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Kansas football crowds smallest in power five

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Kansas head coach David Beaty shows his frustration after a West Virginia touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas head coach David Beaty shows his frustration after a West Virginia touchdown during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017 at Memorial Stadium. by Nick Krug

Entering his 11th season in Durham, head football coach David Cutcliffe really has things humming at Duke, former perennial football doormat.

Cutcliffe's Blue Devils, who hammered Kansas 41-3 in 2013, have had a winning record in four of the past five seasons. His 2012 squad ended the school's 18-year bowl drought. Despite all that success, the Blue Devils still must play in front of so many empty seats.

Among the 65 power-five schools, plus Notre Dame, Duke had the second-lowest average attendance in the nation (26,797) in 2017. It's not cool to be a football fan at Duke. Krzyzewskiville is cool. Shame.

At least Kansas has a legitimate excuse for even smaller, albeit just barely, crowds (26,641). The Jayhawks are 3-33 the past three seasons. Nobody wants to watch their teams lose, especially in such uncompetitive fashion.

Eighty percent of power-five football programs draw more than 40,000 fans per game and 97 percent draw more than 30,000 a game, Duke and Kansas being the lone exceptions.

For winners and losers, though, crowds at college football games have been on a steady decline in recent years. A look at the 13 power-five schools with the smallest football crowds:

Power 5 School 2017 Attendance
(capacity)
2017 W-L
Kansas 26,641 (50,071)
1-11
Duke 26,797 (40,004)
7-6
Vanderbilt
31,341 (40,550)
5-7
Syracuse 33,929 (49,250)
4-8
Oregon State
34,754 (45,674)
1-11
Northwestern 35,853 (47,130)
10-3
Boston College
35,924 (44,500)
7-6
Pittsburgh 36,295 (68,400)
5-7
California 36,548 (63,000)
5-7
Virginia 39,398 (61,500)
6-7
Illinois 39,429 (60,670)
2-10
Maryland 39,643 (54,000)
4-8
Rutgers
39,749 (52,454)
4-8

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