The following is an analysis of verified Twitter users’ arguments for and against the proposed 12-team expansion of the College Football Playoff. We analyzed 350+ articles and Twitter mentions from verified college sports influencers and seeded arguments by popularity, based on the number of mentions of each argument. We found that 28% were in favor of the expansion, 8% were against, and the remaining 64% were neutral.
Influencers who shared their opinions were three times more likely to be in favor of expansion rather than against it. The most common subject discussed regarded opportunity for more teams to enter the playoff. When influencers asked for fan opinions on Twitter, most responses were against the proposal, with many expressing concern that it would lead to increased player injuries, a diminished regular season, and continued, inevitable dominance of elite teams like Alabama, Clemson, and Ohio State.
As the discussion unfolds, expanded analysis of arguments for and against can inform communications strategies to influence the evaluation process. Engagement data around each argument can effectively be used as a proxy for fan agreement and/or disagreement with each nuanced argument, which can shape message hierarchy.