STOCK DOWN: The state of Maryland. Both of the Old Line State’s I-A schools were 9-4 a year ago. Both of them are 2-6 now. Navy, you might have heard, had a mudhole stomped in them by Notre Dame. As for the Terps, they lost 28-17 to a Boston College team whose only other win this year was against UMass. BC running back Rolandan Finch got the start after Montel Harris’ season-ending injury and ran for 243 yards, nearly doubling his total yardage for the season. This might be Randy Edsall’s dream, but it’s Maryland fans’ nightmare. Somewhere, Mike Leach is pouring lighter fluid on Ralph Friedgen’s burning diploma.
STOCK UP: Turning your season around. Well at least we know it’s possible. WKU, who followed up their loss to Navy with a 44-16 loss to I-AA Indiana State, has won four in a row. Their winning streak includes a shutout of Florida Atlantic, a 42-23 win over conference front-runner Louisiana-Lafayette, and Saturday’s overtime win over the team formerly known as the Fighting Weatherbies. WKU is now 4-1 in the Sun Belt and in the running for the conference championship. GUIDE US TO THE LAND OF MILK AND HONEY, HILLTOPPERS.
STOCK DOWN: Sportsmanship.
STOCK DOWN: SMU. Since going on a 5-game winning streak that included victories over UCF and TCU, SMU has lost two straight. Now there’s no shame in losing to Southern Miss and Tulsa. Both are good football teams and could very well meet in the Conference-USA title game. The problem is in how SMU lost. June Jones’ run & shoot offense has been held to 10 combined points over this losing streak (LOL YOU CALL THAT A LOSING STREAK?), and against Tulsa the Mustangs gave up 3 sacks, threw 4 interceptions, and were held to 180 yards passing. Fortunately for SMU, the cure for what ails most football teams is a game against Tulane, and the Green Wave head to Dallas next week. That’ll be a good tuneup for the all-important Gansz Trophy showdown with future Big East rival Navy. THROW OUT THE RECORDS WHEN THOSE TWO STORIED RIVALS MEET.
STOCK UP: Case Keenum. Of course, Tulsa probably won’t win their division unless Case Keenum is injured. Keenum threw for 534 yards and NINE TOUCHDOWNS against Rice. NINE.
He set the record for most career TD passes in I-A history after he threw his fifth, but what kind of slacker stops at 5 TD passes?
STOCK UP: Georgia Tech. Paul Johnson’s team had a losing streak of their own cooking before unscrewing themselves in a 31-17 thumping of previously unbeaten Clemson. The Jackets just steamrolled the #5 team in the BCS while running for 383 yards, but I guarantee the next time they lose someone will say that the spread option offense has been “solved.” Whatever.
STOCK DOWN: Football games being 60 minutes long. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the welfare of NCAA student-athletes, from protecting their health by eliminating dangerous hits, to approving a $2,000 stipend for football and basketball players to cover the “full cost of attendance.” I fully support these measures. In fact, I would do more. We need to consider the long-term effects of playing football on athlete health. If we shortened the length of the game from 60 minutes to 58 minutes, we could save 24 minutes a year in a 12-game season. That’s a solid hour and a half over the course of a 4-year career, saving players’ bodies from additional wear and tear and reducing the chance of a serious injury that might have occurred in all of that extra time. We’ve taken great steps toward taking care of our players, and when the rules committee looks at changes for next year, I hope they go one step further and consider 58-minute games. For the players.
(This post written by special guest commentator Bret Bielema.)
STOCK UP. WAY, WAY UP: This.