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Are BYU Fans The Best Traveling Fan Base In College Football?

LES Striped Stands
Credit: McCord Mecham

8,000+ BYU Blue Bloods were in attendance at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium as BYU took down the Hogs on their own turf last Saturday. In a sea of red, two sections of blue rang out trying to compete with the noise of the remaining 70,000 Arkansas fans in attendance.

This is not an uncommon situation for BYU fans to be in though. BYU fans are some of the better "traveling" fans in the country. That is also an easy claim to make without any hard statistics to back it up with. I was unable to find any sort of stats for away fans traveling to games whatsoever. Understandably so, that would be a hard thing to actually keep stats on. So all we have to go off of is experience and what home team fans have to say.

Arkansas seemed pretty impressed with how BYU travels. That's some pretty high praise from a team that sees some of the biggest names in the SEC year in and year out in their own stadium.

But is it a matter of BYU fans traveling to away games? Or is it more of a matter of BYU having a lot of fans throughout the country? As a BYU fan myself, and traveling to away games out of Utah I have personally seen almost an entire plane filled with BYU fans going to away games, and that was just the plane I was on. I made the trip out to Oregon last year and we had a 5 pm flight the day before the game. We flew out to Portland and then drove down to Eugene. That flight was full of BYU fans, almost every person on that flight was going to the game.

The previous year, in 2021 I made the trip out to the USC game. This was a down year for USC and was also during Thanksgiving break for the students. BYU was doing well that year, had only lost to Baylor and Boise and we had more fans at that game than USC.

I also know that there are many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints all throughout the country and with BYU being the main school for that religion, most of them are naturally fans of BYU. That was one of the reasons that BYU would schedule the teams that they did while they were independent was to be able to travel to new areas of the country so that members of the church/BYU fans would be able to attend a game.

According to an article posted on Mental Floss in 2016, Mormons, or Latter Day Saints, are the second largest religion in 26 states. That places many potential BYU fans everywhere in the country.

Now, I'm not saying that all Latter Day Saints are BYU fans, but there is a difference between Catholics supporting Notre Dame, and LDS supporting BYU. I believe the reason BYU is represented well at all away games is a combination of both, BYU fans from Utah traveling well to away games as well as fans that happen to live in the area where the game is being played. Either way, you can expect to continue to see thousands of BYU fans invading stadiums across the country this year and for the foreseeable future.

Go Cougs!

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1 Comment

Given that mormonism used to be 1.8% of the US population and is now 1.2% and shrinking. I would say they are no different in showing at away games like any other bigger program in the country…. (P5 + ND). This is coming from a BYU fan that goes to at least 2 away games per year.

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