Monday, November 25th, 2019 | 10 min read
The craziness of the college football season continues as we ended up seeing the most mentions all season this past week. With just a couple of weeks left in the season, fans are becoming much more vocal across modern channels as rivalry games happen and games seem to have more of an impact on teams’ playoff and bowl future. 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.
1 – Louisiana State University – (- 0 spots) – 109,436 mentions
2 – Ohio State University (↑ 1 spot) – 75,621 mentions
3 – University of Alabama (↓ 1 spots) – 66,710 mentions
4 – University of Minnesota (↑ 1 spot) – 38,372 mentions
5 – University of Oklahoma (↑ 6 spots) – 38,124 mentions
6 – University of Michigan (↑ 6 spots) – 37,162 mentions
7 – Clemson University (- 0 spots) – 31,270 mentions
8 – Baylor University (↑ 6 spots) – 29,202 mentions
9 – Auburn University (↑ 14 spots) – 25,396 mentions
10 – University of Florida (- 0 spots) – 20,399 mentions
11 – University of Texas (↑ 2 spots) – 19,512 mentions
12 – Penn State University (↑ 6 spots) – 18,681 mentions
13 – University of Arkansas (↑ 3 spots) – 17,735 mentions
14 – University of Tennessee (↓ 5 spots) – 17,062 mentions
15 – University of Notre Dame (↑ 2 spots) – 15,983 mentions
16 – University of Iowa (↑ 6 spots) – 15,736 mentions
17 – University of Georgia (↑ 4 spots) – 15,333 mentions
18 – University of Utah (↑ 1 spot) – 15,176 mentions
19 – University of Nebraska (not ranked) – 14,791 mentions
20 – Michigan State University (not ranked) – 14,701 mentions
21 – University of Oregon (↑ 6 spots) – 13,620 mentions
22 – University of Wisconsin (not ranked) – 12,099 mentions
23 – Florida State University (↓ 19 spots) – 11,383 mentions
24 – University of Illinois (↓ 12 spots) – 11,197 mentions
25 – University of Mississippi (not ranked) – 10,314 mentions
Overall Mentions reach a season high
This week had just over 857,200 mentions – the most we’ve had this year! It seemed to be a combination of excitement from last week’s set of games that saw teams like LSU and Minnesota get huge wins and this week’s games that featured Oklahoma and Georgia wins as well. Looking at our source distribution there were rises in conversation across Twitter and news source so it appears that fans and media alike are talking more about this week’s games.
Expect the mentions to continue to rise as we go into rivalry week in a couple of weeks to finish out the year. With the buzz that winning teams are getting and the implications that conference champions have on the playoffs, I’m curious to see if the conference championship week has the highest spike even though the majority of teams aren’t playing then.
Where is the PAC-12?
Another week has gone by with a considerable lack of PAC-12 teams in the Sprinklr rankings. While these schools are also struggling to find their way in the AP and College Football rankings, it’s surprising that people flat out aren’t talking about them. This week’s rankings saw Utah come in at 18, Oregon at 20, and that’s it… Oregon still has a shot at making the playoffs if they can win the conference too! On top of that there are still two big schools in USC and UCLA that hold a lot of name and brand power even if they aren’t as successful on the field this year. Just look at teams like Tennessee and Florida State that are still being talked about a lot. Should one of these teams get upset, or have a close game in the next few weeks, it would be interesting to see how that affects their mentions. Regardless, it’s baffling that these teams don’t pick up as much coverage from fans or media. I read this article in July that talked about moving PAC-12 games to 9am local start times so that they could play at the same times as teams in the east coast. When I first read it, I thought the idea was crazy, but the more data I see and the more Sprinklr rankings without PAC-12 teams in it, the more I’m starting to think that something needs to be done to the content so that they can gain more share of voice in the market.
Still no love for Georgia?
Georgia enters our list at number 17 this week. Maybe I’m just too optimistic about this school, but it always surprises me to consistently see them this low on the list. Georgia is a one-loss team that has clinched a berth to the SEC championship game and has a STRONG chance of making the playoffs. They have a very active fan base, a star quarterback, and an interesting head coach in Kirby Smart. They came in 11th this week in news and media mentions so it looks like they are getting a decent amount of media coverage.
However, on Twitter and Instagram, Georgia sat outside the top-15. While other schools are usually ecstatic with these kinds of results, it’s still odd that a team that is on the verge of another playoff bid is not getting more attention. While I don’t have a theory behind why this is happening, here is an interesting find – Georgia had the second most mentions across local radio this week, only behind Ohio State.
Minnesota is the latest example of a top storyline shooting a team up the rankings
At the beginning of the year, Minnesota was nowhere close to the top-25, let alone the top five. In fact, the first couple of weeks saw this school struggle to reach the top-50 in mentions across modern channels. However, after going undefeated and upsetting a top-10 team, they entered this week’s rankings at number four! Why the sudden jump? It all comes down to a good storyline. This school has turned around their football program in a matter of a couple years, with their new head coach, PJ Fleck, playing a big part in it. Fleck’s unique personality has drawn a lot of media attention and is a good example of the type of content schools should want in order to boost their presence in the market. Even though the school may have lost this week, they still have a strong chance of reaching their conference championship game. Look for this team to stay in the national news for the rest of this year and into 2020.
LSU had over 107,000 mentions on Twitter!
LSU had a great week on Twitter. In fact, it was the best week we’ve seen from a team all year in terms of mentions. Why was LSU mentioned so much? Well to start with, the team knocked of Alabama on the road the previous week. As we have been observing all years, teams usually see a runoff of mentions and discussions about the game into the next week. However, the team also had another interesting storyline that drove a lot of engagement. It’s important to note that college football recruiting is still done in season and die-hard fans watch for these verbal commitments to come in throughout the year. De’Coldest Crawford managed to go viral with his announcement to verbally commit to LSU. The phrase “Hold That Tiger” was one of the top topics that our AI determined for the week.
— Decoldest Crawford (@Yrncold) October 28, 2019
If you’re interested in why “mossed” made it on the topic cluster, check out this tweet that LSU Football posted.
Great content wins the mentions wars in college football. With so many teams, schools need to do things to stand out from the pack. This is the biggest takeaway we’ve gotten from the analysis this season. Look out for our season wrap up blog in a couple of weeks where we look at more of the macro trends from this season including AI-driven audience insights and much more.
To learn more about Sprinklr’s partnership with Twitter, click here.
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