With my beloved Crimson Tide on a bye week, I thought I'd do a little research and find out the effects of a bye week on a team. I came to find out that no one keeps those statistics. (At least where they can be easily found)
While doing research it was said a team that was coming off a bye week had the odds favoring them if the opponent did not have one, so clearly those stats are somewhere. Or maybe that statistic was like the old joke that 87.4% of all statistics were made up. How do I know that, I made it up.
Arguments would tend to lean toward the team that has had an extra week to recover from injury, rest up, spend extra time on a game plan, study tendancies and all that. But I like a quote from an old nemises, Shug Jordan, former Auburn Head Coach, who said, "If you've got a worse team, it don't matter how long you have to prepare for them."
Arguments against a bye week being a good thing might include "Cooling Off" or having too much time to dwell on the headlines, either from a big win, or a crushing defeat. It also seems to break the rhythm that teams get into. What is true is that almost to man, every coach does give extra time off to his staff and the players during a bye week.
Even workaholic Nick Saban let the staff have some off time and gave the players a rest. I'm sure he was out recruiting, studying film, checking the air pressure in the team's footballs or something. The only time I've ever heard him relax is when he's on the lake at his weekend home on the pontoon boat.
One thing that everyone does agree on however, is that bye weeks are necessary, even if you can't decide if they're good or bad. After all, these athletes are students too and this gives them a little extra chance to do that term paper, make a visit home or do all those other things so important to college students.
Woodie Hayes once claimed he lost a game because of an off week. His team had snowplowed 4 teams in a row and he said they spent the whole bye week getting patted on the back, patting each other on the back, and patting themselves on the back so much, that they were upset by creme puff because their backs were so sore.
So at least bye weeks provide an opportunity to point a finger to, no matter which side of the win your team was on. To me, it just lengthens the season another two weeks, and that isn't a bad thing when you've waited so long for it to come back.