In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, the college football season is already underway and the Florida Gators will join the party on Saturday at 12:21 p.m. against the Toledo Rockets.
In case you’ve been living under that same rock (or off the grid somewhere in the Everglades) since 2004, there’s a little company called Facebook and, uh, they’re kind of a big deal. As of March of this year, Facebook had over one billion users who like, poke and post everything that goes on in their lives on a day-to-day basis.
What do these two things have in common, you ask?
Well, in honor of the college football season getting underway, Facebook used their huge network to track and see which colleges run the states and areas around where they reside. Based on the information that people input into Facebook when they create an account, Facebook was able to go county by county (like in a presidential election) and declare a winner — or favorite school — for each county based on how many users “liked” a particular college in that county.
Now, what was surprising about this poll wasn’t the fact that the University of Florida dominated the entire state of Florida (except for Tallahassee and small pockets around the school out west) but the Gator Nation truly is everywhere. Florida has counties in Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky and Minnesota. Yes, really, Minnesota.
But the truly surprising part was how in a somewhat reverse snowbird effect, the Northeast part of the country is absolutely in love with the Gators. Florida dominated most of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware and New Hampshire.
We always knew that the snowbirds liked to come down to Florida in the winter time, but apparently once you get bitten by the Gator Nation you just can’t shake it.