It is almost bowl season, which means the turnover among college football coaches is nearing an end. The coaching carousel saw Jimbo Fisher leave Florida State for Texas A&M (and $75 million), Dan Mullen move from the SEC West to the SEC East to become the big gator at Florida and welcomed Chip Kelly back into our lives.
Before a new era begins for these programs, there is one more game to be played. Defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins will wear the interim tag when the Noles play Southern Miss, Greg Knox will fill in for Mullen and Jedd Fisch, who coached UCLA to a win in its last regular season game to become bowl eligible, will keep Kelly’s seat warm for one more game.
Coaching is a tough job, coaching under the interim tag, which implies temporary, is even harder. Will there be a drop in performance or will teams rally around their one-and-done coach? More importantly, what does this mean for bettors?
To analyze the impact these coaching changes have on bowl games, we compiled a list of every interim head coach that coached a bowl game since 2005. Thanks to Dave Congrove at CollegeFootballPoll.com for the assist on tracking the coaching changes.
There have been 54 bowl games with an interim coach since 2005. In those games, the replacement coaches are 26-28 straight-up and 24-29-1 (45.3%) ATS. There isn’t much of an edge to bet or fade these teams, but what if we look at the results by favorites and underdogs?
Favorites are 19-10 straight-up and 14-14-1 ATS while underdogs are 7-18 straight-up and 10-15 ATS. It is a small sample and not something we’d recommend solely using as a betting system but interim coaches that are expected to lose have underperformed.
In all bowl games not coached by an interim, underdogs are 209-183-6 (53.3%) ATS. If a team is an underdog they likely have inferior talent and a coaching change only exacerbates the team’s disadvantages. Based on the data, there could be an edge fading underdogs in bowl games with interim coaches.
Of course, smart bettors will follow our Pro Systems for bowl season. Combined, these betting strategies are 176-88-4 (66.7%) ATS since 2005. A $100 bettor would have returned a profit of $7,919 by playing these picks. Unlock all the plays for bowl season.
Here is each bowl game in our sample and the betting results. If we missed a game let us know.
|2016||Nick Holt||Western Kentucky||-7||Yes||Yes|
|2016||T.J. Weist||South Florida||-10||Yes||No|
|2015||Dell McGree||Georgia Southern||4.5||Yes||Yes|
|2015||Brian Ward||Bowling Green||-4.5||No||No|
|2015||Larry Scott||Miami FL||1.5||No||No|
|2014||Doug Baldwin||Colorado State||3||No||No|
|2013||John Thompson||Arkansas State||6.5||Yes||Yes|
|2013||Adam Scheier||Bowling Green||-7||No||No|
|2013||Bob Gregory||Boise State||4||No||No|
|2012||Kent Baer||San Jose State||-7||Yes||Yes|
|2012||John Thompson||Arkansas State||-3||Yes||Yes|
|2012||Lance Guidry||Western Kentucky||-6||No||No|
|2012||Dana Bible||NC State||7.5||No||No|
|2012||Rod Carey||Northern Illinois||14.5||No||No|
|2012||Chris Thomsen||Texas Tech||-13||Yes||No|
|2011||Tim DeRuyter||Texas A&M||-9.5||Yes||Yes|
|2011||David Gunn||Arkansas State||-1.5||No||No|
|2011||Tom Bradley||Penn State||5.5||No||No|
|2010||Tom Matukewicz||Northern Illinois||-1.5||Yes||Yes|
|2010||Lance Guidry||Miami Ohio||1.5||Yes||Yes|
|2010||Jeff Stoutland||Miami FL||-2.5||No||No|
|2009||Ruffin McNeill||Texas Tech||-9.5||Yes||Yes|
|2009||Steve Stripling||Central Michigan||-3||Yes||Push|
|2007||Bill Stewart||West Virginia||8||Yes||Yes|
|2007||Jon Tenuta||Georgia Tech||-5.5||No||No|
|2007||Gary Darnel||Texas A&M||5||No||No|
|2006||Jeff Quinn||Central Michigan||-8.5||Yes||Yes|
|2006||Frank Spaziani||Boston College||-7.5||Yes||No|