Blog Entry

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:29 pm
 

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

College football's popular, but it isn't exploding in popularity these days, sad to say--one look at the most recent round of BCS bowl attendances or television ratings could tell you as much. But according to one recent annual fan poll, it is maintaining its popularity in an age when sports fandom is growing increasingly fractured. And it's maintaining it well enough that's it's now pulled even with no less than the national pastime as the nation's second-favorite sport.

That's according to poll results released this week by Harris Interactive, the same polling information company that manages the Harris Poll used by the BCSAs they've done every year since 1985, Harris asked sports fans to name their favorite sport, and the NFL once again led the way by a huge (and growing) margin; 36 percent of the 2,000 respondents chose pro football No. 1. 

But it's the runner-up spot where things get interesting. Thanks to college football getting a slight uptick to 13 percent and Major League Baseball slipping four percentage points from 2011 to the same 13 percent level, the two sports are now tied as the nation's second most popular. Though college football has been within five percentage points of baseball since 2002 -- with college football falling at either 12 or 13 percent every year since 2005 -- this is the first time the two sports have finished dead even.

Unfortunately for baseball, demographics suggest college football could surge into second for good in the coming years. Only 8 percent of respondents aged 50-64 named college football their favorite sport, compared to 21 percent for baseball. College football was particularly popular with "those with a post-graduate degree (22%), college graduates (19%) and Midwesterners (18%)," and less popular with "Easterners (4%) [and] those with a household income of under $35,000 (8%)."

Driven by NASCAR, "auto racing" finished fourth at 8 percent, followed by both pro and college basketball and hockey, all at 5 percent.

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Comments

Since: Oct 23, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:06 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

NFL football then MLB.



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:05 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

I'm waiting for hockey fans to dispute this poll and say hockey is the most popular sport of all time.



Since: Oct 24, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 10:30 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

OK, I know I'm gonna get a "52" score for this post, but for me it goes like this: NFL, NCAA Football, Canadian (CFL), Arena Football, PGA, NBA, MLB, and finally the NHL.  I would rather watch any type of football to any other sport.  As a 45 year old man, I've been passionate about football all my life.  I get so bored when I try to watch soccer or baseball for more than an hour.



Since: Jan 6, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 6:05 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

It's fitting that CFB and baseball are tied, as (depending on your school) your college football players can make as much money as big league ballplayers.
Personally, I didn't grow up near nor did I attend a D-I college football school, so I have no interest in it, haven't watched a game in years. Aside from baseball, I have my teams rather than sports -- NFL, NBA, NHL ... if my team ain't playin, I'm probably not carin.



Since: Mar 5, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 3:45 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

My rankings would be: MLB, NCAAF, NFL, the rest don't matter



Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:45 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

Just glancing at those numbers (if you look at the poll), the state of the WNBA is even worse than I realized.  They haven't been able to crack even half of one percent since 2003.  They've NEVER ONCE ranked higher than such fringe sports (at least in the U.S.) as professional swimming, horse racing, or professional bowling.  Ouch. 

Also, it appears the NBA has squandered all of the momentum and popularity they built through the 1990's, and is back to their early-80's afterthought status... which is kind of a shame, really.  They rivaled baseball for almost a decade... now they're sharing space with the national sport of Canada, just 3 percentage points ahead of snoozers like Tennis and Golf.




Since: Nov 24, 2011
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:44 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

For me cfb is #1, Plus1 will kill it 8 will prolong it for awhile till it goes nfl with the point shaving and massive gambling on games. Plus1 solves nothing if you think the big boys will sleepwalk through a game like some past bowlgames with a natty on the line your dreamingand an 8 team playoff is perfect for the oldboys (depth) be carefull what you wish for i have been a bama fan for almost 50 years and a playoff of any kind is perfect for them short of suppension they will win 1 every 5 years at least but is it good for cfb i dont think so it will become a super leage of 12 teams with 1 or 2 smaller teams trying to run the gauntlet every year.

 NFL corrupt to much shaving
 baseball is dead and slow
 exiting as soccer
 sweet 16 is fun but what CFB is to become.   



Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:40 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

I like your list, skyhawk. NHL, NFL, NCAA bsktbl, tennis, then MLB and English soccer.  MLS, NBA, NASCAR...ZZZZZZ



Since: Sep 20, 2006
Posted on: January 28, 2012 1:32 pm
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

SOCCER is the most popular sport in the world!  THE THIRD WORLD THAT IS!
Classic! 



Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: January 28, 2012 9:10 am
 

Poll: CFB, MLB tied as U.S.'s 2nd-favorite sport

CFB would be in 2nd with an 8-team playoff, but nowhere near the NFL.  Look at the numbers in the poll....36 to 13.  No way there is that much of an uptick for essentially 3 more games.


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