CFB Stock Report Week 3

The third week of college football had more than a few unexpected developments. Two "BCS busters" got erased from the picture. For all the attention that was focused on one Pete Carroll protege going into Saturday, it was another who knocked off a top five team.

Injuries took the toll on more than players - Kentucky offensive coordinator and QB coach Randy Sanders broke his left arm when a player ran into him on the sidelines. Here's the stock report after an interesting week.


Mark Whipple, Miami offensive coordinator -
Whipple was well respected as a coach in Division 1-AA before spending half a decade as an NFL assistant, but his hiring as OC for the Canes didn't exactly send shock waves through the college football world. Two weeks ago even most Miami fans would have thought Mr. Whipple was the guy asking people not to squeeze the Charmin. After Whipple's offense has put on a clinic in their games against FSU and Georgia Tech, people are now talking him up as a possible head coach candidate at places like Virginia.

Jahvid Best, Cal running back - On a day where neither Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy did enough to significantly attract extra Heisman attention, Best went wild. After running for five touchdowns and 131 yards against Minnesota, he's currently the most likely non-repeat Heisman finalist to be in New York. Beyond that, his team won a tough road game while USC got beat by a Pac-10 opponent. The road to Pasadena is wide open for the Bears.

Big East football - With no victories against BCS opposition in the first two weeks, Saturday the conference had to do something to prove its worthiness for an automatic bid. UConn won at a Baylor team which had already beaten Wake Forest on the road. Cincinnati came up big at Oregon State and Syracuse surprised Northwestern. Two other good chances for wins got away, with Auburn rallying past West Virginia and Louisville playing Kentucky tough before losing.

Steve Sarkisian, Washington coach - The Washington program went 0-12 last season and had an opener against LSU to deal with this year. Unlike his ex-colleague Lane Kifin, Sarkisian didn't make idiotic boasts about beating the Tigers and later claiming they were a master plan of some sort. Instead he convinced his kids they could play well enough to win, built an offense around the talented Jake Locker and gave LSU fits. After winning in week two, he took down USC Saturday. One ex-USC assistant coach played to win, one played to cover the spread. I know who I'd want coaching my team.


Willie Martinez, Georgia defensive coordinator -
After Georgia's defense performed well against high powered Oklahoma State in the season opener, it seemed some of the pressure on Martinez as a result of last season's defensive failings was easing. So much for that idea - his pass defense has allowed a combined 721 yards and seven TDs in their first two SEC games. The Bulldogs can't generate any reliable heat on QBs, and having to depend on the offense to score 45 points every week doesn't seem sustainable over the long haul.

Aaron Corp, USC quarterback - Corp had originally been expected to be the starting quarterback to begin the Trojans season. After he was injured and missed time, Matt Barkley stepped in and won the job instead. Now, with Barkley's shoulder still recovering from a bone bruise inflicted in last week's Ohio State game, Corp got his chance to start. The result? A 110 yard total that was the lowest passing performance in Pete Carroll's tenure as USC head coach and a loss to Washington. Not much chance of Barkley losing his job now.

Notre Dame - A home win over Michigan State is nice, but hardly season defining. If the Spartans quarterback hits a wide open receiver in the end zone with a minute to play, ND easily could have even failed to get that. Even in victory, the Fighting Irish suffered a great loss with star receiver Michael Floyd apparently breaking his collarbone. That would likely keep him out until early November at minimum, meaning teams will be able to focus on covering Golden Tate and dare other receivers to make plays.

Purdue - Some people had been thinking the Boilermakers might be a brewing Big Ten sleeper team after scoring 52 and winning their opener and scoring 36 while almost upsetting Oregon in Autzen Stadium last week. Northern Illinois 28, Purdue 21 - never mind. It wasn't a fluke, either. The Huskies led virtually the whole way, outgained Purdue 454-335 and led time of possession 42 minutes to 18.


Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen -
What's worse than losing a road game to Middle Tennessee? Losing the revenge game opportunity at home as well. The Terrapins have a "coach in waiting" deal with offensive coordinator James Franklin. After a start to the season that's seen Maryland lose to Cal by 39, have to go to overtime to get past FCS team James Madison and now this, one suspects Franklin won't be waiting much longer.

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