The Gator Nation is well known for its rowdy reptiles filling the Swamp to support the orange and blue, but according to The Princeton Review, this may no longer be the case.
In the 2014 edition of “The Best 378 Colleges,” UF comes in at No. 11 in “Students Pack the Stadiums.” Last year, UF was ranked No. 3 on that list.
The No. 1 spot went to the University of Notre Dame, followed by the University of Southern California and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The first SEC school was the University of Missouri, which ranked fifth.
Florida State University scored one higher than UF, taking the No. 10 spot.
The book’s co-author, David Soto, said this review was based on a survey answered by 126,000 students at America’s top 378 colleges.
“Those students went to our online survey and told us about various aspects of campus life including their social life, academics, student life and other important issues on campus,” Soto said. “We use that information to compile our 62 ranking lists — many of which the University of Florida is on this year.”
Tori Petry, a 21-year-old UF telecommunication senior, said she attends every Gators home game but understands why the ranking dropped so dramatically.
“I’m really disappointed in the student body for letting that drop so far,” Petry said, citing the low turnout at last year’s games. “I think our school is prestigious for sports, as well as academics, and we have a long history and tradition of football. There isn’t any reason why we shouldn’t be able to pack out the stadium, regardless of ranking.”
Other students, like Wynston Jenns, a 21-year-old elementary education senior, said she has seen a decline in attendance over the course of her time at UF.
“I think it has to do with expectations of students,” Jenns said. “When our expectations aren’t met, we don’t show up as frequently.”
Soto said the question that determines this ranking is about the popularity of intercollegiate sports on campus.
“We base these on the college experts, and those are currently enrolled UF students, “ Soto said.
Soto said the results are determined by a five-point Likert scale to allow school-to-school comparisons.
Still, the results disappoint some UF students.
“If we weren’t ranked in the top five every weekend, students didn’t think it was worth their time, and I think that’s very poor sportsmanship,” Petry said. “We should be out there to support our boys and appreciate the tradition that is Florida football.”