What state would you rank as the best state in the country based on the strength of its football teams? Our goal is to create a scoring system for both the NFL and NCAA Division I-A teams and then power rank all 50 states according to their final points total. Our universe will consist of the 32 NFL teams and the 124 Division I-A teams.
Then, we are going to isolate the performance of these teams during the past decade of football, (2003-2012). Teams that have been winning steadily in the last 10 years will impact where that state winds up in our final rankings. Naturally, the more college teams and NFL teams located in any state, the greater the chance to finish higher in the presentation.
Conversely, there are nine states that don't have any NFL teams or NCAA Division I-A schools, so they will all tie for last place: 42nd.
Whether we are talking about a college team or a pro team, the bottom line is winning. If you are in the NFL, your goal is to make the playoffs. Once there, your second season begins to see how far you can advance.
In college, your goal is to win enough games to qualify for a bowl game. Hopefully, you wind up with a high enough ranking that you qualify for a BCS bowl game. Ideally, you are vying for the BCS National Championship Game. Every bowl game win gives your program greater exposure and helps in your recruiting efforts.
We will award points for NFL and Division I-A NCAA teams from 2003-2012 as follows:
—10 points for winning a Super Bowl or NCAA Division I-A National Championship Game (and being crowned as the AP or BCS national champion).
—6 points for winning an NFL Conference Championship game or a NCAA bowl game.
—4 points for winning an NFL playoff game in the Wild Card or Divisional Round.
In case you are wondering how we treat teams that are named for one state but play their games in another state, the solution was to split the points between the two states in question.
Finally, the focus is on teams as opposed to individual players. As an example, Maryland will get a boost due to the Ravens winning Super Bowl XLVII, but even though Delaware can claim Joe Flacco as a favorite alumnus, his victory doesn't give the state of Delaware any extra points.
Now that we have established our ground rules, on with the power ranking.