After assembling a panel of ten sports personalities and experts, which included a CBS college football analyst, SiriusXM on-air talent, and writers for organizations like Fox Sports, Yahoo!, and the Associated Press, Athens, Georgia appeared on nine of the ten ballots, receiving three first place votes for a total of 62/100 points to edge out the cities of Madison, Wisconsin and Austin, Texas.
“It has it all,” said Pat Forde, a member of the panel who works as a national college columnist for Yahoo! Sports. “A great downtown area with a lot of great restaurants and bars, a pretty campus and my favorite football stadium.”
Not only does Athens provide a game day experience unlike any other between the hallowed Hedges, but the city also has a unique Downtown District where you can find music venues, around 80 bars, and a variety of restaurants. Annually, the city of Athens hosts events such as A Taste of Athens, Twilight Criterium, and the AthFest Music & Arts Festival.
Four other SEC schools were mentioned by the panel, including Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU, and Alabama. However, Athens was the only college town to crack the top five.