Nov. 17, 2004

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A recent survey by The Harris Poll® of a nationwide cross section of adults has confirmed what one survey earlier this year by ESPN — The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame are the most popular college football team in the nation among adults in the United States.

The 2004 survey, released Nov. 12, continues a long-standing trend. Notre has been America’s favorite college football team every year since The Harris Poll® first started asking this question in 1997 (with the exception of 2000 and 2001 as Harris Interactive® did not poll on this topic during these years). They are followed by Ohio State, which for the first time unseats Florida State for the number two spot, while Florida State, which has been second for the past seven years, drops precipitously out of the top 10.

These are some of the results of an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive between October 20 and 25, 2004 among a nationwide cross section of 2,114 U.S. adults of whom 789 say they follow college football. While interest in college football was on the rise in the late 1990s, this year it holds steady as 35 percent of U.S. adults report following college football – virtually the same as the last two years. Its popularity is highest among men and southerners.

2004 Rank1. Notre Dame2. Ohio State3. Michigan4. Texas5. Penn State6. LSU7. USC8. Wisconsin9. Tennessee10. Maryland