Rivals at 10: Best states

MORE 10-YEAR SERIES: Schedule/past stories
As part of's commemorative series on 10 years of rankings, Keith Niebuhr crunched the numbers - whoa, those numbers - to find out which of the big three states was the biggest over the past decade. And you all know where the things are biggest, right? Here is a look at the top 10 states that produced BCS signees over the past 10 years.
TOTAL/AVERAGE: 1,850/185.0
HIGH/LOW: 214 (2006)/ 169 (2005)
It's no surprise Texas topped the list of BCS-producing states. For starters, that section of the country is bonkers for football. Texas also ranks second in total population. In a typical year, the state not only stocks the rosters at in-state schools but sends several players to many of college football's elite conferences in other parts of the country. In the 2011 class, an astounding 125 players signed with Big 12 schools. Fifty-one others inked with other BCS teams.
TOTAL/AVERAGE: 1,688/168.8
HIGH/LOW: 198 (2011)/ 126 (2002)
The Sunshine State not only produces a ton of FBS players each year but an abundance of BCS-caliber prospects. The state's jump in BCS players in recent years coincided with USF's move to the Big East. Four BCS in-state programs (Florida, Florida State, Miami and USF) get the majority of their players from Florida. Many SEC programs also make a living there.
TOTAL/AVERAGE: 1,276/127.6
HIGH/LOW: 141 (2004)/ 114 (2009)
California's large population is a key to its high number of BCS signees. California, Stanford, UCLA and USC don't have to go very far to find high-quality players. The other schools in what was the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) have also feasted on California talent, as have programs such as Colorado and Notre Dame. This state has produced tons of top-level talent.
HIGH/LOW: 126 (2010)/ 73 (2007)
After Florida, the Peach State is the South's biggest producer of BCS signees. Much of it has come from the metro-Atlanta area but South Georgia also consistently puts out major talent. Georgia and Georgia Tech aren't the only schools that have done well here. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee all typically recruit the state heavily.
HIGH/LOW: 91 (2010)/ 52 (2003)
How good is Ohio at producing BCS players? Consider this: In 2011, Ohio State, one of the country's most consistent programs, signed 14 in-state recruits. And that's pretty much the norm. Ohio produces so much talent that every Big Ten program spends a good bit of time recruiting there. Ditto for Notre Dame, which has landed 22 Ohioans since 2002.
HIGH/LOW: 59 (2006)/ 36 (2003)
A consistently strong producer of BCS recruits, Pennsylvania sends players throughout the country every year. In the last recruiting class, in-state programs Penn State and Pittsburgh not only landed athletes from Pennsylvania, but so did Boston College, Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
HIGH/LOW: 62 (2009)/ 36 (2006)
Virginia is for lovers - and for college recruiters. The state regularly churns out a high volume of BCS signees. In 2006, receiver Percy Harvin (Florida) was the nation's No. 1 overall prospect. Defensive end Chris Long (Virginia), a member of the 2004 class, was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft. Virginia and Virginia Tech have done especially well in their own backyard.
HIGH/LOW: 54 (2004)/ 35 (2011)
In February, 25 Alabama players signed with SEC programs. Not bad for a state that ranks only 23rd in population. As one would expect, Alabama and Auburn get their share of homegrown talent. In 2008, of the 53 BCS signees from the state, 28 went to one of those two programs.
HIGH/LOW: 60 (2011)/ 26 (2003)
North Carolina has been a hotbed for the ACC, and not just the in-state programs. In 2011, the state sent 43 players to that conference. The SEC also has fared well in the Tar Heel State, grabbing seven in the last cycle, including five-star linebacker Kris Frost (Auburn). The state has typically produced one to two five-stars per year.
HIGH/LOW: 47 (2003, '05)/ 30 (2006)
Year after year New Jersey sends a good number of players to BCS programs, including the state school - Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights have signed 52 in-state athletes over the past five years. New Jersey always is good at the top, and elite programs from across the country often cherry-pick the best of the best. Examples include linebacker Brian Cushing (2005, USC), running back Knowshon Moreno (2006, Georgia) and Myron Rolle (2006, FSU).
NOTE: UConn's first Big East class was in 2005; the first for Cincinnati, Louisville and USF were in 2006. Temple was in the Big East from 2002-04.