Pac-12 Football Divisions and SEC Bias

26 10 2010

Larry Scott has finally decided how to divide the conference and they went with a North-South split to make it easier for novice fans to understand the alignment of teams. I liked the zipper plan if you were only going with two divisions, but maybe this one will grow on me. Here are some great pictures of the teams in their divisions from Pac12Cooler.com

It was widely known that Utah or Colorado had negotiated a deal to be in the same division as the So. Cal schools, which should boost their ability to recruit the hot bed of Los Angeles. Colorado has had recent success recruiting in the Golden State, and in 2008 they signed the top rated running back in the nation, Darrell Scott out of Los Angeles.

From a competition standpoint, I think the better division will alternate on an annual basis. USC will be down throughout their probationary period, but they’ll be back after Kiffin is fired in a couple of years. If the season ended today, here’s how the divisions would be split and I don’t think you could ask for a more competitive balance.

North South
#1 Oregon #2 Utah
#3 Stanford #4 Arizona
#5 Oregon State #6 USC
#7 Cal #8 ASU
#9 Washington #10 UCLA
#12 WSU #11 Colorado

The changes that happened were necessary, but these incremental changes don’t do much to shape the landscape of college football. The Pac-12 is the most balanced conference between academics and athletics, and the rest of the country relies on us for answers. Our conference is set up perfectly to be the first to have three divisions based on geography. We spoke about this in our playoff article, but it’s worth reiterating that the Pac-12 is unique in its geographic landscape and the natural rivalries in six regions. The three divisions for the conference should have been California, Northwest, and Rockies.

What would have followed the three divisions is the real breakthrough, a four team conference playoff which includes the top team in each division and a wildcard team. At some point one of the conferences decided to have a championship game. Eventually one of the BCS conference commissioners is going to have to make changes that differentiate itself from the rest of pack. Once the conference has success with the four team playoff, it’s easy to expand with another conference like the BigTen (which will have 12 teams after Nebraska joins in 2011).

The current system is designed to have an SEC team in the BCS Championship Game every year. ESPN is the main media outlet and they have a $2 billion dollar media contract with the SEC. You don’t need a degree from Harvard to realize that  an investment of that magnitude needs to be protected. The evil four letter network spends almost half its time covering the SEC to provide more exposure to the conference. The entire BCS system is completely backwards and driven by ulterior motives outside of competition.

In psychology they call this the exposure effect, a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. In social psychology, this effect is sometimes called the familiarity principle. In studies of interpersonal attraction, the more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be. What other sport has journalists as a component of which team plays in the national championship? Which other sport has computers with a secret formula that determines who plays in the championship? What kind of system has coaches vote on who gets to play in the championship? It seems blatantly obvious that they would overrate the teams in their own conference to boost their strength of schedule.

The Harris poll (which is composed of former players, coaches, administrators, current and former media) accounts for one third of the BCS equation, so naturally ESPN will want to show off their $2 billion child in the SEC. On an annual basis the Spring games are equivalent to recording your baby’s first steps. The twenty times Alabama and Florida were recorded during their summer practices were the first days of school. The start of college football season is the teenage years – teams trying to form an identity and be independent. The overprotective parents (ESPN) won’t let them fall without pumping them back up. Every time one of their teams lose a game (Florida), ESPN is right there plugging another SEC team (Auburn). The exposure effect continues the vicious cycle of SEC familiarity and guarantees one of their teams a shot at the national championship.

If Larry Scott doesn’t realize that the change needs to come within the conference, then the Pac-12 is right where it was with Tom Hansen – failing to have the foresight to be the Leader of the Pac.

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2010 Midseason All Pac-12 Team

18 10 2010

Time for our first annual Mid-Season team and you can already see some shakeups from our preseason team, most notably Jake Locker getting cut from the team. Locker’s numbers would probably look better if Jermaine Kearse didn’t lead the Pac in drops with 9, but you take the good with the bad and he’s been productive when he holds onto the ball. The tight ends in the conference haven’t been used as much as they have in the past, but Coby Feleener of Stanford has been consistent catching the ball and solid in run blocking.

1st Team

Offense

QB Andrew Luck Stanford
RB LaMichael James Oregon
RB Shane Vereen Cal
WR Juron Criner Arizona
WR Jermaine Kearse Washington
TE Coby Fleener Stanford
OL Bo Thran Oregon
OL Adam Grant Arizona
OL David DeCastro Stanford
OL Butch Lewis USC
OL Ryan Taylor UCLA

Perhaps the biggest surprise on the first team defense is the freshman Justin Washington making the team. He benefits from playing alongside two of the best defensive ends with Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore, but he’s taken advantage of his opportunities. Mason Foster will lead the conference in tackles this year, because the Husky defense will struggle to get off the field, but Akeem Ayers plays a bigger role in the success of UCLA. Sophomore Cliff Harris of the Oregon Ducks leads the conference with 4 interceptions and has a couple punt returns for touchdown this year so he makes the list as a corner back and punt returner.

Defense

DL Brooks Reed Arizona
DL Jurrell Casey USC
DL Justin Washington Arizona
DL Kenny Rowe Oregon
OLB Mason Foster Washington
MLB Vontaze Burfict Arizona St
OLB Akeem Ayers UCLA
CB Cliff Harris Oregon
CB James Dockery Oregon St
S Rahim Moore UCLA
S TJ McDonald USC
PR Cliff Harris Oregon
KR Travis Cobb Arizona

For the 2nd team, Matt Barkley got the nod over Nick Foles. Barkley has been impressive in his last few games and absolutely torched a solid Cal defense yesterday. Leaving JacQuizz Rodgers off the list might surprise some people, but he just hasn’t produced like the team needs him to. Part of the problem is the offensive line and combined with an inconsistent passing game, opposing defenses can stack the box. Robert Woods makes the list over his teammate Ronald Johnson and he’s quickly becoming one of the top wide receivers of the conference.

2nd Team

Offense

QB Matt Barkley USC
RB Johnathan Franklin UCLA
FB Stanley Havili USC
WR Jeff Maehl Oregon
WR Robert Woods USC
TE Joe Halahuni Oregon St
OL Zane Taylor Utah
OL Carson York Oregon
OL Chase Beeler Stanford
OL Mitchell Schwartz Cal
OL Colin Baxter Arizona

2nd Team Defense

DL Ricky Elmore Arizona
DL Brandon Bair Oregon
DL Travis Long WSU
MLB Shane Skov Stanford
MLB Mychal Kendricks Cal
MLB Casey Matthews Oregon
OLB Sean Westgate UCLA
CB Omar Bolden Arizona St
CB Darian Hagan Cal
S Delano Howell Stanford
S Lance Mitchell Oregon St
PR Ronald Johnson USC
KR Kyle Middlebrooks ASU

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NASPAQ – Pac-12 Stock Report : Week 4

1 10 2010

Someone once said “To be the best you need to beat the best” and that’s precisely what the Pac-12 did with the non-conference schedule. If anybody saw the BigTen last week you would notice that they didn’t play a single compelling game. There were no ranked teams, and zero BCS opponent on the BigTen schedule. Meanwhile, the Pac-12 has beaten top ten teams in back-to-back weeks.

On to the action!

Defensive Players Market

Starting with the defense this week, if you purchased stock in Akeem Ayers (AYER) like the Week 1 NASPAQ suggested then you should feel pretty good about yourself. He sacked Garrett Gilbert so hard that it looked like a level 5 tornado hit him which forced a fumble. Ayers later had an interception to help the Bruins upset then #7 Texas. Another Bruin that contributed the biggest momentum shift in the game was Sean Westgate (WEST). His forced fumble on special teams gave UCLA the ball at the three yard line and they were much more confident after getting on the scoreboard. Stanford’s Owen Marecic (OWEN) had a moment during the Notre Dame battle that was reminiscent of Reggie Miller scoring 6 points in 4 seconds against the Knicks. Marecic scored on a one yard dive play, but since he starts at both linebacker and fullback he was right back on the field intercepting Dayne Crist and returning it 20 yards for a defensive touchdown.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Akeem Ayers UCLA AYER ↑ 20 21% $115
Rahim Moore UCLA MOOR ↑ 10 11% $100
Vontaze Burfict ASU BURF ↑ 10 11% $95
Jurrell Casey USC CASE ↑ 5 5% $90
Mason Foster UW FOST $85
Omar Bolden ASU BOLD ↑ 10 13% $85
Mike Mohamed Cal MIKE $80
Trevin Wade Arizona WADE ↑ 5 6% $80
Brooks Reed Arizona REED ↓ 5 6% $80
Casey Matthews Oregon MATT ↑ 10 14% $80
Tony Dye UCLA DYE ↑ 10 18% $65
Richard Sherman Stanford SHER ↑ 5 10% $55
Malcolm Smith USC SMIT $50
TJ McDonald USC TJMC ↑ 15 50% $45
Cliff Harris Oregon CLIF ↑ 10 33% $40
Owen Maracic Stanford OWEN ↑ 15 75% $35
Shane Skov Stanford SKOV ↑ 10 40% $35
Michael Thomas Stanford THOM ↑ 5 25% $25
Patrick Larimore UCLA LARI ↑ 5 25% $25
DJ Holt Cal HOLT ↑ 5 25% $25

Defensive Units

A week after Cal was lit up for 500 yards and 52 points against Nevada, they look like the best defensive team in the conference by holding Arizona to ten points. The Bears were dominant for the first 57 minutes of the game before giving up a 51 yard pass to Juron Criner that set up the game winning score. If their offense and defense ever click during the same game they could be a great team. We’ll find out more about Oregon’s defense this week, but they looked porous against Arizona State as they gave up 600 yards of offense. The seven turnovers are an indicator that this an aggressive unit, but they may be prone to giving up big plays.

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Oregon Defense ORED ↓ 5 3% $130
Arizona Defense ARID ↑ 10 13% $85
Utah Defense UTAD ↑ 10 14% $80
ASU Defense ASUD ↑ 15 23% $80
USC Defense USCD ↑ 10 16% $70
Stanford Defense STAD ↑ 10 16% $70
Cal Defense CALD ↑ 15 30% $65
UCLA Defense UCLD ↑ 15 30% $65
Colorado Defense COLD ↓ 10 $35
OSU Defense OSUD ↓ 5 12% $35
UW Defense UWD $35

Quarterbacks

This was an off week for our quarterbacks based on the numbers, but that could have been a result of the competition this week. Matt Barkley (BARK) has looked great in the box scores, but he could easily have thrown 10 interceptions this season. His style reminds our analysts of the Chicago Bears Jay Cutler in that he has too much confidence in his arm strength and tries to squeeze the ball in tight spots. His stock continues to rise, but we see this as a bear market after the game against Washington. Down in the desert Steven Threet (THRE) had better numbers than Nick Foles (FOLE), but their teams are headed in opposite direction. The Sun Devils have played top ten opponents each of the past two weeks and can’t seem to pull it out at the end, while Arizona has been clutch with game winning drives in their last two. Jordan Wynn (WYNN)  is back from injury and looks like he’ll be competing for top quarterback in the conference next year. The coaches across the conference should fire their recruiting coordinator’s who were in charge of his area.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Andrew Luck Stanford LUCK ↑ 5 3% $145
Nick Foles Arizona FOLE ↑ 5 8% $140
Matt Barkley USC BARK ↑ 5 4% $125
Jake Locker UW LOCK 20% $80
Kevin Riley Cal RILE ↓ 5 6% $70
Jordan Wynn Utah WYNN ↑ 10 18% $65
Tyler Hansen Col HANS $40
Darron Thomas Oregon DARR ↑ 5 16% $35
Kevin Prince UCLA PRNC ↑ 5 25% $25
Ryan Katz OSU KATZ ↓ 5 33% $20
Steven Threet ASU THRE ↓ 5 33% $10

Wide Receivers

There weren’t too many big performances this week, but Jared Karstetter of Washington State might be showing up on the IPO’s next week after his 8 receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns.  Mike Williams of Arizona State had a big game against the Oregon Ducks secondary hauling in 5 receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns, but his teammate Kerry Taylor had the best catch of the weekend. James Rodgers (JROD) didn’t have much success catching the ball, but his punt return for a touchdown boosted his stock by 22% after a couple off weeks.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Juron Criner Arizona CRIN ↑ 5 7% $75
Jermaine Kearse UW JERM $65
Ronald Johnson USC ROJO ↑ 5 9% $60
James Rodgers OSU JROD ↑ 10 22% $55
Marvin Jones Cal MARV $50
Jeff Maehl Oregon JEFF ↑ 5 12% $45
Robert Woods USC WOOD ↑ 5 20% $30
Doug Baldwin Stanford BALD $25
Keenan Allen Cal KEEN ↓ 5 25% $15
DeVonte Christopher Utah DEVO ↓ 5 25% $15
Devin Aguilar UW AGUI $15

Running Backs

LaMichael James (LMJ) continues to rip off highlight reel runs to separate himself from the rest of the running backs in the conference while JacQuizz Rodgers (QUIZ) is struggling to gain yardage. The Oregon State offense needs an accurate quarterback for their pro-style offense to be effective, but Ryan Katz (KATZ)has struggled with his consistency. The Arizona State offense has impressed me with their running back by committee. It seems like every week a new player emerges with a hundred yards on the ground and this week it happened to be Deantre Lewis with 11 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. Stanford continues to be impressive in the red zone and Stepfan Taylor (STEP) looks like he’s going to be the one to carry the load for the Cardinal. We’ll see how they do this week against the Oregon defense. This matchup last year was a coming out party for Andrew Luck as the Ducks were stacking the box to stop Toby  Gerhart.

Team Symbol Δ Δ % Total
LaMichael James Oregon LMJ ↑ 10 19% $140.00
JacQuizz Rodgers OSU QUIZ ↑ 5 4% $115.00
Shane Vereen Cal VERE ↑ 5 5% $100.00
Chris Polk UW POLK $75.00
Kenjon Barner Oregon BARN ↓10 18% $35
John Franklin UCLA FRNK ↑ 10 50% $30
Nic Grigsby Arizona GRIG ↓10 28% $25.00
Allen Bradford USC BRAD ↑ 5 33% $25.00
Cam Marshall ASU MRSH ↑ 5 33% $20.00
Marc Tyler USC MARC ↑ 5 33% $20.00
Stepfan Taylor Stanford STEP ↑ 5 50% $15.00

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Pac-12 – Week 4 Predictions

24 09 2010

UCLA at #7Texas 12:30PM: UCLA had a gutsy win last week against #23 Houston and the Bruin secondary is designed to slow down a spread offense like Texas’, but look for Mack Brown to take advantage of his size up front by relying on the ground game. Longhorns 34 – Bruins 17

#20 USC at Washington State 12:00PM: Lane Kiffin is addicted to two point conversions, the Trojans haven’t played a complete game, and they have dropped in the rankings after all three of their victories. This should be the game where they put it all together and finally cover the spread for the first time this season. Trojans 42 – Cougars 20

#16 Stanford at Notre Dame 12:30PM: As we know from The Big Lebowski “Nobody F#cks with The Jesus!” Except maybe Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck of Stanford. Notre Dame’s defense will need extra prayer this week if they plan on slowing down the Cardinal offense. Trees 27 – Catholic Kids 23

#5 Oregon at Arizona State 7:30PM: ASU looked good against the big slow white guys from Wisconsin, but the Ducks have as much speed as any team in the country. The main advantage for Oregon is that they get to train with this guy. The side story for this game is the amazing talent at cheerleader that should be on display. Ducks 41 – Sun Devils 17

San Jose State at #13 Utah 7:30PM: The Utes haven’t missed a beat with the reemergence of Terrance Cain at quarterback. San Jose State doesn’t have the athletes to contain DeVonte Christopher and Jereme Brooks. A win here will bring them closer to the top ten. Utes 44 – Spartans 13

#24 Oregon State at #3 Boise State 5:00PM: This looked like a marquee game before the season started, but don’t expect it to be a close one. The Beavers might have a chance if Stephen Paea can disrupt Kellen Moore, but they haven’t been able to get to the quarterback much this year. Boise is balanced offensively and Chris Peterson should exploit the inexperience at linebacker by utilizing the tight end more. Broncos 38 – Beavers 21

Cal at #14 Arizona 7:00PM: The Bears are coming off a disappointing loss and the Wildcats just knocked off a top ten team last week. If Juron Criner doesn’t play look for Arizona to use a shorter passing game. If Cal plays to their potential and Arizona has an emotional letdown, this could be an upset. The Zona Zoo is wild at night and the Bears have struggled in Tuscon. Wildcats 31 – Bears 27 Here’s a great preview of Bears vs Housecats

2010 Prediction Record 28-4

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NASPAQ – Pac-12 Stock Report : Week 3

23 09 2010

On Separation Saturday the Pac-12 split the four games against ranked opponents with  Arizona State losing by a point at Wisconsin, the Dawgs getting a beat down like they were facing Michael Vick, and two big upset performances out of Arizona and UCLA. Two teams (USC & Oregon State) couldn’t cover the spread against inferior opponents, and Cal had their annual national television audience letdown against Nevada. Playboy also came out with their Girls of the Pac-10 edition and it’s a must get. Leader of the Pac’s official girl is now Rachel Lorraine of UCLA (pictured below).

Quarterbacks

Let’s jump right into our competitive positional markets with the quarterbacks. In case you haven’t already heard, Jake Locker (LUCK) had a miserable day and was outplayed by a freshman on his home turf. He’s apparently unaware of the Under Armour commercials or protecting the house, and his stock is down 20% because of it. On the opposite end of the spectrum was Andrew Luck (LUCK) who had the speedy Chris Owusu back at wide receiver to help him complete 17 of 23 passes and four touchdowns. His numbers were identical to his week 1 stats except he had 100 less yards. Nick Foles (FOLE) was the runner up for top QB performance this week and saw his stock go up 8% with an impressive win over Iowa. His interception for a pick-six hurt his stock, but he still topped out at $135 this week.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Andrew Luck Stanford LUCK ↑ 15 12% $140
Nick Foles Arizona FOLE ↑ 10 8% $135
Matt Barkley USC BARK $120
Jake Locker UW LOCK ↓20 20% $80
Kevin Riley Cal RILE ↓10 11% $85
Jordan Wynn Utah WYNN $55
Tyler Hansen Col HANS ↑ 10 25% $40
Darron Thomas Oregon DARR ↑ 5 20% $30
Kevin Prince UCLA PRNC ↑ 5 33% $20
Ryan Katz OSU KATZ ↑ 5 33% $20

Wide Receivers

Most of the wide receivers saw a decrease in their receptions this week, but their stocks continued to rise. Juron Criner (CRIN) had to leave the Arizona game with turf toe, but still managed a 46 yard touchdown reception. Robert Woods (WOOD)only had 4 receptions, but his 97 yard punt return for a touchdown increased his stock by $10. James Rodgers (JROD) only had 5 receptions for 22 yards, Jake Locker couldn’t get the ball to Jermaine Kearse (JERM), and Ronald Johnson (ROJO) only caught three balls, but all three finished with a touchdown. My horn needs to be tooted as I left James Rodgers off of the pre-season All-Pac-10 Team, because I predicted his numbers would drop.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Juron Criner Arizona CRIN ↑ 5 7% $70
Jermaine Kearse UW JERM ↑ 5 7% $70
Ronald Johnson USC ROJO ↑ 5 10% $55
Marvin Jones Cal MARV ↑ 10 25% $50
James Rodgers OSU JROD ↓10 18% $45
Jeff Maehl Oregon MAEL ↑ 10 33% $40
Doug Baldwin Stanford BALD ↑ 5 25% $30
DeVonte Christopher Utah DEVO ↑ 5 25% $25
Robert Woods USC WOOD ↑ 10 66% $25
Keenan Allen Cal KEEN ↓10 33% $20
David Ausberry USC BERY $15
Devin Aguilar UW AGUI ↓10 40% $15

Running Backs

The nation already knows that the Pac-12 is the Conference of Quarterbacks, but the running backs are quickly becoming the best in college football. LaMichael James (LMJ) and Shane Vereen (VERE) saw a $20 bump in their stocks with 200+ yard performances. Vereen had multiple highlight reel runs and LMJ has speed like the Twilight vampires. We had some great running from the LA schools starting with Allen Bradford (BRAD) finally breaking through with his 12 carries for 131 yards and a 56 yard touchdown. Not to be outplayed by his cross-town rival, Johnathan Franklink (FRNK) of UCLA looks to be the man to take the SuperSoaker offense to pistol status after his 160 yards and 3 touchdowns. His stock IPO’d this week at $20.

Team Symbol Δ Δ % Total
JacQuizz Rodgers OSU QUIZ ↑ 5 4% $125
LaMichael James Oregon LMJ ↑ 20 19% $125
Shane Vereen Cal VERE ↑ 20 26% $95
Chris Polk UW POLK ↓ 5 6% $75
Kenjon Barner Oregon BARN ↓10 18% $45
Nic Grigsby Arizona GRIG ↓10 28% $35
Allen Bradford USC BRAD ↑ 5 33% $20
Cam Marshall ASU MRSH ↓ 5 25% $15
Marc Tyler USC MARC ↓ 5 25% $15

IPO’s

We had some standout performances  on the defensive side of the ball with Patrick Larimore (LARI) being the Leader of the Pac. Larimore was named the Nagurskie National Defensive Player of the week after recording 11 tackles (10 of which were solo), a forced fumble, and a pass breakup in UCLA’s upset of the Houston Cougars. While Cal was getting pistol-whipped by Nevada, DJ Holt (HOLT) notched 16 tackles forced a fumble. Rumor has it that he is the cousin of famous Arrested Development star Steve Holt so watch for him on the Berkeley campus doing something like this. Dwight Roberson (ROBE) also had a sweet 16 tackles for the Oregon State Beavers with their victory over  Louisville. Jordan Wynn’s backup – Terrance Cain (CAIN), was almost perfect by throwing 20 for 23 as the Utes knocked off UNLV. He’s proving that he might be the best backup quarterback in the conference.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Johnathan Franklin UCLA FRNK $20
Patrick Larimore UCLA LARI $20
DJ Holt Cal HOLT $20
James Washington Arizona WASH $20
Dwight Roberson OSU ROBE $20
Steven Threet ASU THREE $15
Terrance Cain UTAH CAIN $15
Tyler Gaffney Stanford GAFF $10
Stepfan Tylor Stanford STEP $10

Don’t Be So Defensive

Players Market

Our analysts thought before the season that teams could avoid directing their plays around Akeem Ayers (AYER), but his big play potential is ubiquitous. He should have scored on his 77 yard interception return but he gets style points for breaking Case Keenum’s ankles (or knee).  Mason Foster had 14 tackles and forced a fumble against Nebraska, but Taylor Martinez told him to hit the weights on his way to an 80 yard touchdown run. Foster is #40 and the guy that misses the tackle on the play. Brooks Reed (REED) may look like a blonde version of the WWE wrestling icon Undertaker, but it translated perfectly when he buried Ricky Stanzi on four consecutive plays to end their chances of a comeback. His pressure off the edge has led to James Washington (WASH) ascension to the conference’s sack leader through three games.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Akeem Ayers UCLA AYER ↑ 10 11% $95
Rahim Moore UCLA MOOR ↑ 10 12% $90
Mason Foster UW FOST ↑ 5 6% $85
Jurrell Casey USC CASE ↑ 5 6% $85
Vontaze Burfict ASU BURF ↑ 5 6% $85
Brooks Reed Arizona REED ↑ 10 13% $85
Mike Mohamed Cal MIKE $80
Omar Bolden ASU BOLD ↑ 10 15% $75
Trevin Wade Arizona WADE ↑ 10 15% $75
Tony Dye UCLA DYE $55
Malcolm Smith USC SMIT ↓ 5 $50
Richard Sherman Stanford SHER $45
TJ McDonald USC TJMC ↑ 5 20% $30
Cliff Harris Oregon CLIF ↑ 5 20% $30
Michael Thomas Stanford THOM ↑ 5 33% $20

Unit Market

Oregon is #1 in the nation in scoring and total defense, but even scarier is the that all of the reps their younger players receive in blowouts make them a deeper unit each game. Cal and UW were absolutely rocked in their blowout losses, and USC did just enough to eek out the win. Nickell Robey and TJ McDonald are looking very promising in the secondary for the Trojans, but the team as a unit is still undisciplined. UCLA has proven that it has the best secondary in the conference by shutting down Case Keenum and Andrew Luck in back-to-back weeks, but they need to get stronger up front with all of the great running backs in the Pac-12. Oregon State was unable to avoid the slow start this year after losing their first game and they have an even tougher test this week when they travel to face Boise State on the Smurf Turf. A strong defensive performance is exactly what the Beavers will need to give the offense a chance.

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Oregon Defense ORED ↑ 10 8% $135
Arizona Defense ARID ↑ 10 15% $75
Utah Defense UTAD ↑ 5 7% $70
ASU Defense ASUD ↑ 5 8% $65
USC Defense USCD $60
Stanford Defense STAD ↑ 10 20% $60
UCLA Defense UCLD ↑ 15 37% $55
Cal Defense CALD ↓ 10 16% $50
OSU Defense OSUD $40
Colorado Defense COLD ↑ 5 16% $35
UW Defense UWD ↓ 10 22% $35

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Pac-12 Week 3 Predictions

17 09 2010

The Pac-12 now boasts seven ranked teams in the two polls, but even more impressive is the fortitude to schedule four other ranked opponents (#8 Nebraska, #9 Iowa, #11 Wisconsin, #23 Houston) in addition to the playing the most difficult of all BCS conference schedules.

#25 Cal at Nevada: The Bears have the number one defense in the country and The Wolfpack have the number one offense. Colin Kaepernick hasn’t faced a front seven as good as the Bears in his entire career, but Cameron Jordan and Kendrick Payne will try to introduce themselves in the backfield. My guess is that the defense prevails. Bears 34 – Wolfpack 27

#18 USC at Minnesota: Lane Kiffin left the defense at home in his first game, he left the offense in Hawaii for game 2, could there be a special teams disaster on the horizon? Trojans 38 – Golden Gophers 20

#23 Houston at UCLA: The Bruins might be facing Houston without their Heisman candidate – Case Keenum, who suffered a concussion last week. If he’s unable to play the Bruins might get their first win behind a strong defensive performance. I’m guessing that Keenum plays. Cougars 24 – UCLA 19

Arizona State at #11 Wisconsin: The Sun Devils won’t have a chance if they can’t stop the 255lb running back known as John Clay. ASU is one of the most aggressive defensive teams in the conference, but they will need to minimize the penalties to keep the game within reach. Badgers 30 – Sun Devils 13

#8 Nebraska at Washington: The Cornhuskers freshman quarterback – Taylor Martinez, looks like a Jake Locker clone with the ability to make plays when they break down. The Husky defense will struggle to stop the running game, but if their offense gets rolling they will stay in the game. Dawgs 27 – Huskers 24

Wake Forest at #19 Stanford, 8:15: Stanford wants redemption after they lost a game in the final minutes at Wake Forest last year. Andrew Luck struggled against the talented UCLA secondary, but Wake Forest won’t be able to match the Pac-10 speed. Cardinal 34 – Demon Deacons 17

Portland State at #5 Oregon: The Oregon offense should keep on rolling and this game might be an opportunity to get a lot of reps out of Darron Thomas. Ducks 52 – Vikings 10

Louisville at #25 Oregon State: The Rodgers Brothers should put on a show against an inferior opponent, but this could be a statement game for new Louisville head coach Charlie Strong, former defensive coordinator of the Florida Gators. Oregon State wants to bounce back after their loss against TCU. Expect Ryan Katz to improve from his 9 of 25 performance in week one. Beavers 34 – Cardinals 14

#9 Iowa at #24Arizona: Arizona will attempt to spread out the Iowa defense and get their play makers in space. Iowa’s DE Adrian Clayborne leads arguably the best defensive line in the country and will likely shut down the Wildcat running game. I think Arizona plays with a chip on their shoulder and the secondary comes up with a big play late.  Wildcats 27 – Hawkeyes 23

#14 Utah at New Mexico: New Mexico is still recovering from the beat down that Oregon put on them, the Utes cruise in this one 37 – 14.

Hawaii at Colorado: The Buffaloes were cooked into bison burgers in Berkeley last week, but the benefits of the loss are learning where you can improve. Hawaii is not nearly as good on the road. Buffs 33 – Rainbows 24

2010 Prediction Record 20-1

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NASPAQ – Pac-12 Stock Report : Week 2

15 09 2010

The defensive side of the NASPAQ is starting to shape up after some incredible performances this week. The Leader of the Pac – Defensive MVP this week goes to Mike Mohamed (MIKE) of the Cal Bears for his 14 tackles and an interception returned 41 yards for a touchdown. Mohamed is third in the conference in tackles with 21. He is the leader of the #1 total defense in the country with Cal yielding only 160 yards per game. Our bullish trend this week is wide receiver of the Washington Huskies – Jermaine Kearse, after putting on a show of 9 receptions and 179 yardsin their victory over Syracuse. His stock is up 30% and he’s tied for the highest wide receiver stock with Juron Criner of Arizona at $65 per share.

Defensive Players

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Akeem Ayers UCLA AYER ↑ 5 6% $85
Mason Foster UW FOST ↑ 5 7% $80
Mike Mohamed Cal MIKE ↑ 10 14% $80
Rahim Moore UCLA MOOR ↑ 5 7% $80
Jurrell Casey USC CASE ↑ 5 7% $80
Tony Dye UCLA DYE ↑ 5 10% $55
Malcolm Smith USC SMIT ↑ 5 10% $55
Richard Sherman Stanford SHER ↑ 5 12% $45

IPO’s

We’ve had some IPO’s pop up on our radar starting with Cliff Harris (CLIF) of the Oregon Ducks. We don’t know how we missed his two touchdowns on special teams last week (Punt 1, Punt 2), but he caught our analysts attention when he pick-sixed Tennessee’s Matt Simms. His stock opens up at $25 and we see this as a bull market if you invest early enough.


Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Darron Thomas Oregon DARR $25
Devin Aguilar Washington AGUI $25
Robert Woods USC WOOD $15
Marquess Wilson WSU MARQ $15
Michael Thomas Stanford THOM $15
TJ McDonald USC TJMC $25
Cliff Harris Oregon CLIF $25

Running Backs

The Oregon Ducks also had some of the top offensive highlights this week from their backfield. LaMichael James (LMJ) is back on the NASPAQ after his suspension and saw a 5% rise in his stock to $105. Kenjon Barner didn’t replicate his four touchdowns of week one, but he had an 80 yard punt return for a touchdown. The Ducks quarterback – Darron Thomas (DARR) IPO’d at $25 dollars this week after managing his first road game like a veteran.

Team Symbol Δ Δ % Total
JacQuizz Rodgers OSU QUIZ 4% $120
LaMichael James Oregon LMJ ↑ 5 5% $105
Chris Polk UW POLK ↑ 5 6% $80
Shane Vereen Cal VARE $75
Kenjon Barner Oregon BARN ↑ 5 10% $55
Nic Grigsby Arizona GRIG ↑ 10 28% $45
Cameron Marshall ASU MRSH ↓ 5 20% $20
Marc Tyler USC MARC ↓ 5 20% $20

From our positional markets there were a couple outstanding defensive performances this week, most notably from Cal and Stanford. Their defenses were aggressive and applied pressure on the opponent’s quarterbacks to force turnovers. Both of their defensive units saw some coaching turnover and replaced their defensive coordinators with experienced NFL coaches. Cal is currently #1 in total defense nationally, while Stanford is #6, but the Bears will face the #1 total offense in the country against Nevada this week so we see this as a bear market that has topped out.

Defensive Market

Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Arizona Defense ARID ↑ 10 60% $65
Cal Defense CALD ↑ 10 20 $60
Colorado Defense COLD ↓ 10 25% $30
Oregon Defense ORED ↑ 10 9% $125
Oregon State Defense OSUD $40
USC Defense USCD ↑ 10 20% $60
UCLA Defense UCLD ↓ 20 33% $40
Stanford Defense STAD ↑ 15 42% $50
Utah Defense UTAD ↑ 5 8% $65
UW Defense UWD ↑ 5 12% $45

Quarterbacks

Week 2 wasn’t as kind to our quarterbacks as the first week with Matt Barkley, Andrew Luck, and Kevin Riley looking like they needed to shake off some rust. Jordan Wynn sat out this week with an injury, but the Utes were able to win with their backup. Tyler Hansen was sacked six times and committed four turnovers in the first Pac-12 game between Colorado and Cal. Jake Locker finally had some success and received an 11% bump in his stock to get back to triple digit stock prices.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Nick Foles Arizona FOLE ↑ 5 4% $125
Andrew Luck Stanford LUCK ↓10 7% $125
Matt Barkley USC BARK ↑ 5 4% $120
Jake Locker UW LOCK ↑ 10 11% $100
Kevin Riley Cal RILE ↑ 5 6% $85
Jordan Wynn Utah WYNN $55
Tyler Hansen Col HANS ↓10 25% $30
Kevin Prince UCLA PRNC ↓ 5 25% $15
Ryan Katz OSU KATZ $10

Wide Receivers

Robert Woods (WOOD) is the newest wide receiver on the NASPAQ, and even though he hasn’t found pay dirt he’s been consistent and at times looks like Barkley’s first target. Jermaine Kearse (JERM) was the top wide receiver of the weekend with 9 catches for 179 yards and three touchdowns.

Team Symbol Δ Δ% Total
Juron Criner Arizona CRIN $65
Jermaine Kearse UW JERM ↑ 15 30% $65
James Rodgers OSU JROD $55
Ronald Johnson USC ROJO $50
Marvin Jones Cal MARV ↑ 5 14% $40
Keenan Allen Cal KEEN ↑ 5 20% $30
Doug Baldwin Stanford BALD $25
DeVonte Christopher Utah DEVO ↓ 5 20% $20
David Ausberry USC BERY ↓10 40% $15


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