If we're being honest, bowl games are only sort of games, right? The rhythm and flow of the season is over. Teams have had at least two weeks off (maybe up to five), and their coaching staffs have spent as much time recruiting as they have spent preparing for their bowl opponents. Plus, some players sit out, others mail it in mentally, and you never know what you're going to get.
That's all assuming the coaching staff has stayed. If you're one of the teams going through a coaching change during bowl prep, who the heck knows what's going to happen, right? When teams are playing with interim coaches in particular, we really never know what we're going to get, right?
Not so fast, my friend!
As I did when looking at rivalry effects a few weeks ago, I decided to dive in to our gambling database to learn what I could about interim coach effects. I looked at how teams with interim coaches -- 49 of them in all, going back to the 2010 season (and removing four interim-versus-interim games) -- performed in bowls against the closing line. The result was ...