NCAA Week 8: Stock Up, Stock Down
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That's the way an ovoid ball bounces.
Another undefeated team falls after blowing a second-half lead and now looks headed for what amounts to a play-in for the chance to clash with Chip Kelly's old school in the playoffs.
Stock Up: Villainy ... Those Brits in the Jaguar commercials are right. It is good to be bad. Their dialog even sounds like the Florida State creed:
The Seminoles haven't hit Darth Vader status yet, but their creampuff sked and -- until lately -- kid-gloves handling of their high-maintenance QB have much of college football's fandom hoping they'll stumble. But with Nôtre Dame out of the way, they'll be hard chalk through December. Help us, Obi Wan-Ke-Dookie, you're our only hope!
Stock Down: Dramatic field goals ... Kickers. Can't live with 'em; can't kill 'em. Wazzu's Coug It tradition wasted Connor Halliday's 734-yard passing performance with a blown a chip shot at the gun, Arizona lost its undefeated status when a post-ice FG didn't curl, and now Kansas State has lived and died by them. Putting the foot in football remains a risky proposition.
Stock Up: One-handed TD grabs ... West Virginia's Kevin White and California's Chris Harper might be rising on the list of Kansas City Royals outfielder prospects.
Stock Down: Aggie swag ... Cheer up, Texas A&M, that blowout coulda happened to you in the Big XII. And then where would you be? Ask Bob Stoops what he thinks of the mystical powers that SEC patch on your jerseys has on pollsters. Come to think of it, who did he think he was playing yesterday? Alabama?
Stock Up: Texas Christian ... These dudes know how to bounce back, earning the eternal praise of Yosemite Sam.
That's right. They're in command of their destiny for Big XII titlehood after kaa-rushing the Oklahoma State squad that almost did college football fandom a huge favor in August. Yes, that was ages ago, when teams were still basking in their reputations. Wait a minute. Some still are. Damn you, Cowboys! Next time, use a wooden stake. Meanwhile, Big XII, you let 'em in, so now, approach the Horny Toads at your own risk. There's more to those dudes than meets a pollsters' eye.
Stock Down: Nick Montana ... Can't count on the DNA code for everything. Although touted as a mega-star recruit by those creepy dudes who make a living analyzing high-school kids, Joe's scion washed out at Washington and ultimately transferred to Tulane. But where Papa had Dwight Clark with the Niners, son has only turf with the Green Wave. At least it was open.
Cheer up, kid. Warren Moon started his career at the University of Washington by throwing out of bounds to stop the clock. On fourth down. He survived it.
Stock Up: Urinalysis ... The joy of watching an SEC broadcast with a football-oblivious blonde in the room is highlighted when she only hears Verne Lundquist's comment to Gary Danielson that "I love your analysis" with half an ear and thinks he's a hypochondriac.
Stock Down: Stanford ... Full marks to the student body down on The Farm for treating the Cardinal's offensive linemen like the rock stars they are. Proof yet again they are the nation's smart kids, clearly more ahead of the curve than most sports headline writers. Too bad the team doesn't have a complement for them in the so-called skill positons.
Stock Up: Bill Snyder ... Is this dude cool or what? The K-State master mentor just turned 75 this month and still found time to amble down to Norman and knock off Oklahoma, just like he did two years ago. He never gets acclaimed recruiting classes, never gets mentioned about school-jumping for bigger bucks, never bitches at his own fans, and doesn't have a cadre of sycophants in the media treating him like a demi-god. All Snyder does is take what he's got and win with it more often than not.
Stock Down: Pollsters ... Remind us again why their lists are credible. Didn't Oregon beat Michigan State this season? Couldn't tell from the Week 8 compilation, even after the Ducks destroyed UCLA in Pasadena. Now that they've smashed the arch-rival Huskies, scribblers have seen fit to reverse the order. This can only mean one thing: Jake Fisher for the Heisman. Well, name another player whose loss had such a profound effect on his team. Not so fast, Georgia fans.
Stock Up: Bobby Petrino's bro ... Yes, the one who didn't crash his motorcycle laden with forbidden fruit finally found a way for his Vandals to snap their 13-game losing skein. Paul Petrino bit off quite an assignment trying to instill discipline at
Party Central Moscow, but if he can duplicate this result once or twice more, he might make a few short lists this winter. Too bad one game this season got cancelled due to weather. That opponent looks ripe for the picking. Speaking of ...
Stock 'Waayyy Down: Will Muschamp ... Mizzou wades into the Swamp and only manages 119 yards of offense. However, a kickoff return to the house, ditto with a punt return, an interception return, and a fumble return -- talk about multi-tasking! -- and it all adds up to what's gonna be a long bye week in Gainesville. Especially if any admin-types are part of that background chorus:
Lotsa time for dudes to stew. And for Muschamp to twist in the accompanying wind.