Ohio State’s drop in the Associated Press Top 25 poll after its 35-21 loss to Virginia Tech Saturday wasn’t its only recent fall in the rankings.
Since Aug. 28, Buckeye Nation has fallen to No. 10 from No. 1 in a USA Today ranking of colleges with the most active fans, based on social media and online polling.
The ranking, called the College Football Fan Index, combines social media activity and fan voting on a weekly basis, according to its website.
Scarlet and Gray fans sat at the No. 1 seat in the first week with 21,287 social media mentions and 189 voting points, followed by the University of Michigan with 20,028 mentions and 249 voting points.
That was before OSU’s first game of the season against Navy, however.
As of Sept. 4, OSU was at No. 10, while the Trojans of the University of Southern California took the throne at No. 1. OSU had 59,063 total mentions and 466 voting points and USC had 295,204 mentions and 237 voting points. The Trojans won, 13-10, against Stanford University on Saturday, while the Buckeyes lost their first home game of the season against Virginia Tech.
USC came in at No. 3 in the first week with 191,980 social mentions and 81 voting points.
The results are determined “through social aggregation and online polling across weekly editorial themes such as best tailgates and best traditions. The index is then measured based on social activity of each school’s fanbase, including sharing photos and videos, as well as the voting results of the weekly polls asking fans to determine which schools offer the best experience,” according to its website.
Posts are primarily tracked via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the site said.
Some students like Zachary Power, a first-year in engineering, said they felt Saturday’s loss had to do with OSU’s drop in the rankings — to No. 22 in week three from No. 8 in week two.
“After the first loss, people start to pick out weaknesses that they didn’t before,” he said. “With the new football playoff, people think they are out of contention already and that leads to less mentions.”
James Snyder, a third-year in finance, said some people are only fans when times are good for the Buckeyes.
“I think the social media ranking dropped because there are a lot of bandwagon fans,” he said. “When they’re good, that’s all they want to talk about, but when they’re not doing so good, it’s like the last thing on their mind.”
Andrew Petrilla, a third-year in computer science and engineering, agreed that a loss isn’t great for the social media popularity of a team.
“I’m not surprised by the drop, I think people tend to go into the season with really high expectations, especially the past two years,” he said. “When something like losing our home opener for the first time in a long time happens, it kind of demotivates people. As a result, it just makes the team less popular on social media.”
The Buckeyes are hoping for better outcomes when they take on Kent State at Ohio Stadium. The game is set for at noon on Saturday.