No Alabama in Best FBall States?

If you have premium access at ESPN, you can see Bruce Feldman’s Blog entry for May 31st that ranks the Top 10 “Football States” by clicking here.

Feldman (includes commentary on each state and) ranks the Top 10 “Football States” as follows:

(1) Texas
(2) Florida
(3) California
(4) Ohio
(5) Pennsylvania
(6) Louisiana
(7) Georgia
(8) Michigan
(9) Indiana
(10) Wisconsin

I remember ESPN radio having a conversation based on this exact topic on a Saturday near the end of last season. The conversation was based on an ESPN poll that provided 4 or 5 choices of states — none of which included ALABAMA.

Listeners all over the country called the show throughout the day perplexed about the omission of Alabama. Even fans that lived in states like Florida and Texas would call to criticize the absence of Alabama. Allow me to echo the sentiments of the world from last year on this one — how could you forget Alabama? (again)

Evidently, I wasn’t the only person in America who felts this way and chose to respond to Feldman’s “mailbag” last week:

This week’s list drew, or maybe I should say incited, the biggest response of any list I’ve done in the 14-month history of the blog. I got e-mails from people talking about which states I whiffed on, about how I could have Indiana in the top 10 (that one was a voicemail from a college coaching buddy, who has worked in more than a half-dozen states.)

I even got an e-mail from an esteemed columnist of 45 years of whom I have always been a fan, but never met, talking about how the “365/52/12/7/24 spice” of the Alabama-Auburn rivalry alone should merit a top-10 placing. And that writer is based in Florida, not Alabama. My defense (re: excuse, um, explanation) is that I wanted to factor in all football in the state and the NFL, as I had mentioned pretty clearly was relevant. This list was not just about which teams have the most passionate fans. Maybe that’s a list for another day.

General Media NCS Football

13 Responses to No Alabama in Best FBall States?

  1. Dan 06/07/2006 at 11:55 AM #

    I’m guessing this happened because Alabama doesnt have football on all three levels. Prep, college, and pro. But that would be like leaving NC off the best basketball states in years we didnt have a NBA team.

    Prep and college football there are bigger in Alabama than they are in Wisconsin.

    It is hard though to eliminate one of the other ten.
    10) Wisconsin – Lombardi and the Packers….Mecca of the NFL? I dont buy it, but I see the argument
    9) Indiana – Notre Dame. Tough to leave them out.
    8) Michigan – Ok, maybe they could go if it were an NFL dicussion, but the Wolverines are huge. The Spartans were huge.
    7) Georgia – GT and UGa have a pretty nice legacy. Prep football in Ga is worthy of top 10 status as well.
    6) Louisianna – Does this seem too high for everyone else too? The saints? Is this based solely on LSU? Yeah, prep football is big, but no bigger than in Alabama.
    5) Penn – They belong. Two NFL teams. Joe Pa. Crazy Prep scene.
    4) Ohio – See above.
    3) Cal – Three is too high, but they belong in top 10. USC, UCLA, Joe Montana.
    2) Florida – Duh. The only argument is whether or not they should be #1.
    1) Texas – Yeah.

    Still, that leaves Louisianna, Wisconsin, and Michigan on my list of questionable states. I think ‘Bama should be there ahead of any of those three. My personal pick would be to remove Michigan, but any one of them would do.

  2. TigerFan 06/07/2006 at 12:01 PM #

    I don’t have insider access, but INDIANA? Was that a typo? Well, I guess Feldman would call Alabama a strong 11th.

    Perhaps there should be an honorable mention catagory for the state of Mississippi, which produces more NFL players per capita than any other state. The quality (Payton, Rice, Favre) and concentration of talent in that state is without peer.

  3. class of 74 06/07/2006 at 12:07 PM #

    The info is from ESPN do we really need to say anymore?

  4. redfred2 06/07/2006 at 12:29 PM #

    Instead of suggesting that he should have separated the states with the most passionate fans, he should have separated college from pro to make his point.

    I can’t wait until he comes with his top ten wrestling states, college and professional combined, of course.

  5. Dan 06/07/2006 at 12:46 PM #

    ^ thats hilarious, red. Funniest post you’ve had yet.

  6. johnny 06/07/2006 at 1:15 PM #

    I guess I would agree that Texas and Florida are the top 2. I remember reading that the reason we recruit Florida is that The Florida schools can’t
    give everyone a scholly(just too many prospects) and of course CTC’s florida connections. I wonder why we can recruit better in Texas. Interesting the U of Texas has 20 verbals already(Just like Last year early). I would thnk Texas schools like Florida schollys just don’t have enough schollly’s for all the prospects. North Carolina, Florida and Texas
    would be a great base for recruitng. May be we should hire an assistant coach with texas connections with the next assistant coaching opening?

  7. AppraisalWOLF 06/07/2006 at 1:43 PM #

    ^ Thats not a bad idea. We seem to have openings on the staff every year anyway.

  8. vtpackfan 06/07/2006 at 2:12 PM #

    Really, why is Wisconsin on this list. Green Bay makes a top ten football destination, but after the Packers what’s left? Pa and Oh ahead of Cal. Theres no doubt that Cal will surpass them in all facets of the game eventully, but everyone knows where Marino, Namath, Montana, and Kelly played, but not everyone thinks Tom Brady, oh yeah California. Canton, Ohio and Columbus still trumps the Rose Bowl, Coliseum and how many failed attempts at a pro franchise.

  9. vtpackfan 06/07/2006 at 2:15 PM #

    I’m going way out on a limb with this. TX (friday night lghts) as a dubiou #1, followed by Pa, then Fl #3, Oh #4, Ca #5. The rest are all honorable mention. I just remembered Philly host Army vs. Navy game, and that counts big time for me.

  10. C Dog 06/07/2006 at 4:21 PM #

    It is more difficult to get recruits out of Texas than Florida. Florida has, by my count, five schools playing Division I football. Those are: Miami, FSU, Florida, South Florida and Central Florida.

    Texas has: Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, SMU, TCU, Houston, Rice, Texas El-Paso, Texas Tech. I am sure I left somebody out also.

  11. Six Pack 06/07/2006 at 4:41 PM #

    How can you leave out Alabama and Oklahoma. As much as I disdain Michigan and Ohio, I have to admit they belong. But, Indiana and Louisana…come on, how can you say anything positive about the Aints or the Hoosiers in football. Yes, Notre Dame and only recently the the Colts are worthy of recognition, but the prep situation in Oklahoma, OU, and OSU (Barry Saunders, Jimmy Johnson, etc.) exceed anything Louisana has done and I don’t even have to mention why Alabama deserves to be there!

  12. TPack 06/08/2006 at 1:36 AM #

    “3) Cal – Three is too high, but they belong in top 10. USC, UCLA, Joe Montana.

    I don’t see how you can give Cal a bad rap on this. They have Powerhouses at every level. You forget about all the great SF teams or something. Add in the other 2 current pro teams, also with all the ones from the past. Factor in the College scene. USC and UCLA are 2 of the most storied football colleges, and UC Berkley isn’t that far behind. Then at the HS level it is also pretty darned good. A couple years ago a team had a 100+ game win streak snapped, which made ESPN. There are loads and loads of highly talented players pouring out of there every year. 3 is perfect for them.

    “I’m guessing this happened because Alabama doesnt have football on all three levels. Prep, college, and pro. But that would be like leaving NC off the best basketball states in years we didnt have a NBA team. ”

    I don’t like your comparsion. Alabama is about a 11 or so. NC is a 1-3 as far as basketball goes. Only states I can think of potentially ahead of NC are NY and CA.

  13. Dan 06/09/2006 at 9:58 AM #

    “NC is a 1-3 as far as basketball goes. ”

    I agree with you. Thats why I say the writers poll is flawed. If he did b-ball by that reasoning, NC might be off the list. We really dont have any NBA tradition. Bama got screwed because they have no NFL tradition. That’s wrong. Bama is a high and college football heaven. They should be in the top ten.

    Cal should be top 10. I just dont think they belong ahead of Pa and Ohio. No way does the passion in California come close to that of Pa or Ohio. In fact, maybe that is where the writer is wrong. He fails to take into account the passion of the fans of each state. In Pa and OH, football is everything. Not so in California.

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