Ranking college football teams based off Instagram followers | Sports

I did some research this week on something I found appealing. Like some of my coworkers, I’m counting down the days until college football season. We all have our personal favorite teams which makes it fun. I was curious as to the true popularity in numbers of our favorite teams, and with that the entire FBS division.

I went on Instagram Wednesday and searched all 130 FBS programs and ranked them from most to least followers. Some of these results may surprise you.

On top of the rankings are the Alabama Crimson Tide with 1.1 million followers, and The Ohio State Buckeyes with 1 million. They are the only programs in the country at or above 1 million.

The Louisiana State University Tigers come in third with 868,000 followers. The reigning champion Georgia Bulldogs are fourth with 813,000, with the Clemson Tigers completing the top-five with 703,000. The Texas Longhorns are 10th with 408,000, but with the recent commitment from Arch Manning, this number is certain to rise. Also notable are the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who are 14th with 358,000. I was personally surprised by this, considering the vast following this team has.

The highest ranked group-of-five team was the UCF Knights with a rather shocking 130,000 followers. This puts them 31st on the list.

With championships and success comes popularity, hence why Alabama is on top. The lack of consistency and lack to stay on top can plague and thin out a fan base. This is no more apparent than with the USC Trojans.

I grew up in the midst of the Pete Carrell USC dynasty. They were my Alabama growing up. Today their success is far from what they had in the 2000s. To my surprise, they are ranked 32nd with 129,000 followers. Programs like the Nebraska Cornhuskers, North Carolina Tar Heels and rival UCLA Bruins all outrank the Trojans.

The lowest ranked power-five team on the list are the Vanderbilt Commodores. Their 31,400 followers was only good enough for 82nd with the Northwestern Wildcats just in front of them with 35,000.

Here’s where the local squads stacked up. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are 50th with 74,100. The Georgia State Panthers are 111th with 13,800, and the Georgia Southern Eagles are 120th with 10,700. Coming in last is the team just 45 minutes from my hometown, the Akron Zips with 6,170.

Now I know everyone isn’t on Instagram, and the truth to the popularity of these teams may not be reflected by these numbers. Again, I was curious to see what I would find. As you can tell though, football can’t come soon enough for me.

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