Public Policy Polling conducted a survey of 739 Nebraskans between September 30th and October 2nd and found some interesting results. Interesting not in the opinions themselves, but at how high the numbers are. 86% of Nebraskans have a favorable opinion of Tom Osborne and 70% have a favorable opinion of Bo Pelini. PPP summed it up this way:
It's rare when we poll a state to find a college football coach that 70% of voters have ever even heard of, much less have a positive opinion of.
Now, I wonder if those numbers might have been slightly lower after the Huskers loss to Wisconsin on October 1st, but the point is clear. Nebraskans overwhelmingly like the Huskers and the program.Digging into the numbers, Osborne's support seems to be universal across all demographics: young, old, people in the east, people in the west, male, female. The only exception: people who consider themselves politically "very liberal," which shouldn't surprise you when you consider Osborne's conservative political philosophy. Even so, Osborne gets a 68% favorability rating with 18% not sure and only 15% having an unfavorable opinion of Nebraska's legendary coach and athletic director.
Pelini's favorability seems fairly universal as well, though I did notice that Pelini's favorability is only 60% with those aged 18 to 29. All other demographics have Pelini over 70% positive. And even with those youngsters, the 20% of those who have negative opinions of Pelini are tied with the 20% who don't have an opinion of Nebraska's coach.
Nebraska's move to the Big Ten was also very popular, as Nebraskans favored the Big Ten over the Big XII by a 65% to 13% margin. I assume that most of those 13% that preferred the Big XII were Missouri, Kansas, and Texas fans. Interesting that the Big XII scored highest with those aged 65 and older; maybe for those folks, the tradition and legacy of the Big XII was a little more attractive.
In other states, there are some interesting numbers. 51% of Iowans are Hawkeye fans, while 25% are fans of Iowa State. Texas is the most disliked state (31% negative opinion), which shouldn't be a surprise to anybody. In Missouri, 35% want the Tigers to stay in the Big XII while 21% want the Tigers in the Big Ten. Only 2% prefer the SEC; even the ACC outpolls that at 4%. In the state of Texas, 23% are Longhorn fans, 15% are A&M fans, and a surprising 11% are Baylor fans. 9% are Houston fans, 8% are SMU fans, while only 5% each are Texas Tech or TCU fans.
Maybe that explains why Baylor got the invitation to join the Big XII back in the middle 1990's instead of TCU or Houston.