As a college football bettor, one of the first things you should do early in the season is look for teams making large changes. This can be head coaching changes or it can be coordinator changes. Looking for drastic changes can give you a chance to find value in the early season. Let’s take a look at four teams where there could be major changes this year.
Pat Narduzzi is still here, but there’s a big change at offensive coordinator with Frank Cignetti taking over after Mark Whipple left for Nebraska. Pittsburgh was a pass heavy team under Whipple with Kenny Pickett at the helm. Cignetti has made it clear he wants Pittsburgh to be a run first team that controls the clock. The Panthers still have a great defense. Pickett is gone and Kedon Slovis takes over at quarterback. The Pitt offense should look a lot different this year.
Kalen DeBoer is a great offensive mind, and he steps in after the Jimmy Lake era flopped in a big way. DeBoer did some tremendous things at both Indiana and Fresno State. Michael Penix Jr. transfers in to Washington. The Huskies were 74th in the nation in tempo last year. I would expect a faster pace of play this season. Can Penix get back to his old form from before the injury? I wouldn’t expect as many defensive slog it out type games here as we have seen in recent seasons.
New Mexico State Aggies
Jerry Kill takes over at New Mexico State. This is undeniably a very tough job. Kill is a quality coach, but it won’t be a quick fix. New Mexico State ranked 28th in the nation in tempo last year, and Kill has made it very clear they are going to slow down this year. New Mexico State is very weak at quarterback and they are going to do their best to run the football and control the clock. I would expect this team to go from top 30 in the country in tempo to bottom 30 in the country in tempo.
Kansas State Wildcats
Collin Klein takes over as the new offensive coordinator in Manhattan. I think Chris Klieman is an excellent coach. He has typically been seen as a defensive-minded guy who wants to keeps games lower scoring and grind out games. Klein has been quoted multiple times in the offseason as saying this team wants to play faster. Kansas State ranked 127th out of 130 teams in the country in pace of play last year. They bring in Adrian Martinez at quarterback, and that should make this team interesting to watch at the very least. Can he get his turnover problems under control? I’m still a little skeptical that Kansas State would want to play very fast, but I’ll be closely watching for changes here.