By Barry Janoff
July 22, 2013: The University of Alabama soundly defeated Notre Dame, 42-14, to claim the national title for the 2012 college football season. But Alabama was ranked No. 3 behind Michigan and LSU when it came to most engaged college football fans.
The 2013 college football season begins with 17 games on Thursday, Aug. 29, and kicks off in earnest with nearly 50 games on Saturday, Aug. 31.
In preparation, online ticket broker TicketCity has compiled its first overall ranking of what it is calling "the most engaged fan bases in college football."
TicketCity said the list was based on an "algorithm designed to identify the fan bases that engage the most frequently with their team both online and offline." Fan engagement here is based on the 2012 season, but excludes Bowl games. The rankings include such metrics as average total attendance, average home attendance, average ticket price, percentage of stadium capacity filled at home games, Facebook likes and Twitter followers.
According to TicketCity, the 15 most engaged college football fan bases are located at (in order): Michigan (Big 10), Louisiana State (SEC), Alabama (SEC), Ohio State (Big 10), Texas A&M (SEC), Nebraska-Lincoln (Big 10), Oklahoma (Big 12), Texas - Austin (Big 12), Georgia (SEC), Florida (SEC), Penn State (Big 10), South Carolina (SEC), Iowa (Big 10), USC (Pac 12) and Oregon (Pac 12).
Also according to TicketCity, the universities with the most Facebook likes are: Florida (1.09 million), Michigan (1.04 million), LSU (867K), North Carolina-Chapel Hill (697K) and Penn State (662.7K).
On Twitter, the universities with the most followers, per TicketCity are: Michigan (150.4K), LSU (107.3K), Nebraska-Lincoln (94.1K), Alabama (84.4K) and Tennessee (69K).
The coaches with the most followers are: Les Miles LSU 111.8K, Brian Kelly Notre Dame 93.5K, Butch Jones Tennessee, 82.5K, Mark Richt Georgia 69.7K and Bret Bielema, Arkansas 64.4K.
By comparison, John Calipari, head basketball coach at Kentucky, leads all college coaches with 1.24 million Twitter followers.
According to TicketCity, the college football teams with the "Highest Average Home Attendance: were: Michigan (112,252), Ohio State (105,330), Alabama (101,722), Texas - Austin (100,884) and Penn State (96,730).
The teams with the "Highest Percent Of Stadium Full" were Oregon (106.5%), Nebraska (105.5%), Texas (105.4%), Oklahoma (103.8%) and Ohio State (103%).
See the full statistics here.
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