Despite a slew of negative stories surrounding the team heading into the preseason, including predictions that the team would go 0-16 (ahem, Bill Simmons we are looking at you), uncertainty about the team’s future in Oakland as the O.co Coliseum lease is coming to an end, the Raiders are making waves across the country this season according to a poll ranking the most popular teams in America.
ProFootballTalk reported that according to SportsBusiness Daily, a recent Harris Poll shows that the Dallas Cowboys remain the most popular team among American football fans. The Harris Poll also had the Raiders ranked 16th, a steady climb from 25th the last time the poll was conducted.
The Cowboys remained on top since the last time the poll was conducted in 2011, even though the team hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2009. Not surprising given their status as “America’s Team” dating back to the Tom Landy era and then most importantly in the early 90′s where they were the league’s most star studded franchise.
Dropping five or more spots were the Steelers (No. 2 to No. 7), the Redskins (No. 8 to No. 14), the Jets (tied for No. 9 to No. 15), the Falcons (No. 15 to No. 20), the Panthers (No. 20 to No. 27), and the Titans (No. 21 to No. 31).
Significant climbers included the 49ers (No. 16 to No. 8), the Seahawks (No. 27 to No. 12), the Raiders (No. 25 to tied for No. 16), and the Bengals (No. 31 to No. 24).
If you needed to guess who was in last place it would be the Jacksonville Jaguars, no surprise given their perpetual struggle to fill their stadium in Florida each season. With the team on the warpath to a 0-2 win season expect the Jags to have the dubious ranking as the league’s most unpopular franchise for a long long time.