The state of West Virginia is one of the smallest and poorest in the nation. Still, it possesses a flagship university that is among the best in the country.
That university, West Virginia University, attracts some of the best students from all 50 states and produces loyal and passionate alumni. The fanbase of the West Virginia Mountaineers is often labeled as rowdy and energetic, which can be both a good and a bad thing.
It all comes down to being passionate and loyal and West Virginia fans have both of those traits. Apparently, though, it’s not enough to make an exclusive list of schools.
Fansided’s Fandom 250 is an initiative designed to list the best fanbases in sports and entertainment. For the college division, the Fandom 250 has the top 24 fanbases in the country. Those 24 college fanbases will then be mixed with other divisions to come up with the top 250 sports and entertainment fanbases.
The 24 schools are, according to a story by Shea Corrigan, Clemson University, Duke University, East Mississippi Community College, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, North Dakota State University, The Ohio State University, The Pennsylvania State University, The University of Alabama, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Florida, The University of Kansas, University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, The University of Oklahoma, University of Southern California, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
More from Hail WV
- Every West Virginia potential March Madness venue in 2023 NCAA Tournament
- West Virginia March Madness Schedule: When do the Mountaineers play next? (Updated March 12)
- West Virginia vs. Kansas prediction and odds for Saturday, February 25 (Take Mountaineers as underdogs)
- WVU Football Recruiting: Mountaineers make Malik Hartford’s short list
- Previewing WVU basketball against Oklahoma State
Notice that West Virginia University is not on that list. It’s a shame that one of the best fanbases in the country is not included. Now, there are some schools that deserve to be on that list. Rightfully so, they are included. Schools like Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame are considered to be deeply rooted in college athletic tradition and are consistent across the board in all sports, not just football and basketball.
There are a fair amount of fringe schools on this list, however. Schools like Louisville and Washington seem to be way behind the others in terms of Division I prosperity. If the Cardinals and Huskies are on there, why aren’t the Mountaineers. The accomplishments of the three schools are all right on par, plus the nature of the student body and fanbase is seemingly comparable.
What really calls this list into question is the inclusion of North Dakota State and East Mississippi Community College. Come on now. NDSU has a very good football program that competes for the FCS championship each year. The Bison play in a unique dome, too. That’s about it. If it wasn’t for an appearance on College Gameday a few years ago, nobody would ever remember NDSU.
Speaking of television appearances, if it wasn’t for Netflix’s Last Chance U, nobody would hear about East Mississippi Community College. Plus, it’s not as if fans are flocking to see this community college. The school is known for producing great athletes. That’s about it. According to EMCCathletics.com, Sullivan-Windham Field, the home stadium of the football team, holds 5,000 spectators. It’s basically a high school field. Actually, there are many high school fields in Texas that are better than both Sullivan-Windam Field and the dome in North Dakota.
In the end, West Virginia was cheated and robbed of a rightful spot on the Fandom 250. Maybe next year, the nation can see what the Mountaineers are made of in terms of passion and spirit. It’s what they deserve to see.