Wednesday, September 4th, 2019 | 12 min read
College football is back! This is the true sign that summer is ending and fall is right around the corner. If you’re like me, college football consumes your Saturdays for the next 13+ weeks and you’ll notice that takes over online conversations across social media, news sites, blogs, and forums. With so much conversation across a wide array of sources, how do you make sense of it all? That’s where Sprinklr Modern Research comes in.
Each week throughout the season we will be analyzing data across all Power-5 division school and coming up with our own rankings of the top-25 mentioned schools of the week. Here are the rankings from August 25th-31st:
25 – University of Kentucky Football – Rounding out the top 25 is Kentucky. This school landed just over 12,000 mentions this week with just over 10,000 positive or neutral mentions. Lots of the hype is around the potential of their football program in the tough SEC conference. As we’ll see with a lot of these school’s Twitter is the dominant channel for the vast majority of these mentions, over 80% of the conversation was sourced from Twitter for Kentucky.
24 – University of Iowa – With a little over 12,500 mentions in week one, Iowa makes our top-25 list. The school had a solid win this week but not a lot of headlines so this ranking was a bit surprising. Upon further investigation, the school generated a large number of mentions in the news, specifically local domains. It’s clear that the local market loves to talk about their school.
23 – University of Wisconsin – Another strong big ten school jumps in here. In this case, we saw a large number of mentions pile in around the star running backs performance. Fans and alumni love to mention their school when they have these Heisman trophy candidates so expect to see them as one of the most mentioned teams all year.
22 – University of Georgia – It’s was a bit surprising to see this school further up the rankings. The school saw a strong number of mentions from Twitter as well as secondary mentions from blogs/websites, Instagram and forums. However, looking at the time distribution of mentions throughout the week we see the typical spike on gameday but the ramp-up in mentions on Thursday and Friday weren’t nearly as large as some of the other schools. Fun fact – Georgia leads all schools with the most radio mentions this week.
21 – University of West Virginia – West Virginia popped in at number 23 with roughly 13,800 mentions throughout the week, with almost half of them coming on Saturday. The school didn’t get much mention across TV, news, or print source but was all over Twitter which contributed almost 90% of their mentions.
20 – Georgia Tech University – While this school lost their regular season opener, they were one of the most mentioned teams of the week. However, that game was against one of the top teams in the country, Clemson and upon further analysis, almost half of the mentions of the school were linked to their game against one of the country’s powerhouse football programs. Something to watch this season to see if universities get mentioned more simply because they are playing a mighty opponent.
19 – University of Oklahoma – While the school didn’t play its first game until Sunday, the school still landed a top spot. Looking at their daily distribution we see that Sooner fans steadily talked about their school all week which is an anomaly to the typical bell curve we see throughout the week with most teams.
18 – University of North Carolina – The school got a great upset win to start the season and they were one of the most mentioned teams on Saturday with over 10,00 mentions on that day. It will be interesting to see if their presence on modern channels continues throughout the year.
17 – University of Oregon – While the school took a tough loss on the national stage, their sentiment didn’t spike like we expected. It seems like the fan base isn’t as quick to bash their team. Despite the harsh reality that modern channels are quick to point out, people may be more hesitant to bash colleges and athletes. Sentiment trend will be interesting to watch throughout the year.
16 – University of Utah – The school has been one of the most hyped and mentioned teams out west throughout the preseason so it’s no surprise that they received almost 18,000 mentions this week. With a big win over their rival school’s sentiment was through the roof. It’ll be interesting to see what happens to this school as they aren’t typically one of the most mentioned schools year-in and year-out. Does on-field success cause an increase in share-of-voice? This will be an interesting school to watch.
15 – University of Miami – Another team that dominated mentions on Twitter with over 16,000 on a week they didn’t even play (played a week earlier against Florida). However, with the loss we saw a relatively even ratio of positive-to-negative sentiment messages.
14 – Texas A&M University – Another top team in the country enters the mix. Like we have been seeing throughout, Twitter and news sources are the two dominating sources of mentions for this school. One of the interesting things with this school is that their fans “the 12th man” was one of the most talked-about topics around the team as we discovered with our AI-driven topic chart below.
13 – University of Nebraska – As one of the most hyped teams of the year, it’s no surprise to see Nebraska as one of the most talked-about teams. Interestingly enough, the school had one of the most engaging posts on Twitter this week from their men’s basketball head coach
12 – University of South Carolina – Unfortunately, this school was handed a tough loss and their sentiment score was the lowest of the top 25 at -1.3. Most of their mentions were from… you guessed it – Twitter.
11 – Penn State University – The school had a dominating performance on the field and it’s no surprise their fans took to modern channels to share it. The school has over 23,000 mentions this week.
10 – University of Florida – Another school that didn’t even play throughout the week but still made in in the top 25. The school had over 21,000 mentions on twitter and is a testament to this channel being the go-to source for sports news and information.
9 – Auburn University – Winning arguably the best game of the week lands this top program just inside the top ten in most mentions. New quarterback, Bo Nix, took a lot of the conversation but the jubilation around the comeback win took the biggest spike in mentions on Saturday around 11pm EST.
8 – Florida State University – A powerhouse football program that has taken its hits the past couple of seasons, was mentioned almost 26,000 times this week. This goes to show that even when times aren’t so great, you will be mentioned across all channels – there is no hiding in this digital age.
7 – University of Michigan – One of the most historic programs in the country, it’s no surprise to see them in the top ten this week. Taking Twitter out of the equation, this school had a strong distribution of mentions across Instagram, news, blogs, and forums.
6 – Louisiana State University – The only school to have more mentions from Instagram than the news, LSU comes in as the eighth most mentioned school of the week. With a dominating win this week and a big game next week, expect them to move up next week.
5 – University of Texas – Texas had over 33,00 mentions this week and the biggest theme of this week – their showdown with LSU next week. As the school is showcased this coming week, expect them to increase their mentions and sentiment score even more.
4 – Clemson University – Surprisingly, this school wasn’t in the top five this week. The defending national champions had over 36,000 mentions this week and won their home opener, but the school lacked big storylines. As is becoming evident throughout this data study, content is king and if you don’t have big storylines, you won’t get large volumes of mentions.
3– University of Tennessee – As mentioned with South Carolina, there is no hiding from the spotlight in the digital age. This proud football program suffered a tough loss and these tend to make big storylines. Tennessee was the second most mentioned school on twitter this week with 33,000 mentions on that channel alone.
2 – Ohio State University – With the impressive win, new head coach, and a new transfer quarterback there were plenty of storylines for the school. They received the most mentions across news sources with over 16,000 articles. A big program with big storylines is a recipe for mentions.
1 – University of Alabama – With over five percent of all mentions across college football, Alabama was the most mentioned team this week.
As we are seeing throughout the top of these rankings, the most prolific schools took the most mentions. It will be interesting to see if other teams can break into the top ten as the season progresses and teams begin to contend for the top headlines across the sport. Tune in throughout the season as we release more rankings and analysis on the top college football programs across modern channels.
Methodology – Using Sprinklr’s modern research product we created listening queries for each Power-5 conference school (Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, ACC, Pac 12). Each query contained the school’s name and football, the schools official handle, the school’s hashtag, and the coach’s official handle. The date range for this study is August 25th-31st. Public data is pulled from social media channels, news sites, blogs, forums and review sites. These channels include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, LinkedIn, Pinterest, major news sources and sports blogs.
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