The discussion of the conferences with highest fan equity begins and ends with the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Six of the top twelve overall college football teams in our rankings are from the SEC. For the second straight year, UGA tops our ranking of SEC college football fan equity. [For more on the overall study and methodology, please click here]
When we examine the SEC Fan Equity rankings from last year, the top 5 teams are the same except for Arkansas replacing Texas A&M. The teams near the bottom are also relatively unchanged. For those who are wondering why Georgia is ahead of Alabama, our explanation from last year still applies:
“The University of Georgia has the number one ranked football fan base in the SEC according to our study. It should be pointed out that this study covers a ten year period, and that the top four ranked schools in the SEC are also among the top ranked football fan bases in the country. So, what separates Georgia from Alabama? Over the period of our study, both Georgia and Alabama averaged between 9 and 10 wins a season. However, Georgia averaged 12% more in revenues per year than Alabama. Alabama also had a couple of years in the beginning of our sample (2002 & 2004) where the home games were not all filled to capacity. Thus, over the period of our study, when we control for team performance and other institutional factors, the Georgia fan base is just a bit more loyal and devoted.”
So why did Arkansas move up the rankings? We believe that this could in part be due to enthusiasm resulting from the hiring of Coach Bielema. Revenues were up for the Razorbacks last year and attendance remained relatively unchanged, despite winning less than the previous year.
Mike Lewis & Manish Tripathi, Emory University 2014.