Thursday, October 31st, 2019 | 9 min read
Week 9 of Sprinklr’s Top 25 most mentioned college football programs is here, and wow what a week it was. From now on, we expect to see large numbers in our data set, because each week the games will have major 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 (- 0 spots) – 44,172 mentions
2 – Louisiana State University (- 0 spots) – 32,035 mentions
3 – University of Alabama (↑ 6 spots) – 29,435 mentions
4 – University of Tennessee (↑ 8 spots) – 28,693 mentions
5 – University of Michigan (- 0 spots) – 27,725 mentions
6 – Penn State University (↓ 3 spots) – 27,224 mentions
7 – University of Florida (- 0 spots) – 22,544 mentions
8 – University of Oklahoma (↓ 4 spot) – 17,988 mentions
9 – University of Minnesota (↑ 6 spots) – 13,964 mentions
10 – Clemson University (↑ 4 spots) – 13,582 mentions
11 – University of Notre Dame (↑ 11 spots) – 11,521 mentions
12 – University of Illinois (↓ 6 spots) – 10,898 mentions
13 – University of Oregon (↓ 2 spots) – 10,289 mentions
14 – University of Texas (↓ 1 spot) – 9,539 mentions
15 – Auburn University (↑ 8 spots) – 8,523 mentions
16 – University of Utah (not ranked) – 7,726 mentions
17 – University of Miami (- 0 spots) – 7,324 mentions
18 – University of South Carolina (↓ 10 spots) – 6,756 mentions
19 – University of Kansas (not ranked) – 6,178 mentions
20 – Baylor University (↑ 1 spot) – 6,103 mentions
21 – University of Wisconsin (↓ 11 spots) – 6,094 mentions
22 – Florida State University (not ranked) – 6,091 mentions
23 – Kansas State University (not ranked) – 5,991 mentions
24 – University of Nebraska (↑ 2 spots) – 5,923 mentions
25 – University of Louisville (↓ 6 spots) – 4,946 mentions
Ohio State’s Dominance isn’t just on the field
For the second week in a row, Ohio State is at the top of Sprinklr’s Top 25. In fact, they have maintained a dominance all year in the Top 5 of these rankings. While they have established a ton of on-field success this season, it seemed odd to us that they have maintained this status all year long. There are plenty of other teams that have also had great years so far – many of which are also still undefeated. So why are the top team?
It’s important to regularly check how your query is written in Sprinklr to ensure that you aren’t missing out on opportunities where you are being mentioned. Upon inspection, it was pulling in all relevant data, so we determined that there wasn’t an issue with the query that was causing the spike.
We then compared Ohio State to schools like Alabama, Clemson, and LSU. All of these schools have been extremely successful this year and have all been near the top of the Sprinklr rankings but not the same success as OSU. What was the biggest difference? The news mentions for Ohio State are dramatically higher than any other football program. Take a look at news mentions by teams below.
From here we are making the conclusion that the news LOVES to talk about Ohio State more than any other team. Our biggest question is how will this will impact their playoff hopes if they are a fringe team? Can the media skew the perception of the team to the playoff committee? Only time will tell.
Local Media Loves to Talk College Football
One of the great things about Sprinklr is its ability to organize tons of information for you in a matter of seconds. Here’s a great example:
As seen in the top schools by mentions in the news chart above, there are thousands of different articles that brands get mentioned in. And while Sprinklr groups them all into news mentions, which they are, it’s important to decipher which type of news is catching your brand. Now think, this would take an absorbent amount of time and resources to go through and code all of these articles. That’s the beauty of Sprinklr – within seconds I can see the breakdown of all college football team mentions by media source.
What’s interesting is the dominance of local news as the primary news source for these schools. We often associate college football with national TV and news as millions of North Americans tune in on these fall Saturdays. However, with this insight we can see that there is much more of a local interest than a national one. Which when you step back and think about it, makes sense. Think about the last time you were on the campus of a major US college in the Fall. The campus buzzing about the weekend. Even people that don’t like football, have to at least know the basics of their school’s football program. It’s an amazing thing to see or be a part of. With all t
Now what is the media source category that came in second? Consumer news. This is what I expected to come in first. This is your ESPN, FOX Sports, and other big sports sites. While they do get a lot of content out, it’s nowhere close to the mentions received from the local media. This insight is important to PR professionals in sports – there seems to be a huge emphasis on sports related, and national media but maybe there should be more emphasis on the local news just based on the sheer volume of mentions.
Surprise, Surprise – Video is the most engaging content
Shifting our focus from channel insight to content insights we used the Modern Research tool this week to see what type of content was resonating with the college football audience. This might not be a shocker but it was video. Although photos in messages weren’t that far behind, it shows that visuals always help content perform better on social. Check out one of the highest performing tweets from this past week.
University of Minnesota football player and FOUR time cancer survivor Casey O'Brien and Coach P.J. Fleck share a moment after O'Brien's first snap of the year.
This is the Twitter content I’m here for…💪😍😏🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/uFLbkMZQIQ
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) October 20, 2019
Teams feel the effects of games into the next week
Something we’ve been noticing for awhile is that teams that make headlines the week before tend to see an increase in mentions in the beginning of the next week. Now part of it may be that we stop the data at 11:59pm EST every Saturday, but at the same time there is usually a larger volume of data coming in on Monday and Tuesday. Take Kansas and Illinois for example – while both schools won this past week, both had surprise strong performances two weeks ago (Illinois upset Wisconsin and Kansas State lost in a last second field goal to Texas). These mentions continued to flow in early this past week as the school both were above the average, expected mentions as detected by Sprinklr’s AI intuition. The takeaway – make a headline and people will talk about it for longer than just the weekend.
Preview – How does Share of Voice and sentiment affect the College Football Playoff rankings?
As the first set of college football playoff rankings come out next week, we will compare our share of voice rankings from Sprinklr with them to see what the correlation is between the two. It will be an interesting take on how fan and media perceptions may affect the rankings. Make sure to read next week’s article to see some of our findings!
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