February 18th, 2011 | Uncategorized

Sporcle ranks colleges based on use

College rivalries, meet cyberspace. If you thought sports were not enough to test a college’s dominance, leave it to game site Sporcle to give us a new way to test our mettle — or be humbled.

Sporcle, a site with timed trivia quizzes on everything from geography to pop music and literary characters, began publishing college rankings in November. The criteria? The amount of time a given college’s students spend on Sporcle, the number of quizzes they take, and the number of page views and visits to the site, Vice President of Products Derek Pharr told us.

Yale, which cracked the top 25 in the second week of January, has hovered in the high 20’s and low 30’s since then, Pharr said. Last week it was ranked 37 in Sporcle’s system, though only the top 25 and ten “just missed” colleges are published online.

While Sporcle is not aimed solely at college users, it added the rankings “to really try to tap into the rivalry that already exists among the colleges,” Pharr said.

Most recently, he added, the University of Michigan and Ohio State have been jockeying for the top spot.

“Michigan and Ohio used to square off on college football, and now they’re doing it on Sporcle as well,” he said.

For competitive Yalies, finishing 37 might seem a little low. That score puts it in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the Ivy League: Yale trails Penn (13th), Harvard (22nd) and Cornell (33rd), but bests Princeton (40th), Columbia (44th), Brown (62nd) and Dartmouth (107th — guess they don’t procrastinate much).

The site identifies users’ school from information provided on users’ profiles, Pharr explained. Both current students and alums can boost Yale’s tally, as long as they list the school in their profile, he said.

For God, for country and for Yale, next time you’re in need of a study break you might want to get on Sporcle.