NCAA Week 12: Stock Up, Stock Down
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Now that the college basketball season is underway, it seems the college football teams posting pinball numbers have yielded that task to the hoopsters.
Or is it that the big brands are finally in that part of the schedule where opponents are tougher?
Alabama and Auburn excepted, of course. Need those scrimmages this weekend to rest up for the Iron Bowl. Don't hurt yourselves this weekend, kids, and say thanks to your loyal fans shelling out their hard-earned dosh to watch the quality entertainment that Western Carolina and Samford can provide.
The only reason those two games didn't make this video is they haven't been played yet.
Stock Up: The Daily Player 12 ... Designed to be the unofficial watchdog over Selection Committee decisions -- and to justify the Happy Hour tab being run up while it was being devised as a business expense -- The Daily Player 12 calculations had Florida State on top and Mississippi State trending downward before last weekend. Baylor, you're on notice.
Stock Down: Defending the edge ... No, not U2's lead guitarist, but the group does deserve props for featuring their tribute to the Ramones in that sellout iTunes commercial, so at least their forced-download stunt's got some socially redeeming value.
But the edge here is the one where Alabama's mediocre running game kept turning upfield every chance they got, and they got a lot. Yo! Vaunted Bulldog defense! Lane Kiffin coulda just pointed to a back and pointed left or right. Make an adjustment! Blake Sims isn't exactly Joe Willie out there, you know.
Stock Up: Kansas ... The spunky Jayhawks had run up a 1½-game winning streak before TCU spoiled the party, but they showed signs of finally shaking off the victimhood that comes with being foils in Charlie Weis' brilliantly diabolical retirement plan. Hell, it even seems like WR Nigel King's been taking a few tips from Bill Self, who's actually earning his keep:
Stock Down: Will Muschamp ... Who else but Steve Spurrier would be holding the hammer that put the final nail in place?
And then he found a knife for one final twist:
OK, so the Ol' Bawl Coach doesn't work in the English department. At least he's still got a job.
Stock Up: Fine print ... Unless UCLA wins out against USC and Stanford -- doable, yes, but a daunting task nonetheless -- the five-team race that is the Pac-12 South looks to keep eyes on the scoreboard and noses in the conference handbook. Chinese menus don't have this many scenarios. And the survivor could well knock off Oregon in the title game.
Stock Down: Notre Dame ... So much for cross-pollenating regions for comparables. Florida State and Arizona State must be wondering what their victories over the Irish are worth right now, and of all years for Ohio State to not be playing Northwestern. What's that legendary line that Vince Lombardi didn't say? Oh, yeah: The kicking game. Always the kicking game.
Here's hoping that the Gipper, wherever he's spending eternity, somehow knew to cover.
Stock Up: Melvin Gordon ... If any Cornhusker is wearing a black shirt this week, that tradition has lost its meaning. Yes, Wisconsin's line is good, but not that good. And yes, Gordon can cut, dodge, and sprint with skill, but 408 yards worth of skill in one game? And it wasn't just him. As evidenced here, Nebraska's defense was an equal-opportunity sieve:
Whoa! Notice Gordon's little bow after one of his TD's. Look familiar? Like Tony-Washington-Jr familiar?
That little nicety after he sacked Arizona's Anu Solomon in the red zone on a third-&-eight cost the Ducks a cool 15. The Wildcats hit paydirt soon thereafter, breaking a tie and dousing Oregon's dreams of an undefeated season. Einsten's been proven right yet again. Everything's relative. Even that weird uncle who refs games.
Stock Down: Todd Gurley ... Dude knew what he was doing by picking up a bit of spare change with a pen. Running backs, especially, gotta get it while they can. Because one never knows. There he was, returning from suspension, ready for that first touch, and doing what Charlie Chaplin did so many times in the silent movies:
It's bad vibes to have an effort like that called back. Bad vibes, indeed:
Stock Up: Boise State ... So there they were, down 20-0 to San Diego State and possibly wondering, What would the Seminoles do? Bingo.
This keeps the Other Five's race to an access bowl berth undecided for another week. Marshall's 9-0 with schedule-strength issues, Colorado State has beaten two Power Five teams -- OK, Colorado and Boston College, but they are Power Fivers -- but lost to Boise State, and even Utah State is in with a shout. Access bowls come with big payouts, so this scenario in many ways is more vital that the CFP's Featured Four.
Stock Down: Army ... The Black Knights were the only FBS team to be guaranteed a bowl berth before the season started. If, that is, they could amass six victories. Won't happen. Western Kentucky put paid to that. Shoulda broke out the drones.
Stock Up: Brotherly Love ... Big Game Bob Stoops has already taken himself out of the running because he just can't bear the thought of coaching against his brother, Mark. No Citrus-UT quotes from him! Bummer. It woulda been fun every time he played a conference game, especially against that rag-tag, overhyped SEC standard bearer that can't beat Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Or so he claims.
Stock 'Waayyy Down: The Tallahassee Police Department ... Is this crew on the Seminole coaching staff or what? Did they think hit-and-run was a coverage scheme for PJ Williams and Ronald Darby? And why does this stuff always get exposed by out-of-town newspapers? The Noles must idolize the old Oakland Raiders, where bail money was a budgeted item. If Florida State picks off another national title, the TPD should get a game ball.
Protect and serve, dudes. The Noles thank you.