In light of the recent Marist poll reflecting that the Northeast is a college football wasteland, doesn't the Big Ten's rumored interest in Rutgers or UConn look like a colossal risk? The Big Ten expanding into the Northeast would be like the US's adventure in Iraq: an attempt to bring a concept - representative democracy and the political culture that accompanies it in the case of Iraq; football that doesn't require manufactured excitement in the case of the Northeast - to a culture that has no recent experience with the concept.
Incidentally, the poll reflects that a higher percentage of people in the Midwest follow college football a great deal. I'd like to see a breakdown of the states that comprise the Midwest and the South. I'd bet that the Deep South's score would be high and then it would be diluted by the responses from the Border States. This leads me to a uncomfortable conclusion: you can probably track intense feelings about college football to the states that first seceded from the Union in 1861, possibly in order.