Oklahoma football fans are among the most passionate and best anywhere in the college football universe.
A long history of success on the football field will do that. But how do Sooner fans rate against fans in other fields of entertainment? That is what the annual FanSided Fandom 250 is designed to tell us.
As sports fans, we spend a lot of time and energy following and debating rankings of how our beloved teams stack up against their peers in a given sport, as well as across sports, on a nationwide scale.
Three years ago, FanSided co-founder Adam Best came up with the idea to rank the top 250 fan bases. At first, the FanSided editorial team thought the notion was crazy — how, for example, would you go about comparing Alabama football fans to Trekies? — but the more they thought about it, the more the idea appealed to them.
The FanSided team works on these rankings all year long. Fourteen different fan bases are taken into account. In addition to seven sports categories (college, MLB, NHL, NFL, pro basketball, soccer and sports figures) the other fan categories include entertainment areas such as comics, celebrities, gaming, movies, music and TV.
Although a dedicated effort and a lot of work goes into this, at the end of the day, the FanSided team reminds us, this is a “very subjective exercise that is supposed to be fun — like fandom.”
Now that you know what Fandom 250 is all about and what it has set out to achieve, what logically follows for fans of the Oklahoma Sooners is how their fan base fares as compared with other fan bases of like kind as well as fans of other entertainment areas?
We won’t keep you in suspense any longer: Oklahoma ranks 6th this year among other college fan bases, and the Sooners are No. 76 on the overall Fandom 250 list.
A year ago, OU also ranked 76th in the overall Fandom 250, but came in fifth in the college fan base category. Sooner fans made a giant leap in the rankings from where they were in the first Fandom 250, in 2016.
When Fandom 250 debuted in 2016, Oklahoma fans, for whatever reason, were not looked upon as favorably as they are now. Just two years ago, Fandom 250 ranked Sooner fans 16th in the college category, 59th among sports fans in general and 190th out of 250 across all entertainment categories.
I’m not sure what might have changed between 2016 and 2017-18 to account for the wide difference. One huge factor, however, might just be the Sooners’ inclusion in the College Football Playoff the past two years.
Here is what the FanSided editors had to say about OU fans and the Sooner’s No. 6 ranking among college fan bases for 2018:
“The Oklahoma Sooners are one of the few teams in the Power 5 that have been nationally relevant in the two major (college) sports (football and men’s basketball) the past two years. It helps to have college stars the likes of Baker Mayfield, Trae Young and now Kyler Murray.
“Oklahoma has plenty of reason for Sooner Nation tp cheer most resoundingly.”
That’s a statement all Sooner fans can agree on. Boomer Sooner!!