College Football #3

Submitted by WestQuad on February 11th, 2014 at 4:12 PM
According to a Harris Poll, College Football is the third most popular American sport behind NFL and MLB.   The demographic differences at the bottom are funny.  Auto-racing over indexes for households with an income below $35k and in rural areas.  Football under-indexes with Easterners, Liberals and Democrats.  (Not trying to start a political debate, but the Eastern part is interesting in regards to Maryland and Rutgers.)   College Football over-indexes with Southerners.  



February 11th, 2014 at 4:22 PM ^

For me, by far the most interesting tidbit is the Michael Jordan effect on the NBA's popularity. Look at those 90s numbers and then the ensuing drop off. I don't know if a single player has ever meant more to a sport. 


February 11th, 2014 at 4:46 PM ^

blingblaine:    "Jtmc33, what you have just written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever read. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this Blog is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

jtmc33: "Okay, a simple "wrong" would've done just fine."


February 11th, 2014 at 7:52 PM ^

I am doing this from memory and didn't Google it, bui I am pretty sure purses tripled in a very short period of time due to the popularity of Tiger Woods.  I do remember reading a comment from a player to the effect of, "We're all playing for second place but it pays more than first place used to."



February 11th, 2014 at 5:11 PM ^

I know what you're saying but Jordan just went out played like everyone else.  It wasn't his fault that Marv Albert had an orgasm every time he drove in the lane and threw up a wild shot trying to draw a foul.  The media overhyped him alot later in his career and the fans ate it up. 

Yinka Double Dare

February 11th, 2014 at 5:44 PM ^

The game is only unwatchable if you are a fan of an unwatchable team and don't watch the other teams.  The "star system" really started in the NBA 5 years before Jordan, with Magic and Bird.  Frankly, the NBA is more watchable now than any time in probably the last 20 years.

I lay a fair bit of blame for the crappier NBA period at the feet of the Bad Boys Pistons.  Pat Riley took that style to its logical end with the Knicks and Heat except with less talent than the Pistons had; between the Pistons having actual talent and their opponents being entertaining teams like the Celtics, Lakers, etc it was still fine to watch.  But as more teams followed the Rileyball method of "they can't call everything", and add in some talent deficit as the great mid-80s talent wave got old, and yeah, the late 90s and early 2000s were pretty ugly.  Between rule changes and an influx of talent though the last few seasons have been pretty great.

snarling wolverine

February 11th, 2014 at 6:28 PM ^

I think the biggest problem with the NBA was that it expanded too fast.  It went from 23 to 30 teams in about a decade and that was too many.  The talent was spread too thin across the board and the quality of play went down.  Now that the league hasn't expanded for awhile, the talent pool has been able to catch up.  


CRISPed in the DIAG

February 11th, 2014 at 7:10 PM ^

ThisThisThis.  I enjoy the NBA game in itself approximately 4x more than college BB not involving Michigan.  The skill level matched with playoff intensity - especially when player and team rivalries show up in June - make the game a helluva lot more interesting to me.  And, yes, I agree that there are too many meaningless games and a debilitating star system (see also League pushes given to Dwayne Wade in '06, Lebron/Wade in 2012 and Jordan from about '86-'98).  



February 11th, 2014 at 8:20 PM ^

So you are saying the NBA of today is a better watch then that of the 80's 90's and early 2000's. Well that just like, your opinion man. The viewership numbers sure don't back you up.

Why does everyone like to blame the crap product on the Pistons? They played a tough defensive style but they still lit up the scoreboard every night. I don't know why everyone thinks the 80's Pistons were this bad offensive team that took advandtage of defensive no calls, that's not the case at all. They averaged 106 points a game, even after a very slow start before they traded Dantley.

IMO The biggest problem with the league was and always will be bringing kids in too young. When they started letting High School kids in it got bad, it has improved slightly since they changed the age limit to 19. Still, that combined with the Jordan rules being applied to everyone is why the game stinks to me. 


February 11th, 2014 at 4:34 PM ^

Pro Football and Baseball dominate the east.  Great NFL and MLB teams with long histories across generations.  It's hard for CFB to get much oxygen.  It also does not help that the eastern CFB teams have been pretty crappy since, oh, about 1890.


February 11th, 2014 at 10:19 PM ^

Don't get me wrong, I'm a football fan first and foremost (college) but I have trouble calling anything but MLB the most popular sport in the land.

In stronger markets baseball comes close to selling out 60-70 home games per year, and every game is on TV.   This is despite the fact that baseball is played in months when there's actually other options (in cold weather cities). Forget ratings....if there were 162 football games football  ratings would suck too. Sparcity and short season is what makes football SEEM more popular. 


My name ... is Tim

February 11th, 2014 at 4:43 PM ^

College Football will always be an also-ran here in the northeast. It's just not in most families' blood and there's little to indicate that the traditions will change anytime soon. People here get up for NFL Sundays big-time - the local bars are packed, people are wearing jerseys. Saturdays when I venture out in my Denard jersey people look at me like I have 8 heads and clearly some suspect I must have confused my days of the week.


February 11th, 2014 at 5:04 PM ^

agrees with you.  CF is an open market in the East.  I hope this conversation is different in 5 years.  There is no better sport than CF.  Now this is coming from a Life-Long Michigander who has put up with William Clay Ford.

I have always contended that if the Lions ever get hot for several years, Sparty will take a hit in attendance and popularity.  A Sparty grad can only choose one football ticket on such a meager salary.

I dumped the Dope

February 11th, 2014 at 5:21 PM ^

I upvoted you, MGoSoftball, for humor, but then it struck me, if the Lions were really good, I bet that would cut into Michigan's slice of the pie as well.

For me I can only commit one day a week to watching CFB games.  If I burned the other with NFL I would really get nothing done 8-)

So maybe a brilliant idea we are tapping into the East by way of the B1G expansion...theoretically there are as many "athletes" there as anywhere else in the country*, and if they don't love CFB surely they value the NFL...and one is a pipeline to the other.


* although in Texas they seem to start playing around 6 years old.  I recall a kid who moved from Texas and entered my kindergarten class.  He wanted to play tackle football every recess and brought his own football to school......


snarling wolverine

February 11th, 2014 at 5:28 PM ^

Interesting that baseball has apparently lost market share (9% drop from 1985-2013), and yet in-stadium attendance seems to be better than ever.  I guess they're losing the casual fan but still have a ton of diehards.

Auto racing being ahead of pro basketball (albeit only by 1%) also really surprises me.


February 11th, 2014 at 5:39 PM ^

I was also wondering this when looking at the poll, if the numbers in baseball perhaps indicate that these are the people who perhaps follow it religiously, because stadium attendance in a lot of places seems to be the best it has ever been. 

Also, the relatively constant number from the mid to late 90s in baseball is interesting. I remember people during the doldrums of what would have been the final weeks of the 1994 season saying they'd never go to another game. It seems like a fair number of them might have anyway, looking at 1997 at least. 

Interesting indeed. 


February 11th, 2014 at 6:11 PM ^

I've read other places that baseball's problem isn't that it can't get people to come to the ballpark, but that with the big games starting later in the day you lose a large number of kids and younger viewers.  Also, baseball is a pretty slow game to watch, and that isn't going to be an easy sell to people growing up with streaming video and clips on youtube.  

I fully expect baseball to be passed by college football in the next dozen years or so.


February 11th, 2014 at 6:09 PM ^

I'm surprised that college football isn't that big in the east because LOTS of grads from football-mad schools live in that corridor, but I guess there are enough who went to non-football schools where that could be a big enough minority.  


February 11th, 2014 at 6:11 PM ^

#1 College football (Michigan)

#2 NFL (Lions)

#3 College basketball (Michigan)

#3 ML baseball

#4 NHL (wings)

#5 NBA (pistons)

I try to follow Michigan Hocky and Baseball.


February 11th, 2014 at 7:10 PM ^

No, baseball isn't as popular as it has ever been, your only 21. It used to be the ONLY sport anyone really cared about. Football was watched, but imagine the Super Bowl and times that by 3 and you almost get an idea of how popular Baseball used to be. It's still popular but the NFL has passed them by and a lot of younger kids are not as interested when compare to my generation and the generation before mine.


February 11th, 2014 at 7:57 PM ^

Its tv revenue largely comes from local tv deals where teams try to find old legends to do tv and radio that will get locals excited to watch. Revenue doesn't come from attracting a national tv audience like football (or at least not as much).

The day to day nature means that fans feel like they develop a personal relationship with the team, broadcasters, FO, etc. Families can feel comfortable bringing their kids to the stadium. It's not about watching a fast-paced product, but about making your favorite team part of your daily life. The slow paced nature of the game means you can do other things while the game is on and still pay attention. I'll cook dinner while I watch my Cards, or preferrably turn on the radio and listen to Mike Shannon while I do homework or when I go to the pool.

MLB Advanced Media has done a brilliant job of making games available on the internet via video and radio at an affordable price. That baseball essentially has a monopoly on summer means that it'll be just fine.