College Football Bye WeeksThe bye week is a part of football, both in the college ranks, as well as in the NFL. In the NFL, the primary motivation factor is money, as each team having a bye adds another week to the season, meaning more television games.
In college football, the bye week is simply a week to rest some banged-up players, give injured players an extra week to hopefully come back and to work out some kinks that have been showing up on the field. It's also a chance to look ahead at the next opponent and get an early start on game preparation. That's the theory, at least, but it doesn't always work out that way. Especially if the team with the bye week figures to have a relatively easy time in its next game.
We've all heard coaches talking about taking it one game at a time, never looking ahead, etc., but the results paint a bit of a different picture.
Over the last 10 seasons, college football road favorites coming off a bye week were just 106-152-2 against the point spread. But we can dig a bit deeper and come up with an even better trend.
The past 10 seasons, college football road favorites of 10 or more points coming off a bye week were just 34-68-2 against the point spread. That's a dismal 33.3 percent against the number.
When looking at this, or any other trend, the first thing to ask yourself is if it makes sense. This does on several accounts.
The first reason being that no matter how much college football coaches try to build up bye weeks, they do interfere with the team's routine. Players get accustom to doing things a certain way at a particular time and the bye week changes all of that. sometimes, change isn't a good thing.
But the second, and most telling reason, is that teams who are favored by 10 or more points on the road have a much superior team to that of their next opponent. Instead of spending the entire two weeks getting ready for a team they know they should beat, teams are likely to spend a bit of time looking ahead to a future opponent.
Don't be afraid to take the large home underdog against a team coming off a bye. Past history says you'll be on the correct side far more often than not.