In, I ranked the five coaches who have done the best not on the field, but in the sportsbook. The coaches who don't necessarily win every game, but can be counted on to cover the spread over the last five years. Well, when it comes to betting on sports, you're not always betting on something. Just as often, you're betting against it.
So it only makes sense that for this week's Friday Five I rank the five coaches who have done the worst against the spread since the start of the 2013 season.
Now, there are a few bad options, but in the interest of sample sizes, this list only includes those who have been head coaches for at least 50 games over the last five seasons. There are other coaches who are off to rather unimpressive starts against the spread in their career, but I want to give them time to balance things out before making a final judgment. For now, you can find a few of them in the Honorable Mentions.
As for the proven bad bets, we'll start with SMU's new coach.
5. Sonny Dykes, Cal and SMU (20-30 ATS): Dykes can thank the 2013 season for landing him on this list. While he's 0-1 ATS so far at SMU thanks to a 51-10 loss to his former school, Louisiana Tech, in the Frisco Bowl, it was that first season at Cal that was a disaster. Not only did the Bears go 1-11 that season, but they barely managed to do any better against the number, finishing 2-10 ATS. If you bet $100 on every Cal game that season, depending on the juice, you ended up losing roughly $815. Things evened out over the next three seasons as the Bears went 18-19 on the field and 18-19 ATS as well.
4. Mark Stoops, Kentucky (25-37 ATS): Stoops has been at Kentucky for five seasons, and he's had two winning seasons ATS in that time span. The Wildcats went 7-5 ATS in 2014 and 7-6 ATS in 2016. They wouldn't have made you rich, but you would have left with more money than you started with. It's the odd-numbered years that would have killed you. In 2013, 2015 and 2017, Stoops' Wildcats teams went 11-26 ATS. The good news is that, if the even and odd year trend continues, Kentucky should make money in 2018.
t-2. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M (25-38-1 ATS): Sumlin is currently at Arizona, but all of those games where he failed to cover came at Texas A&M. In a way, Sumlin's performance ATS mirrored what his life was like at Texas A&M. In 2012, the Aggies had a magical season, finishing 11-2 in their first SEC season as Johnny Manziel won the Heisman. That season raised expectations to a level that probably wasn't realistic, and those expectations were shared by Joe Public at the sportsbook. The Aggies really struggled against the spread, and they were consistent about it too. A&M went 5-8 ATS in 2013, 2014, and 2015. They shook things up in 2016 by going 4-9. I don't think it's a coincidence that A&M's only winning record ATS in the last five seasons came last year (6-5-1) when expectations had been lowered significantly.
t-2. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia (25-38-1 ATS): In 2011, Holgorsen was asked to leave a casino. Based on the way his team has performed against the spread the last five seasons, I hope he's stayed away since. While the Mountaineers have gone a respectable 36-28 on the field over the last five seasons, they're only 25-38-1 ATS in that span. They posted a winning mark of 7-6 ATS in 2014 (they were 7-6 straight up that season as well), but Holgo's teams have gone 18-32-1 ATS in the other four seasons while never covering more than 5 games in any of those campaigns. Even in 2016 when the Mountaineers surprised a lot of people by going 10-3, they still only managed to go 5-7-1 ATS. Now there's a lot of talk about West Virginia entering 2018 as a darkhorse in the Big 12, which makes me suspect another subpar performance ATS is on the way.
1. Rich Rodriguez, Arizona (25-40 ATS): If you're an Arizona fan right now, you can't be feeling great. Sure, Rodriguez is gone, so you no longer have the worst coach ATS running your team, but his replacement is tied for second on this list. So I guess the lesson here is that if you're an Arizona fan, don't bet on your Wildcats. Of course, you probably already learned that the hard way these last five seasons as RichRod never posted a winning record ATS at Arizona (he was 6-7 in 2012 as well). The worst year was 2016 when Arizona went 2-10 ATS while only going 3-9 on the field. Rodriguez is currently without a job, but should he find himself coaching again anywhere soon, I'm willing to bet more than a few degenerates will be happy to hear the news.
Honorable Mention: Scottie Montgomery (6-17-1), David Beaty (13-23), Nick Rolovich (7-17-1), Bob Diaco (9-27-1)