Top 10: Most affordable college football towns

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Tulsa, Oklahoma is the most affordable, big-time college sports town in the United States, according to an annual survey released Tuesday by Coldwell Banker.
The Coldwell Banker College Home Price Comparison Index looks at the home towns of 119 Division 1-A college football programs to see how much the same type of house costs in each market. The benchmark: a 2,200-square foot single family house with four bedrooms, two-and-a-half


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Tulsa, Oklahoma is the most affordable, big-time college sports town in the United States, according to an annual survey released Tuesday by Coldwell Banker.

The Coldwell Banker College Home Price Comparison Index looks at the home towns of 119 Division 1-A college football programs to see how much the same type of house costs in each market. The benchmark: a 2,200-square foot single family house with four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, family room and two-car garage in a middle-management type neighborhood. (See top 25 tables below.)

Jim Gillespie, Coldwell Banker's CEO, who dreamed up the index, points out that college towns can be good places to live. "They're more affordable than many major markets," he says.

"College towns have so much to offer residents, such as employment, continuing education, cultural opportunities and, of course, sports," Gillespie said in a release. "Many of these markets are very attractive to Baby Boomers who want to downsize or retire from urban areas, as well as first-time home buyers who are just entering the marketplace and realizing how far their money can go."

The type of house tracked by the index sells for $148,575 in Tulsa, home of the Golden Hurricane. A similar one in Palo Alto, California, where the Stanford Cardinal play, costs a whopping $1.65 million, the highest of any of the college towns surveyed.

It's probably just a coincidence that Tulsa's record is 7-1 and is ranked 25th in the nation by Harris Interactive, while Stanford has compiled an 0-8 mark.

The nation's No. 1 team, Ohio State, is in Columbus, Ohio, where the average home of the type costs $251,364, 62nd among football towns, right near the middle of the rankings.

West Coast offense

The most expensive conference is, predictably, the Pac-10, with its high concentration of California colleges. Homes in Pac-10 towns average $812,632 with California (Berkeley), USC and UCLA (both Los Angeles) joining Stanford in the seven-figure average house category.

The least expensive conference, the Mid American, is also no surprise. Many colleges there are located in such struggling Midwestern industrial cities as Muncie, Indiana (Ball State), Toledo, Ohio (Toledo) and Kalamazoo, Michigan (Western Michigan).

Even though Gillespie makes a great case for college towns, he doesn't live in one himself. That may have something to do with the fact that he roots for his alma mater, the University of Illinois.

The Fighting Illini are 2-7 on the year and have lost to such powerhouses (not!) as Syracuse (3-5) and Indiana (5-4) [see correction below]. They don't figure to improve on that record this week when they welcome the Buckeyes to Champaign, Illinois.

At least you can buy a nice house in Champaign for just $229,650.

© 2006 Cable News Network LP, LLLP. A Time Warner Company ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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