BYU may not be opening the season No. 1 in the national coaches poll but it will start the year atop the social media rankings for college men’s volleyball teams.
A recent search of NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team Twitter accounts showed that BYU as the 2014 regular season begins later this week leads all teams by more than 1,000 followers.
BYU — which was ranked No. 3 in the preseason coaches poll after reaching the NCAA finals last season — has a nation-best 2,286 followers. In addition, the Cougars have more followers than the second and third-place teams in the social media rankings, Ohio State and Ball State, have combined followers.
Along with BYU, Ohio State and Ball State, Stanford will open the regular season with more than 1,000 Twitter followers. These four teams as of the weekend were the only schools of the 22 Division I-II men’s volleyball teams on Twitter to surpass the 1,000 follower milestone.
UCLA rounded out the top five on the men’s volleyball Twitter rankings with 978 followers — narrowly beating its cross-town rivals USC by 72 followers.
Princeton in the social media rankings led all EIVA schools with 468 followers, while Mount Olive had a Conference Carolinas-best 328 followers.
Almost every men’s volleyball team significantly increased its amount of followers since Off the Block conducted its last social media study in early July.
UCLA and BYU had the biggest increase during the last six months with each team picking up more than 300 new followers. Ball State, Ohio State, Stanford, USC and the defending NCAA champions UC Irvine all had more than a 200-follower increase during the off-season.
Despite the majority of teams having a presence on Twitter, 17 Division I-II men’s volleyball teams as the 2014 season begins do not have a Twitter account. Several of those teams, though, have some presence on Twitter with unofficial team Twitter accounts or the school’s main athletics department Twitter account tweeting about the team.
Check out where all the college men’s volleyball ranked against each other in Twitter followers.
NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball teams on Twitter
1. BYU (@BYUvolleyball): 2,653 followers
2. Ohio State (@OhioState_MVB): 1,097 followers
3. Ball State (@BallStateMVB): 1,087 followers
4. Stanford (@StanfordMVB): 1,042 followers
5. UCLA (@UCLAMensVB): 978 followers
6. UC Irvine (@UCIMVB): 895 followers
7. USC (@USCmensvolley): 902 followers
8. Lewis (@LewisMVBall): 665 followers
9. Loyola (@LUMVB): 519 followers
10. Long Beach State (@LBSU_MVB): 501 followers
11. Pepperdine (@PepperdineMVB): 468 followers
12. Princeton (@PrincetonVolley): 458 followers
13. Penn State (@PennStateMVBALL): 415 followers
14. Lindenwood (@LindenwoodVB): 358 followers*
15. Pacific (@PacificMenVball): 331 followers
16. Mount Olive (@MOCMVB): 328 followers
17. Rutgers-Newark (@RUNVolleyball): 186 followers*
18. Quincy (@QUMVB): 153 followers
19. Limestone (@LimestoneMVB): 143 followers
20. Belmont Abbey (@Crusader_MVB): 115 followers
21. Barton (@BartonVB) — 55 followers*
22. Sacred Heart (@SHUMVB) — 16 followers
Teams without official Twitter account: Cal Baptist, UC Santa Barbara, Hawai’i, Cal State Northridge, UC San Diego, Grand Canyon, IPFW, George Mason, Harvard, St. Francis, NJIT, Lees-McRae, Erskine, King, Coker, McKendree, Pfeiffer
Notable NCAA Division III teams on Twitter
1. Springfield (@SpfldCol_MVB) — 445 followers
2. Kean (@KeanVolleyball) — 368 followers*
3. Stevenson (@SUMVB) — 198 followers
4. Vassar (@VassarMensVB) — 125 followers
5. New Jersey City (@NJCU_Volleyball) — 48 followers
*Indicates joint Twitter account for school’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams.
Twitter follower numbers as of Dec. 28