NCAA Week 9: Stock Up, Stock Down
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OK, the rubber meets the road when the CFP Selection Committee posts its first scenario for playoff privileges.
But whether or not they're gonna be any different from the current ranking clowns won't be seen until they post their second week's list.
That's when the committee will get its chance to show a better-conceived model of movement in the rankings based on who each team has actually played, which is what it claims to be as its primary objective. Thus, when Alabama pastes little ol' check-claiming West Carolina on Sat 22 Nov, the Tide would theoretically drop in the CFP list.
The guessing from here: fat chance.
Stock Up: Horny Toad Grudges ... Who would've thought that Trey Haverty could be the cause of mega-wrath? It's not like every school doesn't poach recruits. But TCU coach Gary Patterson not only sees threats where others don't, he has a long memory. About as long as that 82-27 massacre of Texas Tech must've felt to Kliff Kingsbury, Haverty, et al.
There's no doubt Patterson & Co were trying to reach 100. CFP committee members Barry Alvarez and Oliver Luck have already said "relative scoring differential" -- as Luck put it -- matters. If so, then look for the Horny Toads in the bracket if they win out. Easier said than done, however. Anyone know if Dana Halgorson's done anything to Patterson that would set him off again?
Stock Down: Bad Bo ... Why does any team take chances to avoid OT? Because they don't think they can stop their opponent. So much for Land Shark invincibility; ironic that the soundtrack in that clip was from the 1812 Overture, hailing Russia's upset of Napoleon. Anyway, The Hat's game plan was brilliant, and Ole Miss was lucky to be only three down with nine ticks remaining. So why would Hugh Freeze even dare to tempt fate? Never, ever think Bad Bo isn't lurking, waiting for a moment. It came. Dude, how many times have you heard it? If you're gonna miss, miss long.
Stock Up: Pac-12 road warriors ... There's no Death Valley in the Pac-12, except for the real Death Valley, of course. So far this season, visiting teams are 20-9 in conference games. The refs clearly aren't swayed by home crowds. In fact, they're not swayed by logic or evidence, either. More on that later.
Stock Down: Pitt ball carriers ... Five fumbles in one quarter is breathtaking stuff. Only East Carolina (1980) and San Diego State (1982) have managed it before. But the Panthers did it in only six plays. And this was on a dry day. For Homecoming. Here's guessing more than one alum's checkbook stayed in the pocket afterward.
Stock Up: Patrick Towles ... Mark Stoops justified his entire contract when he secured this dude for Kentucky. Dak Prescott is the real deal, but Towles is the deal. The 6-5 soph has already rung up enough quality plays to show he's not just lucky or hot on the day. Case in point, his receiver was covered:
And Towles can put a tear in any grizzled old fullback's eye, too:
Stoops must've promised that Towles could room in the hoopsters' dorm or arrange for him to be adopted by B Wayne Hughes. This kid could be the best QB to come out of the SEC since anyone named Manning. And yes, it's understood who that trumps. Towles is the Truth.
Stock Down: Stake-claiming in Michigan ... Since when did stupid decisions become part of Wolverine traditions? Oh, that's right; ever since Michigan men tunneled Rich Rod for not being a Michigan man. Sending a concussed QB back into the game was unconscionable. Pounding a stake into Sparty's turf was unbelievable.
The Daily Player will never be known for being politically correct, and that's not the issue here. Gotta be dominant to pull that jack. This is more like pulling the pin on a grenade and counting to eleven. No doubt, Mark Dantonio will be on the phone to Gary Patterson this week.
Stock Up: SEC conspiracy theories ... Why isn't Texas in the SEC? For the same reason Freddy Mercury didn't want to be in the same room with Mick Jagger. Not only do you need your own space to be pompous, you need to protect it. Cue Mike Pereira, former NFL coordinator of referees and current TV analyst, who called out SEC officials for being on the grassy knoll when JFK got shot. Instead of the touchy response that, if anything, gave cred to Pereira's claims, why didn't the SEC just say the obvious and admit their stripes are just as incompetent as everyone else's? Speaking of ...
Stock Down: Pac-12 referees ... Cam van Winkle's kickoff knocked over the orange marker on the right front corner of the end zone in the Washington Huskies' windblown tilt with Arizona State in Seattle. The referee on the spot immediately launched his laundry for an out-of-bounds call before a colleague came over to remind him that the marker is part of said end zone. Serial antics like this every weekend are surely why the conference's officiating coordinator fell on his sword earlier this month.
Stock Up: Mack Brown ... So what if he was at North Carolina at the height of their cheating scandal? Pony boosters know scandals and acceptable losses. And so what if he left the Longhorns with a whimper? SMU's in the CUSA, fer chrissakes! Hell, it's good enough for Larry Coker, and sooner or later, the Big XII's gonna want XII teams. They took TCU, didn't they? Talk about lit matches and gas cans. Dudes, Joan Jett's got a tune for you:
Stock Down: Fighting Gobblers ... Factoid: Ben Franklin argued for the turkey as America's national symbol. Not sure how that would've turned out; you don't see too many bald eagles at center stage on dinner tables. And no matter how much Frank Beamer might be considering mass quantities of Wild Turkey after games these days, that gobble soundtrack on the stadium's PA system has got to go. Among other things. This team's called Hokies for a reason. Given the alternative, any reason would've sufficed. If only ...
Stock Up: Illinois ... Maybe Tim Beckman's off the hot seat now. One conference victory every other year isn't bad for this juggernaut of higher learning. The football program has been called a sleeping giant for too long. It's more like a comatose corpse-in-waiting.
Stock Down: SEC non-cons ... Texas A&M can say it's a logistics issue, but even so, this is a bad time for an SEC team to be renegging on its Oregon home-and-home scheduling commitment for a duet with Clemson. Soft-o-rama, dudes. In a related move, the Aggies just ordered a stack of lawn chairs so they can be comfortable when they watch the Tigers do what they do and self-destruct in the fourth quarter.
Stock Up: Full-service players ... Here's to the down-&-dirties. The glory boys have nothing on Huskies' LB Shaq Thompson, Bulldogs' LB Christian Holmes, and definitely Razorbacks' OL Sebastian Tretola, all 350lb of him. This was on fourth-and-goal, and the receiver was none other than long-snapper Alan D’Appollonio, who probably wasn't wearing his horn-rims at the time. All the more impressive:
Stock 'Waayyy Down: Pollsters ... You're never gonna see a new, energy-efficient lightbulb over these heads. Not much collective brightness in keeping Mississippi State out of their presumptive pre-season Top-25. And didn't Ole Miss beat Alabama? Like Oregon beat Michigan State? Yet, check the rankings. Here's hoping the Selection Committee can do better. Its members have firmly stated that conference champs, strong schedules, and head-to-head match-ups are key factors. The current pollsters haven't grasped those concepts. Here's hoping the CFP will.