The college football teams with the most fans living in the New York City area.
An online survey called the CommonCensus Sports Map Project polled college football fans to find out how many fans of each college football team exists in given areas. These are the results from the people polled in the New York City area.
10 Most Popular College Football Teams in New York City
1. Rutgers - 607,157 fans
There are roughly 3 million college football fans living in the New York area. With 607,157 fans, Rutgers University is the most popular college football team in the NYC area. Rutgers is the only major college in the New York City area that plays college football. With some 50,000 undergrads, one can understand why Rutgers is the most popular college football team. Over 20% of all the college football fans in the New York City area are Rutgers fans.
2. Notre Dame - 304,535
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The Fighting Irish are popular everywhere, and no more so than in NYC. With 304,535 fans in New York, Notre Dame is the second most popular college football team in the city. There are actually more Notre Dame fans in NYC than anywhere else, including South Bend, Indiana. If there is a college football team that can be called America's Team it's Notre Dame.
3. Penn State - 186,410
When including all of Penn State's campuses, there are over 77,000 undergrads at the state school. As I can personally attest, knowing and having worked with many Penn State grads, people who went to Penn State love the Nittany Lions. It's a shame the Big East Conference turned down Penn State years ago and forced them to go to the Big Ten. Penn State football belongs in the east, and the NYC area.
4. UConn - 150,150
The University of Connecticut is located about 150 miles northeast of New York City. UConn has over 20,000 undergrads. Many UConn grads are from and move to the NYC suburbs in Connecticut.
5. Michigan - 144,200
The University of Michigan has some 144,200 fans in the New York City area. Not really sure why, other than the fact that Michigan has been good in football for a long time, and is a storied program.
6. Syracuse - 133,900
Some people might be surprised that Syracuse only has the 6th most college football fans in the NYC area. The University of Syracuse likes to sell itself as part of the New York City area, but it's not really. Syracuse is 250 miles northwest of NYC. The ACC is going to be shocked at how little Syracuse draws fans from NYC, especially without a team from the NYC market in the league.
7. Miami - 77,497
The University of Miami is the seventh most popular college football team in NYC. A lot of New Yorkers have Miami connections, with relatives retiring there. Also, Miami built up a following in NYC from when they played in the Big East and won national championships.
8. Army - 75,345
West Point is located 55 miles north of NYC in the beautiful Hudson River Valley. Army football has a huge natural base of servicemen and women, and Army maintains a radio station in the city.
9. Ohio State - 64,581
Like Michigan, Ohio State is a storied college football program, but Ohio State only has half the number of fans in NYC than the Wolverines do. With the popularity of Penn State, Michigan, and Ohio State in NYC, plus the fact that Rutgers is the most popular college football team in NYC, you wonder why the Big Ten doesn't invite Rutgers in.
10. Boston College - 61,000
Boston College, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is the 10th most popular college football team in the New York area. BC, along with Miami and now Syracuse and UConn, is another ACC team that would draw ratings in the huge NYC TV market if Rutgers joined the ACC.
If Rutgers joined the Big Ten, they would have three big ratings games assured in the NYC market in each year. If the Scarlet Knights joined the ACC, they would have four big ratings games in the NYC market each season.
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