Ohio State Buckeyes fans were ranked atop the college category in this year’s Fandom 250, the ultimate ranking of fanbases worldwide, and No. 1 overall.
Every year, the Fandom 250 seeks to rank the best fan bases in the world. Not only does this include sports franchises, movies and television shows, but the individual actors and athletes.
This year, the winner of the Fandom 250 College category are the fans of the Ohio State Buckeyes. And not only are Ohio State fans the best in college sports, they’re the best in the world. Period.
Fandom 250: Full ranking of 250 fanbases
Why are Ohio State fans the best in the world?
Over the course of a year, FanSided editors meet multiple times to discuss, study and rank fandoms. Weight is given to what is “hot” or buzzworthy over the course of the year. What happened in a calendar year is a large component of the equation. But fandoms get points for longevity, size and worth as well.
The great equalizer to be what we call the “passion barometer.” The quality of a fandom is just as important to us as size and longevity.
Ohio State athletics is among the best in the country, particularly the football program which is steeped in tradition. From generations of national championships to Heisman Trophy legends like two-time winner Archie Griffin. Fans are brought up in Ohio State sports much like a religion.
In 2016, Ohio State averaged 107,278 fans at home football games, the second-highest total in the nation. In 2017, in the midst of a national title hunt and with top-ranked teams like Oklahoma and Penn State making the trip to the Horseshoe, Ohio State presumably met or exceeded 2016’s numbers.
On social media, the Buckeyes have a tremendous presence. On Twitter, the school has 295,000 followers, the football team adds another 200,000, the basketball team another 87,000 and the athletic department as a whole, another 484,000. On Facebook, the Ohio State football team has 744,000 likes and the school totals 2.1 million likes.
With senior quarterback JT Barrett under center, the Buckeyes were contenders for the College Football Playoff all season. Up until the playoff was announced, Ohio State were in the discussion for a playoff spot. Ohio State knocked off undefeated Wisconsin to win the Big 10 championship and bolster their resume for a playoff spot, and while they missed out they head to the Cotton Bowl for a showdown with the USC Trojans.
FanSided’s editorial team traveled to Columbus to watch Ohio State host Penn State in a showdown of top-ranked teams, a position in the Big 10 title picture and a college football playoff berth was on the line. The Ohio State fans impressed.
“Buckeye Nation grabbed plenty of the spotlight this year but the fans really shone when College GameDay came to Columbus for the Ohio State, Penn State game which was hands down the college game of the year,” said FanSided VP of Content, Patrick Allen. “FanSided editors were in Columbus and witnessed this fandom’s mettle, from braving the sleet and rain early in the day to hanging with their team throughout the entire game even when all seemed lost. The atmosphere was electric.
“When the Buckeyes pulled out the win and the fans stormed the field, it was clear to us that these fans meant business. Deciding the best fandom is always a difficult and competitive task but this year, the Ohio State fandom’s size, longevity and most of all, passion, lifted it above all the rest in 2017.”
Fandom 250: Full ranking of 250 fanbases
Full Category List:
Ohio State Buckeyes
Alabama Crimson Tide
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
North Carolina Tar Heels
Duke Blue Devils
Penn State Nittany Lions
Florida State Seminoles
North Dakota State Bison
What is the FanSided Fandom 250?
The Fandom 250 is the ultimate ranking of fandoms. From sports teams and movie franchises to Instagram celebrities and brands, if something has an avid, sometimes rabid, fanbase, FanSided wants to honor those fans and — in the spirit of healthy competition — rank ‘em.
The Fandom 250 is divided into 16 categories: NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL, Soccer, NCAA, Sports Figures, Celebrities, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Comics, Gaming, Brands, Internet Famous and Other. All 250 qualifying fandoms will be ranked both within their categories and against the field, so fans can see how the object of their devotion stacks up against its peers and in the fan landscape at large.