Three from SEC make college football’s top 5 ‘local’ fan bases


Nielsen ranked college football’s top local fan bases for 2013. The study is based on a percentage of the population that’s watched or listened to the team in the past 12 months.

Related: Ranking the SEC’s 14 fan bases

Nielsen ranks Ohio State (Columbus) as the top local fan base, followed by Alabama (Birmingham), Arkansas (Little Rock), Tennessee (Knoxville) and Oklahoma (Oklahoma City).

Related: The SEC’s most ‘volatile’ fan bases


[H/T @IMGCollege]

Photo Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports



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  • So you’re telling me that not even 55% of Athens keeps up with the Dawgs? Yeah, okay, sure man.

    • LOL. This tool who rated these obviously is based or some other crap. Anybody who has ever been to Athens on a Saturday knows that 90% of people in the town are watching live, listening to, or watching on TV, when the Dawgs kickoff. What a jackoff.

      • I’d say that’s the case with any SEC city. I can promise you that 99% of tuscaloosa is watching Bama on a sat, and 99% of Auburn is watching auburn…athens, gainsville, ect. this is a stupid pole

        • Also if it were the percent of the total population in just that town and the surrounding area wouldn’t schools in smaller towns like Starkville and Oxford being even more skewed by the fact that hardly anyone who chooses to live there isn’t a fan. I can understand a lot more people living in Columbus or Oklahoma City who don’t give a damn about college football than in the small college towns.

    • No. What they’re telling you is the TV market in which Athens falls there are less than 55% watching. Athens happens to fall in to the Atlanta TV market. A rather large market with a lot of people who don’t give a rip about sports, or if they do, they’re more into professional sports.

  • I thought Alabama was located in Tuscaloosa, not Birmingham which is 60 miles away.

    • But accepting credit for something that goes against the standard that everyone else has set just to over inflate your ego is the Bama way.

    • LOL. This tool who rated these obviously is based or some other crap. Anybody who has ever been to Athens on a Saturday knows that 90% of people in the town are watching live, listening to, or watching on TV, when the Dawgs kickoff. What a jackoff.

  • There is no way this is even remotely accurate. If they are looking at this from a percentage perspective, small cities like Oxford, MS would have numbers in the 80s or 90s. Have you ever been to Oxford? I lived there for a year while attending Ole Miss. there is NOTHING to do. You find yourself attending athletic events for sports you don’t even care about to watch the Rebels get their asses handed to them by more talented SEC schools because it’s better than sitting in your dorm room & slitting your wrists from boredom.

    • Respectfully disagree. Spent my undergrad there. Loved every minute of it. Not sure of the years you were there but that is a great college town. It may not be as big as Red Stick, but it does have great events. Concerts, Festivals, Sporting Events, Parties, the list goes on.
      Oxford is constantly ranked for great college towns. I would say each college town has its own thing. Hate breeds hate. You’re better than that. I know it.

      • Blake, I was there from 93-94. Probably the biggest reasoning for my view was that I didn’t join a fraternity at OM. Trying to find something to do on weeknights & weekends that didn’t involve getting blackout drunk at The Gin was a challenge. I’ve been back a couple times since then & I know campus & Oxford have both grown exponentially. I’m sure it’s different now than it was 20 years ago, but back then, it was bad.

        All that said, I was raised a Rebel & I still bleed red & blue when they aren’t playing LSU.

  • So you are telling me less than 66% of the town of Auburn or Tallahassee watched the NCG? Yeah right!

  • dont understand why LSU didnt make the list.

  • Probably measuring largest Metro area within a certain distance. js

  • The cities listed refer to the primary television market the teams are located in. For example, The University of Alabama’s campus is in Tuscaloosa, about 50 miles from Birmingham, but it still falls within Birmingham’s TV market. Same for the other listed schools.

  • This is an absolute joke of an article! First of if you buy into anything Nielsen says you don’t know much about them & how they collect data, it’s laughable. I’m pretty sure from Madison, WI to Gainesville, FL & every campus in between the teams are heavily supported. Nielsen also had findings that Seattle isn’t in the top 10 of NFL teams followed in their city. Ummm the 12th man looks strong to me.

    • Seattle’s stadium hold less than 100k. The city of Seattle is over 600k. The metro area over 4 mil. The contents of the stadium don’t even come close to the overall population, the point you tried making is very flawed.

  • Percentage of nielsen polls that we remotely care about 0. Percentage of polls we think are actually accurate by Nielsen 0.

  • People only follow OSU (overrated state university) to see them lose to whatever POS they have on their schedule. Snicker, snicker….

  • Really? Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina, was a sellout for all of its home games in 2013 and currently has the nation’s longest home winning streak in college football at 18 games. In addition to the sellouts this season, the new tailgating area outside the stadium sold out and currently has a waiting list. Add the 10,000 or so who watched the game from tailgating areas and everyone knows when there is a home game for the Gamecocks. This article is very misleading at best. In reality it is just wrong!

  • Also, South Carolina sold all of its allotment of bowl game tickets the past three years when beating Nebraska, Michigan, and Wisconsin to their “local fanbase”. Let’s see, Tennessee or Arkansas didn’t fare too well on bowl attendance seeing as how they didn’t even go to one. This article is just wrong! Go Gamecocks! Oh, did I mention the Gamecocks finished this season at #4 in the nation in both polls?

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