The 7 college football teams with the most diehard fans on gameday
When we think about "winning" in college football, a few different things come to mind. From an individual player perspective, it's all about who's got the best chance at striking that famous pose. From a teamstandpoint, the focus will always center on which squads are most likely to take home a national championship. These are the obvious choices. But, truth be told, they are far from the only ways to acknowledge a victory in college football.
There are college football fans, and then there are college football fans. The latter individuals are the ones who feel a deep connection to their teams; they take the sport more seriously than most; they always refer to their squad as "we"; and they do whatever it takes to attend the games in person. This last point is a must, and some schools experience this on a completely different level than others.
Although college football has seen a decline in attendance for the fifth straight year, some programs are consistently filling up their stadiums during home games. In 2015, these seven schools saw the highest average home attendance in the nation.
2015 average attendance: 93,441
Stadium: Tiger Stadium
After a 7-0 start to the 2015 season, the LSU Tigers lost three straight games, eventually finishing the year with a 9-3 mark, a victory in the Texas Bowl, and a No. 16 ranking in the AP poll. For many programs, this would look like a pretty good season. Unfortunately, LSU is not your normal program.
Despite having one of the best tailgates in the country, the university's Tiger Stadium only saw an average attendance of 93,441 fans per game; an 8% decline from 2014 and good enough for just the seventh best mark in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
6. PENN STATE
2015 average attendance: 99,799
Stadium: Beaver Stadium
Although Penn State's Beaver Stadium can seat over 107,000 people per game game, the Nittany Lions didn't come close to averaging that amount in 2015.
Instead, Penn State pulled in 99,799 fans per game, a 2% decline from the year before. If we had to guess, we'd say this had something to do with the team's lackluster showing on the field. After all, we don't how loyal your fans are, not many people have patience for a team that went 7-6 for the second straight season.
2015 average attendance: 100,584
Stadium: Neyland Stadium
For the first time since 2007, the Tennessee Volunteers managed to win more than seven games in a season. In 2015, the Vols scored 35.2 points per game, posted a 9-4 record, and finished the year as the No. 22-ranked team in the country. More importantly, the Knoxville faithful came out in droves to support their team.
With a 1% increase in attendance from the year before, Tennessee's Neyland Stadium experienced an average of 100,584 fans per game. Considering the other names on this list, coming in at No. 5 is nothing to sneeze about.
2015 average attendance: 101,112
Stadium: Bryant–Denny Stadium
The Alabama Crimson Tide have a history of attracting great players and utilizing them to win national titles. We saw that firsthand in 2015, and we wouldn't be surprised to see it happen again this year.
As a result, it should come as no surprise that fans made a conscious effort to come out and support the national champs; an average of 101,112 fans per game to be more specific. Clearly, Bryant-Denny Stadium was the place to be in 2015.
3. TEXAS A&M
2015 average attendance: 103,622
Stadium: Kyle Field
After making a statement in the SEC back in 2012, the Texas A&M Aggies haven't been able to rediscover the same magic. With back-t0-back 8-5 seasons, you better believe head coach Kevin Sumlin is feeling the pressure. Of course, that hasn't stopped the fans from filling up Kyle Field ever chance they get.
In the 2015 season, Texas A&M saw an average attendance of 103,622 fans per contest, the third best mark in all of college football. Imagine what would happen if this team started legitimately competing for national championships. Now that would be scary.
2. OHIO STATE
2015 average attendance: 107,244
Stadium: Ohio Stadium
Despite having one of the most talented teams we've seen in years, the Ohio State Buckeyes were unable torepeat as national champions. Instead, Urban Meyer and company had to settle for a 12-1 record, a victory in the Fiesta Bowl, and a No. 4 ranking in the AP poll. On top of that, Ohio State failed to maintain its place at the top of the college football attendance mountain. Of course, if you ask us, there's nothing wrong with pulling in an average of 107,244 fans per game.
2015 average attendance: 110,168
Stadium: Michigan Stadium
Let's just call this the "Jim Harbaugh effect."
In his first season as Michigan's head coach, Harbaugh led the Wolverines to a 10-3 record, a 12th place finish in the AP poll, and most importantly, helped the program regain its place in the national spotlight. With Ann Arbor's favorite son at the helm, Michigan Stadium experienced an average attendance of 110,168 fans per game — the best in the nation. At this rate, the only thing that could possibly top this mark would be a televised showdown over the future of satellite camps.
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