Posted 11/27/2017 at 04:57 PM
As we wait another week for the College Football Playoff bracket and the rest of the bowl schedule to be completed the coaching change season is in full effect. With three spots filled 10 vacancies remained with Chip Kelly and Dan Mullen, two of the most talked about candidates at a variety of programs were quickly snapped up by the two biggest programs UCLA and Florida. Counting the summer departure of Hugh Freeze (interim head coach Matt Luke has been retained) there are currently slated to be 13 changes but that number will surely increase with a domino effect once some of the hot candidates opt to leave their current programs. It seems like a huge number but by the end of the bowl season 23 teams made coaching moves last season, not counting Freeze or the summer departure of Bob Stoops at Oklahoma.
Tennessee’s brief offer and subsequent withdrawal of the position to former Rutgers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano is the most puzzling and fascinating storyline. Schiano’s connection to the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State certainly made him a challenging candidate despite some solid credentials, recently leading the Ohio State defense. Outside pressure seemingly has pushed the administration to quickly change course though legal consequences could be waiting for a program that seemingly has made wrong turn after wrong turn since forcing Phil Fulmer out nearly a decade ago after a 5-7 2008 season despite his 152-52 record with a national title and five division titles.
The Schiano situation along with the bizarre injury situation surrounding Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett who was allegedly injured by a cameraman before last week’s Michigan game makes the Big Ten Championship storylines something out of the tabloids. Barrett played part of last week’s game before giving way to freshman Dwayne Haskins who played well in Ohio State’s comeback win. Barrett looks likely to play in Indianapolis this week but Wisconsin fans don’t need to be reminded about the last time they faced a freshman reserve quarterback from Ohio State in the Big Ten championship, ending in a 59-0 defeat.
Mullen is an interesting hire at Florida given his 33-39 record in the SEC at Mississippi State. Even in a rise in prominence the past six years he has gone just 24-24 and he is replacing a coach that went 16-8 in 2&¾ years at Florida and won a pair of SEC East titles. Mullen has not won a SEC West division title in his nine years in the SEC and only finished better than fourth once. The East has been the lesser division in that run certainly but Texas A&M just fired Kevin Sumlin after he went 25-23 in SEC games over six seasons. Rumor has it the Aggies seem to believe they can pry Jimbo Fisher from Florida State but if that plan fails it remains to be seen what coaching options remain for the many power five openings after the select few top candidates make their decisions.
In the NFL a historic run for betting favorites continued in November’s final weekend. Since the start of the month closing line favorites are 34-18-3 ATS, going 12-3 heading into Monday night in Week 12 after going 9-4-1 in Week 11. Underdogs had gone 52-37-1 in the first six weeks of the season before a big shift in mid-October. No surprise that our underdog-leaning phone service went 14-4 in those first six weeks and has had lesser results since. It isn’t just a remarkable rate of favorites covering of late but there have been many dramatic late scores to shift the results with Washington, Cincinnati, Atlanta, New England, Carolina, and Tennessee all going from not covering to covering in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter in Week 12. Best of Luck and on to this week’s slate…