College football head coaches are truly the big men on campus at most universities across the country, but they are often disregarded by sports handicappers when breaking down games, which is a grave mistake.
In any profession, some individuals perform better in certain situations—something that needs to be monitored closely on a weekly basis. With the pressure to win on a yearly basis, there's an extremely high turnover rate at this position.
A strong betting trend gains even more strength when that coach has established himself as the face of the program.
Let's take a closer look at five of these situations that you need to know heading into the opening week of the 2012 campaign.
The South Carolina Gamecocks are currently 6.5-point favorites (courtesy of SBR Forum) against the Vanderbilt Commodores in their Southeastern Conference opener on Thursday night.
Steve Spurrier deserves a ton of respect by college football handicappers when analyzing this game, considering he's produced a 34-17 against-the-spread (ATS) record as a conference road favorite.
The road team in this particular series has also gone 6-2-1 ATS in the last nine meetings.
The Pac-12 Conference will have four new faces roaming the sidelines this year, including former Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Mike Leach, who landed with the Washington State Cougars.
Known as a brilliant offensive mind, Leach has failed to provide sports bettors a profit when losing a game straight up during the course of his career, including a 0-10 ATS record when suffering a setback in non-conference play.
I don't expect him to come away with a victory against his alma mater on Thursday night.
The Ohio State Buckeyes football program will not be able to participate in the postseason this year, but that doesn't mean sports bettors can't profit from their first season under a big-name head coach.
The former Florida Gators front man has gone 18-2-1 ATS in non-conference home games—a trend that will likely have people running towards the betting window this weekend.
Despite his success of developing NFL quarterbacks, California Golden Bears head coach Jeff Tedford needs to start silencing some critics in the Bay Area with a strong season.
He should get off to a strong start, as the Golden Bears have won their last 10 home openers, while covering six of their last seven opportunities in that situation.
I definitely recommend backing them as 11-point favorites (per SBR Odds) against the Nevada Wolf Pack inside a newly-renovated Memorial Stadium.
The Michigan Wolverines will take the field as a road underdog of 10.5 to 21 points for just the fifth time since 1996 on Saturday night, as they get set to face one of college football's true juggernauts.
Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has already won two national titles during his time in Tuscaloosa, which is one of the main reasons his program is favored by 14 points (per SBR Odds) in such a high-profile affair.
Saban-coached teams have gone 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games against Big Ten Conference opponents. Some of that success came during his five years as the face of the Michigan State Spartans.