Friday, September 02, 2011

Crimson, Maroon, Scarlet - Is There Something about those Red College Football Teams?

I've had this sense over the past couple years that it simply seems like schools with "red" as their dominant school color (read: I consider black, gray, silver, cream, and white non-dominant) seem to always dominate the top 10 spots in the college football rankings.

Perhaps a later post would warrant whether there are more college schools with red-family colors, but I look at a weekend line-up and the schools with red colors seem to dominate the rankings.

And I say "red" with the knowledge that many schools distinguish their brand of red (scarlet, maroon, crimson, etc.) but there's part of me that wants to track this years NCAA college football schools by color.

According to the AP pre-season poll here are the top 25 schools and their dominant colors. 14 of the top 25 schools have a dominant color in the red-family.

1. Oklahoma (Crimson & Cream)
2. Alabama (Crimson & White)
3. Oregon (Green & Yellow)
4. LSU (Purple & Gold)
5. Boise State (Orange & Dark Blue)
6. Florida State (Garnet & Gold)
7. Stanford (Cardinal Red & White)
8. Texas A&M (Maroon & White)
9. Oklahoma State (Orange & Black)
10. Nebraska (Scarlet & Cream)
11. Wisconsin (Cardinal & White)
12. South Carolina (Garnet & Black)
13. Virginia Tech (Chicago Maroon & Burnt Orange)
14. TCU (Purple & White)
15. Arkansas (Cardinal Red & White)
16. Notre Dame (Gold & Blue)
17. Michigan State (Green & White)
18. Ohio State (Scarlet & Gray)
19. Georgia (Red & Black)
20. Mississippi State (Maroon & White)
21. Missouri (Black & Gold)
22. Florida (Orange & Blue)
23. Auburn (Burnt Orange & Navy Blue)
24. West Virginia (Old Gold & Blue)
25. USC (USC Cardinal & USC Gold)

Doesn't 14 out of 25 (56%) of the top ranked college football teams having a red-themed school color seem like a high count?


Grete said...

Actually, there have already been studies done for you! :) I remember talking about this phenomenon in a social psychology class in college (*cough* more than a few years ago *cough*). A quick Google search led me to this article:,1518,570918,00.html

(Though, there must've been other published articles before the ones quoted in that article because the years they were written were after I was in college.)

RC said...

@ Grete - thank you for sharing that. It'sretty interesting the power the color of red could have on sports winning.

I wouldn't have thought of taking my thought on to other sports. The thought of how it impacts teams, opponents, fans, and even referee's is very interesting.

Pretty cool!