2013 NCAA College Football Season Kicks Off on Facebook

Millions of college football fans are on Facebook, gearing up for the start of the 2013 NCAA College Football season. We took a look at the AP Top 25 Preseason Rankings heading into the first match-ups, and mapped out the fandom for all 25 teams across the United States. Fans are people who “like” a team’s official Facebook Page.


Fan and location information are both as of August 25, drilling down to the county-by-county level. Note: a handful of counties, generally in sparsely populated areas, have no Facebook fans for any of the Top 25 teams; those counties are shaded light grey.

We made a few observations ourselves, but will leave it to the larger audience to pull their own insights from the data:

  • Three teams, UCLA, Northwestern and Oregon State, have no counties in which they were the most-favored team. UCLA is out-fanned in every relevant county by USC, Wisconsin fans dominate over those rooting for Northwestern, and Oregon tops Oregon State
  • Texas, Florida and Ohio State have more of a national following than other teams on the list
  • County-by-county: Texas fans are tops in 543 counties across the country, followed by Florida with 423 counties, Ohio State with 376, Nebraska with 324, and Oregon with 233 counties
  • Most states: Florida fans dominate on a state level with counties in 27 different states. Ohio State and Texas are second and third on the list, with fans in 24 and 23 states, respectively
  • Illinois has the most diversity, with 10 different teams represented across 102 counties; Missouri is second with nine teams
  • In 10 states, every single county favors the same team. Fans in five of them root for a team that is local, while the other five support non-local teams.
    • Alabama (Alabama)
    • Louisiana (LSU)
    • Ohio (Ohio State)
    • Oregon (Oregon)
    • Wisconsin (Wisconsin)
    • Delaware (Florida)
    • Hawaii (Oregon)
    • New Mexico (Texas)
    • Rhode Island (Florida)
    • Washington (Oregon)
  • Five teams have fans who dominate in only one or two counties nationwide: Clemson and Stanford are tops in two counties in the states of South Carolina and California, respectively; Stanford dominates two counties in California; TCU wins only its home county in Texas; Texas A&M wins one county in its home state and another in Arkansas; Oklahoma State wins only one county
  • Interesting pockets: Notre Dame fans in eastern Pennsylvania; Ohio State fans in Arizona; lone Florida holdout in Jasper County, GA; pocket of Texas fans in the middle of Maine; Florida fans in the Northeast

By Alex Walker, Consumer Content Manager & Robert D’Onofrio, Data Editor, with special thanks to Data Scientist, Andi Gros, for visualization assistance

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