Decision MediaWorks

Florida’s Football Stadiums: By The Numbers

Each Saturday statewide, nearly one half million college football fans fill stadium seats at a host of stadium venues, ranging from Raymond James Stadium to Doak Campbell Stadium.

That lead us to wonder which team claims the largest share of this market by stadium size?

Obviously, the answer to this question is biased towards the school with the largest stadium capacity. And that turned out to be the answer. The Florida Gators have the largest market share of filled seats in the state of Florida. With a stadium capacity of 88,548, Ben Hill Griffin Stadium gives the Gators an advantage over each team. They have a share of 27.65% of filled seats. Second place, no surprise, went to Florida State, having 23.86%.

But when investigating this question, another one arose.

Which team fills the largest portion of their seats? Who comes closest to selling out every game. Again, the Gators win this contest. This is rather surprising given the recent run of success the Seminoles have enjoyed. The Seminoles have filled an average of 91.86% of Doak Campbell Stadium’s seats in 2012. The Gators were ahead, having filled an average of 98.93% of their house last year. Not to knock the Seminoles, though. Given the size of their house, 92% is still great.

The chart below is sized by the portion college football seats statewide held by each stadium and shaded for overall stadium capacity. The chart is interactive, if you like it, please share it.

You Are Not A Savvy College Football Fan Until You Know This

Quick Note: After posting we found a data set that included the 2012-13 season and draft stats. When we updated with these numbers, FSU made a leap to a .55 Pearson’s r. Essentially, FSU was an outlier until last season. 

During the initial round of college football games last weekend, all three of Florida’s major programs won their season openers. As I was in the midst of devouring a salsa-covered chip, a friend announced, in sage-like fashion, that the Gators will “clean up” when the next NFL draft comes around.

Around here we question assumptions with data, and that got me to thinking… I began to wonder…

1) Does a team’s success have an effect on the draft prospects of its players?

2) Are some teams better at converting talented players (draft picks) into wins?

So, I brewed some coffee and dove into the data. I entered the number of draft picks for the Gators, Seminoles and Hurricanes each year in the last ten years and the number of wins in the previous season. I then calculated the Pearson’s r over those years for each team. The Pearson’s r is a convenient little statistical tool that tells us the strength of a relationship between two variables (in this case the number of players drafted and the number of wins). The Pearson’s r may be either positive or negative but will always fall between 0 and 1. In short, the smaller the number, the weaker relationship and the larger the number, the stronger the relationship.

What I found was nothing short of bizarre.

Over the last ten years, the Gators had a moderately strong relationship between wins and draft recruits. The Florida Pearson’s r is .52. The Miami Hurricanes aren’t much different, with a Pearson’s r of .57. This means that when these two teams perform better on the field, their players benefit by having better luck in the NFL draft. But the shocker is Florida State. Their Pearson’s r is .06. This is extremely weak and more or less non-existent. You can see the Pearson’s r comparisons in the graph below.

This lack of a relationship is baffling and means that if the Seminoles perform well, their seniors and juniors are no more likely to be drafted than if the team collapses into a pile of sweat and loses.

For a moment, I suspected this could be explained by the Seminoles’ reputation, so I decided to perform the same calculation on two other historically well performing football teams, the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. This didn’t clear up anything. The Tide had a very strong relationship, with a Pearson’s r of .63. The Fighting Irish had a Pearson’s r of .41. So, the players benefit more from better seasons.

You can check all the data in the interactive table below. If you learned something interesting here today, please share it with your friends.

What Tailgate Town is Most Likely To Get You In A Fender Bender?

It is a pilgrimage for many in Florida. Fans heading back to their college towns for the opening game. The energy, the tailgating and of course, the traffic.

One of the most definitive rivalries in Florida is the one between UF and FSU. For those of you sporting “House Divided” décor we wanted to settle a score. What college town has the worst drivers?

We decided to look at the number of traffic accidents in Alachua and Leon counties and compare them to the state of Florida as a whole to find out if what I’m experiencing is something more than happenstance. The figures in the graph below are the ratio of accidents to population.

We found that in Alachua County, you are 25% more likely to be involved in a crash compared to the rest of Florida. But you are even more likely to be heading to the body shop after a visit to ‘Nole Country. In Leon county you are almost 35% more likely to be in an accident compared with the rest of Florida.

So, according to the data, both schools are excellent at producing terrible drivers, but FSU takes the top ranking.

This post was contributed by Alabama native @mrdanieldean…Roll Tide!

A State Divided: College Loyalty and County Lines

In Florida, college affiliations matter…a lot. Anyone who has driven Florida’s interstates knows that our state is regionally divided into distinct post-secondary tribes. We wanted to find out just where those lines of demarcation are drawn in the Sunshine State, so we designed a project to do just that.

We used specialty license plate sales by county to measure college pride around Florida. The first map below shows which school is the number one seller of speciality plates in each county. The second map shows the top school per county when you take away Florida and Florida State.

A few notes:
– The number one spot in each county is held by UF or FSU in every county but Miami-Dade.

- Ignoring UF and FSU dominance in plate selling, FAMU holds its own around the northern portions of the state with Miami covering South Florida.

- The I-4 corridor is the Yugoslavia of Florida with Bethune-Cookman, UCF, Miami and USF all holding at least one county in the region.

Click any county for more detail on the number of active plates and sales ranking among college speciality plates in each county. As always, if you like it, please share it.

Map Colored by School with Most Active Plates in Each County

 

Map Colored by non-FSU/UF School with Most Active Plates in Each County