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NCAA releases 2012 attendance figures

The NCAA rolled out its official 2012 football attendance figures on Thursday, and nearly 49 million fans passed through the turnstiles at the 644 NCAA football-playing schools.

The total attendance figure checked in at 48,958,547, the third-best figure in NCAA history. FBS accounted for 37,170,235 fans (45,440 per game), FCS drew 5,967,272, Division II hosted 3,006,297 fans and Division III drew 2,361,687 spectators.

With its expansion to 14 teams, the SEC became the first conference to top 7 million fans (7,478,304 to be exact), and averaged 75,538 per game. The Big Ten was second at 5.88 million fans and 70,040 per game. The SEC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt set league-wide attendance records in FBS, and the Northeast, Missouri Valley and Big South followed suit in FCS. The Sun Belt was the only Division I league to set a total attendance and average attendance record, jumping by an average of 574 fans to 19,766 per game.

Michigan won its 43rd home attendance title with an average of 112,252 per game, but Alabama took home the total attendance crowd by playing before 1,299,659 fans in 14 games. Appalachian State led all FCS programs for the fifth time in six years with a 26,358 average, and the SWAC won its 34th attendance championship in 35 years with 654,847 total spectators. In Division II, Grand Valley State (Mich.) won the crown for the second consecutive year, and St. John's (Minn.) won the Division III title for the 11th time in a dozen seasons. 

FBS Teams
1. Michigan - 112,252 average
2. Ohio State - 105,330 
3. Alabama - 101,722
4. Texas - 100,884
5. Penn State - 96,730
6. Georgia - 92,703
7. LSU - 92,626
8. Tennessee - 89,965
9. USC - 87,945
10. Florida - 87,597

FBS Conferences
1. SEC - 75,538
2. Big Ten - 70,040
3. Big 12 - 59,004
4. Pac-12 - 53,679
5. ACC - 49,910

Largest increase from 2011
1. California - 28,978 per game
2. UCLA - 19,930
3. Missouri - 14,224
4. Georgia - 13,321
5. Ohio State - 13,252

FCS Teams
1. Appalachian State - 26,358
2. Montana - 25,236
3. James Madison - 22,783
4. Old Dominion - 20,037
5. Delaware - 18,542

FCS Conferences
1. SWAC - 13,097
2. SoCon - 12,802
3. CAA - 12,155
4. Missouri Valley - 11,064
5. Big Sky - 9,852

Division II Teams
1. Grand Valley State (Mich.) - 12,034
2. Miles (Ala.) - 11,117
3. Tuskegee (Ala.) - 10,869
4. Kentucky State - 10,534
5. West Texas A&M - 10,379

Division II Conferences
1. Southern Intercollegiate - 7,429
2. Lone Star - 6,077
3. Gulf South - 5,029
4. Mid-America - 4,767
5. Great American - 3,841

Division III Teams
1. St. John's (Minn.) - 7,948
2. Wisconsin - Whitewater - 7,552
3. Hampden-Sydney (Va.) - 6,723
4. Wabash (Ind.) - 4,873
5. Concordia - Moorhead (Minn.) - 4,839

Division III Conferences
1. Minnesota Intercollegiate - 3,372
2. Old Dominion - 2,966
3. Wisconsin Intercollegiate - 2,943
4. American Southwest - 2,506
5. Ohio Athletic - 2,416

View the NCAA's in-depth PDF document here.

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