Fox Business-Over the course of 14 weeks this fall, researchers asked college football fans about their favorite teams, and the role the game plays in their lives. SEC fans came in first across all four of the major factors that Rasmussen and Discover used to measure the strength of their super fandom: 1) SEC fans told researchers that they found it “somewhat or very important” to watch their favorite team play each week, beating out fans of independent teams and members of the Big 12. 2) SEC fans also said they follow their teams closely, even during bad seasons. 3) Friends and family members know who SEC fans’ favorite teams are, with Big Ten fans coming in second. 4) While Big Ten and ACC team supporters love to wear school colors, SEC fans told researchers that they wear team apparel and other items more than any other group of college football fans in the country.
The fact that as a whole the SEC is arguably the best conference in the past decade probably doesn’t doesn’t hurt things too much, but even without that this isn’t exactly a surprise. Who would have thought that the conference based primarily in states where college football is close to literally the only form of entertainment not involving ATVs, hunting rifles and malt liquor would have the most loyal fan base? The only other conference that comes remotely close to that qualification is the Big 12, but you don’t hear stories about Longhorns fans teabagging passed out Sooners or someone getting arrested for poisoning a fabled cluster of cornstalks at Kansas State.
The SEC is in an entirely differently league of everything when it comes to college football. You could make a case for the Big 10 but chances are they’d find a way to get sanctioned out contention, PAC-10 fans are too West Coast to become that invested in anything, the Big East has about as much loyalty as $300 escort and most of the ACC is too concerned about how their AAU recruits are looking to care about the results of football season. I’m sure Notre Dame fans would love to make the cases that they’re really the most loyal except for the fact that their conference is about as real as the joke you thought was going to be at the end of this sentence. Hate on them as much as you want, but I’d love to hear someone tell me any reason why the SEC doesn’t run college football right now.