It’s almost not worth complaining about Internet lists. They are a vast multitude of potential, but they’re cheaply wasted, like the semen that coats airport bathroom floors. Still, every once in a while, a list comes along that you read and subsequently wonder, “How in the what the fuck?” Also, maybe you’re forced to read said list and it’s formatted in the most obnoxious, miserable way possible. Seriously, go look at this page of whoring dogshit and tell me it doesn’t give you the urge to burn things. Fuck you, Answers.com. May all your firstborn males be born with the rare condition that causes testicles to grow in the skull and eyeballs to grow in the scrotum. Even still, looking at the inside of a ballsack is still a better fate than trying to visually navigate that nonsense.
Answers.com decided to go about ranking the 10 best college sports towns in America, possibly by throwing darts at a map of America that the author or authors were only partially capable of reading. What resulted was pretty random and very dumb.
1. Madison, Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin)
Mad-town has it all, as far as college life goes. The University of Wisconsin is a solid academic school that also happens to have big-time football and basketball programs. Over the past 20 years or so, Wisconsin has formed into a power program in both sports. On top of that, the Badgers have a loyal fan base that knows how to tailgate.
I actually have nothing wrong with Madison at number one. These rankings aren’t even close to an exact science, so a massive college town in a major conference with an awesome party culture and legitimate teams in both basketball and football is as good of a choice as you can make. Madison is number one. Sure, whatever.
2.Knoxville, Tennessee (University of Tennessee)
Tennessee fans are loyal, passionate and support UT football through thick and thin. Fans in Knoxville are extremely educated when it comes to college sports. But best of all, the UT campus is scenic and the pre-game festivities are off the hook. This is one of the few towns in America passionate about women’s sports. And they should be considering the UT women’s basketball team regularly competes for national titles.
Naturally, Tennessee comes in at number two because of how much weight the off the hook-edness metric was given. Also, women’s sports! YAY! I guess supporting three sports is better than two. Knoxville is, again, a decent choice, though definitely not number two. But hey, maybe this list isn’t so bad after all.
3.Gainesville, Florida (University of Florida)
The University of Florida boasts a championship caliber football and basketball program. Florida is arguably the best multi-major sport school in the country, with 2 national titles in each sport since 2006. The Swamp is the place to be in Central Florida on game days.
Or maybe this list is dogshit. Don’t get me wrong, Florida sports are great, but even the Florida alum sitting 20 feet away from me doesn’t believe Gainesville belongs in the top 10, especially when you consider the towns that were excluded. Congratulations on being the place to be in central Florida on game days, though–it just narrowly beats out being at a trailer park with stolen cable.
4. Los Angeles, California (USC and UCLA)
Los Angeles isn’t necessarily known for its college sports teams. That’s only because the city is so large. But with two Pac-12 powerhouse programs in town located close to the Pacific Ocean, it’s tough to top this west coast city. Los Angeles is home to one of the top football (USC) and basketball (UCLA) programs of all-time.
Aaaannndddd the list is now completely invalid. Just no.
5. Iowa City, Iowa (University of Iowa)
Iowa City doesn’t boast any elite programs other than wrestling, just a couple of quality teams (football and basketball). But this is a stereotypical college town. Parties on campus are top-notch (voted #1 party school in America by the Princeton Review in 2014). Tailgating is unbeatable. And the Hawkeye spirit can be felt miles away.
All due respect to the raging abilities of Vodka Sam and the students perennially competing for best party school in the country, but if you want the best college sports towns, there is no way Iowa City outranks fellow Big Ten college towns Ann Arbor, State College, Lincoln, or Columbus. If this list was based purely on alcoholism, then absolutely. But it’s not, which is another reason the list is invalid.
6. Tuscaloosa, Alabama (University of Alabama)
To get the true feel for what a Southern college campus is like, head on down to Tuscaloosa. Alabama football’s game day experience is one of the best in the country. The pre-game tailgates are something every die-hard college football fan should experience at least once.
Hey, look at that! A valid, though still debatable, choice on the list. It’s the first one in the last four tries! Bama is one of the most prestigious football programs in the country, the fans are rabid, and they have nothing else to root for, at least in terms of sports. Well, except Alabama basketball, which they actively ignore. That’s the only knock against Tuscaloosa. Still, this pick makes sense.
7. Columbia, Missouri (University of Missouri)
There isn’t much else to do in the middle of Missouri besides drink and cheer on the Missouri Tigers. And that they do in Columbia. The bar scene near campus is awesome and the game day atmosphere for Tiger basketball and football games is something to see.
Hell yeah! My alma mater made the list! It didn’t deserve to, but it did! Here’s the biggest pro for Columbia: Mizzou fans on the whole love Tiger football and basketball a lot, and pretty much equally. Here are the two massive cons:
1. Half of Mizzou’s fans are bigger St. Louis Cardinals fans than they are Missouri Tigers fans.
2. About 50 percent of the time, we’d rather be drinking at the tailgate or in a bar than be in the alcohol-free stadium or arena (I suspect Iowa is similar in that regard). Sure, we obsessively love the Tigers and we’ll get as amped up as any fan base in the country for the big games, but our attention isn’t easy to get. Bring in Arkansas State or even a middling SEC team, and we’d rather kill a 12-pack of Bud Light. That’s not fair-weather. We’re just the Show Me State is all, so it’s cool for us to do that…totally. Also, thanks to crappy school regulations that have been implemented over the last seven or so years, our tailgating has become scattered. The bar scene is fantastic, though–but like I said, this list isn’t about alcohol consumption. Columbia doesn’t belong here.
8. Austin, Texas (University of Texas)
The University of Texas basically owns the Big-12 conference anymore. They also own one amazing football stadium and some cool traditions. Austin is one of the biggest cities on our list (more than 1,000,000 residents), but the city is most known for this beautiful campus. Oh, and the powerhouse sports programs they have.
Austin might seem like it belongs on the list, but it doesn’t. Texas football is an institution, and its fans are legion, but for as storied of a program as it is, UT football fan fervor, especially among its students, doesn’t come close to matching Michigan, LSU, Penn State, Texas A&M, Clemson, or Nebraska off the top of my head. Now consider that most Texas fans range between “meh” and “Who gives a shit?” about their basketball team. This past March, I hung out with a group of recently graduated UT alumni during Texas’s tournament game against Michigan, and not only were they not interested in watching, they forgot it was even on. Austin is a good college sports town, but it’s not top 10, and the rapidly expanding city is not nearly as UT-centric as it used to be, no matter how many TV networks they dedicate to their school.
9. State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State)
Penn State fans will never be mistaken for objective thought. That became apparent throughout the media’s harsh criticisms of Joe Paterno. But one cannot argue that State College isn’t a fun city with a true college atmosphere. Penn State is best known for its football program thanks to the late Paterno. Beaver Stadium is one of the most epic places to watch a college football game.
This is another school where basketball doesn’t matter but the football fervor is off the charts. It’s not every town that will violently riot in support of a football coach who covered up child molestation. Acceptable choice.
10. Durham, North Carolina (Duke)
Whether or not you hate Duke – or, should we say “Dook” to those of you haters – you simply cannot hate on Cameron Indoor Stadium and the “Dook” campus. This school is most known for its powerhouse basketball program – men’s and women’s. The Duke University students are some of the most rabid, entertaining fans in all of sports. Like them or hate them, this is a fantastic academic institution with an unbeatable basketball program.
One last “fuck you” from Answers.com. Lovely. An unbeatable basketball program, eh? I think Mercer begs to differ.
So, this list was pretty terrible. By my count, only three of the 10 warranted being listed, and a fourth (or maybe fifth) were worth considering. Here is my top 10, in no order, off the top of my head.
Athens, Georgia (University of Georgia)
Some of the most obsessed fans in the country. Always a packed, loud house. Amazing tailgating, even better bar scene.
Ann Arbor, Michigan (University of Michigan)
Top tier football and basketball programs, one of the best stadiums in the country, and the city lives and breathes Michigan sports.
Madison, Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin)
Eugene, Oregon (University of Oregon)
No other major sport competitors, a top tier football program (plus a quickly rising basketball program) and Nike will build it into a sports fortress eventually.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (University of Alabama)
Lincoln, Nebraska (University of Nebraska)
For some reason, people forget Nebraska football is possibly the second weirdest cult in college football.
College Station, Texas (Texas A&M)
Home to the first weirdest cult.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana (LSU)
The Tobacco Road Area
This is sort of a copout, and it also re-includes Duke. Durham alone is not worth mentioning, but considering that UNC, Duke, NC Stat are all essentially right next to each other, with Wake Forest further up the (tobacco) road, it makes for a college sports mecca. It’s mostly basketball, but it’s some of the most intense basketball love in the country.
Chicago, Illinois (Northwestern University, massive amounts of every Big Ten fanbase, legions of Notre Dame fans, midwestern Big 12 fans, and various randoms)
This might seem like an odd choice, but bear with me. On game days, few cities are as electric as Chicago. The city is where most Big Ten alumni flock after graduation, and it has multiple designated bars for every Big Ten fanbase, as well as nearby Notre Dame. Midwestern Big 12 schools like Iowa State, Kansas, and K-State are also well represented. On top of that, Chicago has plenty of alumni from major schools such as Florida and Texas, as well as other midwestern schools like Mizzou. On football Saturdays, Chicagoans hit these college bars, and they hit them hard. It’s incredible. Because Chicago is a Big Ten hub, college basketball is a huge deal in the city, too. New York City can probably offer a similar amount of college sports attractions in terms of bars and alumni groups, but college sports fans tend to be more passionate in the south and midwest on the whole, and Chicago is very much a midwestern city. Add in the fact that thanks to Northwestern and DePaul, you can watch major college sports games live, and Chicago is a fantastic college sports city.
You suck, Answers.com.