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While it is unlikely you’ll catch rivals Stanford and USC football fans hugging it out during the game this week, the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll reveals that across the country, rivalries are more about respect than venom and victories.
In the second week of Discover’s national survey designed to gauge college football fan loyalty, fans were questioned about the nature of their rivalries. When asked how they would best describe their feelings toward their team’s biggest rival, fans answered as follows:
39 percent, Respectful because they bring out the best in my team
31 percent, You want them to lose to your team, but don't care about anyone else they play
15 percent, You absolutely hate them and hope they lose every game they play
13 percent, You have no feelings toward your team's biggest rival, it’s all in good fun
2 percent, Not sure
When it comes to the 15 percent of haters and where they focus their rivalry energy:
46 percent, hate the rival team itself
37 percent, hate the rival fans
9 percent, hate the rival coach
8 percent, hate their rival for some other reason
From week to week, fans have a voice in selecting who they think is the best team in the country. The Crimson Tide held on to their top spot this week as nearly half of fans, 47 percent, ranked Alabama as the best team, up from 32 percent who made the same pick last week, followed by:
University of Southern California, 11 percent
Louisiana State University, 7 percent
Oregon, 4 percent
Florida State, 2 percent
Oklahoma, 2 percent
South Carolina, 2 percent
Georgia, 1 percent
Some other team, 15 percent
Not sure, 10 percent
Men and women alike can’t stand their rivals, but for different reasons. Forty-five percent of men said they can’t stand their rival team’s fans, while 59 percent of women tend to dislike the team itself.
Fans showed a little more team pride this week as 55 percent of respondents said they regularly wore clothing or other items with the logo of their favorite college football team, up from 49 percent last week.
The 15-week Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 800 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online.