Countdown to kickoff: West best fans?

Kickoff is fast approaching. To help count down the days to Aug. 28, the team is discussing one topic every day. Think of it as our countdown to kickoff. Today’s topic: West best fans?

See Tom Dienhart, Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina’s picks in this post.

See our other 2014 countdown to kickoff posts:

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Dienhart: Nebraska. Few campuses across the nation can top the environment in Lincoln. Memorial Stadium is blast-furnace of sound and sea of red on Saturdays. And the fans follow their team like Grateful Dead groupies.


Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Sean Merriman: Nebraska. This is a no brainer. If you haven’t been to a game in Lincoln, do yourself a favor and make the trip. These fans are loud, passionate, and probably the nicest group of college football fanatics you will find in the nation. They say Memorial Stadium is the “Third-Largest City” in the state of Nebraska on game day, and the place has been sold out for 338 straight games and counting.


Nebraska Fans

Brent Yarina: Nebraska. Consider this: The last non-sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium was Oct. 20, 1962. Need some perspective on that? Tom Osborne was 25. While the gameday experience is electric at several Big Ten stadiums, Memorial Stadium’s atmosphere is rocking no matter what kind of team the Huskers have. They also travel and fill opposing stadiums as well as any Big Ten fanbase.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (48 Comments)
huskerfanbb on 8/20/2014 @ 12:53pm EDT Said:

Obviously, Nebraska fans are going to be biased, but while I would put Wisconsin fans as a close second, Nebraska should have gotten the props they have. The biggest difference is the more national following that Nebraska has, and the fact that they travel better than Wisconsin fans. There were a lot more Nebraska fans in Madison than there were Wisconsin fans in Lincoln when they had their last home and home series. As far as the home environment goes, though, the Wisconsin fans are pretty rabid, too.

John on 8/20/2014 @ 12:54pm EDT Said:

That’s clear BS!! Whenever their team is losing in the 4th quarter they make a mass exit for the parking lots so they can drink themselves into oblivion. And they are the rudest fans to visiting teams and fans in the conference, except for maybe Wisconsin. They throw empty bottles and trash at anybody that isn’t wearing red and hurl verbal insults at visiting fans and teams. You people need to really know what goes on there on football Saturdays. You don’t see stuff like that in Iowa City.

Mark on 8/20/2014 @ 1:13pm EDT Said:

You can’t be serious!?!?
Are you sure you didn’t provoke someone last year? Husker fans by in large act live they’ve been there before which they have for 50 plus years.

Derek on 8/20/2014 @ 1:18pm EDT Said:

Husker fans do leave the game when it is a blowout. They do not throw bottles at people. Husker fans do like to drink. They do not cuss at other team fans. John must of celebrated to much when they won in Lincoln last year.

nathan on 8/20/2014 @ 1:23pm EDT Said:

Your comment is bs. One bad experience w one fan don’t count for that. People at Colorado and wisc do that stuff. Last Iowa game I went to I had a empty bottle thru at me and heckled., don’t mean all of Iowa fans are that way

g gray mcvicker on 8/20/2014 @ 1:23pm EDT Said:

Well said BIG. It’s a fun place to watch a football game. Electric, entertaining, exciting, and making you want more. You just don’t see that at other BIG stadiums. At Iowa City they sit on their hands …or wave red pompoms, in Minn they don’t know enough about football to act like fans, Wisconsin they are usually bombed by half, Ill, Northwestern, Purdue well it’s hard to get excited in a half-full stadium.

Keep up the good reporting BIG

Wes on 8/20/2014 @ 1:24pm EDT Said:

John, obviously you’ve never attended a game or were the opposing obnoxious fan that everyone in your section was tired of. If you don’t believe it to be true think about this, you’re the first here to cast stones and call names. What does that say?

Riley on 8/20/2014 @ 1:27pm EDT Said:

John, you are so wrong that it is laughable. I’m guessing that you have never been to a game in Lincoln.

Mike on 8/20/2014 @ 1:27pm EDT Said:

Wow, sounds like somebody exited bed this morning on the wrong side. Yes NU fans are nice, as a matter of fact very nice to opposing teams, you will never see the home fan base applaud the opposing team win or lose as they exit the stadium like you do in Lincoln.

huskerfanbb on 8/20/2014 @ 1:28pm EDT Said:

John, you have no clue. I’ve been to a hundred or more games in Lincoln. I’ve yet to see anyone throw anything at visiting fans, and the VERY FEW times I’ve seen insults hurled, other Nebraska fans are quick to shout them down. They cheer the opposing team on and off the field–and as far as the tailgates go, they are quick to invite opposing fans to join them. Try actually going to a game there once. It wouldn’t hurt you to get out of your mom’s basement, anyway.

JP on 8/20/2014 @ 1:30pm EDT Said:

Are you delusional John??? Drunken tailagting starts in Iowa City before dawn. Look at most any list put out there by media members or opposing coaches that have visited Lincoln on gameday and Nebraska tops most of them.

Craig on 8/20/2014 @ 1:30pm EDT Said:

LOL. I am sure you don’t. Every fan base has a few bad apples. I have lived in Lincoln most of my life and been to many Husker games. I have seen opposing fans bought rounds at a bar and thanked for coming many, many times. I have seen some fans acting like jerks, but almost always other Husker fans were quick to apologize and put the other fans in their place. Ask Northwestern how their homefield advantage was two years ago when they had to go to a silent count in their own stadium. This also isn’t just football…find another university who has waiting lists for tickets to three different sports (FB, VB, MBB). I doubt Iowa can even sport one.

Husker Bob on 8/20/2014 @ 1:39pm EDT Said:

Don’t hold anything back John. You missed that we are unpatriotic in general and we throw our grandmothers down the stairs when we lose. Seriously, I have never seen any of that behavior that you described, but I have only been attending games since the late 40s. Not all the games, but when I am in the area.

Brian on 8/20/2014 @ 2:07pm EDT Said:

There is no place like Nebraska!

Alum-Ni on 8/20/2014 @ 2:14pm EDT Said:

John just described Iowa City, not Lincoln, with is diatribe about rude fans, throwing bottles, fans leaving.

Jeff on 8/20/2014 @ 2:14pm EDT Said:


And your evidence is?

Brett on 8/20/2014 @ 2:21pm EDT Said:


I’ve taken some time to compile a brief summary for you. Enjoy!

Nebraska all-time record: 865–357–40 (.701)
5 National Championships
43 Conference Titles
3 Heisman Winners
#4 All-time wins in all of college football
333 Consecutive sellouts
28-13 vs. Iowa all-time

Iowa all-time record: 606–535–39 (.530)
1 National Championship
13 Conference Titles
1 Heisman Winner

I’ve been to almost every B1G stadium for road games. The only schools that typically have bad fans, are those which don’t possess a strong winning tradition. Therefore the large majority of fans from Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Nebraska will be great to be around.. Schools like Iowa and Wisconsin, not so much. Unless the term “great to be around” involves drunken crazies yelling at their team to “go for it on 5th and 16!”

See you in November buddy. Until then, we’ll continue to laugh at you from Lincoln.

bigtengrad on 8/20/2014 @ 2:49pm EDT Said:

Way to go, guys. You just responded exactly the way John wanted you to. It’s pretty obvious that he’s not serious and is just poking you. Besides being the best fans, Husker fans are the quickest to take offense to any negativity aimed at the team. Iowa fans are pretty bad about that too, come to think of it.

Richard Barnes on 8/20/2014 @ 2:56pm EDT Said:

First off, it’s the guest to our stadium that allows for us to have a game and not a scrimmage. When were playing a team that is overmatched but they are trying to make plays in the fourth quarter you will hear some genuine cheers go up for the effort. We will stand at the end as our foes leave the field of play and give them a cheer. Why? Because these guys just like our guys have worked their backsides off in order to come to Lincoln to play a game against us and that takes a real commitment and is something to be held in high respect and regard. It’s easy to be a good fan no matter where you are from when you appreciate the game and how much effort must go into it each and every week by these young men. It’s hard not to be impressed with them no matter what colors they wear.

justicemann on 8/20/2014 @ 3:22pm EDT Said:

John there is zero credibility in what you’re saying. I have seen fans in mass treated poorly in Iowa City when visiting with the Badger’s. I agree Badger fans also behave badly , but on par with Iowa fans.

I have seen a couple of rare occasions in Lincoln where a young Husker lad got a little cocky, but not rude and the other Husker Fans immediately put him in his place. Nebraska is simply the class of the Nation when it comes to fans loving their team (sometimes beyond any reason) but respecting their opponents win, lose or draw.

Josh on 8/20/2014 @ 3:53pm EDT Said:

Nebraska fans didn’t act all that terrible when they beat my favorite team (Michigan) in Ann Arbor last season, so there’s that.

C4boys on 8/20/2014 @ 4:42pm EDT Said:

What can we say…when you’re a loyal Husker fan you’re going to stand your ground, defend your team and defend your fans! GO BIG RED!

roger on 8/20/2014 @ 4:43pm EDT Said:

john, he has no idea. Nebraska has its share of losers but a vast majority would buy an opposing fan a beer in the bar or give you one out of their cooler. I know because I have done it.

Sky HAWKS on 8/20/2014 @ 4:49pm EDT Said:

B1G has the best fans. I will go for B1G over Non-Con almost as much as I will my own Hawks over anybody. I live in the heart SEC country, let’s not talk about “worst” fans, I may have you all topped. Go Hawkeyes!

David on 8/20/2014 @ 4:52pm EDT Said:

Yeah… the fans are really awesome in Iowa City lol… You Hawkeyes with your inferiority complex crack me up. Go Big Red!

luke on 8/20/2014 @ 5:10pm EDT Said:

John wow ignorance at its finest. I went to one iowa game wearing husker clothing and got heckled and cussed at by one fan…does that mean iowa has a crappy fan base…no it doesn’t. it just means he is one of the few douchebag fans..every team has douchy fans including nebraska but that doesn’t mean the fan base as a whole is bad. Nebraska has a reputation for being some of the nicest and classiest fans..with that being sad john think before you speak/type.

Eric Scot Voecks on 8/20/2014 @ 5:10pm EDT Said:

@bigtengrad : I guess part of loyalty is jumping to the defense of something you care about, so yes, we do tend to take offense pretty easily when we are insulted. The real trick is not to be insulting in return. GBR!

Tim on 8/20/2014 @ 6:12pm EDT Said:

A co-worker here in WI told me that Husker fans cussed him out at the game in Madison two years ago. Not possible. First, this game was in Madison where they were outnumbered and on their turf. Second, Husker fans don’t do that. They are too classy.

Tim on 8/20/2014 @ 7:48pm EDT Said:

John. average season for nebraska is 9 wins. an average season for iowa is 6 or 7 wins. hopefully someday they will have a legit program. you guys get excited for 9 wins. we dont. sorry you had a bad experience even though i highly doubt youve been to lincoln for a game. And im even wondering if youve been to a game in iowa. i doubt it but whatever makes you feel good go ahead and say it.

Py Thon on 8/20/2014 @ 8:11pm EDT Said:

John is trolling…doesn’t have a clue about fans in Lincoln.

Al Jacobs on 8/20/2014 @ 9:20pm EDT Said:

Anybody notice that there are ZERO comments from any fans of other teams (besides John the poor, pathetic jealous hawkeye loser) who even tried to debate this selection?

Fill in the blank yourself and then weigh the validity of “jealous johnny’s” fairy tale he made up.

CMR on 8/21/2014 @ 12:18am EDT Said:

As a die-hard Gopher alum, I wish I could say that my school has the best fans, but that wouldn’t be the truth. We have good fans, and Coach Kill is doing a fantastic job of rejuvenating the program, but the answer to this question is Nebraska, hands down. They are the most polite, travel the best, and have the longest running streak of home game sell-outs in the B1G. It’s laughable to hear iowa and wisconsin fans argue for their fan bases, when they are quite possibly two of the most rude in the nation.

Jack on 8/21/2014 @ 9:40am EDT Said:

Every fan base has a few bad fans but come on. This isn’t even a question. I don’t mean to be insulting here but there’s a reason no other team in the entire country can sellout 338 consecutive home games. It’s a streak that will only end when Nebraska expands the stadium to a capacity they can’t fill.

Jack on 8/21/2014 @ 9:43am EDT Said:

@Al Jacobs: Al you’re one of those jerk fans were talking about. You’re validating everything John said about husker fans. It is possible to comment and be polite about it.

USMCinOKC on 8/21/2014 @ 11:06am EDT Said:

John, remember thsi… “Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football”.

USMCinOKC on 8/21/2014 @ 11:07am EDT Said:

Go Big Red!!!

Bryan L Hahn on 8/21/2014 @ 2:13pm EDT Said:

I was in Praire Du Chein Wisc during the Wisconsin VS Nebraska game in Nebs first year I the BIG. Me, my son and my friend went to a bar to watch the game, all of us wearing Husker gear. We got a few friendly jabs throw at us as the game started. Nebraska was leading at first and the bar got quiet. When Wisconsin started taking over that game it got louder. Not once did we get treated bad there and the bar even sent over a plate of chicken wings for us. Might be different at Camp Randall but I found the Bader fans a friendly bunch.
BTW after that game I said “there is our new rival, not Iowa”. I still believe that.

Michael on 8/21/2014 @ 8:12pm EDT Said:

I went to the Nebraska @ Northwestern a couple years ago. I live in Illinois, and I am a die-hard Cornhusker. I was treated with class & respect by almost every fan of Northwestern that I encountered. While I did encounter a couple turds, for the most part, it was a great experience.

Yes, Nebraska has those same turds that every fan base has, but we usually police ours ourselves. We take great pride in being great fans, and I hope you make a second trip to Lincoln.

Socal Husker on 8/21/2014 @ 8:56pm EDT Said:

I’m a Husker fan, and sadly I’ve seen some pretty bad behavior by some of our fans. An incident at the Rose Bowl in 2001 clearly stands out: late in the game a Husker fan walked by a Miami fan who was carrying a tray loaded with four beverages and food. The Husker fan was going in the same direction as the Miami fan and sped up to get in front of him then abruptly stopped, turned and slammed into him causing his tray of drinks to explode all over him and all the food to be destroyed. He cursed at the Miami fan and tried to run away, but was quickly surrounded by myself and three other Husker fans who also witnessed this, and held until security came and hauled him out of the stadium. Then we all pitched in and paid for the Miami fan’s food and beverages and apologized to him him and his family. My point is there are always a few bad apples, but I truly believe the majority of Nebraska fans will step in and do the right thing – regardless of what color you wear or what team you cheer.

However, in Memorial Stadium, like any other stadium in America, an opposing fan who is a mouthy jerk and itching for a fight will always find one.

Side note: I’ve been to many road games and the best I was ever treated was in Austin, Texas. First, we got invited by a Texas fan we met at the bar to join him in the AT&T sky box for the game. We ate prime rib with an open bar on the 35 yard line. After a brutal Nebraska loss, we attended the volleyball game to see the Huskers upset there as well. It was late and when we called for a cab, we were told there was a three hour wait. A Texas family leaving the volleyball game overheard us and offered us a ride even though it was 30 minutes out of their way. It was like riding with old friends and when they pulled up to a nice restaurant a few blocks from our hotel, we thanked them for the ride and started to walk away. “Not so fast” they said and told us we weren’t going anywhere until they could treat us to a Texas steak. Nebraska lost the football game and the volleyball game right after, but we felt like we had won the lottery!

Janet Petersen on 8/22/2014 @ 9:05am EDT Said:

I’m thinking that UNL is one of the few college game venues that does not allow liquor inside the stadium…that is not to say that none gets smuggled in!…could that have any bearing on why Husker fans are polite and respectful?

Jarrett on 8/22/2014 @ 11:36am EDT Said:

Don’t give goober the benefit of preaching to him why Nebraska fans are the best in the Country, Ask the many coaches that have complimented us over the years and the kids that win or lose get a standing ovation at the end of every game while leaving the field.. They tell that story to their kids when teaching them about Class.. Enough said.

Mike on 8/23/2014 @ 1:16am EDT Said:

Poor John! Stop picking on the poor soul! Be true Husker fans and smile at him and shake your head. We are better than that! See everyone Saturday!!!! GBR!

Ron on 8/24/2014 @ 7:46pm EDT Said:

As a Wisco fan, I think it’s hard to argue Nebraska as the best in the Big Ten and possibly the country. They’re passionate regardless of how good their team is.

Here is my gripe: I’ve been to countless games at Camp Randall & sat in the student section including Nebraska’s first game in the Big Ten. Having spoken with fans from probably every team in the conference during their trips here, I’ve never heard anyone say anything bad about their experience. The Madison gameday experience is raucous and loud and fun, and visitors are welcomed with open arms. The day is just as much about the party as it is the football. Sure plenty of jabs are thrown around, but its all in good fun.

Since that game at Camp Randall, I’ve seen so many Nebraska fans complaining about how terrible their experience was and that they had X, Y, & Z thrown at them. Frankly, I think those stories are fabricated. I think that had they won the game, they would have been singing the praises of Madison, but since they were so disappointed with the outcome they released their frustration regarding their experience.

Are there drunk idiots? Of course. To characterize an entire fanbase by the drunken ramblings of a college sophomore would mean that all 14 teams in the league had terrible fanbases. All in all, Nebraska fans are loyal, passionate, and very good fans but the whining just gets so old.

Ken on 8/24/2014 @ 10:57pm EDT Said:

There is no place like Nebraska

Jerry on 8/25/2014 @ 12:56pm EDT Said:

Nebraska fans do travel to other cities to support the Huskers and I used to go to a lot of road games. In general, Ron from Wisconsin is probably right though — we do whine about other places. Since we have not been winning as much, other teams are a lot nicer. I think we whine because Husker fans rarely throw stuff at other teams’ fans. I have been going to games for 40 years in Lincoln. I can vouch for having stuff thrown at me and getting sworn at in Boulder and Manhattan. I also have a friend who said he was heckled and felt threatened at State College, PA., but for the most part, I think the BIG has been treating us better.

Brent on 8/25/2014 @ 2:15pm EDT Said:

I live in Lincoln and go to 1 or 2 games a year here and if there is a more over rated game day experience I have yet to see it. I have been to Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Purdue for football games over the years and I would easily place BOTH Michigan and Iowa game day experiences above Lincoln. Only in the past couple of years have the Nebraska fans started to actually make some noise during the game. Before that it was more like sitting back and watching the game on a really big screen TV.

Don’t get me started on the sell out streak. Yes they have it. Yes it is real. The thing is, any school that wants to sell tickets for dirt cheap the week before the game and then have big money donors buy up any leftovers can eventually have the same thing. Does it happen often? No. I can only think of about 4 games in the past decade that they had to resort to those tactics to keep the streak alive and that is MUCH better than I can say for other schools so I will give them credit for being the best at that.

Bob Sperry on 8/25/2014 @ 5:03pm EDT Said:

I have seen at least one game in every Big Ten Stadium in 42 years of watching BIG football. I think you need to differentiate between the fans and the students no matter where you go. It is the students who act stupid. I can tell a lot of you guys are younger, because you can’t spell, even with spell check.

Brad on 8/26/2014 @ 2:38am EDT Said:

Well John, you got the Husker juices flowing I guess. Sorry you had the one in a million bad experience in Lincoln! Every week in the Lincoln and Omaha papers, someone in the visiting fan base writes a letter to the paper saying how great the Big Red fan base is. How many in the Iowa newspapers after a game? I have been all over the country wearing my Big Red N and I ALWAYS have someone tell me they either love the Huskers or that they were at a game here and was the best time they ever had at an opposing city and stadium. I have been in most of the B1G states and all of the Big 12 states and have never heard a cross word about the Huskers. Even have an aunt who is a Hawkeye fan and she even cheers on the Big Red! I hope you have a nicer time when you are in Lincoln next time!