Probably the biggest reason college football is so awesome is because of the passion of the fans.
All sports have elements of tribalism, to be sure, but there's nothing quite like what you see on college campuses every fall. People hate other people they've never met simply because they choose to wear the colors of a different school.
And things really get interesting in areas where multiple teams are vying for fans' loyalties. Lucky for us, the New York Times has released a new interactive map based on Facebook "likes" that shows the country's college football allegiances county-by-county.
You can find the whole map at this link.
A few things stand out:
— Northwestern takes a lot of pride in calling itself "Chicago's team." Everyone already knew that wasn't true, but this confirms it. Within the city, four other teams (Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois) are the most favored team in at least one zip code area.
— Perhaps unsurprisingly, the state of Alabama is dominated by the Crimson Tide, with Auburn controlling only the area around the town and university. Perhaps that could change if Guz Malzahn keeps up his winning ways.
— As if Michigan's season wasn't going poorly enough already, the map shows that Ohio State, in addition to controlling all of Ohio, has begun to make inroads into its neighbor to the north. Might we be on the edge of a sequel to the Toledo War? We can only hope.
— Lincoln County, Nevada, is home to more BYU fans than any other school. This makes sense since Utah is so close, but it's also hilarious since Lincoln County borders Clark County, home of Las Vegas, the most sinful city in the country.
- Ben Estes