STOCK DOWN: Navy’s special teams. Two missed extra points, a fumbled punt return, a couple of long kickoff returns given up, and a less-than-impressive punting average. Did I miss anything? The schedule isn’t going to get any easier. Maybe WKU wasn’t good enough to take advantage of Navy’s miscues, but I’m pretty sure South Carolina is. They’re supposed to be SEC. That will never get old to me. I don’t care what you think.
STOCK UP: Auburn. We should know better than to write anyone off after one week. Maybe they aren’t what they were a year ago, but they’re still good enough to beat one of the favorites in the SEC West. Michael Dyer is good at the footballing.
STOCK DOWN: Army. This might be a little harsh, since they played a lot better than they did against Northern Illinois even with their nine (!) fumbles. Yes, I know San Diego State had sort of a crazy time getting to West Point, but Army at least looked like the team that got to a bowl game last year. The problem is that 1) Trent Steelman appeared to re-injure his shoulder, which is the same injury that kept him out most of the spring, and 2) they still lost. They aren’t going to beat Northwestern, which means they’re looking at 0-3 to start the year. That means they pretty much have to go on a 5-game winning streak before stealing one from Air Force, Rutgers, Temple, or Navy at the end of the year to get to 6-6. Not impossible. Also not likely.
STOCK DOWN: Air Force. Rumors of a shift in Mountain West power have been greatly exaggerated. In fairness, plenty of teams are going to lose to TCU. This doesn’t mean that Air Force is a bad team. This just means that they aren’t all that different than they have been for the last few years. All of the “Mountain West will come down to the Boise St.-Air Force game” talk can now be retired. Oh, and I’m going to assume that a quarterback controversy is too much to ask for and won’t make a big deal about Tim Jefferson being benched in the second half.
STOCK UP: Reports that Jerry Kill is doing ok after his seizure during the Minnesota-New Mexico State game. Apparently this has happened before. Doesn’t make it any less scary.
STOCK UP: UCF. They won 11 games last year, won Conference USA, and beat Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. Beating Boston College as badly as they did shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise. Somehow it still feels like one, though. For me, I think it’s because of how they won– with defense. UCF hasn’t given up a touchdown in their last three games, which include Georgia and Boston College. Usually, when non-BCS teams win it’s because they have some offensive innovation that their BCS-conference counterparts aren’t prepared for. This was different. This was UCF absolutely manhandling BC. That isn’t supposed to happen.
STOCK DOWN: Me saying anything nice about a team coached by George O’Leary.
STOCK UP: John Howell’s Facebook friend requests. Don’t get me wrong; losing Aaron Santiago, perhaps Navy’s best all-around slotback, is a huge blow. But when it comes to big-play ability, Howell should have the offense covered. He’s not quite as shifty as Santiago but his straight-line speed was on full display Saturday night. It should be fun to watch his progress in the offense the rest of the way.
STOCK DOWN: Southern Miss. Each week I join the In The Bleachers podcast to keep tabs on possible BCS-buster teams, and at the start of the season I pegged the Eagles as one of my favorites to run the table. Six turnovers and a medicore-looking loss to Marshall later, and I join the other Phil Steele readers who are now scratching their heads saying, “what was I thinking?”
STOCK UP: Central Florida. I expected the Golden Knights to beat Boston College. I didn’t expect them to drub the Eagles 30-3 and outgain them by nearly 300 yards. Is this the new CUSA favorite? I’m thinking yes.
STOCK DOWN: Missouri. Wait a second, did I hear those preseason reports of James Franklin being the second coming of, well, who was he supposed to be the second coming of, exactly? The Tigers still have a long way to go, and Franklin IS one of the best young quarterbacks in the country, but no way this team should have been as hyped as they were.
STOCK UP: Steele Jantz. Freshman quarterback throwing for 67% completion and 4 TDs in an early season showdown against an in-state rival? I don’t care what the trophy looks like, I’m jumping on the Cyclone bandwagon.
STOCK DOWN: Air Force. No, it was not as close as the final score indicated. I just feel the world needs to be reminded of that. K thanks.