Thursday, March 13, 2014

Googling the SEC

Just for fun, I started doing a Google search on SEC schools to see what word pops up after the school name.So I teach at the University of Georgia. If I Google "University of Georgia" the next thing to pop up is:


Sigh. You kinda expected that, right? Or if not, you're hardly surprised. But how about some of the other SEC schools? Let's take a look, in no particular order:
  • University of Florida gators. Only one where nickname appears first.
  • University of Tennessee _____. Oddly Google offers nothing next. Just type Tennessee and it's Titans, the NFL team.
  • University of Alabama football
  • University of South Carolina ___. Nuthin. Interesting. Just South Carolina and it's earthquake, then football.
  • University of Kentucky basketball. Makes sense.
  • University of Arkansas ____. Again, nuthin. Just Arkansas, though, and it's Razorbacks.
  • University of Mississippi medical center. Friggin weird.
  • Auburn University ___. Now, if you just do Auburn, it's football.
  • Mississippi State University ____. Like Auburn above, leave off university and football appears.
  • Louisiana State University gets ___. LSU gets, of course, football.
  • University of Missouri gets, duh, -Columbia. In case you can't find it on a map, I suppose. No GPS in Missouri?
  • Texas A&M gets, yes, football. Surprised it's not Johnny Football.
  • Vanderbilt University gets ___, but just Vanderbilt gets football.
Now Google senses where you are and builds that into its search, so maybe because I'm in the South it grasps the near-religious nature of college football and feeds that back to me. Maybe. It really bases this on what other people have searched for, trying to fill in the blanks for you, so sports, especially football, clearly dominate. I think of all the schools, UF gets its nickname and no others do. I'm not sure what's up with the medical center thing in Mississippi unless it's amazing to find a hospital there.

How about outside the football-crazed SEC? Let's try a few random names:
  • Notre Dame football
  • University of Wisconsin Madison (for the geographically challenged). Just Wisconsin gets you basketball.
  • THE Ohio State University gets you, like Mississippi above, a medical center. OSU gets you football.
  • Rutgers gets football. No idea why.
  • University of Texas football. Kinda funny, given their recent season.
and so on. As you can see, people who search for universities tend to focus on the dominant sports teams.

Again, sigh.

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