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  • SEC Schools Lead Spring Game Attendance; Records Fueled By First-Year Coaches

    SEC schools led the way in attendance for spring football games this year, with seven of the top 10 highest-attended events coming from the conference. Auburn led all games with a school-record 83,401 fans, with fans flocking to see the team's debut under first-year coach Gus Malzahn. The event also offered the final opportunity for Auburn fans to roll the Toomer’s Corner oaks, as the trees were removed following the event after being poisoned in '10.

    FIRST-YEAR COACHES RULE: Several of the schools seeing record spring game attendance did so with new coaches experiencing their first real interaction with fans. Arkansas and Kentucky each set new school records under first-year coaches Bret Bielema and Mark Stoops, respectively. Texas Tech also set a school record with first-year coach and alum Kliff Kingsbury. Tennessee, with first-year coach Butch Jones, had the school’s second best spring game attendance on record (behind only ’76). Tennessee nearly doubled its figure from last season and ranked No. 3 overall.

    FUELING RECORDS: Texas A&M, with reigning Heisman Trophy-winner QB Johnny Manziel, shattered its spring game attendance record with 45,212 fans, more than doubling the crowd for last season, which was its first in the SEC. Georgia drew 45,113 fans, marking the third straight record-setting crowd for the school’s spring game. Vanderbilt also saw its best crowd on record, with 14,000 fans on hand to see the team following its first nine-win season in nearly 100 years. Louisville, coming off its win in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, drew a school-record 33,000 to its game.

    LOWER DRAW IN ’13: Ohio State, which normally plays its spring game at Ohio Stadium and drew 81,112 fans last season, moved its game to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati and drew only 37,643 fans. Several schools also saw inclement weather affect their attendance. Penn State, with cold and snowy conditions, drew only 28,000 fans after seeing 60,000 last season. Georgia Tech saw about a third of last year's crowd as cold weather and rain in Atlanta kept fans away. Meanwhile, Mississippi State had a lower crowd this season, with attendance limited due to ongoing renovations at Davis Wade Stadium. Florida, with a host of injuries to its players this spring, canceled its traditional spring game and instead held a practice for fans, drawing less than half last year's crowd.

    COLLEGE SPRING FOOTBALL GAME ATTENDANCE
    FOR BCS AQ CONFERENCE SCHOOLS
    SCHOOL
    '13
    '12
    '11
    '10
    '09
    Auburn
    83,401
    43,427
    53,209
    63,217
    45,381
    Alabama
    78,315
    78,526
    92,310
    91,312
    84,050
    Tennessee
    61,076
    34,421
    35,891
    35,000
    51,488
    Nebraska^
    60,174
    n/a
    66,786
    77,936
    77,670
    Arkansas
    51,088
    45,250
    42,000
    30,000
    30,000
    Kentucky
    50,831
    4,500
    4,000
    9,000
    20,200
    Texas
    46,000
    46,000
    29,541
    44,000
    44,000
    Texas A&M
    45,212
    15,000
    16,500
    15,000
    8,000
    Georgia
    45,113
    44,117
    43,177
    38,472
    42,458
    Ohio State
    37,643
    81,112
    44,276
    65,223
    95,722
    Oregon
    36,588
    44,129
    43,468
    25,211
    12,400
    South Carolina
    35,218
    34,513
    29,541
    22,000
    25,157
    Louisville
    33,000
    15,000
    2,483
    5,600
    15,300
    Notre Dame
    31,652
    31,582
    27,863
    27,241
    31,104
    Clemson
    30,000
    28,000
    27,000
    27,000
    24,000
    Oklahoma
    29,200
    20,509
    25,598
    16,000
    28,592
    Penn State
    28,000
    60,000
    7,000
    55,000
    76,500
    LSU
    28,000
    33,000
    25,032
    23,000
    30,532
    Ole Miss
    28,000
    25,000
    28,000
    30,229
    28,357
    Florida State
    27,500
    40,631
    53,818
    51,000
    36,000
    NC State
    27,500
    24,797
    13,139
    25,372
    21,075
    Virginia Tech
    25,000
    15,000
    40,000
    41,000
    41,000
    Michigan State
    22,500
    21,000
    35,000
    30,000
    26,000
    Mississippi State
    21,000
    22,604
    36,357
    34,127
    31,606
    Rutgers
    21,000
    15,000
    21,120
    20,114
    15,899
    UCLA
    20,000
    13,000
    6,400
    12,494
    12,000
    Missouri
    18,384
    18,614
    10,000
    15,000
    13,122
    Michigan
    18,000
    25,000
    25,000
    35,000
    50,000
    Iowa
    16,500
    15,000
    8,000
    25,000
    n/a
    Kansas State
    16,383
    18,048
    8,594
    13,696
    12,804
    Texas Tech
    16,116
    3,000
    12,400
    n/a
    12,500
    USC
    15,284
    15,515
    16,850
    15,000
    22,565
    Florida
    15,000
    38,000
    51,000
    51,500
    65,000
    North Carolina
    15,000
    17,000
    15,500
    29,000
    3,000
    Oklahoma State
    15,000
    11,000
    16,000
    7,000
    12,000
    Iowa State
    15,000
    5,000
    4,000
    10,000
    7,000
    Vanderbilt
    14,000
    8,500
    7,500
    n/a
    1,000
    Wisconsin
    12,050
    10,479
    10,000
    23,567
    23,500
    Colorado
    10,244
    7,100
    15,655
    9,100
    11,700
    Kansas
    10,000
    15,000
    6,000
    12,500
    17,000
    Washington State
    8,340
    10,713
    4,076
    1,000
    400
    Oregon State
    8,263
    1,000
    5,519
    7,141
    5,000
    Maryland
    8,200
    2,000
    5,000
    n/a
    10,323
    Miami
    8,000
    10,000
    8,000
    10,000
    n/a
    West Virginia
    8,000
    8,000
    22,000
    21,029
    13,000
    Minnesota
    7,700
    3,500
    2,500
    4,400
    7,700
    Virginia
    7,500
    8,500
    10,545
    5,000
    8,000
    Washington
    7,000
    11,802
    10,000
    15,000
    10,000
    Purdue^
    6,427
    n/a
    5,500
    5,000
    5,000
    Arizona State
    6,386
    5,142
    6,400
    6,000
    5,700
    Duke
    5,831
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    4,162
    Memphis
    5,500
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    Northwestern
    5,213
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    3,250
    Cal
    5,100
    8,812
    n/a
    3,000
    2,000
    Georgia Tech
    5,000
    18,125
    7,000
    n/a
    8,500
    Indiana
    5,000
    n/a
    2,564
    5,325
    3,500
    South Florida
    4,606
    n/a
    2,493
    6,537
    6,000
    Stanford
    4,350
    5,000
    6,800
    4,000
    1,500
    Wake Forest
    4,200
    5,500
    n/a
    5,000
    3,800
    Arizona
    4,095
    5,000
    4,500
    6,000
    6,850
    Syracuse
    3,822
    3,716
    4,206
    4,752
    5,184
    Pittsburgh
    3,642
    4,607
    1,507
    6,532
    6,160
    Temple
    3,530
    2,500
    n/a
    n/a
    n/a
    Baylor
    3,500
    2,750
    3,500
    n/a
    1,000
    Connecticut
    3,000
    5,500
    2,500
    2,500
    7,000
    Illinois
    2,100
    3,000
    6,000
    5,832
    10,000
    Cincinnati
    2,000
    n/a
    n/a
    10,000
    12,491
     

    NOTES: Figures gathered from various media reports. Attendance not listed for Boston College as the school canceled its planned game in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings. Other BCS AQ conference schools that did not track attendance were newcomers Houston, UCF and SMU. TCU did not have an official spring game in ’13. ^ = game was cancelled in ’12 due to adverse weather.

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