Skip to main content

The 10 Most-Googled College Football Programs Of 2015-2016

The given level of interest in a college football program is a combination of two major factors - how good the team is currently playing and how popular the team has been historically. Of course, if you're both a current powerhouse and a blue blood, you don't have an issue selling out the stands on Saturdays.

We took a look at the most-Googled college football programs in the past year, and we found some interesting results. Four of the top ten teams come from one conference - and it may not be the one you think. Four of the five major conferences are represented, meaning one is left out. 

Let's get started with the list. First up is the USC Trojans of the Pac-12.

No. 10 - USC Trojans >>>

10. USC - 368,000 per month

USC is easily the most popular program in the Pac-12, but in the past year, they've also had some particularly interesting storylines. The Trojans actually won the Pac-12 South despite winning just eight games total on the year. Things don't get any easier next year, considering USC has the hardest schedule in the nation in 2016.

But USC had more going on than most in 2015. Head coach Steve Sarkisian had a few alcohol-related incidents, and eventually was dismissed from his position by the school. He later sued the university for the firing.

USC's coaching search was a popular topic, even though the school eventually decided to stay in-house and promote Clay Helton to the position. Overall, despite a lackluster year on the field, the Trojans still found ways to stay in the news.

Next: No. T-7 - Penn State Nittany Lions >>>

T-7. Penn State - 450,000 per month

Penn State is probably the third most popular team in the Big Ten when it comes to sheer numbers - behind just Ohio State and Michigan. The 2015 edition of the Nittany Lions had some captivating storylines.

The team opened the season with a historic loss to Temple - something that hadn't happened since 1941. Oddly enough, Penn State then ripped off seven wins in eight games, taking a 7-2 mark into November. PSU didn't finish strong, however, dropping its final four contests. As a result, many started to question whether James Franklin is still the right man for the job in Happy Valley.

Christian Hackenberg, the team's top NFL prospect, also came under fire for the team's finish. Where he lands in this year's draft will be interesting as well.

Next: No. T-7 - LSU Tigers >>>

T-7. LSU Tigers - 450,000 per month

LSU had a crazy 2015 campaign. The Tigers saw their opener against McNeese State cancelled, which resulted in them only playing 12 games instead of 13. They then won their first seven contests of the season in impressive fashion behind the stellar running of Leonard Fournette. Fournette, midway through the season, was the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy, too.

But then November hit, and LSU struggled big time against Alabama. The Tigers then dropped two more contests - to Arkansas and Ole Miss - taking themselves out of national title contention. Head coach Les Miles was rumored to be losing his job too, until the team knocked off Texas A&M in the regular season finale. 

LSU handled Texas Tech in the Texas Bowl and finished with a nine-win season, but it's clear that Miles and the Tigers need to have a solid 2016. So yeah, there were lots of reasons to keep track of LSU football this past year.

Next: No. T-7 - Auburn Tigers >>>

T-7. Auburn Tigers - 450,000 per month

A great deal has changed in the last year in Auburn, Alabama. The Tigers, ahead of last year, were welcoming Will Muschamp as their new defensive coordinator. They were also hyping up Jeremy Johnson as the next star quarterback on the plains. 

Well, Auburn's 2015 campaign didn't go according to plan. Johnson wasn't ready, and Muschamp wasn't able to provide an instant turnaround on defense. As a result, the Tigers finished with a 7-6 record that included a 2-6 mark in the SEC. That won't cut it.

After the season, Muschamp took the head coaching job at South Carolina. Auburn will need to find some answers if it wants to keep up with Alabama this year.

Next: No. 6 - Michigan State Spartans >>>

6. Michigan State Spartans - 550,000 per month

Michigan State isn't a historically popular college football program, despite what people in East Lansing will tell you. The Spartans are on here because they had a stellar 2015 campaign - at least until the College Football Playoff came around. More on that in a bit.

MSU won the Big Ten - and the way the Spartans got it done was incredible. Michigan State knocked off Michigan on a miracle last-second play, beat Ohio State at the buzzer and executed one of the most impressive drives in history against Iowa. It earned them the No. 3 seed in the College Football Playoff.

But they were no match for Alabama. The Crimson Tide trounced the Spartans, 38-0, to move onto the national title game. Still, the program had a memorable - and intriguing - year.

Next: No. T-4 - Clemson Tigers >>>

T-4. Clemson Tigers - 673,000 per month

Clemson is another team that, while popular regionally, isn't usually among the most-searched teams in the country. But an undefeated campaign, a Heisman Trophy contender and a national title game berth certainly changed that.

Clemson ran the table in the ACC, which included wins over rival Florida State and juggernaut Notre Dame. The Tigers survived North Carolina in the league's championship game, then ran away from Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. Deshaun Watson became a star - if he wasn't already.

The Tigers ultimately came up a few plays short in the College Football Playoff title game, but it was still a banner year. Expect fans to be interested in the program for years to come.

Next: No. T-4 - Notre Dame Fighting Irish >>>

T-4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 673,000 per month

Notre Dame has a national fan base, so the Fighting Irish could probably turn in an 0-12 campaign and still find their way on this list. But the program did have a particularly interesting year.

Notre Dame blasted Texas in its opener, then posted an impressive come-from-behind victory over UVA after Malik Zaire got injured. The Fighting Irish, led by backup DeShone Kizer, actually had a 10-1 record heading into an all-important showdown with rival Stanford. But the Cardinal emerged victorious on a last-second field goal, dashing ND's title hopes.

Notre Dame then played in the most hyped non-Playoff postseason contest, losing to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Jaylon Smith's horrific injury made headlines too.

Next: No. T-2 - Michigan Wolverines >>>

T-2. Michigan Wolverines - 1,000,000 per month 

Michigan football has not been elite for a decade now, but given the team's popularity, the Wolverines were still capable of making headlines. With the introduction of Jim Harbaugh as the program's new head coach, we might now have both going on.

Harbaugh, in his first year, led the team to a 10-3 record with a 6-2 mark in the Big Ten and a Citrus Bowl win over Florida. He's also found a way to stay in the news virtually every day. He's pushing the limits on satellite camps, sleeping over recruits' houses, taking shots at fellow coaches on Twitter and attending rap concerts. 

Michigan fans are an optimistic bunch, and it'll be interesting to see if UM can compete for a league title in 2016. They're a real contender to finish No. 1 on this list next year.

Next: No. T-2 - Ohio State Buckeyes >>>

T-2. Ohio State Buckeyes - 1,000,000 per month

Ohio State was the reigning national champion this time last year, and if it weren't for a lackluster performance against Michigan State in November, they might be in the same position this year. Ohio State had perhaps the most NFL talent in the country last year yet somehow didn't find a way to make it back to the College Football Playoff.

The Buckeyes also had a ridiculous quarterback controversy in 2015, as head coach Urban Meyer opted to go with Cardale Jones to start the season before eventually handing the keys over to J.T. Barrett after a few games. 

Ohio State has perhaps the biggest fan base in the country, so it's no surprise to see them on this list. They're also one of the most-hated programs out there.

Next: No. 1 ??? >>>

1. Alabama Crimson Tide - 1,220,000 per month

Alabama is No. 1 on a lot of different lists this offseason - so let's add one more. The Crimson Tide were the most-Googled college football program the past year, and it isn't hard to see why.

Alabama, despite losing to Ole Miss early in the season, rallied to win the SEC West. The Crimson Tide then knocked off Florida in the league's title game before crushing Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl. The national title game wasn't easy, but the Crimson Tide did prevail.

The Crimson Tide have one of the best fan bases in the country and consistently churn out top recruiting classes. Needless to say, there's a lot Google about them.

More: The 10 Most Intimidating Stadiums In 2016 >>>