The New York Times recently put out a new map tracking the college football fandom of every zip code in the US, gleaning the data from Facebook likes. As you'd probably imagine, Ohio State has the state of Ohio on lockdown, dominating every county. As you'd also probably have guessed, Ohio State claims fans from all over the country.
In Ohio, the Buckeyes cleared 50% of the total fans in every county but Hamilton (still first place at 47.6%), only furthering the argument that Cincinnati is secretly not part of the state. In Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio State routinely claimed more than 70% of the fans, where Michigan and Notre Dame typically in very distant second and third places.
But Ohio State fandom isn't limited to the borders of Ohio. Per this data, Ohio State is the second most popular team in Maricopa County (Phoenix). They're the second most popular team in Clark County (Las Vegas), and within shouting distance of the first, the Oregon Ducks. The Buckeyes are 3rd in Charlotte, NC. Ohio State comes in second or third place in counties from California to South Carolina, Virginia to Massachusetts, Montana to Missouri. In terms of pure geographic reach, Ohio State is one of the few true "national brands", along with Notre Dame, Texas and Oregon.
So why is this? Part of it is because Ohio State has been so consistently successful over the past few decades. Part is because Ohio State is on national television a lot. Part is even probably because Ohio State is a gigantic school with alumni all over the country. And some of it also probably because the down economy in Ohio has sent a number of folks who grew up in the Buckeye State elsewhere, thus taking their Buckeye fandom to all corners of the country
Whatever the reason, having so many fans, and in so many places no less, is pretty great news for Buckeye Nation.