Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins

Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphinsdefinitely flip them given some of the more expert feedback which yield a result but I’ll just leave my original commentary here.

Ultimately, the NFL won this exercise. (I took a stab at this a few months back, got some feedback on Twitter and redid it just now.) My calls below on the states are based on their general leanings with me segmenting each state as “solid” or “leaning.”

Baltimore Ravens vs Miami Dolphins

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States I marked as “solid,” I could see becoming less so, depending on some factors (a team in state doing well in college, but maybe the local NFL team struggling, for instance), but couldn’t see them ever flipping the other way. For states I marked as “leaning,” I went with which way they lean as of today, but could see some scenarios where they could either flip to the other side or in some cases go from leaning to

California (55) – The biggest prize on the map may have had a chance to be red at some point, but enter the Rams to LA and no national championship contender currently in Southern California these days. Also the Bay Area, San Diego and Sacramento will never flip to college areas, so the NFL can count on these 55 votes every election at this point.

New York (29) – New York City is the biggest NFL city there is. The Bills in Buffalo vs. Syracuse’s following elsewhere only furthers the NFL’s lead. It’s a blowout for the NFL here.

Pennsylvania (20) – Between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia,Penn State dominates the middle of the state state, but the Eagles and Steelers rule the state’s two biggest cities despite Temple and Pittsburgh having some support in those cities. Despite Penn State’s following, Pennsylvania will always be a NFL state.
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 21: The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line attempts to block the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line in the third quarter on August 21, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Illinois (20) – The Bears are a top-five NFL team in terms of following and brand. Illinois and Northwestern just don’t move the needle enough to really make this state in play for college football.

New Jersey (14) – Two NFL teams play in New Jersey and the Eagles are not far away either. Rutgers has only had a couple good years over the last 20. This is probably one of the bluest states there is and that’s never going to change.

Massachusetts (11) – Easy one. The Patriots over the last two decades have ascended in significance to rival the Red Sox in state. Meanwhile, not much to point to in terms of college football fandom.

Maryland (10) – UM football just isn’t big enough to overcome the Ravens dominating the largest city in the state. The NFL has a comfortable margin in Maryland and that’s not going to change.