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Athlon Sports Ranks Chestnut Hill 12th Among ACC College Towns

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These are just getting silly now.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Athlon Sports is back at it again. After proving time and time again that all they want to do is pander to readers from the south, they once again hosed Boston by naming it the 12th best ACC college town.

A 13-person voting panel that included our own Jon Meterparel ranked the ACC with the following results. The smaller the number, the better the score. Included is the blurb from Athlon Sports followed by a piping hot take:

1) Virginia (Charlottesville, VA) - 41 votes (six first place votes)

It's got historic tradition and beauty. It's got a great party scene. It's located in a beautiful part of the country. The campus is gorgeous, the downtown mall is a blast, the vineyards are excellent, and the presidential tradition is everywhere. It's hard not to get caught up in the rich vibe when visiting Virginia's campus. Be sure to check out Edgar Allen Poe's room. Charlottesville got six first place votes, by far the most of any ACC locale.

You're going to be really hard pressed to find anyone disagreeing with this - UVa. is gorgeous. It's a top 20 party school in the nation, and it's in a thoroughly beautiful part of a very pretty state. I know plenty of people who went to Virginia, and it's one of those shining beacons of the south.

That said, I'm sure college students are really excited about the high quality vineyards when they're pounding jugs of Carlo Rossi. I mean, I know I was really worried about the quality of my booze when I was of an age where I would drink lighter fluid if it would get me buzzed.

2) North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC) - 42 (one first place vote)

There's just a lot going on in Chapel Hill. The architecture is awesome, the weather is great, and the natural scenery and outdoor activities are fantastic. The food is among the nation's best for a small town and the bar/music/art night scene is as good as any in the Southeast (check out Franklin Street). Chapel Hill barely missed out on being voted the No. 1 town in the ACC with eight votes in the top three.

Also - no arguments here. Chapel Hill is amazing. My brother's best friend got married there to a Tar Heel, and the architecture and buildings are beautiful. I can't speak to the food, but I can speak to the fact that even the fire department has North Carolina blue trucks.

3) Clemson (Clemson, SC) - 47 (three first place votes)

How many towns are named after the university? Formerly known as Calhoun, the town voted to change its name to Clemson in 1943. This represents all that is a small college town. The passion is what gives Clemson the best stadium in the league, the best gameday atmosphere, and the most interwoven city. It's got great food joints and Lake Hartwell is always a good time. It's also a quick drive to three different states. Clemson got more first-place votes than any town not named Charlottesville.

Former blogpop Brian Favat raves about Clemson constantly, and with good reason. The atmosphere on game day is great, the crowd is extremely respectful and polite when you're down there tailgating, and from what I understand, it's a great trip for a road game. Since there's nothing else down there, you're going strictly for the football, which is pretty much worth the trip.

My bone here isn't with the rankings, it's with Athlon. How many towns are named after the school? Hmmm... let me see. Providence College. University of Hartford. Worcester State University. Framingham State University. Salem State University. University of Albany. Rochester Institute of Technology. University of Buffalo. University of Akron. Dallas Baptist. That enough?

I get it. Clemson voted to change the name of the town based on the fact that Clemson University is there. But if you could drool less on the town, it would be great. Thanks guys.

4) Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL) - 69 (one first place vote)

Considered one of the better "college towns for grownups," Tallahassee tends to keep people around. It's much larger than the average college town at over 300,000 residents, but has that medium-sized charm. Geography allows for plenty of beach life to shine through and there are endless festivals, dining, and night attractions for visitors. The Florida state capital is the top city in the second tier according to the voting.

"College town for grownups" - where you can relive your glory years when you're a sad Wooderson-type fellow.

"Much larger than the average college town" - I think that makes it a small city.

"Medium-sized charm." - You won't need to worry about the police harassing you if you can throw a football.

You know what's awesome? Forbes once ranked Tallahassee as the eighth most dangerous city in America. FSU fans immediately thought the rankings were biased and they should've been number one.

5) NC State (Raleigh, NC) - 87 (one first place vote)

The most underrated stadium and gameday experience in the ACC is probably in Raleigh. The town loves its Wolfpack and it loves to party - which is probably why it got one first-place vote (and why people keep telling me to try Cook Out). It was voted 10th or worse in the ACC by four different panelists. Check out Glenwood Ave and Fayetteville Street. A trip to Raleigh for a sporting event is surely a good time. It's also one of three ACC towns that can claim a Stanley Cup, if that counts for anything.

I have no problems with Raleigh other than that it's not Charlotte and is often overlooked because of Chapel Hill. But that's the thing - it's overlooked. If I'm going to North Carolina, I can go to UNC. I'm sure it's nice and all, but it's just, I mean, Raleigh. It does nothing for me one way or the other. I mean, I could be wrong, and if I am, I'm welcome to opinions and observations here.

Don't give me a load of hooey about the Stanley Cup. If that meant something, you wouldn't have hosed Boston College. That's just rude.

6) Louisville (Louisville, KY) - 93

Of all of the big cities in the ACC, Louisville has the most charm. Wrapped by the Ohio River, there is tons to do, no matter what your fancy. Churchill Downs is a must-see while a developing area south of town known as Barstown Road is a vibrant as any city south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Breweries, boating, golf, a growing music scene (See: Forecastle) and more make Louisville the best big city in the ACC.

No complaints about Louisville. It should probably be higher, but we have to acquiese to the fact that Florida State is the greatest place on Planet Earth, and North Carolina State is underrated.

By the way, if some place is underrated, shouldn't it be ranked incredibly low and then have us all complain at the number is too low. If a place is fifth, is that really underrated?


7) Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA) - 98

If you want a truly small town located in the middle of the mountains, Blacksburg is your place. Few towns embody the vibe and feel of the campus like the architecture of Virginia Tech. The stone buildings are gorgeous and the mountains offer plenty to do outdoors. If you prefer city life, this isn't your cup of tea, which is why the Hokies' hometown was ranked as high as second by one panelist while four others voted it outside of the top 10.

If you want a small town located in the middle of the mountains = that's a nice of way of saying it's in the middle of nowhere, outside of civilization.

Few towns embody the vibe and feel of the campus like Virginia Tech = that's actually not very nice, since you're implying VT is filled with hill people.

If you prefer city life, this isn't your cup of tea = AGAIN IT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE.

I have never had a positive experience with Virginia Tech fans coming up to Boston. I'm sure there are very nice people who go there, but they rant and rave about how much they hate the northern fans, how much they hate our city, and how much BC football will never be a part of anything special because on Saturdays in Blacksburg, there's nothing else. I usually take it for a couple of hours, get in an argument, then inevitably walk out while turning around and telling said person, "Hey enjoy running water for a few more days, you jerk." That tends to happen every time they come up to Boston.

Hey, they come up here this year. JOY!

The people who voted on this still think Beamer Ball is a thing.

8) Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA) - 108

The capital of Georgia is a polarizing city for sure. The traffic is downright miserable, the city itself goes on forever in every direction and the fans generally haven't supported many sports teams. Yet, the urban lifestyle is a big draw for many and the food scene is among the best in the nation. Short trips to the beaches and mountains offer plenty of easy access to outdoor activities. It's not for everyone but there is a reason the metro area boasts over five million residents.

I like Atlanta. Atlanta is nice. Definitely loses points for having the worst traffic this side of rush hour on the Southeast Expressway, but Atlanta is a good city. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Atlanta.

Not really sure what "short trip to the beach is" but sure, whatever guys.

9) Miami (Miami, FL) - 113 (one first place vote)

Coral Gables itself is a small village located just south of the sprawling metroplex that is Miami. The night life and allure of beach living in Miami is a huge draw for some (it got one first-place vote) but there is very little that is unique about campus life at The U. Which is why it was ranked last by two voters. For the record, this is the only town in the Power 5 with a first-place AND last-place vote.

Coral Gables is actually a completely different city than Miami (as opposed to Chestnut Hill, which is an unincorporated part of three different towns and is actually a part of Boston because of it, but you'll ignore that later). As a result, it shouldn't even be considered close to the Miami nightlife. In fact, South Beach is roughly a half hour away from Coral Gables in Miami Beach.

The disparity of votes is the difference between people not knowing the difference, people knowing the difference, and people who watched Miami Vice and Scarface way too many times.

10) Duke (Durham, NC) - 114

The third-ranked city within the triangle was voted as highly as fourth by two voters and was voted last by another - which seems to be a theme among all ACC towns. At 250,000 residents, Duke's hometown is right in the middle in terms of size in the ACC as well. It's not as big as Raleigh and it's not as cool as Chapel Hill

There was virtually nothing anyone could say about Durham because there's virtually nothing to do in Durham. Durham also has a crime issue. There are roughly five crimes per 1,000 residents (per Neighborhood Scout website), and it has a Crime Index of 13 (100 is the safest). Yet even this ranks over Boston College.

There's a light bulb joke I recall - "How many Duke students does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Zero. Durham is better in the dark."

You know what though? We love you, Coach K.

11) Pitt (Pittsburgh, PA) - 132

It's a big city and it has all the advantages of traditional big cities. Huge infrastructure, technology growth as well as professional sports teams can overwhelm the university and its role within the community. Let's face it, the Panthers will always be the second-most important football team in the Steel City.

See, at this point, all Athlon is doing is piling on the facts that we already know. Blah blah you're a college team in a big pro sports city blah blah. After talking about cuisine and all that stuff earlier, we're not even mentioning that Pittsburgh is extremely accessible, has a beautiful airport, and has delicious pierogies. While not on my list as a vacation destination, this is the perfect example of how one might call it "underrated" for a sports trip. You're not going to bask in the glow of the steel mills if you're simply traveling to see some sports. And it's ranked 11th, so that's what we call underrated.

After talking about scenic and downtown scenes, and going so far as to mention that Raleigh has a Stanley Cup franchise, it completely overlooks that the Steelers are one of the original NFL franchises. Oh, and the Penguins have a Cup and some guy named Crosby. Even if it doesn't have nightlife and is more nondescript than anything else, it has a really good sports scene.

12) Boston College (Chestnut Hill, MA) - 134

If this were strictly based on Boston, it would be hard to imagine it falling this far down the list. Boston is a fantastic city with vibrant energy and steeped in American history. However, eight miles down the road is Chestnut Hill. While gorgeous, the capus is sort of an after-thought within the city (sort of like the sports team). Still, it's hard to believe living on the outskirts of such an extraordinary city could rank as the 12th-best place in the ACC. It got four last place votes.

FOUR LAST PLACE VOTES?!?!?!?! What the heck were you doing on this committee, METER? How badly did we piss off some people during the year that they had to take it out on us?

As I alluded to earlier, if you're checking in for the first time, Chestnut Hill is not a separate part of Boston - it's an unincorporated municipality that draws from Newton, Brookline, and lo and behold - BOSTON. It's not a totally separate city like, say, Coral Gables. That whole eight mile thing is just foolish, especially when you choose to ignore it for other cities.

So after talking about how the beach is close to Atlanta, the food is great in Chapel Hill, and the music is awesome somewhere else, you completely ignore the fact that it takes a half hour to get from BC to pretty much anywhere, including the beach (granted it might be Revere, but you can also go to the beach in Southie or walk Boston Common for that tan...or lay out on the Esplanade), that Boston's music and food is bar none to anywhere else, and that in terms of sports, college sports actually have a rich tradition.

Even if you want to separate Chestnut Hill from Boston, the B branch of the Green Line terminates at....BOSTON COLLEGE. So all of that great food and music and nightlife is a short trolley ride away.

And you get to ride the trolley, which outside of when it snows 100 inches and cripples the region is actually pretty fun. Having grown up in Boston, I used to ride the T all the time. Moving away from the subway system is one of the things I hated about moving out to the suburbs (...30 minutes away...).

If you want to talk about pro sports, bear in mind that the association there is actually a positive (something I will allude to many times in my life) since it opens up opportunities for the baseball team and the hockey team (and the football team) to play at Fenway Park (only the sporting world's holiest cathedral). The football team played at Gillette Stadium. The hockey team might as well have its own locker room at the TD Garden, and the basketball team played and is playing games there every now and then. It's a part of our fabric that we love and enjoy.

I'm not saying this is #1 for a college town, but it's easily the best city to go to school. Then again, this was written by a bunch of people who clearly hate Boston for some reason, and I'm ready to admit that I'm biased towards Boston.

13) Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, NC) - 136

The fourth-most desirable location of the North Carolina ACC schools is Winston-Salem. While the other three form the triangle of education and basketball, W-S is located just west of Greensboro, far from both the Smoky Mountains and the Outer Banks. It got three last-place votes, but also was voted as high as fifth.

The person voting the Deacs as high as fifth clearly is still drunk at the bar at the football stadium.

14) Syracuse (Syracuse, NY) - 152

There is a reason that Syracuse's population has been dropping every decade since the 1950s. The weather is brutal for most of the year and its (sic) located in the middle of upstate New York - which is sort of close to Lake Erie, right? To quote one Athlon employee in New York, "It's a poor man's Rochester."

New York's College Team, tho.

I don't know if Syracuse is considered upstate or WNY. "Poor man's Rochester" is just mean.

You know what Syracuse has, though, that we don't? An Orange Eagle. Excuse me while I go pull the salad fork out of my back.