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A Map that Recruiting Explains

You better be near a talent base if you plan to win big.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, Pete Volk had a good piece on the SBN mothership of seven maps that explain National Signing Day and recruiting.

One of the bigger takeaways from it that's already well known amongst recruitniks is that the best states for recruiting are Florida, Texas, and California. They each have their plusses and minuses, but those are the places you want to be.

With that in mind, here's a map that recruiting explains (instead of a map to explain recruiting):

national titles map

Note: map has been updated. Somehow I credited one of Nebraska's '70s titles to Notre Dame. Don't ask me how. Also, it's derived from this map.

This map now has a sequel! Check it out!

The numbers you see are the number of national titles (AP Poll, Coaches' Poll, BCS, and CFP only) won by teams in each state in the past 50 years. The observant among you will notice that the numbers total 59. It's because there have been nine split titles in the past half century.

Anyway, 37 of the 59 national titles (62.7%) came from teams either inside of or bordering Florida, Texas, and California. Being near these talent pools is a big advantage.

Other southern states like Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana produce a decent amount of talent, so they kind of mix in with Florida and, to a lesser degree, Texas. If there is another distinct area beyond the big three that produces a good amount of prospects, it's Ohio and Pennsylvania. Lo and behold, that's where the other cluster of titles is. Twelve more have come from schools inside or bordering Ohio and Pennsylvania. I will note that Indiana just means "Notre Dame" here, and it has always recruited nationally. Ohio's direct influence on those titles is lesser than it might seem on the surface.

In any event, the effect has become more pronounced over time. In the BCS era to now, Tennessee and Ohio are the only states to produce champions without being or bordering the Big Three.

It just goes to show two big things. First, not being right next to a big talent pool makes it far harder to put together a champion. Second, Nebraska football's success is pretty much a miracle.