SEC vs Big Ten Debate is Settled -- Part II
OK, here's the rest:
Another thought I had was that with the exception of Florida, most of the SEC states do not have many professional teams (and those in FL are in the southern portion, not exactly SEC country). The Big 10 states' professional teams certainly outnumber those of the SEC. As a result, there are more options available to sports fans.
Outside of OSU, I don't think a single Big Ten state is out and out in favor of the home school. Illinois is torn between the Bears, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Illinois, etc. Pennsylvania has the Eagles, Steelers, Nittany Lions, Pitt. The only NFL franchises in the SEC states are the Saints, Falcons, Jaguars, and Titans (and only recently) if I am not mistaken. With the Braves, Predators, Hawks, Thrashers being the only professional franchises (and outside the Braves, none are very popular).
Most fans in the Big Ten states can follow hockey, pro football, college football, baseball, college basketball (lead nation in attendance every season) within a short drive on most campuses and in every large city. A great example of this would be baseball fans in the Big Ten/SEC states. The Big Ten states vary throughout each campus with regard to the most popular team, while it seems as though the Braves are the team of the South, is this correct?
Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, South Carolina do not have any major professional sports franchises as far as I know, while Iowa is the only state in the Big 10 that does not have a professional team. I think this may be a relevant aspect as to why the SEC has overtaken the Big Ten in both popularity and quality of play.
The SEC states eat, sleep and breathe college football, while the Big Ten is dominated by professional sports. Not that this is a bad thing, I love college football and have nothing but great respect for the way the SEC treats the sport, I wish it was a bit more contagious in Big Ten country (the only exceptions being in Ann Arbor and Columbus).