Here in the USoA, we definitely have our reasons for glorifying colleges. Whether it be their athletics(University of Alabama), their academics(Harvard University), their beauty(University of Colorado-Boulder), or their annual ranking on the scientifically reliable "party school" list(West Virginia State University), there are very well-known colleges for a variety of reasons.
With this being said, does anyone ever wonder what colleges are popular for some of these same reasons, yet, are overshadowed by another college in the same state? For instance, my Alma Mater Miami University(Ohio) is overshadowed by The Ohio State University, but we're still a fairly well known college for many reasons. We actually had a history of historic coaches, but nobody cares, because of OSU. We have great academics, but thanks to OSU's research portion, nobody cares. We still have parties, but how can they compare to a weekend in Columbus?
Below is my list of popular(not barely-known) schools which seem to be overshadowed by more popular schools in the same state.
Alabama-Overshadowed College: Auburn University(Auburn, Alabama)-AU is one of the most popular colleges in the country, really. It has a great reputation, and has well-known athletics. But as we all know, the University of Alabama(Tuscaloosa, Alabama) steals the show with their unique school spirit, and elite football team.
Alaska-Overshadowed College: University of Alaska Southeast(Juneau, Alaska)-Really, just about any school can be on this list, but make no mistake, UAS is one of the largest in Alaska because it's in the capital of Alaska. Oddly enough, the only college which gets any recognition in Alaska is the University of Alaska-Anchorage(Anchorage, Alaska). Actually, Anchorage seems to be the only city which gets any attention in Alaska in the first place.
Arizona-Overshadowed College: University of Arizona(Tuscon, Arizona)-Similar to Auburn, UA is unfortunately in the wrong state. UA, similar to others on this list, is a great college known for great things-but when you have Arizona State University(Tempe, Arizona) in the same state as you, it's a little hard to be known. ASU is one of the largest colleges in the country, and is known for it's athletics, and vast social life.
Arkansas-Overshadowed College: Arkansas State University(Jonesboro, Arkansas)-This ASU has a much different reputation than the ASU in Arizona, but it's still a great school with great things. However, the penultimate college in Arkansas is still the University of Arkansas(Fayetteville, Arkansas), mainly for its athletics.
California-Overshadowed College: San Diego State University(San Diego, California)-San Diego is ranked the number one city in the world for quality of life, but the same can't be said for its college. It's not that SDSU is overshadowed-but in a state the size of California, how many colleges overshadow it? The one that sticks out to me the most is is the University of Southern California(Los Angeles, California), mainly because it's a major football school, and had that epic winning streak. LA ruins everything for California, doesn't it?
Colorado-Overshadowed College: Colorado State University(Fort Collins, Colorado)-I've been on the University of Colorado-Boulder(Boulder, Colorado) campus, and that was easily the most beautiful college campus I've seen in my life. Plus, the city of Boulder is poppin'! I can see why CSU is overshadowed, despite Fort Collins also being a nice city as well.
Connecticut-Overshadowed College: University of Connecticut(Storrs, Connecticut)-It's not that we're denying that UC is a great school, and is also the largest college in the state, but when you have an Ivy League College in the same state(Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut), in the words of James Hetfield, nothing else matters.
Delaware-Overshadowed College: University of Delaware(Newark, Delaware)-Another instance of a state's largest college being overshadowed by a prestigious private college. This time, Wilmington University(New Castle, Delaware) takes the stage.
Florida-Overshadowed College: Florida Gulf Coast University(Fort Myers, Florida)-Florida is the most unique state for colleges(and many other reasons at that), because it seems like their universities seem to get an equal amount of attention-except for their well known, but not well known enough FGCU. What's the matter? The state is also home to Central Florida University(Orlando, Florida), the University of Florida(Gainesville, Florida), and Florida State University(Tallahassee, Florida), and even University of Miami(Coral Gables, Florida).
Georgia-Overshadowed College: Georgia Institute of Technology(Atlanta, Georgia)-It's located in Hotlanta, and has a great sports program-what's not to love about Georgia Tech? This pesky party/football paradise known as the University of Georgia(Athens, Georgia).
Hawaii-Overshadowed College: University of Hawaii(Hilo/Manoa, Hawaii campus)-This is a tough one, because Hawaii is known as a massive tourist destination, and nobody even thinks about their dismantled education system. However, these campuses have more graduate students than undergrads, and that screams "unpopular" in the college world. The University of Hawaii Maui College(Kahului, Hawaii) seems to be the only college which gets any media attention, and oddly enough, it's a commuter school.
Idaho-Overshadowed College: Brigham Young University-Idaho(Rexburg, Idaho)-This one is overshaodwed for two reasons: 1. Boise State University(Boise, Idaho) is the juggernaut of Idaho, and 2. When people think of Brigham Young, they think of the college in Utah, not Idaho. But BYUI is one of the largest schools in Idaho.
Illinois-Overshadowed College-University of Chicago(Chicago, Illinois)-Some colleges are overshaodwed due to other major colleges, and some are overshadowed because of the major city they're in. This college seems to suffer from both of those. Chicago is too much to focus on a school, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign(Champaign, Illinois) is known for it's athletics, party school reputation, and...academics?(Which makes no sense, but we'll move along now).
Indiana-Overshadowed College-Ball State University(Muncy, Indiana)-I live on the border of Indiana, and even though I've never been to BSU, I heard it's a very underrated college for many reasons! But how many less violent Irish, Catholic people would Indiana have without Notre Dame University(South Bend, Indiana)?
Iowa-Overshadowed College: Iowa State University of Science and Technology(Ames, Iowa)-ISUST is just...second place to the University of Iowa(Iowa City, Iowa) in just about everything. Poor Iowa State :(
Kansas-Overshadowed College: Wichita State University(Wichita, Kansas)-While not a grand college by any means, WSU is still a good place to go for a blend of athletics, and academics. This can't compare to the University of Kansas(Lawrence, Kansas), and its status as an athletic juggernaut.
Kentucky-Overshadowed College: Northern Kentucky University(Highland Heights, Kentucky)-I live on the border of Kentucky, and I've been to the Northern Kentuck's ugly, poorly-designed campus. However, NKU has one of the best theater programs in the country, and has been known to send people to Hollywood. There is only one problem-the University of Kentucky(Lexington, Kentucky) has been known to send people to Canton.
Louisiana-Overshadowed College: University of Louisiana at Lafayette(Lafayette, Louisiana)-ULL is one of the largest schools in the country, and has a notoriously creepy mascot. But down in the bayou, Louisiana State University(Baton Rouge, Louisiana) takes the cake here.
Maine-Overshadowed College: University of New England(Biddeford, Maine)-Believe it, or not, this private university competes with the University of Maine(Orono, Maine) as the largest college in the state. However, does anyone ever hear about a college in Maine, other than UM?(Which barely gets attention itself).
Maryland-Overshadowed College: University of Maryland-College Park(College Park, Maryland)-Maryland is unique, because their "University of[state]" campuses are often overshadowed, and despite the fact UMCP is the largest college in the state, and known for its academics, Towson University(Towson, Maryland) is the main focus in this state.
Massachusetts-Overshadowed College: Boston College(Newton, Massachusetts)-Boston College is arguably on an "ivy league" level with a good sports program-so, what's the issue? As we all know, Massachusetts is home of the top ranked academic school in the world, Harvard University(Cambridge, Massachusetts).
Michigan-Overshadowed College: Michigan State University(East Lansing, Michigan)-MSU is hardly overshadowed at all. It gets a ton of media attention, has an awesome football team, solid academics, and has a great social scene, but as with others on this list, falls in the wrong state. Y'all ever heard of the University of Michigan(Ann Arbor, Michigan) before?
Minnesota-Overshadowed College: Minnesota State University(Mankato, Minnesota)-Again, everything about it seems solid, but it shares the same state with its main college, the University of Minnesota(Minneapolis, Minnesota).
Mississippi-Overshadowed College: Mississippi State University(Starkville, Mississippi)-Another state, another MSU. But let's not pretend like the nickname "Ole' Miss"(for University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi) doesn't ring in your head when you think of this state.
Missouri-Overshadowed College: Missouri State University(Springfield, Missouri)-What is it with the poor MSU's in this country? And is every college with a nickname glorified? I'm talking to you, Mizzou(University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri)
Montana-Overshadowed College: Montana State University(Bozeman, Montana)-This MSU has a reason: It's mainly for graduate students. It was never going to compare to the University of Montana(Missoula, Montana), but even then, UM isn't that popular.
Nebraska-Overshadowed College: University of Nebraska-Omaha(Omaha, Nebraska)-Pretty much every Nebraska college is heavily overshadowed by the main campus, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln(Lincoln, Nebraska). Go Cornhuskers!
Nevada-Overshadowed College: College of Southern Nevada(Las Vegas, Nevada)-Do you know that CSN is the largest college in the state? Probably not. Did you know that it's located in Las Vegas, unlike the fairly well known University of Nevada-Las Vegas(Paradise, Nevada)? I doubt it.
New Hampshire-Overshadowed College: Southern New Hampshire University(Manchester, New Hampshire)-SNHU is a massive private college, but it's no Dartmouth College(Hanover, New Hampshire). Ivy League schools will always win.
New Jersey-Overshadowed College: Rutgers University(Newark, New Jersey)-This is a close battle, but as usual, the Ivy League school(Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey) wins the war. Rutgers is quite massive though.
New Mexico-Overshadowed College: New Mexico State University(Las Cruces, New Mexico)-NMSU is another state university completely overshadowed by the main state university, University of New Mexico(Albuquerque, New Mexico).
New York-Overshadowed College: State University of New York(any of the 64 campuses in New York)-I know you've seen the "SUNY" ancronym before. Hell, they have 64 college college campuses in the state. But New York holds distinction as the only state with more than one Ivy League school: Cornell University(Ithaca, New York), and Columbia University(New York City, New York).
North Carolina-Overshadowed College: Duke University(Durham, North Carolina)-It's tough to grasp how a major basketball school like Duke can be overshadowed, but the University of North Carolina(Chapel Hill, North Carolina) has a nationwide fan base, and is one of the biggest schools in the country.
North Dakota-Overshadowed College: University of North Dakota(Grand Forks, North Dakota)-Given the fact North Dakota is a forgotten state, and nobody knows anything about Grand Forks, I would have to think North Dakota State University(Fargo, North Dakota) is a little more popular, because of Fargo...right?
Ohio-Overshadowed College: University of Cincinnati(Cincinnati, Ohio)-As many of you on here know, I am a lifelong Ohioan. Really, almost every college here is overshadowed by THE Ohio State University(Columbus, Ohio), because it's one of the largest schools in the country, and has one of the best college football teams in the country. My Alma Mater Miami University(Oxford, Ohio) is a mess-people confuse it with Miami, Florida, or Oxford, Mississippi. Ohio University(Athens, Ohio) is a "party school", and even University of Toledo(Toledo, Ohio) gets some attention. But UC is a huge sports school, party school, and even has some great programs, but Ohio has so many other notable colleges.
Oklahoma-Overshadowed College: Oklahoma State University(Stillwater, Oklahoma)-This is another OSU which has a great football team, but the University of Oklahoma(Norman, Oklahoma) are known for being the Sooners who kick ass.
Oregon-Overshadowed College: Oregon State University(Corvallis, Oregon)-Apparently, all the OSU's have great football teams, but nobody can deny the University of Oregon(Eugene, Oregon), and their lime-green Ducks team is the main focus in the Pacific Northwest.
Pennsylvania-Overshadowed College: University of Pennsylvania(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)-Out of the eight Ivy League schools, UP gets the least amount of attention. I'm willing to bet most people don't even known UP is an Ivy League school in the first place. Either way, UP isn't near as cool as Pennsylvania State University(University Park, Pennsylvania), which is known for football, parties, sex scandals, riots, and all things Pennsylvania.
Rhode Island-Overshadowed College: University of Rhode Island(Kingston, Rhode Island)-URI would be the clear outlier of Rhode Island, if it wasn't for Brown University(Providence, Rhode Island). Damn you Ivy League schools!
South Carolina-Overshadowed College: University of South Carolina-Columbia(Columbia, South Carolina)-I don't know why USC isn't as well known as some others, but Clemson University(Clemson, South Carolina) is the lightning, and thunder of this state,
South Dakota-Overshadowed College: University of South Dakota(Vermillion, South Dakota)-The Dakotas get no respect anyway. But I know USD doesn't get the same attention as South Dakota State University(Brookings, South Dakota).
Tennessee-Overshadowed College: University of Memphis(Memphis, Tennessee)-The problem is, UM is mainly a research university, despite the fact it's almost as big as the juggernaut, University of Tennessee(Knoxville, Tennessee). But let's not pretend that the Volts don't run the show. I've been to UT's campus, and it's gorgeous. I recommend visiting that remarkable area of Tennessee :)
Texas-Overshadowed College: Texas Tech University(Lubbock, Texas)-Again, it's not that we don't hear about Texas Tech-we all know it. But the University of Texas(Austin, Texas) Longhorns are yuuuuuuuge.
Utah-Overshadowed College: University of Utah(Salt Lake City, Utah)-The U of U is probably a good school. But does it compare to the stone cold sober, beautiful, pretty-girl, ultra-religious, prestigious, private, and ever-so-perfect Brigham Young University(Provo, Utah)? I think not.
Vermont-Overshadowed College: Champlain College(Burlington, Vermont)-It's a quaint college in wrong city: Burlington, which is also home of the University of Vermont.
Virginia-Overshadowed College: Liberty University(Lynchburg, Virginia)-How can a school with over 100,000 students be overshadowed? Because of history, that's why. The College of William and Mary(Williamsburg, Virginia) is well-known as the first public college in the country(second overall college, only to Harvard University). Need I say more?
Washington-Overshadowed College: Washington State University(Pullman, Washington)-The same pattern repeats itself: The college is well known, but there is another sports school which gets more attention. This time, the spotlight is on the University of Washington(Seattle, Washington).
West Virginia-Overshadowed College: Marshall University(Huntington, West Virginia)-Yes, they have their own movie titled We Are Marshall, and I also realize that the plane crash effected the whole country, but that was also 48 years ago. These days, West Virginia University(Morgantown, West Virginia) has a 200+ year streak on the 100 different "party school" lists floating around the internet. Long live, Hillbilly America!
Wisconsin-Overshadowed College: Marquette University(Milwaukee, Wisconsin)-Marquette is quite prestigious, but the University of Wisconsin-Madison(Madison, Wisconsin) is so much better...for partying. It's basically the West Virginia State of the northern hemisphere.
Wyoming-Overshadowed College: Casper College(Casper, Wyoming)-Really, couldn't every single school in Wyoming be listed here? Almost. The University of Wyoming(Laramie, Wyoming) is quite popular though.
Honorable Mention: University of Washington, District of Columbia(Located in the capital, Washington, D.C.)-Talk about being overshadowed. UWDC actually exists people. It's easy to be blinded by the corruption in Washington, or the orange man, or the fact there is so much more to D.C. than this college. But I do know a guy who went here, and he told me it's criminally underrated.