CFB Stock Report - Week 12

Nothing changed on top of the college football world this week. All the unbeatens stayed that way, and none were even threatened. For others lower on the food chain, this week may turn out to have much more significant consequences. Here are some of this week's winners and losers.


UConn -
The Huskies season was thrown into turmoil with the murder of cornerback Jasper Howard. Since his death, they had lost three consecutive games in last minute fashion. With their double overtime win against Notre Dame, Connecticut finally got out from under that cloud of frustration. They also ensured they're likely to go to a bowl, needing just one win in their final two games to make it happen.  

Rich Brooks, Kentucky head coach - What Brooks has done at Kentucky is nothing short of extraordinary. The Wildcats have won three straight bowls, and will play in a good one this year after beating Georgia on Senior Day in Athens. UK was down two touchdowns at the half and is playing with a true freshman at quarterback as a result of one of the many injuries that have hit the team this season. Brooks and his staff made halftime adjustments to counter Georgia's earlier successful use of misdirection plays, got the ball in the hands of their playmakers Derrick Locke and Randall Cobb, and wound up winning at Sanford Stadium for the first time since 1977.  

Clemson - After the Tigers opened at 2-3, it looked like the coaching change from Tommy Bowden to Dabo Swinney had led to the same disappointing results. They had a bye week to regroup, and have been tearing it up ever since. Clemson's won six consecutive games while scoring at least 34 in each of them - they only hit that total once in their first five games. The Tigers clinched their division of the ACC Saturday and will go for their first conference title in 18 years against Georgia Tech in two weeks.  

Mike Locksley, New Mexico head coach - Early in the week, word leaked that rookie head coach Locksley would be engaging in the football equivalent of Hollywood celebrities going to rehab after a PR crisis - he'll be mentored by Tony Dungy. That helps with the fallout from a disastrous off field year. More importantly, Locksley now has a win on the field after a 29-27 victory over Colorado State. The Lobos were expected to finish winless for the year after they lost the instate battle with New Mexico State earlier this season.    


Tate Forcier, Michigan quarterback -
Four weeks into the season, there were some people in the national media trying to peddle the notion Forcier could be a Heisman candidate. Not at some point in his career - THIS SEASON. Since then, Michigan has lost their final seven games against FBS level opponents, and Forcier's level of play has plummeted. In the Wolverines final seven games, the freshman threw four touchdowns total. That's the same number of interceptions he had in Michigan's loss to Ohio State. Forcier has denied transfer rumors, but at minimum he's going to have to compete to hold onto the starting job next season.  

Gator Bowl - They'd been waiting for the chance to have Notre Dame one more time before the current contracts lapse, and the possibility of setting up the Fighting Irish against Miami for the first time in two decades was going to be a dream come true. After ND's gag job at home against Connecticut, the odds are they'll finish 6-6 (a road trip to Stanford remains on the schedule). As much as they'd love to have a featured team in the game, there's no way the Gator can take a 6-6 Notre Dame (even 7-5 might not work). Pittsburgh as a possible fallback invitee doesn't quite move tickets the same way though.  

Lou Holtz, ESPN College football analyst - Just a reminder, Holtz picked Notre Dame to play Florida in the national championship game this season. Memo to ESPN: it's time to take the car keys away. Do not let this man talk about the Fighting Irish ever again.  

Scott Wetzel, Sirius satellite radio host - Wetzel, a longtime New York area sportscaster, was host for the five hour "College Football Scoreboard Show" airing on the Mad Dog Channel of Sirius Saturday night. While interviewing victorious Northwestern head man Pat Fitzgerald, he referred to him having gotten the job after Gary Barnett died. Barnett is still alive - Randy Walker is the coach who died, resulting in Fitzgerald's promotion to the head spot. Barnett went to Colorado and coached there - it was in all the papers. Awkward moment there. Within a half an hour of that blunder Wetzel also referred to Penn State beating Iowa this season (nope) and made clear that the BCS has added a fifth game this year (actually the 2006 season). Just for good measure, Wetzel added that the No. 1 team in college football should be Georgia Tech. Hey Sirius, if you're going to have a college football show, feel free to have someone host it who has something resembling a clue what they're talking about. Otherwise, don't bother.  

Tom Williams, Yale head coach - With a three-point lead in the big game with Harvard, Williams opted for a fake punt on a 4th-and-22 from his own 25 with 2:30 to play. After it failed, the Crimson took advantage of the outstanding field position to score what proved to be the winning touchdown. This would easily be the worst example of coaching incompetence of the week if not for...  


Les Miles, LSU head coach - 
During LSU's 2007 championship season Miles managed to convince a lot of college football observers that he was a guy willing to gamble more than most, but there was method to the madness. Others of us always believed his game decisions were foolish and at times outright imbecilic. With a staggering display of clock management ineptitude against Ole Miss Saturday, Miles resolved the question.  

He'd already set up a score for Ole Miss with an inexplicable failed onside kick on the first half, but during LSU's final minute drive (needing just a field goal to win) Miles made that look brilliant by allowing 16 seconds to tick off the clock before calling timeout after a screen pass lost seven yards. With just nine seconds remaining and no timeouts, the Tigers completed a deep pass. There was only one second left on the clock. Rather than having his field goal team ready to rush onto the field or a second offensive play called, Miles watched Jordan Jefferson attempt to spike ball as time expired. If Miles had not won the national title two years ago, this would likely be the game that got him fired.

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