Discover Fan Loyalty Poll: Heisman Favorite, Toughest Tailgaters Still Reside In Pac-12 Through Week 9

Week 9 of the 2013 college football season has come and gone, although with so many changes to this year’s polls and teams and players and rankings, two things have remained the same for the past few weeks. The best player in the country, and the clear-cut front-runner for the 2013 Heisman Trophy award, as well as the toughest fans when it comes to pre-game tailgate parties all reside in the Pac-12 conference. The Discover Fan Loyalty Poll provided statistics and results that showed college football fans from the Pac-12 conference are the toughest tailgaters, as 28 percent said that they would never call off a tailgate party prior to their favorite team’s home game, regardless of how frigid the temperatures become as the calendar turns. While we found out those results from the latest Discover Fan Loyalty Poll, we have found that Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota is the odds-on-favorite to win this season’s Heisman Trophy by his incredible play on the field.

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Beside finding out just how tough fans from the Pac-12 are when it comes to their tailgating activities, we also learned that female college football fans are tougher than their male counterparts, as 23 percent of women said that they would brave the coldest of temperatures and never call off a tailgate party, compared to just 20 percent of men. Overall, 44 percent of fans would decide to cancel their tailgate party if the mercury read anywhere below 32 degrees. With November right around the corner, that means certain stadiums could be a little less crowded over the final five weeks of the regular season. Just don’t tell that to Pac-12 fans, who will show up to party all day and night, especially a week from this coming Thursday in Palo Alto, when the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal host the No. 2 Oregon Ducks.

Before we get to this year’s Heisman race, take a look at some of the other results from the latest Discover Fan Loyalty Poll. Aside from the temperature concerns at tailgate parties, college football fans surveyed said that 13 percent of college football fans claiming the title of “Cook” at their tailgate party. They may need to bring some extra food to grill up, however, as another 10 percent of fans call themselves “Freeloaders” and let their friends do all the work. Thankfully, they are offset by another 10 percent of fans who consider themselves the “Grateful Guest”, signifying they bring dish to pass. Check out the infographic below for more:

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As far as the 2013 Heisman Trophy race is concerned, Mariota continues to separate himself from the rest of the field with his strong play on the field for the second-ranked Ducks in the most recent BCS Standings. Oregon remains undefeated thanks to Mariota and his 20 passing touchdowns, nine rushing touchdowns and zero interceptions. Following another big Oregon win this past Saturday night over the UCLA Bruins, Mariota remains in first place in the minds of the majority of voters as the Ducks prepare for another difficult road test against the Cardinal.

Through the first nine weeks of the 2013 college football season, Mariota is clearly the favorite to win the highest honor bestowed in the NCAA. He will continue to be pushed by other players throughout the country, but the ball is in his court. If he continues to play smart with the ball while leading the Ducks to victory, I am not sure if there is another player on the planet who could rip this award away from Mariota.

What would your Week 9 Heisman Trophy ballot look like at this point? If you have some players you feel differently about, then by all means, let me hear it. Leave your comments below. And, as always, make sure to follow Boston Super Blog all season long for the latest results, most in-depth analysis and entertaining coverage. You can also Like Discover on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!

The Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted twice a month by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 1500 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online. The Poll leads up to the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl. Discover’s commitment to college football includes relationships with ESPN and Notre Dame Football on NBC. 

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America’s cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit


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About the author

Rob Kelley

Rob Kelley is a sports reporter for various newspapers in Florida, and is trying to break back into the sports writing game after a brief hiatus following the publishing of his first book, I'm Not a Quitter. He recently resigned as Editor-in-Chief and lead writer for The South Shore Magazine to pursue better opportunities. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24.