Geography of College Football (NYTimes Blog)

Submitted by orobs on September 19th, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Good Read on a survey done for the geography of CFB.…

The study used an online survey asking 30,000 fans nationwide to identify their team and where they live.

Clickable map of fandom nationwide:

CommonCensus Sports Map Project


Most popular teams (according to the survey)






September 19th, 2011 at 6:56 PM ^

but there must be a better way to determine how many college football fans there are in different parts of the USA than to track how often "college football" is Googled. Are TV rating data not available by region?


September 19th, 2011 at 7:01 PM ^

B10 should grab ND and try to swipe TAMU out from under the SEC's nose and then stop at 14 teams. UT is way too much trouble and it's hard to see any of the other reasonably available schools being worthwhile.


September 19th, 2011 at 7:03 PM ^

I was shocked how low Oklahoma is on that list.  Texas A&M is listed as having 2 M fans versus the Sooner's 1.2 M - that sheds light as to why the SEC would realistically consider A&M, despite the Aggies finishing in the Top 25 all of one time this decade.


September 19th, 2011 at 7:04 PM ^

#2 overall. I can tell you that the number of Michigan fans here in NE Ohio has dropped dramatically since I was in high school 12-15 years ago. Once things return to their natural order aka us whipping Ohio, we will be #1.


September 19th, 2011 at 7:15 PM ^

interesting conclusions, basically in line with what most of us believe will happen for the B1G:

try like hell to land Notre Dame and bring Mizzou along if it happens


September 19th, 2011 at 7:15 PM ^

there are all sorts of issues with the methodology here. for starters, what college football fan actually googles "college football"? that sounds distinctly like something a non-fan would do. i don't google "michigan football", i just go to espn and mgoblog. brian's more obscure references, on the other hand, i will google. that doesn't mean i like those things, just that i came across them and was inquisitive.


September 19th, 2011 at 7:24 PM ^

yea but the clickable map of 30,000 entries seems something only a fan would go through.  It's clearly not a scientific study, but I think theres some very interesting findings in there.  At the very least, we can assume the B1G is a pretty internet heavy fanbase.


September 19th, 2011 at 9:37 PM ^

The author acknowledged that the method isn't perfect in the article:

"This approach isn’t going to be perfect — unless you were willing to spend literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on a scientific survey of college football fans, you’re going to have to resort to some educated guesses."

It is a non-conventional way of getting this information, but it is still an interesting result.


September 19th, 2011 at 8:07 PM ^

This is a really interesting blog post and does indicate where the B1G ought to expand if it so chooses.  I'm not crazy about expansion, but I think that's where this thing is gonna end up. Some of the data seems fishy but I don't think there's any way around that in a survey like this that simply uses available data/techniques.

If expansion to 16 had to happen would hope it was Missouri, Kansas, Notre Dame, and then I don't really care about #4.  Judging from Silver's blog post, though, the B1G ought to add Rutgers and then send Notre Dame out there to play in New York, since they have the largest sheer numbers of fans in NYC than anywhere else.



September 19th, 2011 at 8:12 PM ^

I think Hoke has changed the tide on the rivalry. Hell people in Ohio are starting to believe him. Never in a million years I would have thought that. Selling Michigan jerseys is a good start.


September 19th, 2011 at 8:18 PM ^

Some of these make sense, but others are odd.  Does Iowa really have more fans than Nebraska?  I don't know about that one.  I have a hard time believing Clemson is in the top 10, ahead of Georgia and LSU (to name a couple).


September 19th, 2011 at 8:25 PM ^

Passionate fans of college football are less likely to Google "college football" than casual fans. In fact, people who Google "college football" are probably doing so for reasons other than fandom.


September 19th, 2011 at 8:34 PM ^

Didn't know where to post this but I was wondering what you guys think of this article?

It pretty much says ND should join the ACC because of population trends and even though big ten offers more money ND isn't really worried about money and it keeps them on the east coast. Plus there is this:

Conference Wholly-Owned Top 50 TV Markets Partially-Owned Top 50 TV Markets 
ACC 10 9 
Big Ten 9 2 
Pac-12 12 4 
SEC 4 11

Don't think it will happen but I think its more of a possibility than people think given the large ND presence on the east coast.


September 19th, 2011 at 9:14 PM ^

a 98.3 % chance that we should have recruited East Lansing HS alum Nate Silver. I think these are great metrics; how to quantify a "fan base" is not immediately obvious, and this kind of ad hoc multifactor analysis is as useful as anything. I'd like to see more metrics on depth of interest. Maybe more detailed licensing/ merchandise data is available?

(And admit it, Nate beat you in debate in high school in the 90s as well.)


September 19th, 2011 at 9:57 PM ^

While the author admits the shortcoming in data collection, it makes a lot of sense - and shows why the B1G may be content to sit at 12, unless a ND comes knocking. Which I hope is the case.

Thank you for posting this


September 20th, 2011 at 1:54 AM ^

But I like Rutgers. They have by far the most fans in New York, and can deliver the 9 million people in New Jersey(sort of). Then, combined with Michigan, OSU, PSU, and perhaps ND should be just enough to get the BTN on basic tier in NY. Christ, if that happens, we should rename ourselves the "STFU and pay me" conference.


September 20th, 2011 at 10:56 AM ^

The money alone that would come from getting BTN into NYC would be nice.  But people in NYC don't care about college football.  They  have the Yankees and Broadway.  They get about as excited for college football as they do about visiting the Midwest.