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Northern Illinois has best city in MAC for football fans, Ball State on the other hand...

WalletHub cracks the numbers and finds the best and worst places around the country to catch a football game.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

"My team's college town is better than your team's college town."

"No, your overrated college town has nothing on my alma matter's."

These arguments will never end. All these fights happen online every day, whether it's on Twitter, Facebook, the comments section or in real life where two drunk guys wearing different colored hoodies start whaling on each other at a tailgate (I don't recommend this, by the way).

It's okay though, is here to save the day -- maybe. Using NFL & college teams' locations, they use all these variables like population, ticket prices, team performance, accessibility, surrounding bars and social media engagement to come up with a city or town's score. Attendance isn't taken into consideration for college teams, only for NFL. They take the scores, compare every place against one another and have come up with the results for all 245 measured cities, so let's just get to the meat of it all.

Yes, I'm including UMass in here. I apologize to nobody.

Rank (MAC, overall) City Score Team & Performance rank Cost & Fan Engagement rank
1/23 DeKalb, IL 35.77 25 91
2/38 Bowling Green, OH 33.64 54 41
3/50 Mt. Pleasant, MI 32.26 102 26
4/58 Toledo, OH 31.44 45 146
5/59 Buffalo, NY 31.40 37 189
6/83 Athens, OH 29.54 93 73
7/90 Oxford, OH 28.83 184 29
8/107 Akron, OH 27.85 136 79
9/122 Kalamazoo, MI 27.16 135 115
10/166 Ypsilanti, MI 24.95 242 32
11/200 Amherst, MA 22.59 231 126
12/201 Kent, OH 22.56 217 161
13/227 Muncie, IN 14.26 122 241


  • Not at all surprised to see Northern Illinois end up with the highest score. It's also no surprise that they ended up with the highest rank in T&P, considering that they've been going to Detroit every year since 2010.
  • Buffalo, I'm assuming, takes in both Bulls and Bills. The site's rankings don't include Orchard Park, NY where the Bills are headquartered and play at. Not a bad finish for them in the rankings all the same. Let's just cast the blame on the NFL team for giving Buffalo the second-worst rank in C&F for MAC cities. Anybody ever hear of Vice's "Dispatches From the Ralph" series?
  • Central Michigan up to no. 3, eh? Helps to win the C&F rankings. Wouldn't really surprise me if they moved up from 102 in this list in the following years. The Chippewas really are getting all sorts of lucky with Bonamego, moving things in the right direction.
  • Three teams -- Eastern Michigan, UMass and Kent State -- are in the 200's for T&P. However, EMU is the only one that's way up there in C&P (third in the MAC).
  • Are we absolutely, positively sure we can't weasel North Dakota State to join the MAC? I know they don't want to, but maybe there's something we could do to convince them?
    via WalletHub


  • Congrats to the top six MAC cities that all have a higher score than Ann Arbor (29.52). So close yet so far away, Akron.