Which College Football Team Has The Biggest Online Following? Here’s A List…
Author’s note: This was one of the first things we put out there several months ago; in the time since, we’ve learned a thing or two. Yes, we’re still amateurs. Yes, our articles still look like they were put together by a high school kid, which makes sense: Our “Graphics Team” is made up of my four teenagers. But we have learned some about gathering stats and converting them into something simple that the average person can understand. That being said, we decided to rework this one, adding in a ton of info we didn’t find the first time around. Enjoy.
We all think our own team has the best fan base. And in truth, many of us could make a valid case for that argument. College football fans are a breed unlike any other fan; NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL… they all have fans. But college football has fanatics. Who has the best fan base will always be a subjective and hypothetical conversation.
But is there any aspect of fandom that can be measured?
In today’s world? We think we found one. A team’s online presence. Most of us in America spent a lot of time online… and if you’re a fervent supporter of your team, you no doubt spend at least some of that time in online places related to that team.
We… and by “we” I mean myself and those 4 teenagers, all falling into that “fanatic” category, have come up with a measuring metric.
We broke a team’s online presence into 4 categories:
- Dedicated Websites: Sites dedicated specifically to a school’s team. This includes fan blogs, but only those dedicated specifically to that specific team.
- Social Media. There are a million social media platforms out there, but we stuck with the big 3: Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter.
- Message Boards: Again, only those specifically dedicated to a specific team.
- Search engine searches: We used Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Duckduckgo.
We put together a scoring system, giving each team a score in each of those four categories, looking at subs, fans, traffic.. basically every number we could find. (We stuck with FBS but there are a number of non FBS schools that have huge followings; by our score, North Dakota State and James Madison, for example, would have cracked the top 50 ) Divided the total by 4, and used that score to compile our list.
Some things came as no surprise. Ask any football fan who they think would end up on top of a list like this, most will no doubt mention Ohio State, ‘Bama, and Clemson. And they would be right. But there were also some that surprised us. Who knew that BYU and Rutgers have huge online followings? Some teams known to have amazing fan bases ranked surprisingly low; it turns out some of them have huge support at home, but not much across the country. There are teams who’s following has shrunk as they faded from relevance, like USC and Nebraska… and others like Michigan and Michigan State who have held on to their fan base in spite of a recent lack of success.
Is this scientific? Maybe a little. But it was a blast for us to do, and it does make a great discussion. So below, you will find all 130 FBS schools, in order. Feel free to comment below; some will agree, some will no doubt not agree at all. But isn’t that why we do these things?
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