As the season enters the final stretch, Sprinklr saw the overall mentions this week soar to over 400,000. We analyzed hundreds of thousands of mentions across social media, news sites, blogs and forums using Sprinklr Modern Research to help us discover the most interesting trends. Much of the data we analyzed came from our partner Twitter – you can find out more about our partnership here.
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1 – Louisiana State University – (↑ 1 spot) – 57,342 mentions
Winning arguably the biggest games will definitely get you to number one in the Sprinklr Top-25. It’s always interesting to see how overall sentiment changes for the team after a big win and you’ll notice a huge spike here. The most mentioned player – their quarterback and Heisman hopeful, Joe Burrow.
2 – University of Alabama (↑ 7 spots) – 43,162 mentions
Alabama was the team on the other side of the LSU win. While a lot of their mentions went hand-in-hand (both LSU and Alabama were mentioned together in thousands of tweets), Alabama fans and media were still not happy. Uncertainty about their playoff hopes now looms as a key topic around this school.
3 – Ohio State University (↓ 2 spots) – 33,438 mentions
Another dominant performance from Ohio State on the field and in the Sprinklr rankings. While they were surpassed by the two teams in the game-of-the-week, that shouldn’t discredit the dominance this school has across modern channels and they continue to keep fans and media buzzing about their program week and week out. While the national news may have been centered on the other two big games this week, the local fan base really supported their team this week. Check out the cities where the most people tweet about Ohio State from.
4 – Florida State University (↑ 15 spots) – 30,756 mentions
We brought up last week how we expected the program to have a lot more mentions after relieving their head coach of his duties. It definitely had an effect on this week’s rankings. While the initial announcement does make a spike in mentions, the conversation actually stays relatively large in the coming days. Most of the discussion centered around what went wrong and what needs to happen next. Those two topics actually had more conversation than the game won.
5 – University of Minnesota (↑ 8 spots) – 23,294 mentions
I think we all saw this mention spike coming once they knocked off Penn State. The usual recipe for climbing up the mention ladder; big storyline against a big opponent. This is an interesting case study as Minnesota wasn’t anywhere close to the top 25 in mentions in the beginning of the season and now appear to be here to stay. Does this win move them into the Top 25 for good? Time will tell.
6 – Penn State University (↑ 6 spots) – 12,855 mentions
Another team on the wrong end of a big game. Just like Alabama and LSU, Minnesota and Penn State shared a lot of mentions. While the winning team ended up with greater mentions in both scenarios, both teams benefit by getting greater news coverage and fan engagement.
7 – Clemson University (↑ 4 spots) – 10,654 mentions
A lot of media attention this week was around Clemson being excluded from the top four of the initial college football rankings. However, when we look at the top topics across all modern channels it appears that a lot of the conversation was actually positivity with their coach, Dabo Swinney. This word cloud below is a good visual depiction of the topics around the team this week.
8 – University of Miami (- 0 spots) – 10,548 mentions
Miami has maintained a spot in the top 25 for most of the season and has been inside the top 10 the last few weeks. While they aren’t sitting atop their conference in the standings, the school has a national fan base and constantly produces great content to share. Check out one of the most engaging posts of the week.
Since the Turnover Chain's inception, no Power 5 team has forced more turnovers than The U. pic.twitter.com/f9WlmDugf4
— Canes Football (@CanesFootball) November 3, 2019
9 – University of Tennessee (↓ 5 spots) – 9,403 mentions
Tennessee continues to fall in the mentions department. The school is not having a great year and it appears that fans and the media are beginning to move on from the team’s story this season as they continue to rebuild.
10 – University of Florida (↓ 4 spots) – 9,132 mentions
Florida had a dominant win over Vanderbilt this past week and it had their fan base excited. Check out the top themes driven by AI around Florida. Side note: the theme around Ohio State and Florida is that both of them are being picked up by a lot of news and blog sources talking about the latest college football rankings.
11 – University of Oklahoma (↑ 13 spots) – 8,568 mentions
Oklahoma shoots right back up the rankings after a bye week. They have moved right back into the conversation for a playoff spot even though they sit outside at the moment. It will be interesting to see where they land next week as they partake in a marquee matchup vs. Baylor.
12 – University of Illinois (not ranked) – 8,552 mentions
Once again, if you make a storyline, people will talk about you. Illinois mounted a fourth quarter comeback at Michigan State and shot up in the rankings. Illinois is not a contender for their conference championship, but they did qualify for a bowl game. This goes to show the power of fan bases. Even if they don’t have the same national following as other schools, they can still have a very loud voice on modern channels.
13 – University of Texas (not ranked) – 8,027 mentions
And Texas is back. While they had a brief hiatus in mentions after a couple tough losses, the school bounced back to get a win over a ranked Kansas State team. Texas remains one of the most active states talking about college football so it’s no surprise that when a team from that state is playing well, they will end up on our list. Just check out the top cities mentioning The Horns.
14 – Baylor University (↑ 11 spots) – 7,446 mentions
An overtime thriller to remain undefeated is quite the storyline. It’s almost odd that they didn’t end up higher in mentions this week. But Baylor has been on the low end of mentions pretty much all year despite their on field success. They’ll have a chance next week to prove how much interest they can generate as they host one of the best games of the week against Oklahoma.
15 – University of Oregon (↓ 10 spots) – 6,893 mentions
The highest ranked PAC-12 team this week comes in at number 15. Oregon didn’t play at all this week but is the highest ranked team in the PAC-12 in the AP. Overall, the conference is struggling to make storylines of their own. Is it the time difference with games kicking off at 10:30 p.m.? Is there a skill gap between their teams and the rest of the country? These questions are probably a little more than modern channels can answer, but it is interesting to think about.
16 – University of Arkansas (not ranked) – 6,315 mentions
Similar to Florida State last week, expect this school to rise up the rankings even more as they also let go of their coach. These are big storylines that are picked up in the news and blogs and eventually are a topic of discussion on social media in the days after.
17 – University of Notre Dame (↓ 10 spots) – 5,634 mentions
With this school out of the playoff picture and no conference title to play for, Notre Dame has dropped off a bit in the mentions department. Specifically, news, blogs, and websites have all seen decreased mentions of the school – see below.
18 – University of Michigan (↓ 15 spots) – 5,349 mentions
This type of drop in mentions goes to prove that without playing in a week or providing storylines that are caught by fans or the media, schools will drop. Michigan was pretty quiet this week as they were in a bye week. Expect them to move back up when they face in-state rival, Michigan State next week.
19 – University of Utah (↓ 2 spots) – 5,171 mentions
The Utes were another PAC-12 team on a bye week that was able to remain in the top 25. Both Utah and Oregon seem to be destined to play in the conference championship game. It will be interesting to see how that game created buzz around these two programs that have steadily been in the top 25 mentions but haven’t really had “their moment on top of modern channels” just yet.
20 – Purdue University (↓ 10 spots) – 4,574 mentions
Another surprising week for Purdue. They edged out a win vs. Northwestern but haven’t really created any big storylines or had a ton of “big” wins. Luckily with Sprinklr AI we didn’t have to spend too much time digging into the data. Another AI-driven topic cluster showed us that the school was still getting a lot of engagement and conversation around this message from their alumnus, Drew Brees.
— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) November 2, 2019
21 – University of Georgia (↓ 3 spots) – 4,571 mentions
Once again, Georgia is outside where we expected them. This is a team that is still contending for a conference and national championship but cannot seem to muster up the mentions. Could this factor into their ranking by the playoff committee?
22 – University of Iowa (not ranked) – 4,308 mentions
Iowa makes it onto this list after a lose to Wisconsin, who ended up being just outside of our top 25. We decided to do some source analysis and found that Iowa was the third most mentioned school in the news this week. Key themes were around three players: Jack Koerner, Djimon Colbert, and Kristian Welch. I am always interested in the type of news sources that are covering these teams, and once again, local news sources were much more likely to pick up the story than others.
23 – Auburn University (↓ 1 spot) – 4,164 mentions
Auburn slides into the top 25 even though they didn’t play this week. It’s so interesting that these “big” schools still dominate modern channels even when they have a bye week.
24 – University of Kentucky (not ranked) – 4,080 mentions
Kentucky suffered a tough loss to Tennessee this week. A majority of their mentions included mentions of Tennessee. It’s looking like teams can receive more mentions in a week when they play nationally popular opponents.
25 – University of Southern California (not ranked) – 3,799 mentions
And finally to round out the top 25 we have USC. It’s actually been a surprise all year that USC hasn’t been higher on the list. I assumed that they were one of the select few schools that had a national following and would consistently be among the top of this list. There are a couple of teams that haven’t had as much success but still have made their way on the list consistently. None-the-less, it’s great to see another West Coast team be mentioned a lot across modern channels. Here’s a breakdown of their mentions by source.
Correlation or Causation? How does fan and media perception of teams affect the CFP Rankings?
As we continue to look at how our rankings match up to the College Football Playoff Committee, we are seeing similar things happening – LSU jumping ahead of the pack this week, Ohio State being number one last week. But the age-old question comes into play here – is this just a correlation rather than causation? It’s difficult to get rid of all other potential variables, but we are continuing to research this. Personally, I think there are some influences and biases that the media and fans have on the playoff rankings, how much is the question.
To learn more about Sprinklr’s partnership with Twitter, click here.
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