In the Southeast, at least as far as the SEC is concerned, Birmingham is about as close to the center of the FL-GA-SC-TN-KY-AR-MS-LA-AL region as those schools are concerned. In fact the SEC headquarters are in B’ham. Adding NC and VA to the group, to fill out the Southeast, would move it a bit north and east for a center point, maybe Chattanooga.
It’s up to you to identify “your region” and to select what you regard as its center point.
If you care to say, how far from that center point do you live?
I’m rather surprised that anyone would identify with a region (maybe besides New England), especially because some regions are pretty flexible in character. While the OP talks about the SEC, why not the South, and include Virginia and maybe West Virginia in the mix?
So far as I’m concerned, I’m right in the center of my “region,” which is the DC metro area.
Below the state level, my region is Central Ohio, and its centre is Columbus. Above the state level, my region is the Mid West, and its centre is Chicago. I live in Columbus, about 360 miles by the interstate from Chicago.
Well, I guess I live in it, if my region is the North Valley. Chico is about as comopolitan as it gets around here. Sacramento is the Big City, but it’s two hours south and very much on the edge of our area. We go there for big city stuff, but I wouldn’t call it part of my region really.
In the large context, I live in the Mountain West, which includes MT, ID, WY, UT, CO, NM, AZ, and NV. Geographically, the center would be somewhere near Salt Lake City. Most people would say Denver is the true center of the Mountain West, and I’m 30 miles from there.
Locally, my region is the “Front Range”, the area along the foothills of the Rockies from Laramie/Cheyenne to Pueblo. The midway point of that area is a couple of miles north of the Denver Metro Area, or about 20 miles from where I am. Factoring in traffic, I can get to Laramie in an hour and a half, but it’d take close to three to get to Pueblo unless it was late at night.
I’d call Seattle the “center” of Puget Sound and also of Western Washington, two frequently cited regions. I’d like to think we’re the “center” of the Pacific Northwest, too, though Vancouver and Portland (and others) may dispute that.
I grew up in “southern Ohio” or “south central Ohio,” just outside the gravitational pulls of Columbus and Cincinnati. Not sure there was an identifiable center, though.
From largest region to smallest:
Great Lakes = Chicago. Distance: 3-5 hours, depending on where I am.
Michigan = Lansing (because nobody goes to Detroit if they can help it). Distance: 1 hour, give or take roughly 15 minutes depending.
Having lived in Laramie, Denver, and Pueblo, I’d be willing to accept that Denver is the center of the Front Range. But - not of the Mountain West - it’s not even in the mountains! I’d pick Salt Lake, except it doesn’t really feel that way culturally. Perhaps Jackson Hole?
My own answer - I’d define my current region as the Bluegrass, and Lexington (where I live) as its center.