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Michigan, Michigan State fans rank on opposite ends of ‘Happiness Index’ by ESPN

ESPN decided to rile up all kinds of emotions before the college football season starts on August 26th. The worldwide leader in sports created a ranking system of the “happiness” of every fan base in college football. Their list included every FBS program and uses the patented “Fan Happiness Index” to rank them 1-128.

The criterion for the FHI is as follows:

The Fan Happiness index is built from these six categories:

Program power: Combination of strength of records from 2012-2016 and current FPI compared to recent history.

Rivalry dominance: Combination of wins above expectations over rivals in past five seasons and how a team’s FPI compares to its rivals’.

Coaching stability: How close a coach is to being fired, based on Phil Steele’s coaching stability rankings.

Recruiting trend: Difference in percentage of five-, four- and three-star recruits in current class vs. expectations.

Revenue growth: Difference between revenue earned in 2016 season relative to 2012-2015 average. Data derived from U. S. Department of Education Equity in Athletics Database.

Twitter buzz: Percentage of tweets from fans that are positive, based on social media sentiment analysis.

Where do the Wolverines rank?

NCAA Football: Penn State at Michigan
Sep 24, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines cheerleader runs down the sideline with a flag after a touchdown in the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The fighting Harbaugh’s ranked 22nd in fan happiness on the ESPN FHI. The rankings indicated that “Jim Harbaugh has raised the recruiting level, and he’s got the Wolverine faithful tweeting up a frenzy.”

Here are the numbers for the house that Harbaugh has built:

Program Power- 80

Rivalry Dominance- 80

Coaching Stability- 81

Recruiting Trend- 58

Revenue Growth- 75

Twitter Buzz- 94

It will be interesting to see not only what fans think of these rankings currently, but what they may look like next year depending on how the Wolverines’ season goes (Specifically against Ohio State on November 25th).

Where does Sparty finish?

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State
Oct 29, 2016; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans flag bearers preform on the field prior to a game against the Michigan Wolverines at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State has had a much maligned year since the Spartans reached the College Football Playoff in 2015. Clearly, ESPN did not ignore the fall from grace that Mark Dantonio has experienced and ranked the Spartan faithful at No. 115.The ranking was reflective of the tarnished state of Spartan football after a horrendous 2016 campaign and public shame that came from the actions of former players in the 2017 offseason.

The ranking was reflective of the tarnished state of Spartan football after a horrendous 2016 campaign and public shame that came from the actions of former players in the 2017 offseason.

Here is where the numbers stack for MSU:

Program Power- 52

Rivalry Dominance- 8

Coaching Stability- 9

Recruiting Trend- 36

Revenue Growth- 62

Twitter Buzz- 7

Spartan fans should not be surprised at this ranking considering the blows that have been dealt to the green and white. The Twitter ranking, in particular, seems to indicate just how careful Spartan fans are in not receiving any more barbs or punches at the hands of the very active Wolverine and Ohio State Buckeye users.

Written by Dylan Bair

Writer of all things college sports including, but not limited to, Michigan State football and basketball, college football in every facet, and hard opinions about the Big Ten and college sports in general. Also, an avid soccer and NBA fan with a deep knowledge-base that hopefully translates well to all of the fans reading. Thanks for the time and effort in reading my work! It means a lot to get the support for the thing I love most.

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