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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
A look at spring game attendance

By Brian Bennett

Does having a large turnout for a spring game mean your school's fans are the most loyal and passionate in the sport? Or does it just say that there was nice weather and not much else to do that day in your town?

James Franklin
Penn State and first-year coach James Franklin drew the nation's second-biggest spring game crowd.
That's a debate with no real answer. For sure, some spring games are more interesting than others, though just about all of them offer little more than vanilla play calling on both sides. Some teams don't even scrimmage that day or do so on a very limited basis.

With all that in mind, which teams drew the biggest crowds for their spring games? put together a list of the top 25 attendance figures at spring games around the country, and it's no big surprise that the SEC -- remember that thing about good weather and not much else to do? -- dominated the top 10. But Penn State had the second-biggest turnout in the nation, while Nebraska and Ohio State also cracked the top 10.

Here's the list from

1. Alabama: 73,506
2. Penn State: 72,000
3. Auburn: 70,645
4. Tennessee: 68,548
5. Nebraska: 61,772
6. Ohio State: 61,058
7. Georgia: 46,073
8. Oklahoma: 43,500
9. South Carolina: 36,412
10. Florida State: 36,400
11. Florida: 35,834
12. Kentucky: 35,117
13. Clemson: 33,000
T-14. Arkansas: 30,000
T-14. Texas: 30,000
16. Notre Dame: 27,986
17. Louisville: 27,500
18. Missouri: 23,000
19. Mississippi State: 21,710
20. Texas Tech: 19,500
21. LSU: 18,565
22. USC: 17,500
T-23. Michigan: 15,000
T-23. Ole Miss 15,000
25. Boise State: 13,822

The list, compiled Saturday afternoon, is missing Michigan State, which had 35,000 at its spring game, and Iowa, which had 20,400. So slot the Spartans in at No. 13 and the Hawkeyes at No. 21, which would give the Big Ten six teams in the Top 25. Here's how the other Big Ten schools fared in their reported spring game attendance:

Rutgers: 11,500
Indiana: 9,200
Wisconsin: 8,204
Maryland: 8,139
Purdue: 7,125
Illinois: 5,100
Minnesota: 5,000

Note: Northwestern did not have a true spring game and did not release attendance figures for an open practice on its final day of spring drills.