Friday, November 8th, 2019 | 12 min read
We’re back with another edition of Sprinklr’s most talked about college football teams! Surprisingly enough, overall mentions were down this week with just under 300,000 mentions. Expect a much larger volume of messages next week as we see two matchups of undefeated teams. We’ve analyzed hundreds of thousands of mentions of college football across social media, news sites, blogs and forums using Sprinklr Modern Research. We decided to mix it up this week and provide a snippet of information around each team in the Sprinklr Top-25. Here are the most mentioned teams from last week:
1 – Ohio State University (- 0 spots) – 24,385 mentions
For the third week in a row, Ohio State is the most mentioned team in the land. Fans and media alike are ranting and raving about this team’s success with first year head coach Ryan Day. They are still far and away the most mentioned team by news sources and also placed number one in mentions on Twitter and Instagram. Not bad for a team that didn’t even play last week!
2 – Louisiana State University (- 0 spots) – 16,221 mentions
Another surprise is LSU maintaining the number two spot. After having a bye last week, it appears that fans and the media are more interested in top teams that aren’t playing than ones that are. Now upon some analysis of the conversation, there does appear to be a lot of hype around their big showdown with Alabama this week.
3 – University of Michigan (↑ 2 spots) – 15,034 mentions
Michigan took a rise in the rankings as well. Powered by a big win on national tv over Notre Dame, Michigan got a spike in mentions in the earlier part of the week. It’ll be interesting to see where they end up in next week’s rankings since they are now in a week where they don’t play.
4 – University of Tennessee (- 0 spots) – 12,112 mentions
Tennessee lands in the number four spot this week. They have consistently been in the top 5 most of the season and are a prime example of a school that has a passionate fan base and local news driving most of their messaging. Win or lose, their fans are active on modern channels.
5 – University of Oregon (↑ 8 spots) – 10,985 mentions
Oregon jumped up the standings after a big win over USC. It just goes to show that when teams win a big matchup, they are much more talked about week in and week out.
6 – University of Florida (↑ 1 spot) – 10,944 mentions
In a losing effort, Florida still prevailed over Georgia in the Sprinklr rankings. Interestingly enough, Georgia and Florida had almost the exact same number of news mentions this week (Georgia with the slight edge at 781 to 775). It looks like Florida, similar to Tennessee, has an avid fan base that is active across modern channels.
7 – University of Notre Dame (↑ 4 spots) – 10,379 mentions
In a close win this week, Notre Dame takes the number seven spot. Notre Dame’s name recognition is on display in these rankings as they really haven’t had any big storylines this season, but are able to get the fans and media riled up solely with their play on the field.
8 – University of Miami (↑ 9 spots) – 10,172 mentions
With a big win over an in-state rival, Miami had a solid volume of mentions this week. This is another school that has a strong national following and continues to show it with every win and loss.
9 – University of Alabama (↓ 6 spots) – 9,758 mentions
Yet another team that ends up in the top 10 without playing this week. It’s extremely interesting that these schools still dominate modern channel conversation during their bye week. Both fans and the media can’t get enough of the select teams that are consistently in the national spotlight.
10 – Purdue University (not ranked) – 9,041 mentions
With a close win over Nebraska, Purdue makes it to number 10. There has been a lot of love for Big Ten teams this season in the mentions department. Could it be the fan bases are more vocal? Or is it just a matter of the teams being better this year? More research is needed but it is an interesting question to think about.
11 – Clemson University (↓ 1 spots) – 8,974 mentions
Clemson continues to be much lower in our rankings than other national title contenders. Is it a strength of schedule? Lack of headlines. It’s always surprising for me to see them so low in mentions each week.
12 – Penn State University (↓ 6 spots) – 7,819 mentions
I know this is the fourth time I’m writing this, but another team that didn’t play this past week is in the top 25. Fans and media alike can’t get enough of their top teams. While similar to LSU and Alabama, Penn State does have a big game next week, it’s interesting how the hype for them has lead them this high in the rankings.
13 – University of Minnesota (↓ 4 spots) – 6,914 mentions
I promise this isn’t a joke – Minnesota didn’t play last week either and they are also in the top 25. Apparently, people are excited about a couple of undefeated team matchups next week.
14 – University of Pittsburgh (not ranked) – 6,895 mentions
This team surprised us and required further conversation analysis. Pittsburgh had a solid win this week but isn’t in title contention and hasn’t drawn the biggest storylines this season. It turns out that many fans rejoiced that they are now bowl-eligible! Interestingly enough, Pittsburgh had the most positive sentiment of any other school this week.
15 – Kansas State University (↑ 8 spots) – 6,291 mentions
Kansas State got a win over their in-state rival the week after a big upset of Oklahoma. As we have seen a lot this season, upset winners tend to carry an increase in mentions in the following week.
16 – University of Nebraska (↑ 8 spots) – 6,196 mentions
Nebraska took another tough loss this season. However, fans and the media are still very much still interested in this season. This is another fan base that is unique in that they are always talking about their school, win or lose.
17 – University of Utah (↓ 3 spots) – 5,734 mentions
They are up there with Minnesota as one of the quietest division leaders this season. With only one loss, Utah has had a great season so far. Expect them to continue rising up the mentions rankings if they continue their success. It would be interesting to see what a big game does to activate the media and their fan base.
18 – University of Georgia (not ranked) – 5,730 mentions
It’s amazing to me how little Georgia has been talked about this season. With only one loss and still in contention for the playoffs, how have they not been higher? After a ranked matchup this past week, you’d think they would have jumped up. However, it looks like their audience isn’t the most active on Twitter. It will be interesting to see if that changes as they get closer to the end of the season.
19 – Florida State University (↑ 3 spots) – 5,492 mentions
Surprisingly, FSU ended up at 20. When a big-time school fires their head coach you’d expect them to soar up in mentions. However, it may be that we pulled the data on Saturday at 11:59pm. We will have to wait until next week to see how it affects their ranking with a full week of coverage.
20 – University of North Carolina (↓ 10 spots) – 5,311 mentions
While they might have a losing record right now, the games that North Carolina has played in sure have been interesting. With Mack Brown leading the team, North Carolina has drawn a lot of fan interest for a team that hasn’t had the same on-field success as some of the other teams consistently in our rankings.
21 – University of Kansas (not ranked) – 4,928 mentions
Kansas loses to in-state rival but still makes it into the top 25. It’s amazing what a big name coach can do to spark interest in a football program. Last year, Kansas wasn’t even close to getting into the top 25 of mentions across modern channels.
22 – Auburn University (↓ 7 spots) – 4,910 mentions
With a game that didn’t bring a ton of spark, we expected to see Auburn dip in the mentions department this week. As they finish out their season it will be interesting to see where they end up in our rankings. They have a fan base that has been pretty active during big matchups and quieter in less interesting ones.
23 – Indiana University (not ranked) – 4,489 mentions
Indiana makes a rare appearance into the top mentions in college football this week. With a big win over Northwestern, much of the conversation was around the success of their head coach, Tom Allen. If they are able to continue their success this season, look for them to stick around in the rankings as they play sleeper in the Big Ten.
24 – University of Oklahoma (↓ 16 spots) – 4,093 mentions
Wow, did Oklahoma drop! Just like Texas when they lost, the two Big 12 powerhouse teams have seemingly fallen out of the minds of fans and the media.
25 – Baylor University (↓ 5 spots) – 3,999 mentions
Perhaps the most underappreciated and unranked team in the country, the Bears just barely make it into the top 25. You could make the case that it’s a smaller school with a smaller fan base, but at this point in the season, you’d think that they would be getting more respect. If they end up winning out, would they get more recognition or are the fan bases of larger schools too much to compete with in the modern channel space?
Did We Predict Ohio State Coming Out as the Number One Ranked Team?!
We mentioned in last week’s blog that there may be some correlation between mentions across modern channels and the selection committee’s rankings for the playoffs. While Ohio State definitely has the track record to take the number one spot, they were blowing out every other Power 5 school in mentions across all news sources the entire season. I’d be willing to argue that any school that is talked about that much in the news is going to have some effect on the selection committee. If Ohio State ever loses this season, it will be interesting to see what happens to their mentions across the news.
It’s also worth noting that Clemson has been performing poorly this season in mentions despite their perfect record so far. In fact, Penn State has outperformed Clemson in mentions four of the past five weeks! Could it be that a weak schedule doesn’t create big headlines or could fan/media interest be factoring into the college football playoff rankings? We’ll be looking closely at this throughout the remainder of the season.
Make sure to check back every week for the new rankings as the season continues on. If you have any questions or comments about the data study, please reach out to @sprinklr or directly to me @robvanderzyppe.
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