The bedrock of college football always has been recruiting.

If that wasn’t the case, no way SMU boosters would’ve dolled out mortgage payments to players in the mid-1980s, right? And the NCAA wouldn’t be so anal about impermissible benefits that it sanctioned a once-homeless Baylor football player for accepting free housing.

It makes sense, then, that geography is a not-so-subtle advantage (or disadvantage) in major college football.

ESPN released a list of the top states by FBS talent between 2006 and 2014. It’s not a surprise five of the SEC teams reside in states that made the Top 10.


State FBS Prospects
1. Texas 1,779
2. Florida 1,444
3. California 1,112
4. Georgia 903
5. Ohio 593
6. North Carolina 401
7. Pennsylvania 372
8. Virginia 365
9. Alabama 357
10. Illinois 311