Published on July 28, 2015 by Heath Quinn  

The Southeastern Conference has been a dominant force in college football the past decade. It includes national powerhouses such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Auburn, and LSU. The SEC has dominated the sport, and there are no signs of them slowing down any time soon. Why has this happened? Let's take a look.

Percentage of Population That Watches Sport
NASCAR 43% 14% 23% 20%
College Football 42% 14% 25% 18%
College Basketball 38% 16% 29% 18%
NHL 28% 25% 27% 20%
MLB 33% 19% 26% 22%
Golf 40% 16% 25% 18%
MLS 34% 19% 21% 26%
NBA 37% 16% 24% 23%
Tennis 38% 18% 23% 21%

According to data from SBRnet, the Southern Region of the U.S. loves almost all sports more than the rest of the nation. It has the highest percentage of fans that view a college football game during the year. At 42%, it is the second highest viewed sport behind NASCAR. The next closest region to this number is the Midwest at 25%. What does this mean? It means that almost half of people in the southern states have seen or have been to a college football game in the past year.

Why does the south have more fans than the other parts of the country? First, many of the teams in the south have been successful in college football for many decades which is why fans spend huge dollars attending games. The SEC led the country in attendance last season, averaging 78,000 fans per game. The SEC also had seven of the top twelve teams in the nation in terms of attendance per game.

Another essential reason for the SEC’s prominence in the college football world is the amount of revenue the conference makes from football alone. This can largely be contributed to the launch of the SEC Network for the 2014-2015 season. In 2015, during the first year of the SEC Network, the SEC distributed a record $455.8 million dollars. This is the highest out of any conference in the country. The SEC also saw the highest amount of distribution to its institutions from this past year’s College Football Playoff. The SEC received $87.5 million in total revenue from the CFP. Behind the SEC, the ACC received 83.5 million, the PAC 12 $60 million, the Big Ten $60 million and the BIG 12 $58 million.

This blog post was written by Samford University student Heath Quinn.


Sports Business Research Network

Sports, D. (2015, May 29). SEC generates $455 million in revenue, $31.2M per school; Slive's run ends. Retrieved July 17, 2015.

Irwin, N., & Quealy, K. (2014, November 7). The Places in America Where College Football Means the Most. Retrieved July 17, 2015.

Photo from Google photos