There are few worse insults a professional sports team can endure than the accusation that they would lose to a college team. So it says a lot about the Cleveland Browns that 57 percent of people in their home state don’t think they could beat Ohio State, according to Public Policy Polling.
PPP’s poll found that only 23 percent of Ohioans think the Browns would beat the Buckeyes, which is a pretty damning indictment of public opinion about the local NFL franchise. Of course, the Browns would destroy Ohio State — an NFL team has 53 NFL-caliber players, a college team has maybe 20 — but the fact that fans don’t see it that way says a lot about how much the Browns have let down their supporters over the years.
A few other Ohio-sports-related findings from PPP:
– 72 percent of Browns fans think the team should cut ties with Johnny Manziel, compared with 12 percent who think they should keep him around.
– Despite the skepticism about the Browns, Browns fan still outnumber Bengals fans in Ohio, 42/29.
– Bengals fans are a bit more optimistic than they Cleveland counterparts, with 51 percent of Cincinnati partisans believing their team will win a playoff game with Marvin Lewis as coach, compared 20 percent who think that won’t happen.
– As for baseball, 44 percent of respondents said they support the Indians, while only 32 percent said they support the Reds.
– Enthusiasm is high for Indians manager Terry Francona despite the team’s disappointing 81-80 finish in 2015. Cleveland fans approve of Francona, 50/9.
– Different story for Reds manager Bryan Price, who has an approval rating of 22/18.
If you want to know what Ohioans think about just about everything, here are PPP’s full results.