Ames cracks list of most fanatical college football towns

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The BCS National Title game drew a 15.7 television rating. It was the second most-watched cable TV show in history. College football has that drawing power. People are fanatical about their programs.

A year ago, a doctoral student at UCLA (Patrick Adler) studied the fanaticism of college football towns. He wanted to create a list of the most fanatical college football communities.

To level the playing field a bit between cities, Adler compared college football attendance averages as a percentage of local population. Adler admitted his study is only a simple metric, but there are interesting findings nonetheless.

If you are reading this text, you are asking where Ames and Iowa State rank in the list of most fanatical college football cities.

The answer is eighth nationally, trailing Oxford (Ole Miss), Starkville (Mississippi State), Stillwater (Oklahoma State), State College (Penn State), Pullman (Washington State), Laramie (Wyoming) and Auburn-Opelika (Auburn).

That enthusiasm for ISU football, which helped crush most prior school attendance records this fall at Jack Trice Stadium, was on display at the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in Memphis too.

The Liberty Bowl match-up was the 14th-best attended bowl game this season. The crowd in Memphis was only 500 fewer than the Sugar Bowl (Florida vs. Louisville) and 1,000 less than the Outback Bowl (South Carolina vs. Michigan).

Cyclone fans continue to make a name for themselves. This is just more proof.

Reader feedback is welcome at 2minutetimeout@iastate.edu. You can also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/SteveMalchow

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