Remember when your football team beat that other football team you really wanted it to?
Think No. 1 LSU beating No. 2 Alabama by a field goal in 2011. Or Nebraska throttling Peyton Manning’s Tennessee Volunteers in 1997 en route to a championship ring. Even Kansas beating Texas for the first time since before World War II on Saturday — that counts too.
The highlights never die. The more recently successful programs get to control the narrative of that post game celebration on social media.
To us at opendorse, it is no coincidence the college football teams that see the greatest success on the field also have some of the most killer social media in the NCAA.
Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, and Clemson find themselves in the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings for the second consecutive week. But as we’ve seen in the previous three years, the rankings don’t matter much until they are official.
We took a look at what the current top four are doing right on social media as the college football season gets down to the wire.
Alabama Crimson Tide
You can draw up a realistic scenario in which any team in the current top four won’t be there at the end of the season. It’s a bit tougher when you look at Bama. The Crimson Tide are really good at football, and they know it.
The business-like attitude coach Nick Saban brings to the table is prevalent on the Crimson Tide’s Twitter account as well. Alabama’s 568K Twitter followers see plenty of sled hitting and footwork drills in preparation for game day.
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 23, 2016
There is no shortage of Bama products in the NFL, as the Crimson Tide ranks third in terms of players at the next level with 41. Alabama is sure to throw that talent some love, and the alums throw it right back. Julio Jones shot this throwback out to his 462K Twitter followers.
The Ohio State University
You’re not going to find a single “M” on Ohio State’s timeline this week. Instead, you’ll see a red “X” where the “M” should be. It’s kind of a big week as Ohio State travels to take on that team up north.
In addition to replacing all of the Ms on their social media with Xs, and the Buckeyes’ campus and former athletes have gotten in the mix as well. Ezekiel Elliott, current NFL rushing leader and Cowboys rookie, tweeted red Xs to his 855K followers, and it was retweeted 11 thousand times.
Also, and this one hurts, but the post-victory video game from the Buckeyes is on point. This one after the win against Nebraska had me ready to run through a brick wall.
Feel like reliving yesterday's 62-3 win over No. 10 Nebraska?
We got you ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/OTmKGkmvvJ
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) November 7, 2016
This team is exciting. It’s college football’s first Jordan-clad team and claims Jim Harbaugh, Jabrill Peppers, and one of the most engaged fan bases in the nation.
This team’s Facebook numbers are the best of any of the current top four teams. The Michigan Football page has 1.6 million likers, and the school brings the characters we see on the field to life on social media.
Michigan’s “celebrating in the snow” video has more than 5,000 shares and has been viewed more than 800 thousand times. The nine posts the team shared pertaining to its win against Indiana on Saturday was liked nearly 140 thousand times. The Wolverines have something resembling a big game coming up against Ohio State, and that will generate even more buzz for this squad on social.
Clemson is one of the best when it comes to creative content. You’ll find some of the cleanest design in college football on the Tigers’ timeline. The Tigers aren’t going to use regular text to dump stats and news on you, they’ll get creative. Some of the best examples of that come during in-game action with these clean GIFs.
Beast. TOUCHDOWN, Wayne Gallman!!! 🚂🚂🚂 pic.twitter.com/4jqaQNOhEe
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 20, 2016
Clemson’s social media team isn’t afraid to get a little weird with things either. The design team has experimented with 360 degree graphics a couple of times this season, and Clemson’s video content is quick hitting and easily consumable.
(watch with sound on) https://t.co/jPgtdNYAhg
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 19, 2016
This is definitely a social team that understands the importance of staying on the cutting edge when it comes to keeping fans engaged on social.