I love lists.

If you're a regular reader of this blog (like my Mom), you probably already know that.  Since we're in the deadest week of the sports calendar, Emory Sports Market Analytics picked a really good time to release their yearly College Basketball Fan Rankings.  You might be surprised where Indiana ended up:

My first reaction? Meh.  When we talk about great college hoops fanbases, we're probably splitting hairs when talking about IU, Carolina, Pitt, UK, Syracuse, Xavier, Duke, Arizona, Louisville, and Michigan State.  Those are all schools where men's hoops is #1 - only MSU, Pitt, and possibly Louisville even have football programs worth following.

Here are my gripes:

Arkansas, who ranked 8th, has really only had one noteworthy run in modern history. They were terrific in the 1990s, making the NCAA Tournament in all but one year (1997).  The Razorbacks also made six of their ten Sweet 16s (1990-91, 1993-96), went to three Final Fours (1990, 1994, 1995), and won their only National Championship (1994) in that span.  However, they haven't been nationally relevant since, and Bud Walton Arena's attendance has dropped by nearly 25% since it opened in the heart of that run (1993).  But, they're 14th on the revenue list.  That puts them ahead of Louisville, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Michigan State, among others.

Texas - a clear football school - is equally laughable until you consider Emory's formula: Team Quality (wins... duh), Market Potential (Conference, median income, number of students), and mixing in the self-reported revenues.  They wanted to guard against weighing the list based on team quality (for instance, Arkansas hasn't been very "quality" lately).  Texas is consistently good, albeit not National Championship-level good.  They're located in the nation's greatest college town, Austin, which is a booming area (the 11th largest city in the U.S.) for every person from just about any walk of life imaginable.  Oh, and their athletic department makes GOBS AND GOBS of money.  That's why they're 4th, even though no one with a brain would argue that the Longhorns have the 4th best basketball fanbase in America.

I'm sure the folks in Kentucky will have fun with the U of L #1 and UK #7 thing, though.

DS