There's no doubt that the Ohio State Buckeyes are one of the best programs in college football, while the Cleveland Browns are one of the most hapless franchises in the NFL. But a recent poll in the state of Ohio suggests that football fans in the region are letting perception creep into their judgement just a bit.
According to a poll by Public Policy Polling, 57% of Ohio residents surveyed think that Ohio State would beat the Cleveland Browns in a head-to-head matchup. 23% think the Browns would win. We're assuming that 20% either didn't know how to vote or skipped the question. Here's the snippet:
This may be the greatest measure of what tough times these are for the Cleveland Browns: voters in the state think that in a head to head match up Ohio State would beat the Browns on the gridiron 57/23. It's patently ridiculous to think a college team could beat even so hapless an NFL team as the Browns, but that's where we are. Browns fans are in near total agreement when it comes to the franchise's biggest issue- only 12% want the team to keep Johnny Manizel, compared to 72% who think he should be cut loose. For all their travails Browns fans still outnumber Bengals fans in the state, 42/29. And for all the Bengals' postseason difficulties their fans still have faith in Marvin Lewis- 51% think the team will eventually win a playoff game with him as coach to only 20% who think it will never happen.
For the record, a team comprised of former college football stars (what every NFL franchise has) would wipe the floor with any current college squad. Clearly, this says more about the frustration level of Browns fans than anything else.