CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Lovie Smith leads the way in the gambling proposition bet category no coach ever wants anything to do with.
The Fighting Illini head coach enters his fifth season as the coach with the hottest seat in the Big Ten Conference according to the gambling website SportsBetting.ag.
Smith, who is 15-34 in four years at Illinois, is coming off a 2019 season where he led Illinois to the Redbox Bowl, the program’s first bowl in five years. The 2019 season included wins at Purdue, Michigan State and upset home win against then-No. 6 Wisconsin where the Illini entered the day as a 30-point underdog before James McCourt’s 39-yard field goal as time expired sent fans rushing to the Memorial Stadium field in one of the greatest Homecoming scenes in school history.
NOTE: Smith’s contract has a buyout of $2 million if he’s released after this season along with whatever is remaining on his $4 million salary for that year. Early this month, Illinois athletics director Josh Whitman had said the school’s athletics department could lose at least $20 million this fiscal year but it is unknown how much of that could be negated now that the Big Ten Conference has decided to get a portion of the television money from its broadcast partners to play a 2020 fall football season.
Below you will find odds for the first head coach fired in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12 Conference and Southeastern Conference. Odds do not take into account a coach resigning or retiring.
First Big Ten head coach fired