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UK wins at scatterplots

Football vs Basketball Matrix

I’m back on my matrix grind, just like Neo. This time, I’ve found a chart by Corey Schmidt (@HalcyonHoops) from Basketball Prospectus. Schmidt was calculating fan willingness to attend football and basketball games by averaging how arenas and stadiums were filled in the last six seasons for each school. Schmidt said this of his matrix:

What if everyday fans had a say in realignment scenarios? And what if we measured their collective say by their willingness to attend football and basketball games? Which side would win?

Naturally football attendance figures will far outweigh those for basketball because of the sheer differences in venue capacity. If we control for size by looking at the percent of venue capacity filled for a given program in a given time period, we can better compare across the sports and dive into this inquiry.

To complete this task I obtained the last six years’ worth of season attendance figures for every school with a football and basketball program competing in the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, and SEC. For each season a capacity percentage was calculated for each school’s football and basketball teams. I then averaged all of the seasons together to arrive at a six-year “capacity used” average for both sports.

These results rely heavily on two assumptions: 1) Programs design arenas and stadia according to realistic assessments of popular demand. 2) Attendance figures reported to the NCAA are taken in good faith.

Schmidt put this together to help better answer questions regarding conference realignment, but I’ve posted it so we can all take a minute to revel in how awesome the University of Kentucky is. John Gasaway (@JohnGasaway) tweeted regarding the chart, “Check Kentucky in the scatterplot. If the non-UK SEC supported hoops the way UK does football, egad”. As fans, we may sometimes get frustrated with the football team, but the numbers show that we still support our team. Thanks to UK’s football and basketball following, We have the best combined attendance for both major sports in the Southeastern Conference.

Interesting to note is Louisville’s expected lack of football support, Alabama’s location on the chart, my school’s ‘No Sports Dominance’ title and Oklahoma State’s spot as a basketball school. Go figure.

Article written by Matthew Hays

25 Comments for UK wins at scatterplots



  1. Hoss
    9:46 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    Does this mean Cal fans are basically nihilists… who happen to be only the slightest little bit interested in FB?



  2. Football Rocks
    9:54 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    That is pretty amazing stat. Something you don’t think of, especially some of the games I’ve been to commonwealth. But, over the past 6 seasons, UK has averaged above 95% capacity in CWS.

    That’s not bad.



  3. Dr. Wildcat
    10:03 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    So basically Wisconsin has the most loyal fans of any college? Also, I find it amusing how pathetic “all-time great” UCLA is. Oh, and half of the SEC is “Two Sport Dominant” (UK, Vandy, Ark, UF, Tenn, MSU), with Bama and UGA knocking on the door.



  4. Hey Dook Fan
    10:07 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    #3…people in LA dont care about college basketball, why when you have the Lakers. And football is USC. And of course the SEC is mostly in two sport dominant..we are the best conference in america.



  5. TrueBlueFan4Ever
    10:12 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    Does not surprise me one bit. Although we have not gotten as far in football as we would, or could have hoped, one thing always remains true. The fans (BBN)!! I have always thought that the BBN was the most loyal sports fans in the country and this proves it!! I love going to games at CWS and supporting the team no matter what. Win or lose. Would like to take the next step in the SEC, but will still support them if that doesn’t happen and this stat proves that so do a lot of other ‘Cat fans. Very proud to be part of the BBN and looking forward to the upcoming season. Believe we will be better than people think!! Love football and all UK sports. Go ‘Cats!!



  6. GoCats2
    10:13 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    This explains why I hated my Logic and Statistics class at UK. A graph about sports and positive towards UK and it still gives me a headache.



  7. Knowledagble citizen
    10:42 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    How is OSU not dominating this graph? I mean I’d argue in the past 6 years they always have at least 1 team ranked in the top 3 of their respective sports..



  8. DTI
    10:44 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    Now you know why they painted the seats in Papa Johns red.



  9. boyd crowder's bible
    10:50 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    the U should be embarrassed of this



  10. Kentuckygentleman
    11:05 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    #3, good catch on UCLA, I was focused more on where Duke, UofL, and the other SEC schools were. I do not believe UCLA is a great program, I think they had a great run from the early 60’s to the mid 70’s, but aside from that run they are a decent program at best. I was born in 1976 and the following schools have more titles than UCLA, and multiple compared to their one, since my birth: Kentucky, Duke, Indiana, Louisville, UConn, Florida, North Carolina, and Kansas. Their football program is mediocre.



  11. GoCats2
    11:19 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    #7 I assume you are talking about Ohio State. Its based on fan attendance not dominance.



  12. Rise
    11:25 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    We are going to Rise up and win 4 football games this year. That Joker sure is a keeper.



  13. Geez
    11:26 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    Morgan Newton’s bro shouldn’t have any breathing problems. wow!!!



  14. thenamerobdigity
    11:38 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    I do not buy that UK is that high on the football numbers. Also, why are the basketball numbers not the highest?



  15. Matthew Hays
    11:47 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    14) Kansas and Wisconsin must report to the NCAA an average attendance greater than the listed max capacity of Phog Allen and the Kohl Center, respectively.



  16. GoCats2
    11:47 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    The one that seems odd to me is Syracuse. We are battling them every year for higest attendance because they have the massive Carrier dome but they are in the No Sports column?



  17. Matthew Hays
    11:51 pm August 4, 2011 Permalink

    16) It’s a percentage. If Syracuse filled the Carrier Dome every game then we couldn’t come close to touching them in overall attendance.



  18. KY in TN
    12:10 am August 5, 2011 Permalink

    This thing is so flawed. Vandy is in the “Two Sport Dominance” box, just behind Kentucky. If you’ve ever been to a Vandy football game (season ticket holder here, along with basketball), you know 75% of the crowd is from the opposing team. They all travel to Vandy b/c they can get better/cheaper seats than they can for their own home games.



  19. harley
    12:26 am August 5, 2011 Permalink

    #18 True about Vandy, but I’d think they are a unique situation. I doubt that is an issue with any of the other schools in the upper right hand box.



  20. John
    8:00 am August 5, 2011 Permalink

    #7: Ohio State is at the top in football and still high in basketball. I think they have a huge new basketball arena too. Maybe it’s similar to Syracuse just not as dramatic of an effect.

    Of course UK would sell out the Carrier Dome or OSU’s arena every game.



  21. mores
    8:56 am August 5, 2011 Permalink

    #14 Don’t doubt purely objective data unless you know exactly where the inputter went wrong. It’s insulting and nearly always wrong. We’re not #1 in basketball because our % max attendance figures weren’t as high as the 4ish teams higher than us. Perhaps other schools sell more tickets over their max capacity. But keep in mind the limitations of presenting data in this format; it’s more impressive to me that UK can get 99% attendance with 24,000 seats than, say, Duke getting 99.5% attendance with less than half those seats.

    Football, conversely, is usually OVER capacity for every game, especially if you book student season tickets as attendance in advance.



  22. 7ukncaa
    8:57 am August 5, 2011 Permalink

    If there was a way to also add in calculations of how fans of football and basketbal travel to post-season tournaments or bowls UK in my opinion would blow everyone else out of the water.

    Uk has an enormous basketball arena and fills it (unlike Syracuse who has a decent fan base but can rarely fill their massive gym)

    UK also has a sizeable (not massive but large) football arena which it must fill.

    Also add in the fact UK has not had a winning record in the SEC in 25 years in football and the above stats are simply amazing. Did I mention we are also one of the poorest least populated states in the mix?

    Can I get a GO BIG BLUE?



  23. RYNO
    9:42 am August 5, 2011 Permalink

    18) Agree. That scatterplop loses all credibility when Vandy is in the same field as UK.



  24. thisisstupid
    11:03 am August 5, 2011 Permalink

    This is silly. The problem is with the stated assumption “1) Programs design arenas and stadia according to realistic assessments of popular demand.” There is a substantial amount of political maneuvering required to obtain funds to build a new stadium or arena.

    According to this diagram, Wisconsin and Kansas are “more dominant” in basketball than UK, likely because their games somehow exceed capacity, while the UK figures meet capacity. The capacity of Allen Allen Fieldhouse is 16,300 and the capacity of the Kohl Center is 17,230. UK could probably consistently fill a 35,000 seat arena. But Wisonsin and Kansas is more dominant than UK? Try again.



  25. RealTalk
    1:07 pm August 6, 2011 Permalink

    Tennessee is gross.