UM second, MSU eighth in poll of Big Ten towns

The Detroit News
Wisconsin mascot Bucky Badger

Ann Arbor finished second and East Lansing eighth in an Athlon Sports poll ranking Big Ten college towns.

The winner was Madison, which received eight of 10 first-place votes and 12 points. A first-place vote was worth one point all the way down to 14 points for a last-place vote, so the lowest score prevailed.

"There is no place like (Madison) in the Big Ten during fall Saturdays and it's why Madtown is routinely voted one of the nation's best college towns," wrote Athlon's Braden Gall. "The capital city is located between two gorgeous lakes and is home to the famed State Street — and it's delicious brat haze. It's vibrant, fun, welcoming and an absolute blast."

The 10-person panel polled by Athlon: Sean Callahan,; Tom Dienhart, Big Ten Network; Gerry DiNardo, Big Ten Network; Braden Gall, Athlon Sports; Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune; Kevin McGuire, College Football Talk; Kevin Noon,; Dave Revsine, Big Ten Network; Adam Rittenberg, ESPN; and Brent Yarina, Big Ten Network.

Ann Arbor received one first-place vote and 35 points, and East Lansing earned 81 points.


1. Madison (Wisconsin) -- 12 points (eight first-place votes)

2. Ann Arbor (Michigan) -- 35 points (one first-place vote)

3. State College (Penn State) -- 37 points

4. Columbus (Ohio State) -- 54 points

5. Bloomington (Indiana) -- 60 points

6. Iowa City (Iowa) -- 64 points

7. Evanston (Northwestern) -- 76 points

8. East Lansing (Michigan State) -- 81 points

9. Minneapolis (Minnesota) -- 83 points

10. Lincoln (Nebraska) -- 84 points

11. College Park (Maryland) -- 94 points

12. Champaign (Illinois) -- 105 points

13. Piscataway (Rutgers) -- 129 points

14. West Lafayette (Purdue) -- 135 points