College Football Teams with the Best Fanbases
From loud and crazy student sections to wild pregame rituals, college football has everything when it comes to fanbases.
The fans play a larger part in college football than perhaps any other sport. With crowds that can even surpass 100,000 people at some stadiums, games can get rather loud on Saturdays in the fall at colleges across the country.
From the SEC down south to the Big Ten up north, there are some excellent fanbases all over college football. Whether it is the "O-H-I-O" chant at Ohio State or the Seminoles "War Chant" at Florida State, fans can get a little rowdy all across the nation.
The question is, which college football team has the best fanbase? Some fans may be louder during the games, while others are more vocal through social networks. Either way, all the fanbases on the list play a large part in the success of their respective teams.
Here are the top 20 fanbases in college football heading into the 2013 season.
*All attendance figures obtained through NCAA.org
Here are 10 teams that just missed making the list but still possess some of the wildest fanbases in the country.
Mississippi State: For fans wanting a quiet atmosphere, this is not the place to go. Cowbells ring out constantly during the game.
Oklahoma State: These fans love to get rowdy, particularly the students. The Cowboys ranked fourth in the Big 12 last season in attendance.
USC Trojans: Not many colleges have the star power as far as the fanbase is concerned. Some big-name celebrities grace the sidelines nearly every game. They were also in the top 10 in the country at over 93,000 fans a game.
Ole Miss Rebels: Ole Miss makes this list because of the tailgating. It might just be the best in the nation. The game atmosphere is not bad, but the tailgating is a step above the rest.
Missouri Tigers: Joining the SEC will do nothing but help this fanbase. The fans are loud and proud when rooting for their Tigers.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: The Yellow Jackets may not draw a lot of fans compared to many other teams in the country, but this group is loud and boisterous every Saturday.
Virginia Tech Hokies: What better way to start a game than with "Enter Sandman"? That is the entrance music for the Hokies. It gets the fans going, and they do not stop all game long.
Auburn Tigers: When it comes to putting on a celebration, not many schools do it quite like the Tigers after a big victory. These fans can get nuts.
Oregon Ducks: This is a fanbase that continues to grow each and every year.
Michigan State Spartans: This is the first of many Big Ten teams. The Spartans may not be the most popular team in the state of Michigan, but they have a very loyal fanbase.
No. 20 Florida State Seminoles
There are very few chants in college football better than the Seminole "War Chant." While fans of opposing teams, particularly ACC rivals, likely do not think too highly of it, Florida State fans love it. No question it is one of the best.
With plenty of history and tradition, this is one of the most storied programs in college football. Florida State was in the top 20 last season in attendance. The fans have remained loyal even when the team has struggled.
With that type of fanbase, the Seminoles will be in the national spotlight for years to come.
No. 19 Arkansas Razorbacks
Even though Arkansas did not have the success it was looking for last year, this is still a fanbase that will come out to support the Razorbacks. Arkansas finished in the top 25 last season in attendance, despite the struggles of the football team.
While Florida State has a unique chant of its own, there might not be one better than "Woo Pig Sooie."
Other SEC fans across the conference might disagree a little bit.
No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers
Very few traditions are better than "Jump Around" at Camp Randall Stadium. It's played before the fourth quarter of every game. Needless to say, the crowd goes absolutely nuts.
The Badgers consistently average around 80,000 fans a game, ranking in the top 20 in the nation virtually every season.
There are not many home-field advantages quite like Camp Randall. Not many teams venture into that stadium and come out with a victory.
No. 17 Clemson Tigers
The real "Death Valley" is one of the toughest places to play in college football. Memorial Stadium is not only one of the best venues in the country, but there are plenty of traditions here as well.
This group of fans stand behind the Tigers through thick and thin.
At over 81,000 fans a game, Clemson ranked 15th in the country last season in attendance. Look for the success to continue and the fans to show up even more this season. The Tigers could be in the national title conversation if everything falls into place.
No. 16 Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa is the next Big Ten team on the list. The Hawkeyes rule the state of Iowa and also draw over 70,000 fans a game.
Kinnick Stadium is one of the great home-field advantages in the country no matter how much success Iowa is having on the field. Loyalty is what sets this group apart.
While it is not quite on the level of the top-tier Big Ten programs, this fanbase is certainly near the top of the list.
No. 15 South Carolina Gamecocks
The number of South Carolina fans is continuing to grow with the success the team has had in recent years under head coach Steve Spurrier. The noise level of the crowd gets louder and louder every season.
They travel well and support their players. These fans have as much or more confidence in their guys than almost any team in the country.
No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers
West Virginia is certainly one of the wildest crowds in the country. There is nothing like a game at Mountaineer Field.
Not many fanbases are prouder of their squad than this team. Opposing fans might want to beware when venturing to West Virginia, because this group is not afraid to get a little rowdy. No question that every fan at these games knows the words to John Denver's "Country Roads."
At nearly 56,000 fans a game, West Virginia was in the middle of the pack in Big 12 attendance.
No. 13 Tennessee Volunteers
Filling a stadium with nearly 90,000 people on a consistent basis is not an easy task, even though it would would be hard to tell if judging by the fans of the Tennessee Volunteers.
While it did not happen every game, the Vols still packed the house, placing in the top 10 of average attendance per game last season and even going over 100,000 against Florida.
Social media is also a big deal at Tennessee. The Vols rank fifth in the country with over 71,000 Twitter followers.
New head coach Butch Jones will only help bump up that number.
No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia is the next SEC program on the list. The Bulldogs are one of the top teams in the country.
Only five schools drew more fans per game last year than Georgia. The fans here show up every week, and they are loud throughout the game. This fanbase gives the Bulldogs one of the best home-field advantages in all of college football.
The 2013 season just might be the year this team gets over the hump and wins the SEC.
No. 11 Penn State Nittany Lions
At over 96,000 attendees per game, Penn State fans come out no matter what is going on with the program.
Even amidst all the turmoil last season, these fans showed their support for the Nittany Lions. That is why the group is so high on the list.
Diehard is the perfect word to describe this fanbase.
When it comes to Facebook "likes," Penn State is near the top of the list, with 464,000.
No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners
"Boomer Sooner" is a chant that is belted out during Oklahoma games and these fans just love it.
The Sooners averaged over 85,000 fans a game last season, which is 103 percent over the listed capacity at Memorial Stadium. Not many teams in the country average more fans than the stadium holds, but Oklahoma is one of the few.
There's no question this is one of the best fanbases in the Big 12. It certainly shows in the attendance figures.
No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
When it comes to fanbases spread throughout the country, Notre Dame might be at the top of the list.
There are Fighting Irish fans all over the nation, and even the world for that matter. It seems like Notre Dame is one of the most loved and one of the most hated programs in the country.
The Fighting Irish averaged over 80,000 fans a game last season. With the success the team had in 2012, expect those numbers to continue.
Not many teams travel quite like Notre Dame, which has fans in every city.
No. 8 Texas Longhorns
There is nothing like football in the state of Texas, and one of the largest universities in the country also has one of the best fanbases.
The Longhorns were one of four teams in the country to average over 100,000 fans a game.
Texas has been nationally ranked virtually every season in recent memory, but even in a down year, these fans come out to support Texas football.
That is just how things go in the state of Texas.
No. 7 Florida Gators
The Florida Gators fans help make "The Swamp" one of the best home-field advantages in the country.
Florida is another team that has a unique chant that almost every other team in the country loathes. The "Gator Chomp" is one of the most recognizable college anthems in the entire country.
These fans expect a lot from their team. The Gators ranked in the top 10 last season, averaging nearly 88,000 fans a game. Expect that number to be just as high this season.
No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies
The Texas A&M fanbase continues to grow. There is no question that Kyle Field has one of the best 12th-man advantages in the country. The fanbase here is in fact known as the 12th Man, and rightfully so.
With the success this team had last season under first-year head coach Kevin Sumlin, expect the fanbase to continue to grow in the coming years.
When it comes to filling a stadium to capacity, Texas A&M is near the top of the list. The Aggies filled their stadium at 105 percent of capacity on average per game last season.
No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide
Only two teams in the country, Ohio State and Michigan, averaged more fans last season than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Over 101,000 fans a game came out to cheer the national champions.
Alabama fans not only show up in large numbers at the games, but they are also big-time players on social networks.
The Crimson Tide are near the top of the country in Twitter followers at over 89,000.
These fans are also not afraid to voice their opinions on blogs and other social networks all over the Internet.
No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes
Like many other schools on the list, football is life in the city of Columbus. Ohio State averaged over 105,000 fans a game, which ranked second in the nation last season.
This is a school that has no problem getting nearly 90,000 fans for a spring game. The chant of "O-H-I-O" can be heard throughout the stadium during home games.
Ohio Stadium is one of the best places in the country to watch a game. The main reason for that is the excitement and enthusiasm of the fanbase.
No. 3 Nebraska Cornhuskers
This is another Big Ten fanbase that is not short on loyalty. As far as sellouts are concerned, Nebraska is the king.
The Cornhuskers have sold out more than 300 straight games.
These fans are a "Sea of Red" and one of the loudest groups in the entire nation. The Cornhuskers averaged over 85,000 fans a game, ranking 12th in the country.
When it comes to social media, Nebraska is also near the top with nearly 100,000 Twitter followers.
No. 2 Michigan Wolverines
The Michigan Wolverines averaged over 112,000 fans a game last season. That was easily the top attendance figure in the country.
While some may not think this stadium is as loud as it should be considering the amount of fans, "The Big House" is one of the best venues in the nation.
Social media is also a big deal for Michigan fans. They are very popular on outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, where they have the most followers of any team in the country with over 152,000.
No. 1 LSU Tigers
As far as rowdy fans are concerned, this team is at the top of the list. There might not be a tougher place in the entire country to play a night game than Tiger Stadium.
These fans are relentless throughout the game. When LSU is not playing at home, the fans are not afraid to travel wherever their beloved Tigers are playing.
The Tigers finished seventh in the country, averaging over 92,000 fans a game.
Saturdays in Baton Rouge are a party from the tailgating before the game to the postgame afterwards, and that is why the LSU fanbase is at the top of the list.