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Ranking the Top 15 College Football Towns in the Country

Ranking the Top 15 College Football Towns in the Country

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Ranking the Top 15 College Football Towns in the Country

We all have our personal favorites, but here's some hard data to help you make the most informed decision and choose one of the college football top 15 Ranking towns in America. The rankings are based on mathematical analysis and they are based on attendance and team success.

The final rankings are:
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Columbus, Ohio
Austin, Texas
South Bend, Indiana
State College, Pennsylvania
Athens, Georgia
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
East Lansing, Michigan
Blacksburg, Virginia
College Station, Texas
Pullman, Washington
Lincoln, Nebraska
Madison, Wisconsin
Morgantown, West Virginia
Laramie, Wyoming
Ranking the Top 15 College Football Towns in the Country
Laramie, Wyoming

The town of Laramie has all of the right attributes and has a lot going for it: low average income per capita, average weather, moderate success, and located in a beautiful part of the country. Laramie is also in a very good location for a top college football town. It's the home of the University of Wyoming and they have had some recent success under head coach Dave Christensen.

Wyoming played in three straight bowl games from 2010-2012 and was nearly able to win two of them. The Cowboys went 10-3 in 2009 (their only 10-win season since 2000), defeated San Diego State in the New Mexico Bowl, and finished #21 in the AP Poll. They also won a share of the Mountain West Conference title in 2011 and earned a berth in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against Toledo.

The next season they lost to TCU by four points on the road and fell to 6-7 overall because Christensen elected to play three quarterbacks throughout the year (one was arrested for drunk driving). This scenario would not be possible without a strong fan base that has a home-field advantage, which is actually the case in Laramie.

The Wyoming Cowboys football team is allocated 1.75% of Laramie's population to meet the demand for tickets to every game. The stadium capacity is listed as 42,000 and the average temperature in Laramie during the month of December is 28.4 degrees (a far cry from New England temperatures but still very nice).

In a town with this many Cowboys fans, it's obvious why they have so much success on the football field. Attendance ranks as the 8th highest among college football towns and there are 6,557 students per roster spot (239th nationally). The numbers say that Laramie is a perfect college football town.

Morgantown, West Virginia

Morgantown is running to become an emerging college football town on the list in the next five years. It has all of the right ingredients for sustained growth: average weather, high attendance rank (4th), two championships over the last 10 years (14th), and high-income rank. It's no secret that West Virginians love their football; it's in their blood.

The University of West Virginia was ranked #1 in the AP Poll in 2011, 2012, and 2013. The Mountaineers won three straight bowl games from 2007-2009 (two of those years they were National Champions), and have defeated seven Top 25 teams since 2000.

They have also won a share of three conference titles over that timeframe (2000, 2007-2009) and are expected to win their eighth over the next 10 years. They have an extremely strong fan base that falls within the city limits of Morgantown, WV (the population) plus an extra fan base that is in other counties nearby.

In 2010, Morgantown was ranked as the #4 college football town by attendance ranking and the 3rd highest in the total population. The stadium holds 41,450 fans and has a capacity of 42,300 to accommodate that many fans. The average temperature in December is 22.9 degrees with 2,834 hours of sunlight per year.

West Virginia's offense is ranked #2 in the nation behind Alabama, which explains why they rank 8th in passing offense (the Mountaineers have 1,754 yards per game), 19th in rushing offense (5,998 yards per game), and 35th in scoring offense (31.8 points per game).

Top 15 College Football Ranking Towns in the Country
Madison, Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a very successful football team with a winning tradition (four conference titles over the last 10 years). There are also 3,360 students per roster spot (118th nationally) and the average home game attendance rank of 17. The average sports bar has 18 televisions showing all of the Big Ten games, which is quite impressive when you consider that Madison is a very small town.

The Badgers have been ranked #1 in the AP Poll in the last two seasons and were nearly able to win it all this past year. They compete in one of the toughest conferences in college football (Big Ten) and finished second to Ohio State in 2012 and third to Michigan State in 2013. They also won the College Football Playoff this past year (2013) and will compete for a conference championship in 2014.

Madison is located on the shore of Lake Mendota, which is one of the largest lakes in Wisconsin. If you have ever been to Madison you can tell that it's a very nice city. The windy weather does not seem to bother people as many colleges and other businesses are located on or near Lake Mendota.

As far as college football goes, Wisconsin has some great fans, which has something to do with their ranking of 13th in attendance. There are 2,323 students per roster spot (2nd highest in Big Ten) and the average temperature during October is 16.2 degrees with 2,334 hours of sunlight (3rd highest in the Big Ten). The weather in Wisconsin helps to bring in many fans per game.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

The University of Alabama has a loyal fan base that loves Crimson Tide football. It's the home of two National Champions and they have only had four losing seasons since 2000 (they just lost to Oklahoma by only four points on the road this year). The Crimson Tide has also won six conference titles over that timeframe, which gives them quite a bit of street cred throughout the entire state of Alabama.

In addition, the low average home attendance rank (2nd) and low average temperature during December are both good for a top 15 ranking. It's no wonder why Alabama is the home of so many football fans.

Nick Saban led the Crimson Tide to one of the best seasons in college football history in 2012 and they are coming off a great year as well. They are ranked #1 in the AP Poll (preseason) and will have another good year if not a great one this upcoming season. A new quarterback and some key players who have graduated will make it somewhat challenging, but 'Bama has the talent to do it yet again.

The weather is another factor that helps to bring in more fans per game; there are 2,429 hours of sunlight (10th most) and only 4.8% humidity throughout the entire year (81st).

Football Towns in the Country FAQ

What is the average home game attendance rank for all Top 25 teams over the last decade (2006-2015)?
What is the average temperature for the month of December for schools that play Division I FBS College Football? How does it compare to your city's average temperature during December?
Where can you find current NCAA Football Schedules and Standings for 2015-2016 in Excel Spreadsheet format? What about Top 25 Rankings, AP Polls, and Coaches' Polls

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