Arizona Wildcats first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez may have led his team to a victory in his first bowl game but he adds to a first-year coaching trend that bettors should be aware of this bowl season.
Rodriguez’s Wildcats - 8.5-point favorites versus the Nevada Wolf Pack
in the New Mexico Bowl - squeaked out a 49-48 win Saturday, falling
short of oddsmakers’ expectations. According to Covers Expert Marc Lawrence,
first-year college football coaches are just 39-67-2 ATS in bowl games
That includes Arizona's ATS loss and another by Toldeo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday. Rockets head coach Matt Campbell and Toledo lost 41-15 to the Utah State Aggies as 10-point underdogs.
Rodriguez and Campbell aren’t the only first-year head coaches taking their teams to a bowl game this season. Arizona State, Fresno State, Mississippi and Pittsburgh (who play each other), and UCLA all have new head coaches prowling the sidelines this postseason.
Here’s a look at the bowl schedule and odds for those remaining teams:
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Navy Midshipmen vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (-14.5, 56)
Hawaii Bowl: SMU Mustangs vs. Fresno State Bulldogs (-12, 59.5)
Compass Bowl: Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Mississippi Rebels (-3.5, 52)
Holiday Bowl: Baylor Bears vs. UCLA Bruins (Pick, 79.5)