Inside the stats: New coaches struggle ATS in opener

Aug 28, 2013 |
With the NFL preseason headed toward the finish line, and the 2013 college football season about to engage, let’s take a quick spin around both worlds.

Coaches who try

One of the key ingredients in successfully handicapping the NFL preseason is identifying coaches who put an emphasis on winning above all else.

Three such coaches entered the 2013 exhibition slate with sterling preseason records, namely Baltimore’s John Harbaugh (13-7 SU and 11-9 ATS), Detroit’s Jim Schwartz (12-4 SU and 11-5 ATS) and Seattle’s Pete Carroll (17-12 SU and 19-9-1 ATS).

Collectively the triumvirate has not let their backers down this preseason, compiling a sterling 7-2 SU/ATS mark. 

...And those who don’t

On the other side of the street are coaches that could care less about the preseason scoreboard. 

Their purpose is to utilize the exhibition season to evaluate talent and put the team in the best position it can entering the regular campaign.

Three coaches fit this bill entering the 2013 preseason, including Atlanta’s Mike Smith (7-13 SU and 8-10-2 ATS), Miami’s Joe Philbin (0-4 SUATS) and Minnesota’s Leslie Frazier (3-5 SUATS).

Holding true to their colors, this tame trio has combined to go 1-9 SU and 2-7-1 ATS this preseason.

New kids on the block

The 2013 college football season welcomes no less than 31 head coaches debuting with new teams this season.

A disturbing stat is the fact that these newbie’s tend to struggle in the maiden voyages, going 112-145-8 combined in lined openers since 1990.

Those who inherit a bad team (four or fewer wins last season) struggle the worst, going 45-75-6 ATS.

Put these new coach/bad teams up against a quality foe (one who won six or more games last season) and they dip even further, going 6-62 SU and 20-42-3 ATS.

According to our research, a long day could be in the offing for Brett Bielema (Arkansas), Sonny Dykes (California), Mark Stoops (Kentucky), Doug Martin (New Mexico State), Matt Ruhle (Temple) and P. J. Fleck (Western Michigan).

Elevator up, elevator down

With college football totals becoming more popular these days, here’s a snapshot of the best and worst teams last season…

• Best OVER team: Louisiana Tech (11-1 O/U)
• Best UNDER team: Bowling Green (2-10 O/U)
• Most combined PPG offense + defense: Louisiana Tech (90 PPG)
• Least combined PPG offense + defense): Rutgers (35.7 PPG)
• Highest average O/U line: Baylor (74.8)
• Lowest average O/U line: Connecticut (43.6)
• Highest average O/U margin: Louisiana Tech (+20.7)
• Lowest average O/U margin: Bowling Green (-10.4)

Stat of the Week

The Seattle Seahawks are 20-4 SU and 22-2 ATS versus AFC opponents during the preseason since 2004.

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