Jim McElwain is out at Florida. The school and coach have mutually agreed to part ways. Under McElwain, the Gators went 22-12 and won the SEC East in back-to-back seasons. Yet, the coach received constant criticism for the team’s offensive struggles. During his time in Gainesville the offense ranked 113th in the FBS in scoring.
What’s next for Florida? The administration will begin a search for its next head coach but the team still has four games to play including a road trip to Mizzou. The Gators are 3.5-point dogs in Columbia Saturday. Do teams give up after their coach is fired?
To answer that question, we consulted the Bet Labs database and looked at every instance where a coach was fired or resigned in-season since 2012.
|Season||Team||Coach||Won Next Game||Covered Next Game|
|Georgia Southern||Tyson Summers||No||Yes|
|Oregon State||Gary Andersen||No||Yes|
|2016||Georgia State||Trent Miles||Yes||Yes|
|Fresno State||Tim DeRuyter||No||Yes|
|Iowa State||Paul Rhoads||No||No|
|North Texas||Dan McCarney||No||Yes|
|South Carolina||Steve Spurrier||Yes||Yes|
|Eastern Michigan||Ron English||Yes||Yes|
|Florida Atlantic||Carl Pelini||Yes||Yes|
|Miami (Ohio)||Don Treadwell||No||No|
McElwain is the 28th coach to be replaced in-season. In the last six years, after a coaching change teams have gone 9-18 straight-up in their next game. This isn’t too surprising, usually teams have to be pretty bad to get a coach fired. What might surprise some is that it has been profitable to bet these squads to cover.
It is a small sample but the market appears to overreact to coaching changes. On average, teams are double-digit underdogs in their first game after a change in leadership. Teams have gone 17-10 ATS with an interim coach.
At the time of publication, a majority of bets were on the Gators as small road dogs. Will Florida reward bettors or disappoint once more? There is little predictive value, given our limited data, on how teams perform after a coach is replaced in-season. We do have a Pro System (+88.64 units since 2005) for this game.
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