NCAA Women's Basketball Attendance: Winners and Losers for 2012

Well, it's time again to start thinking about the Top 100 Programs in Women's College Basketball. (I can hear the reader knives sharpening right now.) In order to think about top programs, you have to think about attendance, and my magic spreadsheet now has the 2012 attendance numbers for all 342 or so programs.

We're going to concentrate on the "Power Conferences" and see which programs are the big winners and losers. But first, some honorable mentions across all of women's college basketball.

Best Attendance Jump Among Non-Majors: The award goes to Delaware, which lept from 2,191 per home game to 3,907 per home game in Elene Delle Donne's final year as a Blue Hen.

Biggest Attendance Drop Among Non-Majors: Murray State in the Ohio Valley Conference: Attendance dropped to about a third of the previous year, from 3,758 per home game to 1,413 per home game.

Cast Your Bread Upon The Waters: Marshall's jump from 324 last year to 1,234 per home game this year. Maybe we just added a digit by accident in 2012 - I looked at Marshall's attendance from 2011-12 and aside from big draws from Cincinnati and Longwood home games, that 1,234 number does not look right to me.

Moving on Up Awards: There are 32 teams that share the award for having attendance go up every year since 2009. The biggest winner is Notre Dame, which edged out Baylor by a grand total of eight extra persons per home game in 2012. (8,571 vs 8,563) Maybe Baylor can count Griner as eight people.

Sunday Morning Coming Down: On the other hand, there are 31 teams that have had attendance fall every year since 2009. Utah, Boston College, Illinois, Florida, Washington, Pittsburgh, Florida State, Rutgers, North Carolina, and Minnesota are among the suspects. The big winner is Texas, which went from 5,288 per home game in 2009 to 3,988 per home game in 2012.

But enough of the side show. Let's look at the Power Conferences and see which teams won - and lost - the most attendance in 2012:

2011 2012
Tennessee 12599 14414 1815 We back Pat
Oklahoma 5490 6851 1361 Even with a tough year for the Sooners
LSU 3289 4315 1026 Nikki Caldwell era in effect
Colorado 1880 2679 799 Looking up in the Pac-12
California 1430 2076 646 The fans are not laid back
Baylor 7933 8563 630 Attendance rises like Griner's stock
Nebraska 4333 4957 624 Almost stole Big 10 Championship
Miami (FL) 925 1407 482 Canes in 4-digit attendance now
Texas A&M 6104 6555 451 No relapse after championship
Washington State 608 1056 448 Cougars made it to Pac-12 semis
Arizona State 3486 1804 -1682 Sun Devils almost halve attendance without CTT
Oregon 3100 1789 -1311 Shine off Westhead era
Georgia Tech 2118 1042 -1076 Forced to relocate while building new arena
Iowa 5823 4846 -977 Regressing to mean, still better than '10
St. John's 2200 1260 -940 Why so sad in Queens? Arico to Michigan
UCLA 2018 1110 -908 Previous Bruin fans attending LSU games
West Virginia 3103 2223 -880 Future worst attendance in Big 12?
Michigan 2495 1773 -722 Hopefully better attendance than St. John's
Texas 4710 3988 -722 Falling attendance over 4 years
Minnesota 3540 2835 -705 Less than 1/2 of '09 attendance





So here's a question: given these two lists, what do you think are the best reasons why certain teams have lost or gained attendance, other than the ones stated?

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