Best States For College Football Fans: Jayhawks Drag Kansas to the Bottom

Best States For College Football Fans: Jayhawks Drag Kansas to the Bottom
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The past decade has been a time full of silver linings for college sports fans in the Sunflower State, with soaring highs on the hardwood and cratering lows on the gridiron.

Both of those poles are centered around Lawrence, home of the Kansas Jayhawks. Their men's basketball program brought home two Final Four appearances (2018 and 2022) and one national title (2022) over the past decade, along with the worst football winning percentage of any Power Five program during that timeframe, going 19-81 (.190) since the College Football Playoff began in 2014.

That dismal percentage sunk the stateโ€™s overall ranking when it comes to best states for a college football fan, as Kansas Stateโ€™s record of 62-45 (.579) couldnโ€™t carry the load on its own.

But the stateโ€™s college football fans did get some good news in September, when sports betting in Kansas became legal.

Best States for College Football Fans

Rank State Most Teams Recruiting Attend. Win % CFP Playoff National Title Total Points
1๐Ÿˆ Alabama 35 38 40 37 40 41 231
2๐Ÿˆ South Carolina 28 37 36 40 36 40 214
3๐Ÿˆ Ohio 40 31 37 23 41 39 211
4๐Ÿˆ Georgia 31 32 31 27 37 38 196
5๐Ÿˆ Louisiana 35 29 35 22 35 37 191
6๐Ÿˆ Michigan 35 36 39 28 38 0 176
7๐Ÿˆ Florida 38 40 38 26 32 0 174
8๐Ÿˆ Oklahoma 28 35 30 39 39 0 171
9๐Ÿˆ Indiana 31 30 28 14 34 0 137
T10๐Ÿˆ Texas 41 41 41 10 0 0 133
T10๐Ÿˆ California 38 39 32 24 0 0 133
12๐Ÿˆ Wisconsin 7 17 27 4133 0 125
13๐Ÿˆ Pennsylvania 28 27 34 35 0 0 124
14๐Ÿˆ Washington 9 22 25 3432 0 122
T15๐Ÿˆ Mississippi 28 34 24 26 0 0 112
T15๐Ÿˆ Virginia 35 19 22 26 0 0 112
17๐Ÿˆ Tennessee 31 26 33 21 0 0 111
18๐Ÿˆ North Carolina 38 28 21 20 0 0 107
19๐Ÿˆ Oregon 19 25 11 19 32 0 106
20๐Ÿˆ Utah 28 16 20 38 0 0 102
21๐Ÿˆ Kentucky 28 24 19 29 0 0 100
22๐Ÿˆ Iowa 19 14 26 30 0 0 89
23๐Ÿˆ Arkansas 19 20 23 15 0 0 77
T24๐Ÿˆ Colorado 28 11 17 16 0 0 72
T24๐Ÿˆ West Virginia 9 13 18 32 0 0 72
26๐Ÿˆ New York 28 6 16 17 0 0 67
27๐Ÿˆ Arizona 19 23 12 12 0 0 66
T28๐Ÿˆ Nebraska 7 21 29 8 0 0 65
T28๐Ÿˆ Idaho 19 5 8 33 0 0 65
30๐Ÿˆ Illinois 28 9 14 12 0 0 63
31๐Ÿˆ Maryland 19 18 13 9 0 0 59
32๐Ÿˆ Minnesota 7 12 6 32 0 0 57
33๐Ÿˆ Missouri 7 15 15 19 0 0 56
34๐Ÿˆ Kansas 19 7 12 5 0 0 43
35๐Ÿˆ Massachusetts 19 8 11 4 0 0 42
36๐Ÿˆ New Mexico 19 4 11 2 0 0 36
37๐Ÿˆ Nevada 19 2 7 6 0 0 34
38๐Ÿˆ Wyoming 7 1 6 13 0 0 36
39๐Ÿˆ New Jersey 7 10 6 3 0 0 26
40๐Ÿˆ Hawaii 7 3 6 7 0 0 23
41๐Ÿˆ Connecticut 7 1 2 1 0 0 12
States were ranked by each of the seven metrics above. The top state in each category received 41 points, down to 1 point for the last state. A state had to have a team make the CFP or win the national championship to be awarded points in those categories.

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How We Determined Kansasโ€™ Rankings

BetKansas.comโ€ฏdeveloped a ranking system of the best states to be a college football fan since the adoption of the College Football Playoff in 2014.

The first category measured attendance between 2014 and 2019 (the most recent year available), viaโ€ฏNCAA.com, to determine a ranking for each of the 41 states with at least one FBS team, based on a 1-41 metric (1 point being the lowest, 41 the highest).

We used that same scoring metric to measure recruiting, using 247 Sportsโ€™ FBS rankings to assign points to each team.

We also ranked each state by winning percentage of its FBS teams since 2014 and by the number of FBS schools per state. We then gave bonus points to states based on College Football Playoff appearances and National Championships.

Kansas Among Worst States to be a Fan

After crunching all of those numbers, we found the Sunflower State wasnโ€™t so shiny for fans of its two FBS programs.

By those metrics, Kansasโ€™ best ranking was for its number of FBS programs (two), scoring the state 19 points. After that came its average attendance, which gave Kansas an additional 12 points, followed by recruiting (seven points), and its .389 combined winning percentage (five points).

Those figures, combined with the stateโ€™s lack of CFP appearances and championships, ultimately resulted in the stateโ€™s lowly ranking (34th out of 41 states with FBS programs) in our standings, with Kansasโ€™ 43 points sandwiched between Missouri (56 points) and Massachusetts (42).

Kansas gave its fans hope this season, jumping off to a 5-0 start. And despite three straight losses, the Jayhawks are tied with Texas Tech, Oklahoma and West Virginia on Kansas sports betting apps when it comes to Big 12 title odds (+24000).

Kansas State is in fourth when it comes to Big 12 championship odds with FanDuel Kansas at +800.

Whether the Jayhawksโ€™ resurgence under second-year coach Lance Leipold, combined with the Wildcatsโ€™ continued success under coach Chris Klieman, can lift Kansasโ€™ statewide ranking in the years ahead remains to be seen.  

For now, at least Kansas residents have entered the final stretch of time before the Jayhawks begin their basketball national title defense inside Phog Allen Fieldhouse.

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Contributors

Christopher Boan is a lead writer at BetKansas.com specializing in covering state issues. He covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years.

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