-PPP's annual poll on college football loyalties in North Carolina once again finds the Tar Heels leading the way. 22% say they're UNC fans to 15% for Duke, 14% for NC State, 12% for East Carolina, 10% for Appalachian State, and Wake Forest in a distant last place at 3%.
Fans of all these schools are generally pretty happy with the job their coaches are currently doing. Duke's David Cutcliffe leads the way with a 59/7 approval, Ruffin McNeill's at 56/1 with ECU fans, Dave Doeren comes in at 50/3 with NC State loyalists, Larry Fedora's at 49/7 with Tar Heel backers, Scott Satterfield's at 45/5 with the Mountaineer faithful, and Wake's Dave Clawson has somewhat mediocre numbers at 33/17.
-North Carolinians are really jumping on the Panthers bandwagon. When we did a poll last December, only 34% of voters in the state said they were Panthers fans. That's now up to 51%, with 10% identifying as Cowboys fans, 8% Steelers, 6% each for the Patriots and Redskins, and 5% for the Packers. Just as support for the Panthers in general has gone up, support for the leadership of Ron Rivera as coach has gone way up. Toward the end of last season he had just a 37/32 approval spread with Panthers fans- now he's at a lofty 71/5 level.
-The dominant reaction to the Board of Governors' hiring of Margaret Spellings as UNC President a couple weeks ago is ambivalence. 74% of voters in the state say they have no opinion about Spellings one way or another with 10% seeing her favorably and 17% unfavorably. On the decision to hire her there's similar indifference with 14% saying they support bringing her in, 21% opposing it, and the overwhelming 65% majority having no take on it one way or another. Voters with an opinion about them do generally take a pretty dim view of the Board of Governors- only 14% see them positively and 34% have a negative view- but even there you still have 52% who say they don't know.