In an excellent article over on Sports on Earth, Ross Benes used my college football team rankings to study the impact of interim coaches on bowl games.
He looked at all bowl games since the 2005 season and split the 42 games with an interim coach from the remaining 295 games. He found the statistics of both groups to be roughly the same.
The Power Rank actually performed better in predicting the results of games with an interim coach (71% compared with 59% in games without an interim coach). However, this is mostly likely a fluke due to small sample size.
The study does suggests you can ignore coaching changes when predicting the winner of bowl games.
To read the article, click here.
The Power Rank 2015 Bowl Season Cheat Sheet
If you’re entering a bowl pool, you might be interested in the 2015 bowl cheat sheet.
The study by Benes uses my calculations based on points, or margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule. In the cheat sheet, I combine these predictions with others based on yards per play. The larger ensemble of predictors makes for stronger predictions.
These prediction picked the winner in 76.5% of college football games this season. In addition, I expect the results of the study to apply to these predictions: ignore the impact of interim coaches.
For example, suppose you’re trying to pick the winner of Georgia versus Penn State. Georgia fired Mark Richt and installed wide receiver coach Bryan McClendon as interim coach. Georgia also won’t have the services of either coordinator for the bowl game.
It most likely doesn’t matter. My bowl cheat sheet predicts Georgia by 8.6 points over Penn State, which corresponds to a 74% win probability. Go with the Bulldogs.
To get the 2015 Bowl Season Cheat Sheet, click here.