Auburn Football Fans Already Know Their In-State Rivals Can’t Tell Time—Now This

Grammarly and The Wall Street Journal team up to rank NCAA football's top 25—in grammar

As college football kicks off, the biggest rivalry of the year, Auburn vs. Alabama in the Iron Bowl, is already decided—off the field.

The result: Auburn trounces its in-state rival—in grammar.

Grammarly, an automated proofreading company, teamed up The Wall Street Journal to rank college football’s Associated Press top 25 teams by their fans’ grammatical correctness.

The spelling, punctuation and grammar watchdogs at Grammarly collected 100 comments of at least 50 words in length from the SB Nation blogs (a popular sports website) from each team. Then the editors ran them through the Grammarly algorithm, which accounts for hundreds of spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors, to come up with the top 25 power rankings—in grammar.

Here is the result:


Unsurprising to this proud Auburn alum and former college sports editor, the Tiger fans ran away with the win, while the in-state rivals came in dead last, nearly a full percentage point behind Auburn’s second-biggest rival, Georgia, ranked at 24.

Bamers—a non-affectionate term for Alabama fans who did not attend the school (a large majority of the fan base)—made 6.4 mistakes per 100 words, while Auburn fans made only 0.9 mistakes per 100 words, the fewest among the top 25 and half as erroneous as the closest-ranked fan base, TCU.

Also of note, every Atlantic Coast Conference team on the list, including the academic powerhouse Georgia Tech, came in on the bottom half of the power rankings.

It’s been a tough couple of years for Alabama football when it comes to grade school-level knowledge. In 2013, the sports world learned that Alabama’s coaches cannot tell time when they challenged referees to put one last second on the clock in the Iron Bowl. Auburn used that one second to make arguably the most memorable play of college football history and cement a come-from-behind victory over its arch-rival. (Do you have a second, Saban?) First clock-reading, and now this. Ain’t it great to be an Auburn Tiger?! War Damn Eagle!

For more interesting grammar power rankings—from sports to politics—brought to you by Grammarly and The Wall Street Journal, click here.

September 2, 2015
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