When It Comes To College Football Towns, These Are The Worst In The Country

Culture | 5/14/21

Although every school has its die-hard fans, there are some pretty bad college towns in the United States when it comes to football. Whether it’s the location, stadium size, or not enough school spirit, some college towns don’t have quite the comradery regarding their football teams.

From the lack of a stadium at San Diego State to the absence of school spirit surrounding the football team of Washington State, here are some of the worst college football towns in the country.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

NFL: OCT 22 Giants at Eagles
Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s difficult not to feel bad for the schools in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since they’re going to be overshadowed by the die-hard Eagles fans in the city. Temple University, located in the heart of the city, even plays at the Lincoln Financial Center!

But the drastic difference between the fans that come to the Owls games vs. the fans that come to see the Birds is staggering. Pretty much, Philly is a professional football city, not a college football city.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Divisional Round - New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Considering football season happens during some of the coldest months of the year, it shouldn’t really come as too much of a surprise to see Minneapolis, Minnesota, on this list. The city of Minneapolis gets some of the coldest winters in the country, with the lowest temperatures in its history reaching a blisteringly low −41 °F.

Sitting on a metal seat in a stadium in negative-degree weather doesn’t exactly sound like the best time.

Orlando, Florida

Stanford v Central Florida
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

If someone says the first thing they think of when thinking about Orlando, Florida, is the University of Central Florida football team, they’re lying. While the university has a die-hard fanbase, people aren’t traveling to the center of Florida to go to a UCF Knights game.

Instead, people are going to tackle the heat and visit Disney World. And, seriously, if a theme park is the biggest attraction to a town, it’s not going to be the best for football fans.

Waco, Texas

West Virginia v Baylor
Adrian Garcia/Getty Images
Adrian Garcia/Getty Images

Sadly, Waco, Texas, is known more for a show called “Fixer Upper” than Baylor University’s football team. And aside from the town’s infamous history, Waco is actually a fairly decent place for college students who don’t really care about their school’s football team.

The Baylor Bears are typically overshadowed by the bigger names in Texas college football, such as the University of Texas at Austin Longhorns and the Texas A&M Aggies.

Provo, Utah

Utah v BYU
Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images
Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

Home to Brigham Young University, the town of Provo, Utah, isn’t exactly tailgate friendly. Students of the university are required to sign an honor code, adhering to the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

This means no consumption of alcoholic beverages or even coffee! For a lot of tailgating enthusiasts, the former stipulation is a solid deal-breaker in terms of fun college football towns, aka Provo isn’t one.

Miami, Florida

Pullman, Washington
Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Aaron Gilbert/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Miami, Florida, is without a doubt a very cool and hip town to go to college. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good college football town. With a history of issues, “The U” hasn’t been the topic of conversation in some years, even if it used to be one of the classic teams.

Recently, the stands have been pretty empty, and students would rather head into the vibrant city of Miami than sit in the blistering heat that may or may not turn into a sudden rain shower.

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo, New York
Bryan Bennett/Getty Images
Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

Buffalo State made a mistake when they named their mascot the Bulls, especially after NYU shut the doors on their football program years ago. With people forgetting another state school has a football program, naming the mascot close to the town’s professional football team, the Bills, wasn’t ideal.

Not to mention, Buffalo gets extremely cold during football’s prime months. Many people don’t find attending games in freezing temperatures to be a good time.

Fresno, California

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 21 Sacramento State at Fresno State
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

When people typically think of Fresno, California, a college football town probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Located inland and away from the ocean, the area is predominantly a large-scale agricultural area, not exactly a place for students to get rowdy during game day.

Ironically, even though The University of California, Fresno, isn’t exactly a top-ten team, the fans don’t let that stop them from being rude. The Bulldog’s fanbase is notorious for their bad behavior.

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Lubbock, Texas, is getting to be a better college football town, probably due to the popularity brought on by Patrick Mahomes’ time at Texas Tech. Even so, it was only a few years ago that the town, actually the county, for that matter, wasn’t allowing the sale of alcoholic beverages in stores.

That meant students had to drive to another country just to buy a 12-pack. Talk about a damper when it comes to tailgating. Thankfully, a proposition was passed, and stores are now able to sell.

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Presbyterian v Central Michigan
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Mount Pleasant, Michigan, is a pretty ironic name for a place that isn’t exactly “pleasant.” Located in central Michigan, the town is home to Central Michigan University, a population of 20,000. But the students aren’t attending CMU for their football team.

With cold, rainy, and snowy weather taking over most of the football season, people are more likely to flock to the largest casino in Michigan, located right there in town, rather than braving a game in the cold.

Tempe, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Tempe, Arizona, might be a cool and beautiful location for a college campus, but when it comes to tailgating, it might be a smidge too hot. Seriously, no one should subject themselves to wearing Boba Fett helmets while grilling burgers in 100-degree heat with no readily available shade.

While ASU has a solid fanbase of students and alumni, the suffocating heat makes doesn’t make it one of the best college football towns in the country.

Evanston, Illinois

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Minnesota at Northwestern
Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A suburb of Chicago, the town of Evanston, Illinois, isn’t exactly known for its game-day fun. Home to Northwestern University, the football team hasn’t exactly been one for the record books in the past years.

Instead of tailgating or heading to home games, students would rather head into the city or see one of the many professional sporting events Chicago has to offer. Why see the Wildcats when the Bears or White Sox are playing?

Los Angeles, California

UCLA
Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images
Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Even though there are die-hard Bruin and Trojan fans out there, it doesn’t detract from the fact that Los Angeles, California, isn’t the best college football city. It’s just way too big. With over three million people in the city, it is nearly impossible for people to find parking at either stadium.

And while the Rose Bowl is beautiful, parking on an unshaded golf course in Southern California to tailgate isn’t exactly the best or smartest option when talking about college students.

Pullman, Washington

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 27 Washington State at Stanford
Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pullman, Washington, is actually a great college town, with a population of around 30,000 people and 21,000 of those residents being university students. Unfortunately, out of all of those people, a solid majority could care less about Washington State’s football team.

Typically not one to make headlines or win games, the student population pretty much ignores the Cougars and goes on about their day pretending the team isn’t going to lose their next game.

Ypsilanti, Michigan

NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Toledo at Eastern Michigan
Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Steven King/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s probably difficult to become a fun college football town when Ann Arbor is only a few miles away. So, Ypsilanti, Michigan, kind of falls to the bottom of the barrel in terms of a stout fanbase for their Eastern Michigan University Eagles.

The snowy cold weather of the football season doesn’t help matters, as people are more likely to brave the elements and attend a game at the University of Michigan instead of EMU.

Kalamazoo, Michigan

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 02 MAC Championship Game - Western Michigan v Ohio
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Unfortunately, for Kalamazoo, Michigan, the town is only an hour away from some of the biggest cities in college football, such as Ann Arbor and South Bend. When it comes to cheering on a Michigan team, many of the locals, some of whom are students at Western Michigan University, cheer for one of the bigger teams.

It pretty much comes down to the fact that if students are going to sit outside in cold Michigan weather, they’re going to do it for Michigan State.

San Diego, California

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 17 Las Vegas Bowl - Houston v San Diego State
Marc Sanchez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Marc Sanchez/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Not only does San Diego State not have their own stadium, but the Aztecs really aren’t anything to write home about. The team hasn’t made headlines in years, and that doesn’t really attract students to attend games off-campus in a too-big-for-this-school professional stadium.

People in San Diego would prefer to head to Chargers stadium to see, well, the Chargers. Sorry, Aztec fans, but the team isn’t exactly on the top of their game.

Durham, North Carolina

Stanford v Duke
Lance King/Getty Images
Lance King/Getty Images

Home to the iconic Duke University, if this list were talking about basketball or lacrosse towns, Durham, North Carolina, would be nowhere in sight. But it’s discussing football towns, a sport that isn’t overly popular in the city or on campus.

Not to mention most people attending Duke are there for their renowned research, teaching, and medical programs and not to sit around watching football games in the North Carolina humidity.

West Lafayette, Indiana

Iowa v Purdue
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With a population of just under 30,000, West Lafayette, Indiana, has a certain charm and college town vibe to it; that doesn’t mean it’s a good college football town. Home to Purdue University, students don’t tend to be attracted to the school for its football ranking.

That being said, people will still attend the Boilermakers games. But for viewers watching at home, there is a very distinct difference between the number of people in the stands from the first to the third quarter.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
Darryl Oumi/Getty Images
Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Football probably isn’t the first or even fourth thing people think about when Honolulu, Hawaii, comes to mind. Instead, they’re probably dreaming about sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, making it an unideal football college town.

Not only are people more prone to hit the beach instead of the stadium, but Honolulu isn’t the cheapest place in the country. And unless someone is a student at the University of Hawaii or an alumnus living on the island, Saturday games aren’t the easiest to attend.