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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Are Bye Weeks Overrated?

So, we are now officially in that one week a year during the college football season where we really don’t have anything to look forward to.  The vaunted BYE WEEK.  Where all you hear about is other fanbases excitedly talking about this week’s game.  And if you are a Louisville fan, talking about this week’s exhibition against a group of men playing like high school girls.  But, what often comes out of a bye week is an increase in fan expectation and confidence in his/her team.  A week allows a fanbase to lick it’s wounds coming off a loss or celebrate the positives from a win that much more.  For Kentucky fans, obviously means we are licking our wounds.

But I have already seen the Twittersphere and Facebook world being littered with fans who are coming up with ways Kentucky can beat Florida in 2 weeks.  And the bye week is most often mentioned.  Mark Stoops and Neal Brown have 2 weeks to prepare for a Florida team with a weak offense.  If any of our guys are injured, those 2 weeks will get them healthy.  More practice time for this inexperienced team.  Etc, etc.  But does a bye week normally generate a higher rate of success for the next game?  Check out UK results from the last several years following a bye week:

2012 (Samford)
Spread: -15, (W, 34-3)

2011 (Jacksonville St.)
Spread: -10, (W, 38-14)

2010 (at Tennessee)
Spread: +2 (L, 24-14)

2009 (Louisville) 
Spread: -13, (W, 31-27)

2008 (Western Kentucky)
Spread: -21, (W, 41-3)

2008 (at Tennessee)
Spread: +3 (L, 28-10)

2007 (at Vanderbilt)
Spread: -4 (W, 27-20)

2007 (Tennessee)
Spread: -2 (L, 52-50)

2006 (at Mississippi State)
Spread: -1 (W, 34-31)

2005 (at South Carolina)
Spread: +12 (L, 44-16)

2005 (at Ole Miss)
Spread: +10 (L, 13-7)

2004 (Indiana)
Spread: -2 (W, 51-32)

2004 (at Tennessee)
Spread: +24 (L, 37-31)

2003 (at Vanderbilt)
Spread: -6 (L, 28-17)

That is the last 10 season results following bye weeks, with spreads included.  That is a total of 14 games.  Against the spread, Kentucky is 8-6 in the last 10 seasons.  Overall, they are 7-7.  Which is fairly standard from a betting perspective for the rest of the season.  More often than not, against the spread, even terrible teams finish around .500 for the season.

Point being, while there are some unquestionable advantages to having a bye week, the actual results of the games following the bye week has been standard for the rest of the season.  Now, how does this relate to the Florida game?  Well, Kentucky will certainly be an underdog in that game.  As you see above, Kentucky has covered the spread in 2 of 5 games they have been an underdog in, but haven’t won outright in any of them.  In fact, Kentucky has not won a game they were an underdog in following a bye week since beating Mississippi State in 1998.  So, Kentucky will be trying to break that trend next Saturday.  What do you think?  Does the bye week give Kentucky a better chance at beating Florida?

Article written by Bryan the Intern

14 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Are Bye Weeks Overrated?



  1. CPACAT
    9:20 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    It has to give them some iota of a chance to perform at a higher level. If you have two weeks to prepare vs. one week, you have two weeks to recover from a nagging injury, etc. Also, the opponent is not coming off a bye-week, so they have the same issues in reverse, one week to prepare, one week to recover from nagging injuries, etc. Has to help some…the 26 year-old question is “Will it help enough?”



  2. Two bye weeks
    9:32 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    “So, we are now officially in that one week a year during the college football season where we really don’t have anything to look forward to. The vaunted BYE WEEK.”

    We have two bye weeks, not one.



  3. Prediction
    9:37 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Prediction: UK 17 – BYE 34



  4. btowncatfan
    9:40 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Hopefully the new coaching staff will better utilize the bye week(s) moreso than previous coaching staff(s). Think they were playing tiddlywinks during off week.



  5. James
    9:46 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I bet we give Florida one helluva game. I am very interested to see how the Gators handle a Vol team that just got their doors blown off at Oregon.

    It’s a home game for UF but their offense has been atrocious.



  6. Will
    9:55 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    The numbers really don’t suggest anything. Comparing just to last year, we’re talking about two completely different sets of variables. This is a team that has in general shown growth from game to game. The trend suggests we will be much better in two weeks. Will that mean a win? Probably not, but it is possible. It’s very possible.



  7. rick
    9:59 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I think we have a chance against Flordia, but i say that in every game. We can’t beat Western and Louisville so i’m pretty sure a week off doesn’t mean a thing, maybe get some players healthy. We always have players that need to get healthy, is it just Ky or does every one have the injury’s that Ky does, it sure doesn’t seem like it. Can’t wait for the game .



  8. niaps
    10:03 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Contain the gayturds run game Cats have a hell of a chance at a big upset.



  9. Jason
    10:11 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    If you really want to compare the results, you need to compare the actual outcome versus the spread and use games out of byeweek as your control group.

    The question you asked is do we win after a bye? You should have asked do we perform better against the spread after a bye? This is a better comparison.

    You have another bye coming up October 19th so you have ample time to do the study.



  10. DH
    10:21 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Rick, I feel the same way. That’s why I continue to watch every game. In my head I know UF is the superior team (even in a down year..), but in my heart I know we always have a chance. I even felt that way last season, though, so I think that might just be called “being a fan”



  11. rockatao
    11:28 am September 18, 2013 Permalink

    one would think any argument of this point against vs the spread would be shaky at best … you’re aassuming the oddsmakers don’t take the bye week into consideration in setting the spread



  12. Harris
    12:07 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    You do realize that those who make up the point spread know that we are coming off a bye, right?

    Point being, it’s already taken into account…



  13. TheDon
    12:27 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    I’ll repeat what others have said and will say – the bye week line accounts for the extra rest. The fact that UK is 7-7 on the line means that they are getting a bump from the week of rest.



  14. guindage
    2:04 pm September 18, 2013 Permalink

    Looking at UK’s performance against the spread tells us NOTHING. Don’t you think the guys in Vegas adjust their spreads based on bye weeks?