I love August! Not for vacations - I usually try to get away in early July instead ... I love August as it gives us a whole month to get ramped up for college football season (and other fall sports, for that matter)!
In the last couple of weeks, we started to see the big conference host their media days. We also saw the release of the initial national pre-season coaches' and media polls. College football, after all, is now a "national" sport as conference re-alignment has dampened some of the local and regional rivalries we once saw. So, I thought it would be fun to re-institute my Regional Rankings for college football. To do this, I broke the country down into regions that give us the best mix of teams across both FBS and FCS. Some states, such as Florida or Texas, have enough teams where you can rank the teams as a "region" themselves. In other parts, such as the Northeast, I thought it would be best to group them casting a wider net.
Northeast: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York
Mid-Atlantic: New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia
South-Atlantic: North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia
Florida Region: Schools in Florida
Gulf Region: Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana
Tom Sawyer/River Region (i.e., states along the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys): Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri
Great Lakes Region: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin
Great Plains: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma
Texas Region: Because there is a Texas-sized crop of schools in state!
Mountain Region: New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah
Northlands: Washington, Oregon, and Idaho (I'd throw Alaska in here too if they had any teams)
Southwest America: Arizona, Nevada, California, and Hawaii
I tried to balance the regions to put about 10-20 schools per region, so there are enough to actually decipher. Still debating whether I will be doing a Top 5 or Top 10 for each region - hope to at least do a Top 10 for each to start. We might need to make some adjustments as we get into it.
But, that's what August is for! Welcome Back College Football!