Why is the SEC the best conference in America?
Yes, they have the best players. But why do they have the highest-paid coaching staffs, the largest stadiums, the most extravagant facilities?
Among many factors, the most basic one is this: their fan bases demand it through their never-ending fever pitch of support.
Take a look at Exhibit A below:
As the title at the top indicates, this map is Emory University's analysis of Twitter conversation devoted to college football over the past six months. The darker the blue, the more people were talking about college football.
And according to the data, people in SEC states never really stop talking about college football. The top five spots belonged to Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina and West Virginia. Again, these are states were more than 84 percent of all Twitter conversation centered around college football, and this survey was taken during the offseason. Not coincidentally, pro sports are sparse in these states. Among the top five, only Tennessee's NFL Titans, NHL Predators and NBA Grizzlies make up the professional sports offerings.
Outside of the super blue states (and outside the South), states like Nebraska, Idaho, Oregon, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma and Iowa saw their college football activity check in at well above 50 percent. In the zero to 14 percent range were Hawaii, Alaska, North Dakota, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island - hardly expected to be hotbeds of college football, with but one FBS team between them - and California, where people spent their time tweeting about anything but their seven FBS programs.