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Topic: College Towns

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Cincydawg

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College Towns
« on: July 01, 2020, 04:52:07 PM »
Everyone knows how fond I am of lists and rankings, so here is another one, I was pondering how many I have visited personally, 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 10.  I was not in some of those long enough to develop much of a notion of course.  We had a fantastic time in Oxford (other than that the Dawgs were down 42-0 at one point) ...

I've been to Knoxville quite a bit and frankly didn't find it notable or appealing.  Austin is getting to be more of a large city, I don't think anyone would put say Atlanta on this list.  Charlottesville is nice, Chapel Hill is nice enough but quite small (and not on the list).  

[color=rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.8)]In 2019, Sports Illustrated ranked what it believed to be the 10 best college towns in America to honor college football’s 150th season. From local culture to the music scenes, SI backed up its rankings with sound reasoning for every city and town. But there was one overarching theme, which is that the South reigns supreme once again.[/color]
Best College Towns in America
Quote
1. Madison, WI (University of Wisconsin)
2. Athens, GA (The University of Georgia)
3. Austin, TX (University of Texas)
4. Ann Arbor, MI (University of Michigan)
5. Columbia, MO (University of Missouri)
6. Boulder, CO (University of Colorado)
7. Oxford, MS (University of Mississippi)
8. Knoxville, TN (University of Tennessee)
9. College Station, TX (Texas A&M University)
10. Charlottesville, VA (University of Virginia)


ELA

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2020, 05:11:48 PM »
I've never been to most non-Big Ten towns, but I have always said any list of Big Ten towns absolutely has to start Madison-Ann Arbor-Bloomington, in that order.  Beyond that, I'm willing to hear arguments, but if that's not your top 3, I have no room for your argument.  So this list holds sway with me.

Big Beef Tacosupreme

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2020, 05:20:35 PM »
I've never been to most non-Big Ten towns, but I have always said any list of Big Ten towns absolutely has to start Madison-Ann Arbor-Bloomington, in that order.  Beyond that, I'm willing to hear arguments, but if that's not your top 3, I have no room for your argument.  So this list holds sway with me.
Where's State College rank?

ELA

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2020, 05:25:17 PM »
Where's State College rank?
Probably the 4-6 group with East Lansing and College Park.  It's hard to judge Columbus and Minneapolis.  And I've never been to Iowa CIty or Lincoln.  West Lafayette and Piscataway are the clear basement of the 12 I've been to.  Omitting the two metro areas and the two I've never been to, I'd say...

  • Madison
  • Ann Arbor
  • Bloomington
  • State College
  • East Lansing
  • College Park
  • Evanston
  • Champaign
  • West Lafayette
  • Piscataway

Cincydawg

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2020, 06:30:48 PM »
Bloomington seemed very nice the one time I was there.

OrangeAfroMan

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2020, 07:56:35 PM »
Knoxville was bigger than I thought it'd be.
Baton Rouge is fun if you're willing to eat a lot of unhealthy (delicious) stuff.
Starkville is mostly just Miss State + a gas station, lol.
Columbia, SC is fine, but it's not Charleston.
“The Swamp is where Gators live.  We feel comfortable there, but we hope our opponents feel tentative. A swamp is hot and sticky and can be dangerous." - Steve Spurrier

MarqHusker

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2020, 01:12:26 AM »
I've been to all of those but Charlottesville.   I put Athens as my #1.  It must be said, many of them are terrific, including some of the others mentioned. 

I tend to favor those towns which are college towns and not the cap city or large metropolitan area.  It's all subjective of course.

MarqHusker

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2020, 01:26:11 AM »
I'll footnote, I wouldnt include Knoxville in my top 20, it isn't a bad place, just a lot of better college towns.

I'll say WLaf has improved over the 20 or so years covering my visits but I would have a hard time putting it above anywhere but Piscataway in the Big 10.   I've never been to College Park.  As I age, I become less favorable towards Madison.  

My least favorite XII town is Waco. In fact its one of my least favorite cities anywhere.   I've been twice. , my visit to Lubbock was quite brief to fairly grade it at all.

I am fond of (maybe not top 10) the Little Apple, Lawrence, Norman, College Station, and Fort Worth, even though I've previously said I discount large metro areas.   Of course TCUs presence in FW has little to do with why I like Ft Worth.

bayareabadger

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 01:29:08 AM »
I'll footnote, I wouldnt include Knoxville in my top 20, it isn't a bad place, just a lot of better college towns.

I'll say WLaf has improved over the 20 or so years covering my visits but I would have a hard time putting it above anywhere but Piscataway in the Big 10.  I've never been to College Park.  As I age, I become less favorable towards Madison. 

My least favorite XII town is Waco. In fact its one of my least favorite cities anywhere.  I've been twice. , my visit to Lubbock was quite brief to fairly grade it at all.

I am fond of (maybe not top 10) the Little Apple, Lawrence, Norman, College Station, and Fort Worth, even though I've previously said I discount large metro areas.  Of course TCUs presence in FW has little to do with why I like Ft Worth.
I went to Waco once and found the campus real nice when I went running. I liked that and the Torchy’s, but couldn’t tell you a thing beyond that.

bayareabadger

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2020, 01:30:21 AM »
Knoxville was bigger than I thought it'd be.
Baton Rouge is fun if you're willing to eat a lot of unhealthy (delicious) stuff.
Starkville is mostly just Miss State + a gas station, lol.
Columbia, SC is fine, but it's not Charleston.
Columbia has some perks, but not a good drop-in town for sure.

I found Starkville charming in parts, but that’s likely because my expectations were suppressed so much.  

Cincydawg

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2020, 07:51:16 AM »
I think of the term "college town" as meaning a town small enough that the university is THE thing in the town.  You can't drive around very far without running into a college something.  Atlanta et al. would not qualify (even if somehow one liked the city).  Chapel Hill is almost too small to qualify IMHO.  There isn't much to it aside from the U.  Charlottesville is probably near an ideal ratio between U size and town size.


betarhoalphadelta

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2020, 09:53:52 AM »
I'll say WLaf has improved over the 20 or so years covering my visits but I would have a hard time putting it above anywhere but Piscataway in the Big 10.  I've never been to College Park.  As I age, I become less favorable towards Madison. 
I was astounded when I went back last fall to see how much of campus had changed in 20 years. 

I like West Lafayette, but once you get over the river into Lafayette it's sh!t. Which means that you're primarily dealing with only WLaf as a student, which is the campus and some housing/restaurants and that's it. 

Not that this means WLaf should be ranked very highly compared to other college towns. After all, if you're basically sequestered into the tiny confines of West Lafayette it doesn't give you a whole lot to do other than go to the bars and restaurants within 3 blocks of campus. But I do think sometimes WLaf gets dragged down in these ratings because of how crappy Lafayette is, especially since most people drive right through it to get to campus so it gives a terrible impression. 

utee94

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2020, 10:01:42 AM »
Waco is a dump.  Torchy's makes some tasty gringo tacos.

I don't think of Austin as a "college town" either but it looks to me like they're approaching it as "towns with a college in them."

I'll also add that UT and Austin aren't really the same as Atlanta and... GaTech I guess?  UT is THE academic and THE athletic presence in Austin-- no pro sports teams, no other colleges of any note to compete with.  Atlanta and Austin aren't really all that similar when compared in that manner.

Anyway, I've seen dozens of nice little "college towns" around the country that I think are probably far more "college-y" than Austin is, but there you have it.

betarhoalphadelta

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Re: College Towns
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2020, 10:10:31 AM »

I'll also add that UT and Austin aren't really the same as Atlanta and... GaTech I guess?  UT is THE academic and THE athletic presence in Austin-- no pro sports teams, no other colleges of any note to compete with.  Atlanta and Austin aren't really all that similar when compared in that manner.
I only lived in Marietta two years, so I'm sure that @Cincydawg can give much better color than I can...

But I rarely saw GaTech stuff (car stickers, peoples' attire, etc) in the Atlanta area, and saw TONS of UGA stuff there. 

And then because Atlanta is a magnet for people from all over the Southeast (amongst transplants from even further), it wouldn't surprise me if there are more Alabama fans in the Atlanta metro than GaTech fans... 

In fact, if you look at the 2014 map of fandom by zip code, it looks like most of Atlanta is the Dawgs by a longshot, followed by Alabama, and that the #3 spot is most consistently either Auburn or GaTech. 

 

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