Wednesday, March 2, 2011

State fans divided on Lowe

North Carolina State basketball fans are closely divided on whether they want Sidney Lowe to return for another season as coach next year. But in a finding that perhaps encapsulates the plight of the program during Lowe's tenure as coach UNC and Duke fans are a lot less divided on what they think his fate should be- they hope the Wolfpack keep him around as coach.

On the whole State fans like Sidney Lowe- 31% of them express a favorable opinion of him to 23% with an unfavorable one. They're less convinced that he should keep his job. 29% think Lowe should stay for another year but 27% think he should be fired and the 45% reserving judgment can't exactly be seen as a vote of confidence.

Fans of the Tar Heels and Blue Devils, whose programs have beaten up on State through the Lowe years, are a lot more supportive of the team bringing him back. Duke fans by a 33/19 margin and Carolina fans by a 30/20 spread both hope that he keeps his job. You could make an argument that when your rivals' fan bases want you to keep your coach more than your own fans do that it's a pretty clear sign of the need for a change.

Note: this poll was taken the weekend before State's recent stretch in which it lost to North Carolina, defeated Georgia Tech, and lost to Virginia. Whether that would further plunge Lowe's numbers with State fans or not is unclear.

We also polled on Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik. Because of the school's small fan base these numbers should be taken with a lot of caution but those describing themselves as Demon Deacon fans are largely taking a wait and see approach with their first year coach. 76% haven't yet formed an opinion of him, although those who have break down negatively with 19% rating him unfavorably and only 5% positively.

On the question of bringing him back for another year that same 19% thinks he should be replaced while 8% think he should stay and 73% are unsure. It's almost a worse sign for Wake that its fans are so ambivalent than it would be if they all wanted Bzdelik to go- it suggests that a lot of fans have just stopped caring.

Overall 34% of North Carolinians say they're UNC fans to 17% for Duke, 16% for NC State, 6% for Wake Forest, and 27% who don't claim allegiance to any of the state's ACC schools. Matching some common stereotypes Democrats are overwhelmingly UNC fans, while Republicans are more closely divided. 40% of Democrats side with the Tar Heels to 15% for the Blue Devils and 14% for the Wolfpack. GOP voters go for Carolina too but only at a 29% rate to 21% for Duke and 18% for NC State.

Full results here


AG said...

Oh there's no question Lowe is gone. He would have been gone last year if they weren't afraid Leslie and Harrow would decommit. Lowe always seemed like a desperation hire to begin with, born out of a realization that firing Herb Sendek was a mistake.

As for Bzdelik, Wake completely botched that hire while making themselves look foolish in the process. Recruiting was never Gaudio's problem, it was the fact that his players always seemed to care more about the NBA Draft than the NCAA Tournament. So what does Wake do? They go out and hire a coach whose only claim to fame was that he has coached in the NBA. So once again, Wake is going to be saddled with players who only care about going pro. Why else would they commit to Bzdelik? Because they admire his 1 NCAA Tournament bid at Air Force, the most controversial at-large bid in the past 15 years?

Anonymous said...

AG, Herb Sendek was not fired. He resigned. The administration at NCSU had no intention of firing Sendek. A large segment of the fan base didn't like him, and he decided to leave in the face of that, but he was absolutely not fired.
Lowe was a desperation hire by Lee Fowler, who looked to win the press conference after humiliating himself and the school by conducting one of the most poorly run coaching searches ever seen in college athletics. And that is not an exagerration.

Anonymous said...

What a joke this "poll" is...such a small base to poll from that it is soooo far from being scientifically useful that it is nothing short of crap...

Dustin Ingalls said...

650 respondents is hardly small. Even the smaller subset that is the fans of the four schools is a pretty significant sample.

PackMan97 said...

This is no surprise. NC State fans are sick of the status quo of "wait till next year".

I think Lowe is done for. It's also no surprise on the party breakdown. There is a good reason State and Carolina fans don't like each other and it goes far beyond the basketball court.

Dustin Ingalls said...

State is about equally liked by Republicans and Democrats--just a little heavier by the GOP, just like Duke. It's just that Carolina is far more popular with Democrats than any other team is, and much more liked by Dems than Republicans. Duke is more disproportionately a Republican team than is State, but they still have more fans among both Dems and the GOP than does State.

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