickoff of the Kentucky-Jacksonville State game back in October.

    It seems that either A) fans had a few too many mint juleps out in the parking lot that day, or B) they just don't care about the team unless its competing for a bowl game.

14. Oklahoma Sooners

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    When I went to the 2008 Fiesta Bowl, I got to experience just how loyal all the great Oklahoma fans are.

    Once West Virginia got up by two scores in the third quarter, it struck me as odd that all the Sooner fans headed for the exits so quickly, since they probably paid a lot of money to make the trip out to Arizona.

    Oh well, at least it saved me from having to hear that awful Boomer Sooner chant the rest of the game.

13. North Carolina Tar Heels

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    "Is it basketball season yet?"

12. Georgia Bulldogs

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    Georgia fans are some of the best fans in the country when the Bulldogs are winning, but if they slip up just a little bit, there's an avalanche of whines and grumbles in Athens.

    Fire the coach!

    Fire the coach!

    Mark Richt, you have my sympathy.

11. Cincinnati Bearcats

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    I know his exit wasn’t all that gracious, but I still can’t understand why Cincinnati fans hate Brian Kelly so much.

    I don’t understand having so much scorn for a guy that actually made your team nationally relevant, guided them to two BCS bowls and brought in millions of dollars to help improve the facilities.

    There’s a reason Nippert Stadium is one of the smallest among the BCS schools. It’s because nobody cared about Cincinnati football before Brian Kelly got there.

10. Auburn Tigers

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    After Auburn won the national championship last season, it seemed like everyone was all of a sudden super psyched to be an Auburn fan.

    That didn’t last long, though, as a lot of those fans seemed to lose faith in the Tigers by the first game of the season against Utah State, when they made the mass exodus out of the stadium and missed “their” team’s come-from-behind victory.

    Where's Cam Newton when you need him, am I right?

9. Florida Gators

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    In Tebow we trust.

    In the Gators we, meh, I guess we trust them too, just as long as they win the SEC.

8. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    The 2006 Rutgers-Louisville game was one of the greatest single examples of bandwagonism in sports history.

    After years of playing in front of thousands of empty seats, as soon as the Scarlet Knights finally played a game that mattered, they packed the house.

    They haven’t been able to maintain that momentum, though, as Rutgers has now fallen back to the bottom of the pecking order behind the many pro teams that the greater New York area has to offer.

7. Tennessee Volunteers

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    Tennessee didn’t have much trouble filling up all 102,000 seats at Neyland Stadium back in the heyday of the Phil Fulmer era, when the Vols were regularly competing for an SEC championship.

    Now that the team has come back down to Earth, though, it seems like Tennessee fans are more interested in coming to games for the tailgating than seeing the actual product on the field.

6. TCU Horned Frogs

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    Before Gary Patterson came to town, I have a feeling that most people around Fort Worth didn’t even realize TCU had a football team. But now, after two undefeated seasons and two BCS bowl appearances, everyone wants to hop with the Horned Frogs.

    You know you’ve arrived when you finally start getting the body-suit guy at your games.

5. Miami Hurricanes

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    It’s true what they say, it really is “All About Da U.”

    Well, that is as long as the Canes are winning national championships.

    If they’re not, then it’s all about a half-empty Sun Life Stadium.

4. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Everyone wants to roll with the Tide when Nick Saban is leading Alabama to double-digit win seasons and BCS bowl games, but strangely, some of those fans were nowhere to be found during the Mike Shula era.

3. Florida State Seminoles

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    Whether it's the correct perception or not, this is pretty much how I picture every Florida State female football fan to look.

2. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are like the Dallas Cowboys of college football.

    They receive an unreasonable amount of media coverage every season, they’ve gained a ton of bandwagon fans all across the country over the years, but the reality is, they’re just an average team these days.

    Every August, it seems like the Notre Dame bandwagon always fills up, but by the time mid-October rolls around, there’s always plenty of room.

1. USC Trojans

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    It seems like a running race between USC and the Los Angeles Lakers to see who can pick up the most bandwagon celebrity fans.

    For a while, L.A. was the place you wanted to be if you were a college football fan, but now with Pete Carroll gone, it seems like the Trojans have lost their mystique.

    USC may have been last decade’s coolest college football team, but without Carroll running up the score on everybody, the fans just don’t seem to be as into it these days. 

    That dreadful loss to Stanford in 2009 really took the wind out of their sails.