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Map reveals NCAA football loyalties

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Tully Corcoran

Tully Corcoran spent seven years covering the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks for The Topeka Capital-Journal. His work has been honored multiple times by The Kansas Press Association. He most recently wrote for FOX Sports Houston and FOX Sports Southwest. Follow him on Twitter.

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What you are looking at above is a map showing which Top 25 college football team is most popular in each county across the United States. Facebook collected all the “likes” received by all the Top 25 teams, and then colored in each county.

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Facebook has done this with the NFL and college basketball, in each case revealing some surprising data.

For example, Oklahoma State carried just one county, Payne, which of course is where Oklahoma State University puts its campus.

It’s the same story in Texas. You knew Texas was a burnt-orange state, but you didn’t think it was quite as popular as above, did you? Texas A&M won only one county (Brazos, of course, the home of College Station) in the entire state. That’s one fewer than LSU got.

Texas, Oregon, Ohio State and Nebraska all have far-reaching tentacles, with huge pockets of Longhorns fans populating New Mexico, Colorado and, weirdly, North Dakota. Oregon has come to basically dominate the entire area west of the Rocky Mountains, save for the swath of USC fans in southern California, the Boise State fans in Idaho and Texas’ chunks of New Mexico and Colorado.

The South is, as you’d expect, highly segregated by state borders. LSU gets into Mississippi and Arkansas pretty good, but Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are all unranked.

Because this was limited to the Top 25, there is a lot of defaulting going on there. My poor home state, Kansas, for example, looks like it's getting pillaged from all directions because, like Mississippi, its two Division I schools are unranked.

But this is a good lesson in branding, nonetheless.

Tagged: Mississippi, Kansas, Texas

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