Which are the most popular college sports teams in the US?

Which are the most popular college sports teams in the US?

Grace Waruguru
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:26 PM

Several sports personalities trace their success back to their college sports teams. These groups are an excellent training ground for budding athletes to hone their skills as they prepare to launch their careers. These groups attract thousands of fans in and out of America. Which are the top teams in 2023?

most popular college sports teams
Duke Blue Devils fans cheer their team in a match against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 31, 2023, in Durham, North Carolina. Photo: Grant Halverson
Source: Getty Images

The National College Athletics Association (NCAA) organizes athletic programs in universities and colleges. They organize competitions that bring numerous teams from states across the country according to various sports disciplines. So, which are the most popular college sports teams?

The various sports teams attract fans from their home states and elsewhere. Here is a list of college sports teams that have gained popularity over the years:

10. USC Trojans

USC Trojans are the University of South Carolina's football team and are among the most popular college teams by state. They compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Pac-12 Conference. They have a strict fan code of conduct which states, in part, that they should expect and encourage good sportsmanship from fellow fans.

9. Duke Blue Devils

the most popular college football team
Duke Blue Devils Head Coach, Jon Scheyer, interacts with fans after a win against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 14, 2023. Photo: Grant Halverson
Source: Getty Images

Duke University's basketball team is one of the US's most popular college sports teams. The team has several national championships, including 2010 and 2015 Men's Basketball. The Duke Blue Devils have a unique resource mobilization strategy where they sell merchandise to fans worldwide, including customized gifts, hoodies, and jerseys.

8. Florida Gators

The Gators represent the University of Florida in American College football. The team also competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the NCAA and the Eastern Division of the South-eastern Conference (SEC). They have won five national championships.

7. Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines are the college football team from the University of Michigan. The group, also known as MICH, has the most all-time wins in college football history. The team is known for their winged helmets.

The unique symbol dates back to 1938 when Fritz Crisler arrived from Princeton University with his penchant for detail and style. He had a plain black helmet and added some colour to it. Additionally, Fritz thought it would help his passers spot their receivers downfield.

6. Tennessee Volunteers

most popular college teams by state
USC Trojans quarterback Miller Moss (#7) and his teammates during the Goodyear Cotton Bowl game against Tulane Green Wave on January 02, 2023, at AT&T. Photo: Matthew Visinsky
Source: Getty Images

The Tennessee Volunteers are the University of Tennessee's football team. They are popularly known as ''The Vols,'' from their home state's nickname, ''The Volunteer State.'' The team has a whopping 811 wins, the 11th most wins of any NCAA program and the second most among SEC teams after Alabama.

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

The Buckeyes represent Ohio State University as part of the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision in the East Division of the Big Ten Conference. 'Buckeye' refers to a small, shiny, dark brown nut with a tan patch from Ohio's official state tree.

According to Ohio natives, the term symbolizes good luck. The Buckeyes have hosted their county's home games since 1922.

4. North Carolina Tar Heels

what are the most watched college sports
North Carolina Tar Heels fans during a game against the Pittsburgh Panthers on February 01, 2023, at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Peyton Williams
Source: Getty Images

The North Carolina Tar Heels is the basketball team at the University of California at Chapel Hill. Founded in 1910, Tar Heels is the only team that has reached at least one Final Four for nine straight decades. Unknown to many, renowned player Michael Jordan is an alumnus of the team, having played between 1981 and 1984.

3. Georgia Bulldogs

The Georgia Bulldogs team, representing the University of Georgia in American football, is one of America's most popular college football teams. The Bulldogs have an impressive social media following and a mobile app that lets fans to stay updated with the latest information about the crew.

2. Texas Longhorns

The Texas Longhorn represent the University of Texas at Austin in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Big 12 Conference. In 2015, the Longhorns ranked third in total wins. They boast four national championships and have made it to the College World Series more times than any other school, winning six national championships.

1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

famous college sports teams in the us
Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines leaves the field before the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl against the TCU Horned Frogs on December 31, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona. Photo: Chris Coduto
Source: Getty Images

This is the team that represents the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana. The team is one of seven teams that compete as independents at the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision level. They play five games annually against opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), where they participate in all sports except ice hockey.

What college has the best sports teams?

Various tertiary institutions have stood out for their unique sports programs that have benefited thousands of athletes. According to CBS Sports, some of the top colleges recognized for their sports activities include:

  • Michigan Wolverines
  • Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • Ohio State Buckeyes
  • North Carolina Tar Heels
  • Arkansas Razorbacks

What are the most watched college sports?

most popular college sports teams
Texas Longhorn fans during the game between the Texas Longhorns and the TCU Horned Frogs at the Moody Center on January 11, 2023. Photo: Chris Covatta
Source: Getty Images

American football is the most popular college sport in the United States, with states like Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, and California taking the lead. Other popular sports include basketball, baseball, and ice hockey.

READ ALSO: A list of all team sports in the world

Sportsbrief published a list of all sports teams in the world. A team sport has two opposing sides whose players interact with each other directly and simultaneously to achieve one goal. The goal is to facilitate the movement of a ball or object according to set rules.

These sports include cross country, dance teams, badminton, and bowling. Check out the complete list of team sports and their advantages in the above article.

Grace Waruguru photo
Grace Waruguru
Grace has over 4 years of experience in article writing and digital media content creation for various local and global brands. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication (Public Relations) from Daystar University, Kenya.