ACC Football State Challenge: Boston College Football Visits State #36 On Saturday

Ranks second in the ACC state challenge.

Personal anecdote time. My wife and sister-in-law created this game to see who can be the first to visit all 50 U.S. states. The rules of that competition were fairly straightforward: whoever visited the most U.S. states (excepting Alaska) by age 30 would be declared the winner. The loser would have to pay for a trip to Alaska.

(My wife won, thankfully. Still waiting on that subsidized family trip to Alaska, Melissa.)

My brother, sister and I play a similar State Challenge, though not as high stakes as the one between my wife and sister-in-law. I'm in the lead having visited 40 U.S. states. The perks of being the oldest of three kid, I guess. I've yet to cross off Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon and South Dakota from my list.

As it turns out, Boston College is faring pretty well in the State Challenge, ACC edition. The Eagles will be playing its first game in the state of New Mexico in the 115-year history of the program, the 36th state that the program have played a game in. The perks of being a long-time independent with few in-state opponents. BC has yet to play games in Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota (seriously, how?), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wyoming.

Unfortunately, it's Syracuse out in front in the ACC. The Orange lead the Eagles by a state, a lead that Syracuse will double next season when the program takes its first trip to South Carolina to take on Clemson. (Playing at Montana, who does that?). Boston College is in second with 36 states. Pittsburgh (35), Miami (34), Virginia (31) and North Carolina (29) round out the top five.

Here are the current standings (includes games through the 2013 season):

Rk Program # of States Played In States They Haven't Played In
1 Syracuse 37 AK, AR, CO, DE, ID, ME, NV, NM, ND, SC, VT, WY
2 Boston College 36 AK, AR, DE, IA, KS, MN, MT, NE, NV, ND, OR, SD, WA, WY
3 Pittsburgh 35 AK, AR, DE, ID, ME, MS, MT, NV, NH, NM, ND, RI, SD, VT, WY
4 Miami 34 AK, CT, DE, HI, ME, MN, MT, NE, NH, NM, ND, OR, RI, SD, VT, WY
5 Virginia 31 AK, AZ, AR, CO, DE, IL, IA, ME, MN, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, VT
6 North Carolina 29 AK, AR, DE, ID, IL, IA, ME, MN, MS, MT, NE, NH, NM, ND, OR, RI, SD, VT, WA, WV, WY
7 Wake Forest 28 AK, AZ, AR, ID, IA, KY, ME, MN, MO, MT, NV, NH, NM, ND, OH, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WI, WY
7 Maryland 28 AK, AZ, AR, IN, IA, KS, ME, MN, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY
9 Florida State 27 AK, AR, CT, DE, HI, ID, IL, IA, ME, MN, MT, NV, NH, NM, ND, OR, RI, SD, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY
9 Georgia Tech 27 AK, AR, DE, IL, IA, ME, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, SD, VT, WV, WI, WY
11 N.C. State 26 AK, AR, CO, DE, ID, IL, KS, ME, MN, MO, MT, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, OR, SD, UT, VT, WI
11 Virginia Tech 26 AK, AR, CO, DE, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, ME, MN, MO, MT, NV, NM, ND, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WI, WY
13 Duke 24 AK, AZ, AR, CO, DE, HI, ID, IA, ME, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OK, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WI, WY
14 Clemson 20 AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, HI, IL, IA, KS, ME, MI, MN, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, ND, OH, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY

Some other interesting notes:

  • All but three ACC programs have played in the District of Columbia. Florida State, Georgia Tech and Syracuse have not.
  • In addition to states in the ACC's current geographic footprint, all 14 programs have played at least one game in the following states: Alabama, California, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas. In fact, every current FBS school has played at least one game in the state of Texas.
  • South Carolina is the only state in the ACC's footprint where not every program has played a game. Syracuse will cross South Carolina off the list next season when the Orange play at Clemson in an ACC Atlantic Division showdown.
  • Three other states have had visits from 13 of the league's 14 programs. Wake Forest has never played in Kentucky. Clemson has never played in Michigan or New Jersey.
  • Speaking of Clemson, the Tigers have only played games in 20 different states. That's not only the fewest in the conference; it's also the fewest of any FBS program that has been around for more than 15 years.
  • Six states have only had one ACC visit -- Arkansas (Miami), Maine (Boston College), Montana (Syracuse), Nevada (North Carolina), New Mexico (Boston College) and Vermont (Boston College). BC is one of four FBS programs to have ever played a game in the state of Vermont. Buffalo, Connecticut and Massachusetts are the others.
  • Only three states have never been paid a visit by an ACC program: Alaska, North Dakota and South Dakota.
  • Seven ACC programs have played games internationally. Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Miami, Syracuse and Virginia have all played in Japan. BC and Pitt have played in Ireland and Syracuse in Canada. Insert upstate New York is really Canada joke here.

Full data set is here. Game locations received from College Football Data Warehouse. Let me know if there are any errors in the raw data as it was compiled manually. Hat tip to Football Geography.

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