Nate Silver maps college football geography

In a recent post on the New York Times’ Quad blog, Nate Silver tackles the geography of college football allegiances.  Silver – a noted statistician, blogger and election forecaster who is also credited with developing Major League Baseball’s sabermetric system for predicting player performance – used data from Google web searches and the CommonCensus Sports Map project to map college football team fan areas and then:

…use the results to shine a light on college football’s increasingly complicated realignment picture.

The premise of the study is this: take the 210 television media markets in the United States, figure out how many college football fans they have, and then allocate them between the 120 current Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

See below for images of some of the maps used in the analysis.  Also included below are CommonCensus fan maps for other sports. Click here for interactive versions of all of the CommonCensus maps (along with general info about the project). Click here to add your sports allegiances to the fan maps.

Map showing volume of Google searches for ‘college football’

Hotspot Statistics Map of NCAAF I-A Team Fan Areas

Hotspot Statistics Map of MLB Team Fan Areas

Hotspot Statistics Map of NFL Team Fan Areas


Hotspot Statistics Map of NBA Team Fan Areas