Tuesday, November 25, 2014

College Football Fan Map

The New York Times Upshot recently added College Football to its collection of fan maps.
I like how faithful the boundaries are to the state borders. Even in Kansas where they have a reciprocal arrangement with Missouri for in state tuition and plenty of students from Missouri, the boundary is pretty precise.

Using the university colors is a nice touch but it also has the effect of overemphasizing the red schools. What really jumps out here is Nebraska, Wisconsin and Ohio State, whereas Oregon's impressive reach into California, Montana and Alaska fades info the background. The other problem with the college colors is when you have similar adjacent colors. It's especially hard to distinguish Alabama and Georgia here. South Carolina and Auburn are also in the same color family.

I also like the small pockets of fandom for the lesser state schools such as Michigan State, Kansas State, Iowa State and that little university in Virginia whose relative lack of football success has made Virginia Tech the overwhelming choice of most of that state.   

The Upshot did a related map showing where college football is the most popular.

While I'm not convinced that the Facebook "like" is the most reliable measure of our culture, it does make for an easy data set and results in a clear pattern. If this map was done in a grey scale, reversed out and overlaid on top of the first map, you'd get a picture of not only who people like but how strongly. I'd do it if I had time but work beckons.


Michael5000 said...

I like how unicameral Nebraska is.

Dug said...

I guess there's no Nebraska State or Nebraska Tech or Nebraska Wesleyan to compete with it. Nor is there much competition up in North Nebraskakota.