Penn State Fans Named Big Ten’s Second Best

Halloween Crowd

Penn State football fans are the best in the country. I know it, you know it, we all know it. Well, except for people at the Emory University Goizueta Business School. To them, we’re number two to Ohio State.

Emory Sports Marketing Analytics are going around college football, conference by conference, and ranking the best fan bases in the country. Their methodology is a bit different than the usual criteria of “going to games is fun” and “it looks awesome on tv.” Instead, they used data and statistics to come up with their rankings. I’ll let them explain:

Our approach is data and statistically driven, as we will be looking at how fans support their teams after controlling for how well the team performs.  The series will conclude with an overall ranking of teams.

Before we get to the team rankings we wanted to start with an analysis of conferences.  Beyond regional pride, our conference rankings are related to the topic of conference realignment.  Conferences are the sum of their parts with some added bonus due to the synergies the overall group creates.  Our fan equity analyses therefore provide a means for anticipating how new or changed conferences will compare with each other.

For those that have previously seen our other brand equity analyses, we should note that our conference-level analysis takes a slightly different approach.  For the fan analyses, we build a statistical model that predicts team revenues as a function of metrics related to team performance such as winning percentage and bowl participation.  We then compare actual revenues to what is predicted based purely on team performance (and other factors such as number of students, capacity, etc…).

This is certainly a unique way to rank teams, and while it probably won’t be popular because it has that school from Ohio ranked higher than us, at least there is at least some analytical value to it. They do say that Penn State’s second-place finish may be short lived due to the team’s decline in attendance last season, but for now, we’re number two.

Hey at least we’re better than Michigan, which counts for something, right?

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