Best States For College Football Fans: Ohio Stands Up To SEC Country

Best States For College Football Fans: Ohio Stands Up To SEC Country
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

Few states have experienced the level of sustained college football success as Ohio over the course of the past decade.

Thanks to the exploits of Ohio State and Cincinnati, the Buckeye State finds itself among the top states to be a college football fan, when broken down by those teamsโ€™ success when it comes to recruiting and attendance, combined with on-field factors, such as winning percentage and College Football Playoff appearances and championships.

Sports betting in Ohio becomes legal Jan. 1, finally giving the stateโ€™s college football fans the chance to financially capitalize on that success.

Thanks to the Buckeyesโ€™ 2014 CFP championship and CFP appearances in 2018, 2019 and 2020, combined with the Bearcats CFP appearance in 2021 โ€” the Buckeye State is a heady challenger for the top state in which to be a collegiate fan.

BetOhio.com developed a ranking system of the best states to be a college football fan since the adoption of the College Football Playoff in 2014.

The first category measured attendance between 2014 and 2019 (the most recent year available), via NCAA.com, to determine a ranking for each of the 41 states with at least one FBS team, based on a 1-41 metric (1 being the lowest, 41 the highest). 

We used that same scoring metric to measure recruiting, utilizing 247 Sportsโ€™ FBS rankings to assign points to each team.

We also ranked each state by winning percentage of its FBS teams since 2014 and by the number of FBS schools per state. We then gave bonus points to states based on College Football Playoff appearances and National Championships.

Hereโ€™s a look at the best states to be a college football fan:

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Best States for College Football Fans

Rank State Most Teams Recruiting Attend. Win % CFP Playoff National Title Total Points
1๐Ÿˆ Alabama 35 38 40 37 40 41 231
2๐Ÿˆ South Carolina 28 37 36 40 36 40 214
3๐Ÿˆ Ohio 40 31 37 23 41 39 211
4๐Ÿˆ Georgia 31 32 31 27 37 38 196
5๐Ÿˆ Louisiana 35 29 35 22 35 37 191
6๐Ÿˆ Michigan 35 36 39 28 38 0 176
7๐Ÿˆ Florida 38 40 38 26 32 0 174
8๐Ÿˆ Oklahoma 28 35 30 39 39 0 171
9๐Ÿˆ Indiana 31 30 28 14 34 0 137
T10๐Ÿˆ Texas 41 41 41 10 0 0 133
T10๐Ÿˆ California 38 39 32 24 0 0 133
12๐Ÿˆ Wisconsin 7 17 27 4133 0 125
13๐Ÿˆ Pennsylvania 28 27 34 35 0 0 124
14๐Ÿˆ Washington 9 22 25 3432 0 122
T15๐Ÿˆ Mississippi 28 34 24 26 0 0 112
T15๐Ÿˆ Virginia 35 19 22 26 0 0 112
17๐Ÿˆ Tennessee 31 26 33 21 0 0 111
18๐Ÿˆ North Carolina 38 28 21 20 0 0 107
19๐Ÿˆ Oregon 19 25 11 19 32 0 106
20๐Ÿˆ Utah 28 16 20 38 0 0 102
21๐Ÿˆ Kentucky 28 24 19 29 0 0 100
22๐Ÿˆ Iowa 19 14 26 30 0 0 89
23๐Ÿˆ Arkansas 19 20 23 15 0 0 77
T24๐Ÿˆ Colorado 28 11 17 16 0 0 72
T24๐Ÿˆ West Virginia 9 13 18 32 0 0 72
26๐Ÿˆ New York 28 6 16 17 0 0 67
27๐Ÿˆ Arizona 19 23 12 12 0 0 66
T28๐Ÿˆ Nebraska 7 21 29 8 0 0 65
T28๐Ÿˆ Idaho 19 5 8 33 0 0 65
30๐Ÿˆ Illinois 28 9 14 12 0 0 63
31๐Ÿˆ Maryland 19 18 13 9 0 0 59
32๐Ÿˆ Minnesota 7 12 6 32 0 0 57
33๐Ÿˆ Missouri 7 15 15 19 0 0 56
34๐Ÿˆ Kansas 19 7 12 5 0 0 43
35๐Ÿˆ Massachusetts 19 8 11 4 0 0 42
36๐Ÿˆ New Mexico 19 4 11 2 0 0 36
37๐Ÿˆ Nevada 19 2 7 6 0 0 34
38๐Ÿˆ Wyoming 7 1 6 13 0 0 36
39๐Ÿˆ New Jersey 7 10 6 3 0 0 26
40๐Ÿˆ Hawaii 7 3 6 7 0 0 23
41๐Ÿˆ Connecticut 7 1 2 1 0 0 12
States were ranked by each of the seven metrics above. The top state in each category received 41 points, down to 1 point for the last state. A state had to have a team make the CFP or win the national championship to be awarded points in those categories.

BetOhio.com will also have all the latest information on which operators will launch Ohio sports betting apps.

Ohio College Football Among the Best in Nation

By each of our metrics, the Buckeye State stands either atop the standings or near the top, speaking to the steadfast excellence on the gridiron for the regionโ€™s top programs.

Ohioโ€™s best score overall came in the attendance category, where the stateโ€™s eight FBS programs combined to put up the fifth-most points of any state in the country.

Attendance combined with recruiting excellence and the 41 bonus points handed out for Ohio State and Cincinnatiโ€™s CFP appearances and the Buckeyesโ€™ 2014 national championship, meant Ohio wound up with a score of 211 points, coming in third overall behind Alabama (231 points) and South Carolina (214 points).

Better yet for Buckeye State residents is 2022 could add further to the regionโ€™s standing in the college football landscape, with Ohio State racing out to a 7-0 start, while the Bearcats sit at 6-1.

As of Oct. 24, both the Buckeyes (No. 2) and Bearcats (No. 20) find themselves in the Associated Press poll, while BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio has Ohio State as the favorite to win this yearโ€™s national championship at +175.

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Contributors

Christopher Boan writes for BetOhio.com and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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