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Old 08-29-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,644 posts, read 2,785,330 times
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While other college sports are more niche and have less of an audience like Hockey, Baseball, Lacrosse. College Basketball and Football are basically as big as professional sports in large parts of the country. And in the South, College Football is the major sport in the region. Even outdrawing the professional teams in the area.

What are the historical factors that made College Football and Basketball so popular?

EDIT. I mispelled Basketball
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Denver
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College football in the south have been playing very well in the last couple decades. In states like Alabama and Arkansas they don't have professional sports so college sports take that role. They are often funded extremely well at the bigger schools.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:29 PM
 
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Because many states in the South and Midwest have no professional football or basketball teams, so they cheer for the local college teams.
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:41 PM
 
1,450 posts, read 1,538,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
While other college sports are more niche and have less of an audience like Hockey, Baseball, Lacrosse. College Basketball and Football are basically as big as professional sports in large parts of the country. And in the South, College Football is the major sport in the region. Even outdrawing the professional teams in the area.

What are the historical factors that made College Football and Basketball so popular?

EDIT. I mispelled Basketball
It probably has to do with the fact that many universities have had a football / basketball program(s) since the late 1800s or early 1900s. Individuals and even entire families follow their alma mater because they feel a strong connection to their university and its programs. It's a pride thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tor_Nado View Post
Because many states in the South and Midwest have no professional football or basketball teams, so they cheer for the local college teams.
Actually, most do have one, both, or multiple professional football or basketball teams.

Midwest:
Illinois: both
Indiana: both
Iowa: none
Kansas: none
Michigan: both
Minnesota: both
Missouri: football
Nebraska: none
North Dakota: none
Ohio: both
South Dakota: none
Wisconsin: both

South:
Florida: both
Georgia: both
Maryland: football
North Carolina: both
South Carolina: none
Virginia: none
West Virginia: none
Delaware: none
Alabama: none
Kentucky: none
Mississippi: none
Tennessee: football
Arkansas: none
Louisiana: both
Oklahoma: basketball
Texas: both

Last edited by YIMBY; 08-29-2013 at 04:49 PM..
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:00 PM
 
Location: New York NY
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In addition to the long historical popularity of the sports on college campuses, also consider that neither the NFL or the NBA have profesional farm teams or minor lagues to develop talent, like baseball or hockey. So football and basketball fans who want to see the next professional superstars in those sports -- and its often obvious who they'll be --can go see them play on college teams.

Also don't forget the power of TV. The big contracts that the NCAA and various athletic conferences have with the networks and ESPN have helped boost the popularity of college sports and made many college teams national rather than local or regional brands.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
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Because the history of college football is far more extensive than the NFL. Plus, it has a lot more to do with Alma Mater pride or regional pride. Most players for Texas, Florida, or Ohio State are actually from those states. Most players on the Giants are Patriots aren't from those places.

True, a lot of places where CFB is popular don't have an NFL team. But in Texas, have one of the top 3 NFL franchises of all time, yet we still love our CFB and HS FB. There's just a certain history and tradition the college game has that the professional game doesn't.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:19 PM
 
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Because of their long connection with the local population. That's easy. I mean, I'm pretty sure that in Tennessee, there are a lot more Volunteer fans than Titan fans. And in north Florida, more Gator fans than Jaguar fans. Even in Texas where there are the Cowboys, I see a lot more people identify with the Longhorns or the Aggies.

The other thing to consider is that college teams not only are considered to be the hometown teams, but they also have a deep emotional connection with fans through their traditions. So having a storied program helps a great deal, too.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
23,572 posts, read 24,655,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tor_Nado View Post
Because many states in the South and Midwest have no professional football or basketball teams, so they cheer for the local college teams.
like Washington and Oregon
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Old 08-29-2013, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghengis View Post
like Washington and Oregon
Folks in Washington care more about the Seahawks and the Sounders than anything else. But everywhere in Oregon. The Oregon Ducks are biggest team in Oregon. I saw Oregon Duck posters everywhere when I was in Portland.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:14 PM
 
9,093 posts, read 17,375,915 times
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I think a lot of the why college sports is popular has been posted

As for football/basketball specifically? - those sports are more popular on the professional level as well

They are very accessible and have some fantastic TV appeal .... although college basketball is far below where it has been historically

Hockey & Baseball aren't even played in many schools on anything more than a club level - plus they are not nearly as much of the professional path as college basketball & football - those sports grab the top talent and hold them for a while so you can talk about pro-prospects, etc

Most baseball teams don't even have full scholorship allotments for their teams either

However, there are areas where these sports are very popular - baseball along the west coast, over into AZ and then jumping back to the southern states ..... Hockey in MA, NY and then stretching over to ND
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