Oxford national ranks among sports towns

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The results are in, and they might surprise you. WalletHub released its 2019 ranks for the best and worst cities in the country for football fans, with a few different categories. Oxford ranked No. 82 in overall towns, No. 61 in college football towns, and No. 40 in small towns.

Rankings are derived from a formula of over twenty different metrics that values team performance, ticket prices, attendance and fan engagement. Any city with at least one football team, be it an NFL team or an FBS or FCS team, were considered. The small cities ranked, like Oxford, must list a population below 100,000 people. Oxford falls well under that threshold at just over 23,000 people.

Simply put, Oxford lacked in the performance category. A large part of the metric related to win percentage over the past three seasons, as well as number of historical championships and the number of historical conference championship wins. Considering Ole Miss is 16-20 the last three years and haven’t won a national or conference title since 1963, it’s no surprise this category handcuffs Oxford to a tremendous degree.

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Previously, WalletHub had released rankings for both basketball and football. Interestingly, Oxford ranked as a better basketball town than a football town. Oxford ranked No. 54 overall and No. 30 for small towns in basketball. The team is simply better than the football team of late. Despite the 12-20 record a season ago, the team is 56-46 over the past three seasons. Rankings for basketball were completed before this ongoing season, so the Rebels’ 14-5 record in basketball for this year was not factored.

Unsurprisingly, Oxford is a great baseball town. Of 208 small cities ranked, Oxford is No. 3, ranking behind just Annapolis, Maryland and Buies Creek, North Carolina. Swayze Field also ranked in second in college baseball stadium accessibility and Oxford ranked fifth among college baseball fan engagement.

For more information on the ranks, or the methodology behind the algorithms, see here.