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State Of The (Student) Union: Determining The Best CFB State

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Former Wolverines coach Bo Schembechler made famous the concept of the "Michigan Man" in a career that led to the College Football Hall of Fame. Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images.
Former Wolverines coach Bo Schembechler made famous the concept of the "Michigan Man" in a career that led to the College Football Hall of Fame. Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images.

Kickoff Countdown: Seven Days

Editor's Note: This is the first in a seven-day series designed to sustain college football fans until North Carolina and South Carolina kick off the season Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. ET. We'll also share with you tailgating anecdotes (tomorrow), give you a printable schedule guide to the season's best matchups (Saturday), rank the FBS quarterbacks from 1 to 125 (Sunday), share with you our conference-by-conference bold predictions (Monday), pay tribute to the BCS (Tuesday) and provide a comprehensive food guide for every school (Wednesday).

It’s no secret that Bo Schembechler despised recruiting. Look no further than his autobiography “Bo” for proof. The legendary Michigan coach would rather spend his time coaching Michigan Men than searching Michigan for men to coach.

The Hall of Fame coach built a two-decade dynasty in Ann Arbor using players from within and beyond the borders of the Great Lakes State.

Despite the .796 regular-season win percentage, the 15 conference titles and the slew of coaching awards, Schembechler’s greatest feat might have been instilling a state pride in Michigan that likely will stand the test of time — and, perhaps, any subsequent overtime period.

And while a Michigan Man will tell you there’s no finer choice for football than the Wolverine State, they might not be correct.

Bragging rights. It’s essentially the heart of college football. And we derive no greater pride than the sense of superiority delivered by our alma maters.

But which state can boast the most?

To determine the rather abstract concept of which state is No. 1 (and what industry is more versed in random assessment through complex algorithms than college football?), we’ll take this year’s spring rosters and employ our own equation, examining:

A) The percentage of the roster comprised of in-state recruits,

B) “Exported” players to FBS schools in other states and

C) Conference titles, Heisman winners and other intangibles.

Some states might not surprise — especially those in the Top 5 — but sheer numbers speak to the power some of the bigger states possess, and to the struggles of the lesser-populated states.

What follows is a Top-5 breakdown of the best states, the most underrated states, and the worst states at supplying talent both at home and nationwide.