We’re heading into bowl season, a time when some coaches are on the hot seat and when rising coaches and hot-shot coordinators are often on the move. Such moves can represent good opportunities for spot bets. Here’s a quick snapshot of the coaching carousel:
USC Trojans (9-4 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Holiday Bowl: -6 vs. Fresno State
Earlier this month, USC hired Steve Sarkisian away from Washington, prompting interim Trojans coach Ed Orgeron to quit before USC’s Las Vegas Bowl date with Fresno State on Dec. 21. In the interim, Clay Helton will lead USC – becoming the school’s third coach this season. Orgeron picked up the pieces and engineered a 6-2 SU finish to the season (5-3 ATS), and the Trojans would’ve run through a wall for him in the bowl game. But the players might not feel the same way about Helton.
Washington Huskies (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Fight Hunger Bowl: -3 BYU
The Huskies hired Chris Petersen away from Boise State, leaving Washington with interim coach Marques Tuiasosopo in the Fight Hunger Bowl vs. Brigham Young. Washington players are likely feeling the sting of Sarkisian spurning them for a Pac-12 rival. Perhaps they rise up for the bowl game.
Boise State Broncos (8-4, 6-6 ATS)
Hawaii Bowl: +2.5 vs. Oregon State
Interim coach Bob Gregory has the reins at Boise State. Chris Petersen led the Broncos to their greatest heights, including two BCS bowl victories. This year, Boise State goes to the Hawaii Bowl against Oregon State. Not exactly a BCS game. In fact, not even the same area code. Could a letdown follow? Bettors seem to think so, moving BSU from -2.5 to +2.5.
Arkansas State Red Wolves (7-5 SU, 5-6-1 ATS)
GoDaddy Bowl: +9 vs. Ball State
Arkansas State coach Bryan Harsin jumped to Boise State to replace Petersen, so the Red Wolves will have interim coach John Thompson for the GoDaddy Bowl against Ball State. This line has jumped from -8 to -9 at some books.
Michigan State Spartans (12-1 SU, 8-4-1 ATS)
Rose Bowl: +4.5 vs. Stanford
Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is another hot prospect, having led a unit that is arguably the best in the nation. He already spurned Connecticut, so he might actually stick around to finish the job against Stanford in the Rose Bowl.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-4 SU, 5-6-1 ATS)
Pinstripe Bowl: -15.5 vs. Rutgers
Notre Dame, a 15.5-point favorite against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl, has lost two key assistants. Defensive coordinator Bob Diaco bolted for the head coaching job at Connecticut, just a week after offensive coordinator Chuck Martin left to become head coach at Miami of Ohio.
Bowling Green Falcons (10-3 SU, 10-3 ATS)
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: -5 vs. Pittsburgh
Bowling Green’s Dave Clawson, whose squad upset Northern Illinois in the MAC title game, jumped ship to Wake Forest. So Bowling Green will lean on interim coach Adam Scheier against Pittsburgh in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. The Falcons have dropped from -6 to -5 since Clawson’s departure.
Coaching moves to watch
The Mack Brown-Nick Saban soap opera continues. Brown is rumored to be resigning this week from Texas, which faces Oregon (-14) in the Alamo Bowl, and rumor has it Texas is offering piles of cash to Alabama’s Saban, who has a Sugar Bowl date with Oklahoma (+15). … Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is definitely on the hot seat heading into a meeting with Georgia (+9) in the Gator Bowl.