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Week 7 College Football Recap – Week 8 Betting Lookahead

Mario Cristobal preps for College Football Week 8 game

College Football Betting Recap For Week 7

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Football content contributor Ron Marmalefsky offers his college football Week 7 betting recap as well as his lookahead to Week 8 of college football kicking off on Thursday! What are his takeaways and look aheads from a betting perspective? Read below now!

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College Football Week 7: Betting Recap

In this edition I am going to list some head coaches whose jobs are either on the line, or whose late game decision-making could have been better. Are there any handicapping angles that can be used moving forward? Let’s find out.

College Football Head Coaches in Peril

This is not a complete list by any means. The eight I have chosen to discuss all have areas that must improve if they are to remain in their current job beyond the next season or two. This list is by conference, and not in any other ranked order.

Mario Cristobal – Miami (FL): Mario is an excellent recruiter, and this is one of Miami’s best teams, but the Hurricane’s have a nasty habit of sliding badly once seasonal goals slip away. The well documented improbable loss hosting Georgia Tech may have started yet another slide. Cristobal is in no danger of losing his job, but supporters of this team have him on a short leash.

THE REST OF 2023: They are not dead yet, but one more loss might seal the deal.  A loss to Clemson will trigger a small crowd the next week hosting Virginia. 

Later, a loss to Florida State would be very tough for the players themselves to rebound, with ACC and January 1st goals very likely ending. Watch the team body language closely and read the local news.

Dino Babers – Syracuse: Babers has rebounded nicely in the past but if you consider the body of his work as a whole, has there really been any progress in the win column? 

4-0 has turned into 4-3, and the Orange has been outscored 112-24 in those three losses.  The ACC is hardly a murderer’s row, but Syracuse is 9-28 in their last 37 ACC conference games.  

THE REST OF 2023: Last year they lost five in a row after starting 6-0.  I don’t think Babers keeps his job if a similar slide occurs.  What could happen is an “announced firing” before the end of 2023.  If that happens and Babers is not on the sideline to play out the season then I think fading them is very possible.

Dana Holgorsen – Houston: Holgorsen once coached in the Big 12, and now he’s back, but for how long? His style is tolerated when Houston is winning, but in 2024 the conference will be completely wide open (no Texas or Oklahoma) and many would question his ability to be the man who leads the charge to the top of the standings. One lucky play last week got them to 3-3. At 2-4, his departure might have been expedited.

THE REST OF 2023: I think Houston has to make it to 6-6 or else the administration may make a change. His listed record at home vs. the point spread is 34-57. Teams under his leadership have always been inconsistent, and I wouldn’t be afraid to fade the Cougars when the metrics are not in Houston’s favor.

Jimbo Fisher – Texas A&M: I was always under the impression that 2024 would be when A&M would peak, but the rabid fan base thinks this year is already a disaster.

While I’d give the staff another season (and the stat sheet supports growth), the 4-3 Aggies may make a change if they end up 7-5 or worse.

THE REST OF 2023: I don’t see a handicapping angle right now, especially with A&M having a much-needed week off after back-to-back tough games.

What I DO KNOW is that Texas is coming to the SEC in 2024, much to A&M’s dismay. A&M left the Big 12 in part to get away from Texas.

The administration doesn’t want the football program to be overshadowed by the Longhorns like in the old days, and that could factor into whether Fisher remains as the coach.

Tom Allen – Indiana: Tom Allen’s big breakthrough came in the strange Big Ten Covid season. Since then, his record is just 8-22, and 2-19 in Conference play. Yes, their division is brutal, but things will only get worse in 2024 when the league expands. I do not see a path forward for success.

THE REST OF 2023: Allen won’t lose the respect of his team, but fan support is not likely to get any better. Home field advantage may dwindle.

Andy Avalos – Boise State: In the last five seasons Boise has been one of the most consistent teams I’ve ever had when it comes to beginning and ending Power Numbers.

They never really wavered from the 79 to 82 range. It wasn’t quite the high ranking from the Chris Peterson glory days, but ten wins were the norm.

As I write this, Boise’s Power Number has slumped to 73.5, the lowest it’s been in over two decades. Andy had won 14 of his last 19 games after a slow start in his initial season prior to this year. He’s 3-4 in 2023, with losses by 1, 2 and 3 points on the resume.

THE REST OF 2023: I don’t think his job is in danger, but I do think there are internal doubts about his ability to get the program back to past levels.

They have no signature win and the stat sheet shows a team on the decline. The offense is not broken, but the defense is, and they are turning the ball over too much. This could spiral, so be careful.

Mike Neu – Ball State: Like with Indiana, their signature season came in Covid, 2020. Take that 7-1 season out and Neu is just 27-53, which is unacceptable in the ever-changing MAC.

THE REST OF 2023: Neu is a three-time member of my bottom five coaches list, and fading the Cardinals has always been a high priority for me.

At 1-6 this year, home attendance will remain sparse. While I’d love for him to remain as their coach, the administration has been more than patient, and a change is necessary.

Dana Dimel – UTEP: Almost no team has been as predicable as UTEP. This was supposed to be the year they competed, and in fact Phil Steele and others had them pegged for big things in Conference USA (2nd).

Instead, they are 2-5, with wins over Incarnate Word and FIU. Yes, they went 12-13 combined in 2021-2022, but Dimel’s conference record is now just 9-28, with no winning seasons in conference play.

THE REST OF 2023: Dimel is another three-time member of my bottom five coaches list, and is someone who has never adapted to the changing nature of the game.

He is another coach with a dismal record vs. the spread in home games, and home attendance numbers are poor. It’s easier to fade programs such as this one when playing at home because there’s virtually no home field edge.

    Week 8 Games – Two Big Game Breakdowns for October 21st

    Tennessee at Alabama: Tennessee won a shootout, 52-49 as a host last season. Alabama has certainly not looked great so far this season, but all their goals remain in front of them.

    EARLY STAT SHEET NOTES: I show Alabama as exceeding my run defense expectations, but Tennessee has also exceeded my offensive rush expectations. That’s the key battle in my eyes. For whatever reason, Alabama has allowed more sacks this season than I can ever remember. That’s the key when they have the ball.

    Penn State at Ohio State: The offense has been fine for Penn State, but in what may be a surprise to many, it has fallen below my 2023 projections.

    That’s not to say Penn State is poor offensively. All it says is that they are not as strong as I thought. Defensively, they have been fantastic.

    One reason they are a comfortable 6-0 is that they have a +10 turnover ratio, and no offensive interceptions.

    Ohio State has much the same resume. They have fallen below my 2023 offensive expectations, but have exceeded my defensive expectations.

    EARLY STAT SHEET NOTES: Penn State has allowed 48 points in six games, but vs. teams that overall are clearly below average offensively. Ohio State has allowed 58 points in six games, but has played against teams with better offensive resumes.

    Penn State has often led in recent games between the two schools, but thanks to fumbles, blocked kicks and the return game, Ohio State has found ways to win.

    With equal turnovers, this game might be a coin flip at first glance. Can Penn State continue to play virtually error-free football?

    Follow me on twitter @ronacesports to be alerted of future articles, and to find my weekly podcasts with @lasvegascris on Tuesday and Jeff Dawson on Friday, where I discuss NCAA content as well as NFL content.

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