Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mack Brown and Roy Williams

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

1 comment:

AG said...

This is a silly comparison. First, not only is UNC a "basketball school" it is one of four "basketball schools" in a state with no really significant football schools. On top of that, all of the schools major programs are in a "basketball conference" to which last football season's disgraceful showing by the ACC can attest.

So not only is it fairly obvious that UNC fans are going to like Roy Williams, a championship-calibre basketball coach, more than a football coach, there is no reason to believe that Mack Brown would have been able to accomplish what he has at Texas at UNC. How many years has the Oklahoma-Texas game served as a de-facto play in game for the BCS title (complaints about the weakness of the Big XII and its nonconference scheduling aside)? On the other hand no ACC team has played for a championship since the fall of Florida State.

Second, UNC fans comprise a much bigger percentage of the state of North Carolina than UT fans are a percentage of the state of Texas. In North Carolina, UNC has to compete with two tiny private schools and a NC State team that has fallen on hard times since they inexplicably ran off Herb Sendek. On the other hand, Texas competes for attention with TAMU, Texas Tech, Houston: several large public universities that have had some success. Not to mention private schools like TCU.

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