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October 27, 2008

NCAA Division I Football: Map- The 58 highest drawing teams (2007 attendance figures).

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My last college football map featured the 44th-highest drawing teams (from 2007 attendance figures).  I was able to get up to 58 teams for this one…so this map shows all NCAA Division I teams that drew over 40,000 per game in 2007. 

[I can tell I am really pushing the limit on memory in the drawing program,  because it took a long time to download the map,  when I inserted it into this post.  Plus,  the whole configuration prevents the addition of any more teams...it would just become too crowded and hard to see each team.  So I will put this type of map aside now,  and return to posts featuring maps of  NCAA Division I football Conferences (like I made last November and December).  I will start with the SEC,  next week.] 

This map finally includes the teams that comprise pretty much all of the biggest rivalries in college football.  This can be seen with the inclusion of teams like Oregon State (v. Oregon),  Oklahoma State (v. Oklahoma),  Iowa State (v. Iowa),  Utah (v. BYU),  Kansas and Kansas State,  and Mississsippi and Mississippi State.  Also,  finally,  there are actually some teams from the northeast…Rutgers and Boston College.  The team closest to my hometown (of Rochester, NY),  Syracuse,  did not make the cut.  Their program is really in the doldrums,  with their head coach set for the axe,  and they only drew 35,009 last season (62nd highest). 

On the map,  I wish I could have shown teams that have become recently successful,  like Boise State and TCU,  or that are high-flying upstarts like Ball State.  But all these teams’ average gates fell short of 40,000,  although Boise plays to capacity. 

Boise State’s stadium only holds 30,000,  and they played to 101% capacity last season.  The Broncos are currently ranked #11;  they were the  69th highest-drawing team last season,  at 30,338 per game.

TCU,  Texas Christian University,  drew 30,018 per game in ’07 (68% capacity),  the 77th highest.  The Horned Frogs are currently ranked #12.

Ball State,  of Muncie,  Indiana,  is most famous,  it seems,  for being David Letterman’s alma mater.  In the first week of October,  the Cardinals,  powered by their potent offense,  made it to the AP Poll for the first time ever,  at #25.  They currently are #18,  and remain undefeated.  Ball State averaged only 13,085 per game last season (115th in Division I,  and I bet there were a few lower division teams that outdrew that figure).

 Tulsa is a school better known for it’s very competitive basketball program.  The Golden Hurricanes football team (currently ranked #19) drew 24,539 last season, at 69% capacity and the 86th highest in Division I.

So that’s all the teams in the current AP top 25 Poll  {Click here} that didn’t make the map.  For the record,  the teams that just missed the map,  drawing between 39,881 and 38,068 in 2007 were:  Louisville,  Stanford,  Connecticut,  and Air Force Academy. 

2007 Division I attendance figures {Click here}. 

October 15, 2008

NCAA Division I Football: Map- The 44 highest drawing teams (from 2007 attendance figures).

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I wanted to keep on going to 66 teams.  But my computer froze up and shut down, announcing that the drawing program did not have enough memory.  I guess these photos of the helmets that I use take up lots of  memory.  This happened right as I was adding the 44th team.  When I rebooted, I was able to finish that,  but I decided to stop at 44…turns out that this was the cut-off point for teams averaging +50,000 per game.  So I decided to take that as a sign, and stop there.    

The Texas Longhorns are #1,  supplanting the Oklahoma Sooners…{Click here}.  AP College Football Poll,  {Click here}. 

For the complete list of Average Attendance of all 119 NCAA Division I Football teams (in a pdf file),  {Click here}.

September 30, 2008

NCAA Division I Football: Map- The 20 highest drawing teams (with 2007 attendance figures).

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The Michigan Wolverines gridiron football team (and their fans) once again can boast of having the highest average attendance in all of American collegiate sports.  The school is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan,  which is 44 miles west of Detroit,  and has a population of around 114,000 (2000 census figure).  The Ann Arbor campus has an enrollment of 42,042 (26,083 undergraduate students).

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The Wolverines play in Michigan Stadium, which was built in 1927.  It’s original capacity was 72,000;  today it seats 107,501, and will be expanded to 110,000 by 2010.  The stadium was standing room only last year… the Wolverines drew 110,264 per game in 2007,  at 102.6% capacity. 

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Michigan played 8 games there last season, and were 5-3,  the first loss coming to the tiny Appalachian State, Mountaineers, of Boone, North Carolina.  Perhaps the Wolverines never fully recovered from that loss (one of the all-time biggest college football upsets. Below is a Sports Illustrated cover from last September-   Click on the icon…

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 Michigan finished 9-4, and were ranked #18 in the final 2007 AP Poll.

Thanks to the NCAA site, for the attendance figures:  {Click here for article;   Click here for all 119 teams’ attendance figures  (Note: numbers 120-138 on the list are from games teams played at alternate or secondary locations)   [pdf file]}.  

Thanks to CBS Sports site and Elite Deals site.  Thanks to the [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania] Patriot-News site.   Michigan map originally from Wikipedia.

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