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Non-AQ attendance figures

The NCAA has released its final attendance figures for the 2010 season. It is no surprise that the schools with the biggest stadiums are at the top of the list when it comes to average attendance per game -- No. 1 Michigan, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Alabama and No. 5 Texas can all seat more than 100,000 people.

How did the non-AQs fare? We must consider that most of them have much smaller stadium capacities than the bigger schools from the automatic-qualifying conferences. So I will give you the top 10 in average attendance per game, and then the top 10 based on percent capacity. I think the percent capacity is a more accurate measure of how non-AQ teams are drawing in fans because it shows how full the stadium is for home games. You cannot really judge home attendance for TCU against Texas.

Top 10 by average attendance, including overall rank among all 120 FBS schools:

No. 27 BYU: 61,381

No. 44 East Carolina: 49,665

No. 52 Utah: 45,459

No. 56 TCU: 42,466

No. 59 Air Force: 40,093

No. 63 UCF: 39,614

No. 67 Hawaii: 37,311

No. 70 San Diego State: 34,133

No. 71 Fresno State: 34,120

No. 73 Boise State: 33,269

Now here is the Top 11 by percent capacity:

No. 6 Boise State: 103.96 percent

No. 11 Utah: 100.98

No. 24 East Carolina: 99.33

No. 25 Houston: 99.15

No. 36 Navy: 96.04

No. 38 BYU: 95.84

No. 40 TCU: 95.74

No. 51 UCF: 87.40

No. 55 Air Force: 85.87

No. 61 Fresno State: 83.16

No. 62 FIU: 82.72

Note FIU getting into the top 10 for average capacity. The Panthers have the second-smallest stadium in FBS with a capacity of 18,000 -- yet their average attendance was 16,545. Compare that to 2009, when FIU averaged 10,204 fans and had its stadium filled 51 percent. A first winning season will do that for a program.

Of the top-10 teams in average attendance, BYU was the only team that saw a drop from 2009. The Cougars had an average attendance of 64,236 with a percent capacity of 100.30 that season. You can understand why. BYU was 11-2 in 2009 and 7-6 in 2010.

San Diego State, buoyed by a 9-4 record, averaged nearly 10,000 more fans in 2010 than it did in 2009. East Carolina also averaged nearly 8,000 more fans this season, while TCU averaged just over 4,000 more and Air Force nearly 4,500 more.