The Value Of Inexperience: Bowl Teams With Brand New Coaches Are Winners Against The Spread
December 12, 2011 - by David Hess
Last week we compiled a list of Bowl team coaching changes to aid our bowl pick’em analysis. We’ll be updating that list throughout the week, but today we thought we’d take a quick look at how new coaches have done in their bowl games.
You might think that teams with new coaches would struggle in their bowl games, but according to the data, they’ve been just fine.
Since 2003, there have been 14 coaches who made their head coaching debut in a bowl game, plus one case (Jeff Quin in 2009) where an interim coach had only a single game of previous experience — three years ago in another bowl game. Here are all 15, along with their results [SU = straight up, ATS = against the spread, OU = over/under].
Coach Year Team Bowl SU ATS OU
Bo Pelini 2003 Nebraska Alamo WIN WIN Under
Charlie Strong 2004 Florida Peach loss loss Under
Kent Baer 2004 Notre Dame Insight loss loss Over
Frank Spaziani 2006 Boston College Meineke Car Care WIN loss Over
Jeff Quin 2006 Central Michigan Motor City WIN WIN Under
Reggie Herring 2007 Arkansas Cotton loss loss Under
Jon Tenuta 2007 Georgia Tech Humanitarian loss loss Over
Ken Niumatalolo 2007 Navy Poinsettia loss WIN Over
DeWayne Walker 2007 UCLA Las Vegas loss WIN Under
Steve Stripling 2009 Central Michigan GMAC WIN push Over
Jeff Quin 2009 Cincinnati Sugar loss WIN Over
Ruffin McNeill 2009 Texas Tech Alamo WIN WIN Over
Jeff Stoutland 2010 Miami FL Sun loss loss Over
Lance Guidry 2010 Miami OH GoDaddy WIN WIN Over
Tom Matukewicz 2010 Northern Illinois Humanitarian WIN WIN Over
Total 7-8 8-6-1 10-5
The key points:
- New head coaches have a straight up bowl win loss record of 7-8. Bowl games are designed to be close matchups, and these guys are often taking over because the old coach got fired, so that 7-8 straight up record doesn’t seem bad at all.
- New head coaches are 8-6-1 against the spread in bowl games. Though it’s by a slim margin, these new bowl game coaches actually have a winning record against the spread. It’s definitely not a large enough edge to conclude that new coaches are a good bet, but it does show that there’s no reason to avoid betting on them as a rule.
- Games involving new coaches have gone Over the total 10 times, and Under only 5 times. This is still a small sample size, so don’t take it as a given that it will continue. But if it is real, what might cause it? Perhaps teams with new coaches make a few more mistakes than normal. A single mistake on the defensive end can lead to a touchdown, while a single mistake on offense usually leaves a team with a chance or two to make up for it.
So which games this year are affected by these trends? Be sure to check out our list of bowl team coaching changes to find out.
Finally, if you’re going to compete in a Bowl Pick’em or are planning on wagering on some of the games, make sure to check out our 2011-2012 college football bowl games section, complete with bowl predictions, bowl betting picks, and bowl pick’em advice and picks.