There's no denying Mack Brown's been phenomenally successful since leaving North Carolina for Texas 12 years ago, but he can't match the love North Carolinians of all stripes and UNC fans in particular feel for Roy Williams.
Our Texas poll this week found that 29% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of Brown while 14% have an unfavorable one. The 57% with no opinion speaks to the fact that in a state as large as Texas it's hard for anyone, even a high profile football coach, to grab the attention of a majority of people in the state.
When we looked at Roy Williams statewide in North Carolina, even during the middle of his team's difficult season, 39% of voters said they had a favorable opinion of him to 10% with a negative one. In terms of sheer numbers there may be more Texas football fans than there are North Carolina basketball fans, but when it comes to the percentage of people in the state who care Tar Heel basketball wins out.
Williams is also better loved within his own fan base than Brown. 53% of Longhorn fans on the poll said they have a favorable opinion of Brown to 6% who see him negatively for a net positive of +47. In Februrary 72% of UNC fans had a favorable opinion of Williams to 3% who saw him negatively for a positive of +69.
In some sense it's hard to question Mack Brown's decision to leave UNC- he's won a national championship, been in the picture for it almost every year, and made a whole heck of a lot of money. But he'll never be as big in Texas as he would have been if he'd accomplished those same things at North Carolina. And that can be seen when you compare his poll numbers with Williams.
Texas poll results here, North Carolina poll results here