NCAAF
May 12, 2020
BY Calvin McAlee

Ranking the Best College Football Fan Bases

College football fans are some of the most dedicated supporters in the sporting world. Much like soccer fans in other countries, college football fans here in the United States are extremely passionate. 

Home field advantage is important in any sport but when it comes to college football, there is no close second. There is nothing like tens of thousands of (mostly drunk) college kids, alumni and fans on a Saturday cheering on their home team.

It's easy to say that a team like Alabama or Clemson could be on this list due to their recent success. However, this is a list of the 10 best college football fans, not the 10 best bandwagon fans. Yes, every team on this list is a current or recent powerhouse. Although win or lose, these teams have some of the best fans at their games and their fan bases stretch across the country.

Odds are, you know at least one person who is a fan of each team on this list, no matter where you live.

READ: The 10 Best College Football Coaches in 2020

10. Ohio State Buckeyes

Ohio State fans make the Horseshoe one of the toughest places to play year after year. Not only that, but they hit the road as well as any other fan base in the country. You can expect over 100,000 fans jam-packed in the stadium at each one of their games, making them one of the largest stadiums in the country. Even their spring games attract nearly 100,000 fans.

It also helps that the Buckeyes have been one of the best programs in recent memory. That always helps inspire a rabid fan base. 

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Nebraska hasn’t been the powerhouse program in recent years that it's been in the past. Still, Cornhuskers fans are some of the most loyal in the country. They'll support their team even when the squad fails to become bowl eligible.

Cornhuskers fans are so devoted to their team that the school has sold out every home game since 1962. That's more than 350 consecutive games and counting. Nebraska fans continue to show support even when their team is near the bottom of the Big Ten.

Just imagine what the fan base will be like when the Cornhuskers eventually breakthrough and become a powerhouse once again. 

8. Florida Gators

With nearly 88,000 fans packing the Swamp on Saturdays, Gainesville is one of the best college football spots in the country. Ask anyone who knows football and they all know how to do the Gator Chomp.

Add in the weather with the fans and Gainesville is also one of the most difficult places for a team to play.

7. Tennessee Volunteers

It’s been a while since Tennessee has been relevant on the national stage or even in the SEC. However, that hasn’t stopped Volunteers fans from showing their dedication.

Sporting one of the loudest venues in the country, Neyland Stadium is a nightmare for teams to travel to, no matter how good the Tennessee team is that season.

With nearly 90,000 fans tailgating on the Tennessee River, Tennessee sports one of the best gameday scenes in the country.

Volunteers fans are thirsty for Tennessee to regain its form at some point in the near future. 

6. Georgia Bulldogs

Near the top of the country in terms of fans per game every season, the Georgia Bulldogs are yet another SEC team with extremely passionate fans.

More than 92,000 fans pack in to watch what is usually one of the nation’s top teams year after year. It's one of the best college football atmospheres in the country, so it's no surprise that they have a loyal fan base. 

Plus, who doesn’t love the Georgia Bulldog mascot?

5. Oklahoma Sooners

If you call yourself a college football fan, then you've definitely heard the “Boomer Sooner” chant at some point in your life. With more 85,000 fans screaming it at each game in Norman, the Sooners fan base is as intimidating as any.

Here's a fun fact about those 85,000 fans who attend games at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium: That's more than the stadium is listed to hold capacity wise. That's right: the Sooners are the only team that averages more fans per game than their stadium actually holds. Now that's a passionate fan base. 

4. Texas Longhorns

While the SEC is perhaps the best conference in terms of fan bases and on-the-field play, there is nothing like football in Texas. If you've seenVarsity Blues or Friday Night Lights, then you know football is not only a lifestyle, it's basically a religion.

Despite a recent lack of success, the Longhorns still have plenty of faithful fans who have continued to show their support. The Longhorns are only one of a handful of teams in the country that average more than 100,000 fans per game each year.

3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Another team that hasn’t been as successful recently as they were in the past, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are certainly not short on fan support. Notre Dame fans are everywhere.

Fighting Irish fans pack 80,000 strong in their home stadium and it seems like the majority of those fans also hit the road. Notre Dame fans travel as well as any in the country, perhaps the best.

2. Michigan Wolverines

Michigan has one of the biggest stadiums in the country and they jam-pack that stadium each home game with more than 100,000 fans.

Michigan has led the country in attendance numerous times, averaging over 112,000 fans per home game in recent years. There is a reason it is called the Big House, and Michigan has no problem filling each and every seat anytime the Wolverines are playing.

The Wolverines also have one of the biggest social media following in the country. Now if only Jim Harbaugh's squad could beat Ohio State. 

1.   LSU Tigers

The fact that the Tigers just won the National Championship has nothing to do with their spot on this list. Tigers fans are as rowdy as any in the country. 

LSU fans travel as well as any in the country no matter where they are playing on Saturdays. Baton Rouge is truly a college football paradise come gameday. One of the best tailgating experiences in the country, Tiger Stadium offers one of the most memorable experiences a college football fan can have. 

With a name like “Death Valley”, the heat alone is enough to wear an opposing team down. Having some of the best fans in the country only makes it that much more difficult for opposing teams.

Even legendary Alabama head coach Bear Bryant said that Death Valley is "the worst place in the world for a visiting team. It’s like being inside a drum.”

Photo: Getty Images