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This Map Is Essential to Understanding Why One Region Dominates College Football

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Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude

Is there something in Mississippi's water?

In an interactive map posted online Friday, Leon Lovett — "That Data Dude" — breaks down the Associated Press Top 25 college football teams by their players' hometowns.

The map, drawing data from ESPN, reveals that many southern schools including Mississippi State...

Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude

...and the University of Georgia remain regional centers, primarily pulling players from a tight cluster of nearby states.

Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude

On the other hand, western schools including the University of Southern California...

Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude

...and the University of Arizona pull players from all across the country.

Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude Image source: screengrab via ThatDataDude

While it might seem that schools that take in players from all over the country would have an advantage, it's worth noting that the top three schools on the AP's list — Mississippi State, Florida State and Ole Miss — are three of the most fiercely regional southern schools.

Play with the map below to explore the entire list.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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