Buy or Sell, Big Red Report Style
If college football teams were stocks, which would you invest in? Which should you buy and which should you sell faster than Josh Bullocks can break towards a receiver? Each week I'll sift through stacks of stats and piles of team reports to give you solid financial advice, figuratively speaking of course, as to which teams you should be keeping an eye on. With this in mind here are five teams you should definitely look into buying.
Tennessee: Yes, they got lucky on a couple of miscues by the officials and timekeepers but through the course of a season a team needs to catch a few breaks. The offensive line play has been superb, allowing the two young quarterbacks to grow with each snap. Erik Ainge has lead the way throwing the ball with 5 touchdown passes and only one pick. This could be a very dangerous team for Georgia's national title hopes come Oct. 9th.
Virginia: Wali Lundy has paced Wahoo's offense with 319 yards rushing and 9 touchdowns. The rushing game isn't the only thing that's been superb for Virginia, they've also ran back a kick and a punt for a touchdown. Marquise Weeks is averaging 38 yards per kick return thus far. While this week's match up may get overlooked by many experts, Virginia had best not take Syracuse lightly. The Orange are a much better team in the Carrier Dome than on the road and have the best running game that Virginia will have faced to date.
West Virginia: While most were not impressed with the Mountaineers' 19-16 victory over the Maryland Terps, this game was huge for WVU. Rasheed Marshall had played terribly in the last three meetings with Maryland having thrown for just 217 combined yards while his team was outscored 123-31. This year he not only got the job done through the air but also rushed for 47 yards, picking up several key first downs late in the game. By now everyone has heard about Kay-Jay Harris' 317 yard game against East Carolina in the opener for WVU, but his performance against the Terps may have been even more impressive. Playing basically on one leg he carried defenders as he limped his way to 138 yards and a touchdown. He should be able to get plenty of rest this week as the ‘eers face a 1AA team in James Madison.
Purdue: Kyle Orton has been masterful through the first two games of the season for the Boilermakers against a weak Ball State squad and a Syracuse team that is much better than Purdue made them look. Orton has thrown for 619 yards and 9 touchdowns in only two games. If the senior can keep this pace up and knock off both Michigan and Ohio State he could very well be standing in New York City as a Heisman Trophy finalist. Orton hasn't been the only positive however as the defense for Purdue has been outstanding. Thus far they've given up a combined 7 points and held pre-season Big East Player of the Year candidate Walter Reyes to only 31 yards rushing in the opener.
Low-major pick of the week:
Florida Atlantic: This is one definitely along the lines of a long term investment. Although they're still a 1AA team they are in the transition of moving up to 1A and will are scheduled to join the Sun Belt conference. This season they have six 1A teams on the schedule and have already defeated three of them. One of those wins was at Hawaii which is never an easy place to play and another over perennial Sun Belt contender North Texas. Howard Schnellenberger has been a master at building programs and is at it again in Ft. Lauderdale.
If you have money tied up in the following teams get to selling them fast:
Troy: Sure they beat Missouri in an emotional game at home. Yes they did beat Marshall on the road. Reality set in as they faced the Aggies of New Mexico State last week. This week they have an even tougher task as they head to Columbia to face a virtual buzz saw in South Carolina. The Gamecocks are the best team the Trojans have met all year as they gave Georgia all they could handle two weeks ago and flat out demolished South Florida last week. Two weeks in heaven sure didn't last long enough for the folks in Troy, Alabama.
LSU: Nick Saban was praised for pulling Marcus Randall against Oregon State as Jamarcus Russell lead the Tigers back to victory. However the result has been chaos as Saban created a quarterback controversy the team couldn't afford to deal with. The two looked crisp in week 2 against Arkansas State, but ASU has a penchant for making quarterbacks look good. Against Auburn neither quarterback was able to find any rhythm whatsoever. Luckily for LSU they get a weak Mississippi State team this week and should be able to pull off the win.
Oregon State: After narrowly missing an upset of LSU in Baton Rouge the bandwagon filled up pretty quick for the Beavers. One meltdown later against Boise State in a game that they once lead 17-0 then allowed the Broncos to score 34 unanswered points on route to a 53-34 loss the wagon was half empty. Sure they bounced back slightly with a win against New Mexico, but this week they face a hot Arizona State team in Tempe. The Sun Devils blasted Iowa last week by a margin of 44-7 so if the Beavers get behind early, this one could get ugly.
TCU: Last year's media darling until they faltered at the end, the Horned Frogs missed a solid opportunity last week to pick up a win over a Big XII team in its own state last week. Not only did they lose, they were flat out embarrassed. Once up 21-0 TCU allowed 56 straight points to the Red Raiders of Texas Tech in a 70-35 defeat. The Frogs defense hasn't been very good all season in fact as they gave also allowed Northwestern to march up and down the field in week one. You could get away with holding onto them for a couple more weeks if you like, but definitely sell before they face Houston on October 23rd.
N.C. State: Rookie quarterback's are always a very risky proposition and the Wolfpack found out the hard way last week against Ohio State. Granted it was Jay Davis' first real test as they played 1AA Richmond in the opener, but his 3 interception performance really undermined his team's efforts all day long. Davis must improve for this team to have a chance which makes the Wolfpack a very risky investment at this time. With games against Virginia Tech, Maryland, Miami, and Florida State later in the season I'd dumped them until next year.