STOCK DOWN: The Service Academies. Navy’s lost four in a row, Air Force has lost two straight and is in last place in the Mountain West, and Army turns into 22 adorable golden retriever puppies whenever they play away from Michie Stadium (which they do in 4 of their last 6 games). Yay shared misery! :fingergun:
STOCK UP: Kansas State. The Wildcats are 6-0 and up to #12 in the AP poll. Did you chuckle when K-State brought Bill Snyder back? I did a little, but nobody’s laughing anymore. Snyder was the architect of the original resurgence of Kansas State football from their nightmare decade in the ’80s– I mean, they re-named the stadium after him– so maybe he just needed someone to run the program into the ground just to make the job interesting again. Kansas is up next week, and then the Wildcats get to host Oklahoma for the inside track at the Big 12 title.
STOCK DOWN: Georgia Tech. It’s gotta suck to come this far only to lose to Virginia.
STOCK DOWN: South Carolina. The Stephen Garcia drama made things hard enough for the offense, but now Marcus Lattimore is out for the year? The only hope for the Gamecocks at this point is to become the football equivalent of Big Ten basketball and win games 7-3. That’s pretty much what they’ve done all year anyway, and that was WITH Lattimore.
STOCK UP: Riley Nelson. After a 1-2 start that included a 54-10 embarrassment at the hands of Utah, BYU has won 4 straight to move to 5-2. The catalyst has been quarterback Riley Nelson, who led a comeback against Utah State two weeks ago and threw 3 TD passes in a 38-28 win over Oregon State that saw BYU rack up almost 500 yards of total offense. The 5 games left on the schedule include only two tough matchups for BYU: TCU and Hawaii in Honolulu. The Cougars are well on their way to 8 wins, with 10 being a real possibility. Not a bad start for your first season on your own as an independent.
NOT SURE IF STOCK UP OR STOCK DOWN: San Jose State or Hawaii. Hawaii is always a different team on the mainland, a phenomenon that manifested itself earlier this season in a 40-20 loss to UNLV. I shouldn’t be surprised when they pull a stinker like this, yet somehow I always am. San Jose State does deserve credit, though, for gutting out a win in a crazy– some might say ugly– game.
STOCK UP: San Diego State. The team looked like it was in disarray after back-to-back losses to Michigan and TCU, but they righted the ship with a decisive 41-27 win over Air Force. Ronnie Hillman slashed his way for 172 yards, reminding everyone that he’s the best player in the conference not named Kellen Moore. The win solidified the Aztecs’ standing as the leader of the second tier in the MWC behind Boise State and TCU. The Frogs are Big 12-bound and Boise has one foot out the door, making the future pretty bright on Montezuma Mesa for a change.
STOCK UP: Southern Methodist. I’ve always held that defense wins the day in Conference-USA, and because of that mantra, I figured Southern Methodist would have dropped a league game by this point. But June Jones has the Ponies playing inspired football through the first half of the season, and after dispatching the conference’s traditional defensive powerhouse in UCF on Saturday, the Mustangs are primed for a huge showdown with Southern Miss. And now that Texas A&M has recovered from a two-game skid, that week one loss is starting to look a lot more explainable…
STOCK DOWN: Northwestern. As a Navy fan, please feel free to take solace in Northwestern’s 2-4 record. The Wildcats were talked up by some as a darkhorse in the Big 10, but have folded on defense down the stretch in games, and remained frustratingly inconsistent on offense. Sound familiar?
STOCK UP: Eastern Michigan. Granted, two of the team’s four wins have come over FCS teams, but give Ron English credit for having the Eagles at 4-3 through the first half of the year. With a win over Central Michigan last weekend they’re halfway home to winning Michigan’s highly coveted Direction Trophy, and although they’ll be underdogs against Western Michigan this Saturday, they will be at home.
STOCK DOWN: South Florida. Yikes. After starting out 4-0 ,the Bulls have dropped the last two. I’m not sure what is worse at this point – losing to Pittsburgh (which then turned around and lost to Utah) or losing to (gulp) Connecticut.