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B1G Coaches Top 'Fight or Flight' Formula

How are head coaches responding following an upset? The Big Ten hovers at the top of the list

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

'Fight-or-Flight' refers to a physiological reaction that ultimately weighs how a figure responds to a harmful event, or a threat to survival. It tests a stress response, in which these characters have a choice: fight, or flee.

I'm no mastermind betwix the psychosocial aspect of sport, but it certainly applies in regards to the game. It's no surprise that head coaches and teams alike respond to failure on a wide spectrum.

The Formula

The formula weighs on head coaches (and their current team) and how they perform following a loss as a favorite of five (5) or more points (since 2000). Given spreads from 1-4 points are seemingly coin flips, the subject number strictly depicts a team as a clear favorite. Coaches were only pulled if they've been hauled into this role a minimum of four times.

School

Head Coach

ATS Record Following Letdown

ATS %

Average

Margin

ATS

Indiana

Wilson

4 -- 0

100%

(+)20.8

Michigan State

Dantonio

4 -- 0

100%

(+)11.4

Central Florida

O'Leary

5 -- 1

83%

(+)11.4

Iowa

Ferentz

9 -- 3

75%

(+)6.2

Baylor

Briles

3 -- 1

75%

(+)5.1

Air Force

Calhoun

3 -- 1

75%

(+)4.5

Utah

Whittingham

6 -- 3

67%

(+)8.9

BYU

Mendenhall

4 -- 2

67%

(+)0.3

Ohio

Solich

5 -- 3

63%

(+)3.3

Missouri

Pinkel

8 -- 5

62%

(+)2.3

Notre Dame

Kelly

3 -- 2

60%

(+)10.4

Georgia

Richt

6 -- 4

60%

(+)9.7

Oklahoma State

Gundy

3 -- 2

60%

(+)6.8

Florida State

Fisher

3 -- 2

60%

(+)5.5

MTSU

Stockstill

3 -- 2

60%

(+)2.7

South Carolina

Spurrier

4 -- 3

57%

(+)4.7

Oklahoma

Stoops

9 -- 7

56%

(+)6.3

Kansas State

Snyder

5 -- 4

56%

(-)0.05

TCU

Patterson

5 -- 5

50%

(+)1.6

Virginia Tech

Beamer

9  -- 10

47%

(-)1.7

Northwestern

Fitzgerald

2 -- 4

33%

(-)4.3

Georgia Tech

Johnson

2 -- 5

29%

(-)11.9

Clemson

Swinney

1 -- 3

25%

(-)2.4

Navy

Niumatalolo

2 -- 7

22%

(-)2.4

Alabama

Saban

1 -- 5

17%

(-)2.6

Let's be honest, there's a substantial amount of work that can be tinkered with here. You can suggest home/road splits act as a significant factor as well, but that's where ATS (against the spread) margin comes into play. If a team is +35 and loses by 28, they would be classified as +7--not -28-- in that category.

The Big Ten heads the pack with Indiana's Kevin Wilson and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, as they've clocked in blemish-free at a combined 8-0; Wilson is covering by nearly three scores. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz also breezes in at number four behind UCF'S George O'Leary, as he's covered nine of 12 in this situation.

With the glitz and eye-opening comes a dash of gray areas, especially the logjam cemented in the middle. Crazy as it is, guys like Kansas State's Bill Snyder and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer have endured a seesaw battle, while Nick Saban emerges as the bottom feeder in this role. It's not by much (-2.6 per contest), but a 1-5 clip, the big, bad Crimson Tide aren't exactly shellacking opposition following a letdown.

Once 2015 rolls around, I'll be sure to check in frequently to work up some magic and plug in these outlets via the 'letdown role,' but here's a small cheat sheet:

Play: Indiana, Michigan State, Central Florida, Iowa, Utah, Notre Dame, Missouri

Fade: Alabama, Navy, Georgia Tech, Northwestern, Clemson