PPP's annual look at football attitudes in North Carolina finds Panthers fans pretty divided in their feelings about coach Ron Rivera.
34% of North Carolinians identify themselves as Panthers fans, with no other team hitting double digits. The Cowboys and Packers tie for second at 7%, followed by the Patriots and Steelers at 6%, Redskins at 5%, Broncos at 4%, Giants at 3%, and Falcons at 2%.
37% of Panthers fans approve of the job Rivera is doing to 32% who disapprove. In the Charlotte area, where fans presumably follow the team closest, only 35% approve of the job he's doing to 44% who disapprove. 41% of fans think Rivera should return for next season compared to 29% who think he should be replaced. Those numbers indicate less support for Rivera than there was after the 2012 season, when we found 56% of fans thought he should return and only 17% felt he should be let go. Of course if this year's team finishes the same way that year's did- with a 4 game winning streak- Rivera's numbers will likely be a lot better a month from now.
When it comes to college football loyalties in the state, little has changed from a year ago. 26% of North Carolinians say they're UNC fans to 15% for Duke, 14% for NC State, 9% each for Appalachian State and East Carolina, and 4% f0r Wake Forest. East Carolina is the most popular team in the northeastern part of the state but UNC is tops everywhere else, although they are tied with Appalachian in the mountains.