This archived article was written by: Ryan Nelson
When we read or hear about college football, it’s usually about either the teams, the coaches, the match ups, or who’s going to go to a BCS bowl game, we don’t hear a lot about the fans, there are those rare occasions where you do. For example, the recent event that happened at the Utah vs. BYU game in Salt Lake City. The fans rushed the field and drew a penalty on Utah, which gave BYU another chance to win the game, one of three to be exact.
Anyway, the point being, fans can influence a game one way or another. They can influence the team for good or for bad, while also affecting the other team and their performance as well. You know you have an amazing fan section when everyone is yelling and screaming, and the stands shake with a thunder of a crowd just as determined as the players. You know you are in for a good time. Being a player for the opposing team can be a quite intimidating with fans like these. You may not realize it, but as a fan you reflect your school and the spirit that burns within. Having a powerful and huge fan section can definitely affect the outcome of a game.
Now there are many different kinds of fans. You have the ones that chant the cheer for a team, but really never wear the colors or watch the games, the ones that sit in their seats and give an occasional whistle or hoot here and there, and then there are fans who bleed their school colors, and go to every home game with painted faces.
Utah has some pretty hard-core fans for college sports. I’m going to take three of the colleges and rank them starting from the largest fan base to the smallest. I would have to say that the Utes at the University of Utah take first place, then the Aggies at Utah State University in Logan, and then the Cougars at Brigham Young University. Each of these colleges can surely hold their own in their stadiums with their loyal supportive fans.
Now, we will go over a little bit about each school’s fan base, and what sets them aside from other colleges. At Utah, their student section known as the MUSS (Mighty Utah Student Section) really amplifies the cheering in the stadium. The fans love to kick things off early in Salt Lake with the Ute tailgate party, and the Ute walk before the game. In Logan, their stadium holds 25,513 and they always deliver a huge amount of fans, they all seem to always chant in unison and throw signs in the opposing team’s face which creates quite a powerful atmosphere for their team to win. And when I say they deliver a huge amount of fans, their stadium is always packed. Down south at BYU, their stadium holds 63,470 and the fans are sure full of energy and they always have a full-student section supporting their team. All through Provo you will see BYU flags on the cars as they drive by, showing their pride and support. These colleges have a big fan base, but when compared to other teams throughout the country they seem a little small.
Let’s start with the Florida Gators. They have a huge fan base, which you can easily see when they pack their stadium known as “The Swamp” with 88,000 strong. Let’s also not forget about Michigan State with their stadium known as “The Big House”. This stadium gets loud when there are games played here. These teams really deliver when there is home games, but when football is such a prominent thing and the stadium holds 80,000 plus, it really isn’t hard to do, unless the team isn’t that good, but most of the time, that isn’t the case.
an avid fan. With today’s technology, you can watch the game crystal clear on the 72-inch plasma screen TV, and to top it off, you can now watch the games on the go with your smart phone. With the ESPN College Football app, you can track any college football team and even see video highlights of the play with just the touch of the screen. To take it to the next level, there is also an app by ESPN called Watch ESPN, where you can watch live-streaming videos of multiple ESPN channels. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you will always be able to check on the score of your favorite team, and even watch the game.
Whatever kind of fan you may be, always remember that if you cheer loud enough, or even rush the field, you could change the outcome of the game. Just make sure that the game is over before you go rushing. I have to remember that piece of advice when I rush the field again, at the end of the BYU vs. Utah football game!