For some, the choice is obvious — looking at you, Ohio. But for others…
State bragging rights are a huge part of what makes college football important. For a full year (or longer, depending on rivalry status), fans can say their team is the best in the state.
CBS Sports has picked the best team in each state, limiting it to the 48 states that have FBS or FCS teams (Alaska and Vermont don’t have either).
Not surprisingly, Iowa won for Iowa, Minnesota claimed Minnesota, Nebraska easily took Nebraska, Rutgers was the New Jersey winner, Ohio State won for Ohio and Wisconsin grabbed state honors.
Whew. Now the debate can begin.
Penn State fans won’t be happy with Pitt’s selection for Pennsylvania. CBS Sports said the Panthers could beat Penn State in three areas this year: better overall record, better conference finish and (most importantly) better on the field — the rivalry returns Sept. 10 in the series’ first game since 2000.
CBS Sports picked Michigan instead of Michigan State, even though the Spartans have won seven of eight in the series, including 2015’s crazy finish. With Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines have confidence they haven’t had in years. They also have slightly more respect in the preseason polls.
As for the state of Illinois, Northwestern picked up the honors thanks to a 10-3 2015 season. Of course, Illinois hopes to swing things back in its favor: Northwestern has won three of four against the Illini.