Thursday, October 24th, 2019 | 8 min read
Week 8 of Sprinklr’s Top-25 most mentioned college football programs is here and wow what a week it was. Pretty much from here on out we expect to see crazy numbers in our data set as each week from here on out we will be seeing games that have big playoff implications or huge rivalries. For all college football fans this is the primetime of the season. We’ve analyzed hundreds of thousands of mentions of college football across social media, news sites, blogs and forums using Sprinklr Modern Research. Here are the most mentioned teams from last week. As always, we’ll provide some extended insights into the data and make some predictions for the future.
1 – Ohio State University (↑ 3 spots) – 50,138 mentions
2 – Louisiana State University (↓ 1 spot) – 36,604 mentions
3 – Penn State University (↑ 5 spots) – 28,953 mentions
4 – University of Oklahoma (↓ 2 spots) – 27,611 mentions
5 – University of Michigan (- 0 spots) – 24,318 mentions
6 – University of Illinois (not ranked) – 21,980 mentions
7 – University of Florida (↓ 4 spots) – 20,720 mentions
8 – University of South Carolina (↓ 1 spot) – 19,128 mentions
9 – University of Alabama (- 0 spots) – 18,641 mentions
10 – University of Wisconsin (↑ 3 spots) – 16,235 mentions
11 – University of Oregon (↑ 4 spots) – 15,527 mentions
12 – University of Tennessee (↓ 1 spot) – 14,405 mentions
13 – University of Texas (↓ 7 spots) – 13,722 mentions
14 – Clemson University (↓ 2 spots) – 12,642 mentions
15 – University of Minnesota (↑ 7 spots) – 11,773 mentions
16 – Michigan State University (not ranked) – 11,387 mentions
17 – University of Miami (↓ 1 spot) – 9,793 mentions
18 – University of Washington (not ranked) – 9,370 mentions
19 – University of Louisville (↑ 5 spots) – 8,889 mentions
20 – Arizona State University (not ranked) – 8,503 mentions
21 – Baylor University (- 0 spots) – 8,174 mentions
22 – University of Notre Dame (↓ 12 spots) – 7,438 mentions
23 – Auburn University (not ranked) – 7,421 mentions
24 – University of Georgia (↓ 4 spots) – 7,275 mentions
25 – University of Nebraska (↓ 7 spots) – 6,819 mentions
And Just Like that, Mentions are Back Up!
Remember last week when I said we had all these theories as to why mentions were down? Well this weeks mentions sky rocketed to over 575,000. Maybe it was the fall weather finally starting to set in or maybe it was that the content was that much better. Regardless, it was clear that fans were much more talkative on modern channels this week. What was interesting to me through this entire study is just how much conversation was happening on Twitter.
This bar chart shows just how dominant Twitter is over other channels. There were still thousands of TV mentions of these schools throughout the week but Twitter’s 440,000 mentions blows that out of the water. It’s pretty clear that fans are going to social media and online sources now more than ever for sports. What’s interesting on Twitter is that fans go here for two reasons – to discuss their football programs and to get information on them. Shifting through some of the most engaging messages each week and they are almost always from a sports news handle or a sports reporter’s handle. People, including myself, view Twitter as the fastest and most reliable news source for sports information. Take a look at a couple of the most engaging video on Twitter this week.
🚨 "UNBELIEVABLE!" 🚨
— ESPN (@espn) October 17, 2019
What is even more interesting is the content that is getting the most engagement from these news sources/reporters. It typically isn’t the breaking news or scores. It is usually throwback moments like the one above (painful for Michigan Alum like myself) or feel good/sentimental moments that drive the most engagement. So while it is important for these sources to post relevant news, what can really set them apart to gain more influence is providing fresh, new content. Take the second most engaging photo on Twitter this week as a good example.
Content is king. It’s not always about being the fastest to the story but making sure that story is a good one.
The People Love LSU
Louisiana State University has remained at the top of the leaderboard in mentions pretty much all year. Even when they don’t have a big storyline or big game during the week, they always tend to drive conversation. But let’s dive into their share of voice this week. Typically, the top schools have a dominant mention performance across Twitter and news sources. However, looking at the chart below, LSU wasn’t even close to the top ten in mentions across news sources.
Now I get they didn’t have a flashy matchup playing Mississippi State last week but weak story lines in news sources typically correlates with less mentions of Twitter as well. But LSU still rocked Twitter as their fan base can’t seem to get enough of the success their team is having. I will be curious to see what happens to their Twitter conversations when/if they lose a game this year.
Illinois Leaps Ahead of the Pack with an Upset Win
Obviously, this caught everyone by surprise. A team that was having a rough season upsets a team that was vying for a playoff birth. As expected, this grips the attention of the college football audience and shows in the mentions department. We saw the same thing occur when South Carolina upset Georgia last week. It’s becoming clear that these shocking games are what drive fan interest, conversation, and engagement. As teams continue to get surprising wins it will be cool to see how much of a spike they get in mentions. At the end of the season we will look into which upset received the largest spike so stay tuned!
My Predictions for the Top-5 were way off
Here is what I predicted as the most mentioned schools for week 8 last week:
1 – University of Michigan
2- University of Alabama
3 – Penn State University
4 – Arizona State University
5 – University of Oregon
And here’s how the top-5 actually turned out
1 – Ohio State University
2 – Louisiana State University
3 – Penn State University
4 – University of Oklahoma
5 – University of Michigan
Well, I only got two of those top-5 teams… but it’s a statement to just how volatile share of voice can be on modern channels. It’s interesting to me that Ohio State and LSU made their way into the top-5 even with games that weren’t that intriguing this week. However, throughout the year those have been the two programs that have created the most buzz. I’d argue that those two are the primary storylines of the season so far, but it’s interesting that because of it there are always some of the most mentioned teams each week.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog as we continue to dive into the data behind the most mentioned college football programs!
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