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Official Husker Locker Blog

2010 Jan 17

The Ten Best Fan Bases in College Sports (Besides NU)


By HuskerLocker

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We’re biased. We think we’re a pretty great fan base. Fortunately, we’re right, based on the comments from opposing fans, coaches and players. We like a good college football conversation, we’re loyal, maybe a little over-generous, complimentary, and willing to acknowledge the better team at the right time. NU fans tend to be their own worst critics. It’s the Nebraska in us. One of our strengths, I’d say.

But let’s set us aside and look at ten other great fan bases in college sports. Remember - it’s not just football - although many of them are football fan bases.

Texas A&M: A respect for tradition and competition that mirrors Nebraska, carried out by unique, faithful fans who are more into cheering their own team than jeering the opponent. Aggies are friendlier than their UT counterparts, more hospitable and most like NU fans. Whenever somebody slags the whole state of Texas, remind them of the Aggies. It’s not all bad in the Lone Star. Some of it, in fact, is kinda cool.

Virginia Tech: A blue-collar fan base if there ever was one. The “other” school in Virginia has surpassed its richer, ritzier older brother in UVA, and done so with lunch pail mentality that respects fan bases and teams who act the same. Hokie fans were terrific in Lincoln in 2008, and hosted Husker fans quite well in Blacksburg.

Oklahoma: We debated this one, because of those Ruf/Nek student volunteers that give the rest of the OU fan base a bad name. But Sooner fans generally treat Nebraska fans well, travel well, and don’t make too big of fools of themselves.

Mississippi: The gentlemen of the SEC, with the accompanying, jaw-dropping belles to boot. Ole Miss turns tailgating into an art form of barbecue, bangles, cordials and smiles in The Grove. There are aspects of the fan base we’d rather disappeared - the presence of the Rebel flag being one - but it’s a good time in Oxford, on Archie Manning lane.

LSU: The Tigers may not be so kind to every fan base, but LSU’s frequent stays in Omaha for the College World Series reveal a proud, jovial and passionate bunch that knows its way around a few sports. On game day, few places are more unforgiving than Tiger Stadium. But the rich, diverse culture of LSU - so foolishly derided by Nick Saban after his departure - is a chief part of its charm.

Oregon: We know a few, we appreciate them for their humor, fanaticism and perspective. Most Duck fans are on the right kind of head trip. After all - you can only take yourself so seriously with day-glo uniform and a white duck as your mascot. The best of the Pac 10.

Kentucky: The blue bloods appreciate good basketball (much like Nebraskans do football) and know when somebody (read: Billy Gillispie) doesn’t belong. More down-to-earth than their counterparts at UNC and Duke, more passionate than KU’s wine-and-cheese crowd, friendly than you might expect for a program so steeped in success. Maybe it’s the recent humility.

Minnesota: Edges out Wisconsin; a little less vulgarity than the Badger faithful. Minny is long-suffering in all kinds of ways, and that one word “Gophers” is synonymous with UM hockey - not football, basketball or wrestlers. Minnesota is good in a wide variety of sports, and part of it is the commitment of a fan base and the Twin Cities two competing newspapers.

North Carolina State: The blue collar bunch of the ACC. They’d have to be, amidst North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke, right. Hungry basketball fans that embody the joyful spirit of departed coach Jim Valvano (deposed as he may have been). They seem more from planet earth, and not hoop land like the rest of Tobacco Road.

BYU: A bit of a chip on their shoulder, but a overall nice, fanatical fan base that appreciates competition - so long as it’s not coming from Utah. Would be a great addition to the Big 12 should Missouri ever get the Big Ten invite.

See also:

Best Fans/Worst Fans
Best Helmets/Worst Helmets

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Tags: texas am, oklahoma

Comments (6)

Profile image for displaced_husker

yeah i would have to disagree with oregon ducks being ranked so high. if you want to attend corporate u, when enrolled, participate in freshman orientation and make sure you attend the "how to be the snobbiest fan" seminar. moving to the nw i've learned a lot about the apple cup (uw v. wsu) matchup and that cross state rivalry doesn't compare to the relations (or lack thereof) between uw and ou. i couldn't stand uw fans for all the years i took crap for being a husker fan out here but after the years, prolly bc the huskies haven't been worth a dang since '01 (but sark looks like he's doing a lot, they could be tough in seattle next year). i know, it's quite the bias i have but its first hand experience

– Feb 2, 2010 at 7:16 am

Profile image for madag2002

Interesting list here. Some I agree with, some I don't but interesting take.

Oh and gotta love ill informed internet posters....ie Texas A&M attendance for 2009

UNM 73,887
USU 73,600
UAB 74,656
OSU 76,153
ISU 72,530
BU 82,106
tu 84,671

The official capacity at Kyle is 82k.

I am not even going to do the math but oen can see that there are several more games there other than just the texas game that are less than 10k away from a sellout.

Please do your research next time before spouting off on "facts"

– Jan 19, 2010 at 12:33 am

Profile image for goodnterribles

sam, i normally love your commentary, but you are way off with more than a few on this list. UK fans are spoiled and openly accept a win at all costs attitude (see calipari, john). NC State fans are some of the worst in the ACC. At football games, they are like Colorado fans with their vulgarity and their joy of urine. At basketball games, they constantly deride the refs and will openly hurl obscenities at opposing fans (UNC fans in particular).

– Jan 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Profile image for Natural_Redhead

If I weren't in red, I'd be in LSU purple!

– Jan 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Profile image for tummer

Texas A&M didn't even come within 10,000 fans of a single sellout this season until their final home game - against Texas, of course. They're the most overrated fanbase in college sports.

– Jan 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Profile image for JiminDallas

I would put Wisconsin over Minn., just because they bring a large crowd on the road.

– Jan 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm

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