August 30, 2013 - 1:07pm
BY ZACH HELFAND
Traveling in North Dakota and need a friendly place to stay? Try Billings County. It only has 783 people according to the 2010 Census, but that includes, apparently, a fair deal of Michigan fans.
Feeling down in Dinwiddie County, Va.? Cheer up. Friends are near. Same goes for Pitkin County, Colo., Essex County, Vt., or Northampton, N.C.
Data provided by Facebook shows which counties favor which football teams among the Associated Press Top 25 football teams. Michigan is favorite in 122 counties in the country. That’s a significant total, but it pales in comparison to the most-favored team, Texas, with 543 counties. Ohio State is third with 376.
Michigan owns its home state because Michigan State is not among the top 25. Menominee County is the only holdout in the state. It favors Wisconsin.
The map provides a look at where alumni tend to congregate. The Wolverines captured Cook, Dupage and surrounding counties in Illinois — that’s Chicago. Florida dominates New York, interestingly, but Michigan invades two of the cities surrounding the city.
The most interesting part, though, may be the chance Michigan fans in far-off locales. Pitkin County and its 17,148 residents (at last count) for some reason prefer Michigan. North Carolina and Virginia each have two counties that root for the Wolverines.
So if you find yourself without a television in Virginia on Saturday, make your way to Buckingham County. Maybe someone will invite you to watch the game.
Here’s a bigger look: