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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Since: Aug 11, 2006
Posted on: February 15, 2012 11:31 pm

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

I would probably go CFB, NFL, CBB, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, NBA- leave the other sports to the foreigners. Although I agree with the regionality of it. In the South most people care more about college football than the NFL because a lot of Southern states don't have NFL teams or have fans who are more passionate about the college team. Even though North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Louisiana all have pro sports teams they also have at least one hugely popular/successful NCAA program that has been around for a lot longer than the pro teams and therefore has a more passionate fanbase. UGA, UT, LSU are all big-time SEC programs and most people in NC would probably pick their College Basketball team over the Panthers.

Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posted on: January 29, 2012 11:06 pm

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

CFB use to be the best until the SEC messed things up for me. plus no playoff system..

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:43 pm

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

^^^ Yeah that

Since: Oct 24, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2012 7:31 pm

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

You're missing some of the point of the passion and popularity of the NFL and NCAA FB.  With only 12 to 16 games, each game counts and each game has an important feel.  In baseball, you have over 160 games and if your team loses, "oh wel,, we'll get em tomorrow" is a bit anti-dramatic for my tastes.  A far as your comment about plays lasting only a few seconds, but those seconds are filled with so much action and macho violence that it gives us fans time to enjoy what just happened.  Enjoy your baseball season, but for most of us, nothing compares to the glory which is football.

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:41 pm

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

i love it when football fans talk about how boring baseball seems.  Have you ever really watched what is going on in an NFL or other game?  A play occurs for 5-9 seconds and them you have 20-30 seconds of replay and Brian Balldinger's inane comments.  This happens over and over until a punt or a score, the completion of which takes 10 minutes, because it goes TD,PAT, commercial, kickoff, commercial, new series - 10 minutes of time for 45 seconds of game play.  An NFL game clock is 1 hour long and a game takes 3+ hours to complete.  MLB takes 3+ hours too, but there is no clock to pretend matters other than at the end of some games that are close.  Also, how many NFL games end with 1:47 left and the winning team just kneeling down to end it while in MLB as long asyou have one strike left you are never out of it.  Look I love the NFL, not as much as MLB, but to say that baseball is boring to watch and football isn't is silly, ask someone who is not a sports fan, they will tell you the truth.

Since: Nov 1, 2011
Posted on: January 29, 2012 5:28 pm

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

nfl mlb mll cbb cfb nba

Since: Mar 24, 2010
Posted on: January 29, 2012 4:51 pm

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

The NFL is clearly the no. 1 sport in America. What follows is a regional question. If, like me, you're from Pittsburgh then CFB is second, followed by NHL , MLB and CBB. The NBA is somewhere in the top ten and NASCAR isn't a sport. I personally would put the NHL at second, but I know I'm in the minority.

Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: January 29, 2012 10:39 am

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

So not to split hairs but what they are saying is that football is number one and Baseball is second.  Splitting up two levels of one sport is done for the marketing losers!

For the guy waiting for the hockey fans to say it is the top sport more than likely you are in the US and those people are in Canada!!!  While my favourite is the original RUGBY the U.S. loves the North American version of Rugby and Canada loves a sport on ice that although further from the original was based in the beggining on Rugby also.

Although both sports have a ton of bad press these days because of head injuries North Americans obviously LOVE contact compared to our European cousins who love the finesse (some say soft) sports such as Soccer! 

Since: Jan 29, 2012
Posted on: January 29, 2012 3:56 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: January 28, 2012 11:14 pm

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

Nfl Mlb  NHL CFL Ncaa Mba Pga Ncis in that order in Canada. And no nascar is not a sport.

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