The Most Popular College Football Conference: A Ranking of the Top Contenders

Choose the college football conference you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Mar 30, 2024 06:58
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! As passionate college football fans, we know the thrill and excitement of cheering for our favorite teams, and now it's time to determine the ultimate powerhouse - the most popular college football conference! With thousands of polls and rankings on various topics, StrawPoll is the perfect place to make your voice heard. Dive into our latest ranking, "What is the most popular college football conference?" and cast your vote for your favorite conference or suggest a missing option. Don't miss out on this epic showdown as conferences go head-to-head to claim the coveted title of fan-favorite. Be a part of the action, and let's find out which conference truly reigns supreme in the college football world - may the best conference win!

What Is the Most Popular College Football Conference?

  1. 1
    75
    votes
    The SEC is widely considered the top conference in college football, with a long history of producing championship teams and top NFL draft picks. It also has the largest stadiums and biggest fan bases in the country.
    The Southeastern Conference (SEC) is a collegiate athletic conference in the United States that is composed of 14 universities primarily located in the southeastern part of the country. It is one of the most popular and prestigious college football conferences in the nation.
    • Member Universities: 14
    • Geographic Range: Primarily southeastern United States
    • Founding Members: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt
    • Current Headquarters: Birmingham, Alabama
    • Conference Divisions: Eastern and Western
  2. 2
    37
    votes
    The Big Ten is one of the oldest and most storied conferences in college football, with several powerhouse programs and a huge following in the Midwest.
    The Big Ten Conference is one of the oldest and most prestigious college football conferences in the United States. It was established in 1896 and originally consisted of 10 member universities. Today, it includes 14 member institutions located primarily in the Midwestern and Northeastern regions of the country. The conference is known for its strong football tradition, passionate fan base, and competitive programs.
    • Founding Year: 1896
    • Current Number of Members: 14
    • Geographic Region: Midwestern and Northeastern United States
    • Headquarters: Rosemont, Illinois
    • Football Divisions: East and West
  3. 3
    21
    votes

    Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12)

    Pacific Coast Conference (PCC)
    The Pac-12 has a strong tradition of offensive innovation and has produced many legendary coaches and players. It also has a large presence on the West Coast and in the Mountain Time Zone.
    The Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12) is a collegiate athletic conference comprising twelve universities located in the western United States. It is one of the most popular college football conferences in the country.
    • Year Established: 1959
    • Member Schools: 12
    • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
    • Sports Offered: 22
    • Football Divisions: North and South
  4. 4
    18
    votes
    Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)
    Atlantic Coast Conference · Public domain
    The ACC has been on the rise in recent years, with several top teams and a growing fan base. It also has a strong basketball program and a large presence in the Southeast.
    The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) is a college football conference consisting of universities and colleges located primarily in the eastern United States. It was established in 1953 and is considered one of the most popular college football conferences in the country. The ACC has a strong reputation for competitive football and has produced many successful teams and players over the years.
    • Number of Members: 15
    • Division Alignment: Atlantic and Coastal
    • Headquarters: Greensboro, North Carolina
    • Current Commissioner: John Swofford
    • Conference Championships: 67 (as of 2020)
  5. 5
    16
    votes
    The Big 12 is known for its high-scoring offenses and competitive games, as well as its passionate fan bases in Texas and Oklahoma.
    The Big 12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference composed of 10 member institutions located in the central United States. It is one of the most popular college football conferences, known for its high level of competition and competitive teams.
    • Member Institutions: Baylor University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, University of Kansas, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Texas Christian University, University of Texas, Texas Tech University, West Virginia University
    • Football Championships: The Big 12 Conference holds an annual football championship game to determine its champion.
    • Television Contracts: The conference has significant television contracts with major networks, ensuring widespread coverage of its games.
    • Football Playoff Appearances: Big 12 teams have consistently earned bids to the College Football Playoff.
    • Rivalries: The conference boasts several historic rivalries, including Oklahoma vs. Texas (Red River Shootout) and Kansas State vs. Kansas (Sunflower Showdown).
  6. 6
    7
    votes
    The AAC has emerged as a top mid-major conference in recent years, with several strong teams and a growing national profile.
    The American Athletic Conference (AAC) is a collegiate athletic conference that competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). It was founded in 2013 and consists of teams from colleges and universities primarily located in the Eastern United States.
    • Number of Teams: 11
    • Headquarters: Providence, Rhode Island, USA
    • Football Bowl Subdivision Status: FBS
    • TV Partners: ESPN, CBS Sports, and occasionally Fox Sports
    • Football Championship Game: Yes
  7. 7
    7
    votes
    Mountain West Conference (MWC)
    Mountain West Conference · Public domain
    The MWC has a strong presence in the western United States and has produced several successful teams in recent years, including Boise State and Utah State.
    The Mountain West Conference (MWC) is a collegiate athletic conference that competes in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). It was established in 1999 and is composed of universities primarily from the western United States.
    • Year Established: 1999
    • Geographic Area: Western United States
    • Current Member Institutions: 12
    • Headquarters: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    • Sports Sponsored: 18
  8. 8
    8
    votes

    Conference USA (C-USA)

    Conference USA
    C-USA has a diverse group of schools from across the country and has been known to produce some surprising upsets in recent years.
    Conference USA (C-USA) is a collegiate athletic conference composed of schools primarily located in the Southern United States. It was founded in 1995 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas. C-USA sponsors a wide range of sports, but is particularly known for its competitive college football program.
    • Year Founded: 1995
    • Headquarters: Irving, Texas
    • Member Schools: 14
    • Football Divisions: East & West
    • Number of Football Teams: 14
  9. 9
    7
    votes
    The Sun Belt has been on the rise in recent years, with several competitive teams and a growing national profile. It also has a strong presence in the Southeast and Southwest.
    The Sun Belt Conference is a collegiate athletic conference in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). It is composed of schools primarily from the southeastern United States.
    • Member Institutions: The conference consists of 12 member institutions.
    • Geographic Range: The member schools are located across 8 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas.
    • Football Membership: The conference has 10 football-playing members.
    • Conference Championships: The Sun Belt Conference holds championships in 18 different sports.
    • Football Championship Game: The conference introduced a championship game in 2018.
  10. 10
    6
    votes
    The MAC is a mid-major conference with a long history of producing successful teams and talented players. It also has a large presence in the Midwest and Northeast.
    The Mid-American Conference (MAC) is a collegiate athletic conference in the United States that competes in the NCAA's Division I. It is primarily known for its football programs and is considered one of the most popular college football conferences.
    • Founded: 1946
    • Member Schools: 12
    • Headquarters: Cleveland, Ohio
    • Geographic Region: Midwestern United States
    • Football Divisions: East and West

Missing your favorite college football conference?

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Ranking factors for popular college football conference

  1. Competitive balance
    How evenly matched are the teams within the conference? A conference with a high level of competition and parity will be more attractive to fans and recruits. This can be determined by analyzing win-loss records, championships, and overall strength across the board.
  2. Number of ranked teams
    The number of teams from a conference that consistently appear in national rankings like the AP Poll or the College Football Playoff Rankings can be an indicator of the conference's overall strength and popularity.
  3. Bowl game performance
    How well do teams from the conference perform in postseason bowl games? A strong track record of bowl game success can add prestige to a conference.
  4. Fan attendance and support
    A conference's popularity can be determined by its average attendance at games, fan engagement, and merchandise sales.
  5. TV ratings and media deals
    Conferences with strong television ratings and lucrative media deals are generally considered more popular, as they reach a larger audience and generate more revenue for their member schools.
  6. Successful coaches and players
    A conference with a high concentration of respected coaches and players, both past and present, can enhance its image and prestige.
  7. Geographic footprint
    The location and regional interest of a conference's member schools can impact its popularity. Some regions of the country are more passionate about college football than others, and conferences that span those regions may be perceived as more popular.
  8. Recruiting success
    How well does a conference attract top talent? A conference that consistently lands high-ranking recruits will generally be considered stronger and more popular than a conference with less recruiting success.
  9. Strength of schedule
    A conference that consistently plays a challenging schedule, both within the conference and in non-conference play, will be viewed as more competitive and prestigious.
  10. Academic reputation
    While not a direct factor in determining the popularity of a college football conference, the academic reputation of the member institutions can have an indirect impact on the conference's overall image and perception.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular college football conference. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or conference is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 2010 views
  • 201 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each conference once every 24 hours. The rank of each conference is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular college football conference

College football is a beloved American pastime, with fans from all over the country tuning in to watch their favorite teams compete. One of the most exciting aspects of college football is the fierce competition between conferences. With so many different conferences in play, it can be difficult to determine which one reigns supreme. At StrawPoll, we've conducted extensive research to determine the most popular college football conference. Our polls have revealed that the answer may surprise you. From the SEC to the Big Ten, each conference has its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Whether you're a die-hard fan or simply curious about the world of college football, our polls and rankings provide valuable insight into this exciting sport. Stay tuned for our upcoming article on the most popular college football conference and see if your favorite team made the cut.

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