The state of football

THE STATE OF FOOTBALL…. Because it’s a big weekend for football, and because Kevin routinely does at least one football-related item on weekends, I thought it’d be worth mentioning that ESPN.com ran an interesting feature the other day: “How do the states stack up across all levels of football?”

The idea was to rank the best states for football, based on the opinions of the networks’ NFL, college and Scouts Inc. editors. Here are the top five.

1. Texas: No. 4 pro | No. 1 college | No. 1 high school: The Lone Star State has 10 DI teams, six Heismans, six national titles, three AFL titles, five Super Bowl wins and 24 NFL Hall of Famers.

2. California: No. 2 pro | No. 3 college | No. 2 high school: The Golden State has seven DI teams, nine Heismans, eight national titles, one NFL title, one AFL title, eight Super Bowl wins and 15 NFL Hall of Famers.

3. Florida: No. 3 pro | No. 2 college | No. 3 high school: The Sunshine State has seven DI teams, six Heismans, eight national titles, three Super Bowl wins and seven NFL Hall of Famers.

4. Pennsylvania: No. 1 pro | No. 7 college | No. 6 high school: The Keystone State has three DI teams, two Heismans, four national titles, four NFL titles, five Super Bowl wins and 26 NFL Hall of Famers.

5. Ohio: No. 5 pro | No. 4 college | No. 5 high school: The Buckeye State has eight DI teams, seven Heismans, seven national titles, nine NFL titles and 21 NFL Hall of Famers.

The list struck me as inherently flawed, since everyone knows my birth-state of Florida is obviously the nation’s most impressive state for football. Besides, Texas gets credit for AFL titles? And how many of those Lone-Star State national titles came within the last couple of decades?

Let the debate begin….

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.