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

[tweetmeme source=”Pac12Conference” only_single=false]

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Team Twilight vs Pac-12

30 06 2010

If you’re like me and your girlfriend is forcing you to go watch the new Twilight Eclipse movie at a 1PM matinée on Thursday, the only manageable way to watch the film will be to appreciate what it means to women. The Team Edward vs Team Jacob obsession that is running rampant among teenage girls (and mid-twenties like my gf) parallels what Pac-12 fans go through with their rivals. It got me wondering whether their fans were more dedicated than ours, or just plain crazy.

In the past few weeks I’ve been subjected to Oprah interviewing the Twilight  cast, reruns of the first two movies, and listening to my roommates ask each other how excited they are for Eclipse: The Twilight Saga every single day. Despite it giving me flu-like symptoms I was still able to pick up on some similarities in their behavior and Pac-12 fans.  Both fans deck themselves out in their favorite team apparel and wear it proudly. Twilight fans are more harsh than Pac-12 fans, because they actually care about superficial things like fashion, which makes the banter even more intense. If it’s the wrong time of the month (and we get lucky) then it could potentially lead to a cat fight like the Miller Lite great taste, less filling advertisement. Despite Twilight fans having a greater interest in fashion, the Pac-12 fans look significantly better in their apparel so we have to give the edge to the Pac-12.

Both fan groups get irritated by their significant other if your criticize their team’s performance. I was almost castrated after I said True Blood is superior to Twilight in dialog, sexual content, and the overall ability of the actors.  When the ole ball-and-chain questioned the Pac-12’s dominance compared to the SEC, I just shrugged it off as if she didn’t know what she was talking about. In sports we call them rabid fans, in Twilight they’re called TwiHards or as I like to refer to them, TwiTards, but whatever you call them they are more territorial and win this category.

I also have to give credit to the thousands of of girls willing to camp out for a terrible movie premier, which is their version of tailgating. Twilight fans crush Pac-12 in the girl-to-guy ratio so they get extra cool points for that, but Pac-12 fans enjoy beers and BBQ at their tailgates while the TwiHards are stuck outside of the movie theater with popcorn and Sour Patch Kids. Pac-12 fans also tailgate about a dozen times a year compared to just once for Twilight, so this proves the Pac-12 loyalty is greater.

Every sports enthusiast and Pac-12 fan reads about their team on blogs and the internet, but meeting their favorite player or taking pictures with them would be the ultimate prize.  Twilight fans take this a step further by creating cardboard cutouts of their favorite Team (Team Edward or Team Jacob) and make-out with them. Normally this would be considered even more desperate than what Bella Swan does in Twilight, but this is Twilight fans taking it to a different level. For this they get the title of Twidiots (Twid-e-its) and actually lose cool points.

One issue that hurt Twilight fans in this competition is that they were torn when their team was out of character. Taylor Lautner is almost as big of a douchebag as Tom Cruise, but he plays a better role in the movie. Robert Pattinson is charismatic and witty in interviews, but his role in Twilight is an overprotective hipster vampire with an inexpressive girlfriend. Conversely, the Pac-12 fans have no trouble identifying with their team in every situation. This was a pretty even battle overall and my respect for their passion has grown substantially, but the Pac-12 is still the Leader of the Pac when it comes to having the best fans.

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Pac-12 Championship

30 06 2010

This is what it all comes down to, a playoff championship. The Pac-12 should disband from the NCAA and form its own conference so it can have one of these every year. With Cal and USC playing for the championship on the same day as the Twilight Eclipse premier I noticed that each team shared some characteristics with the rivalry between Team Edward and Team Jacob. Both the Pac-12 championship and Twilight have the good vs evil, favorite vs underdog (or underwolf), and competition for the love of the fans.

USC fans are notoriously known for their pretentious attitude, which happens to be the same way Edward Cullen carries himself in Twilight (at least the first two movies). Edward and the Cullen’s are in the same tax bracket as USC fans, and like USC coach Lane Kiffin and Athletic Director Mike Garrett, their condescending tone gets old quickly. Like USC, Edward has the speed and power that make men want to be him, and the women want to be with him. He has been sitting in his room and thinking about 16 year old girls since Abraham Lincoln was President, which makes him like one of those three guys in high school that’s pulling tail left and right, but with 100 years of experience to hone his craft. In a similar fashion, USC has a long-lasting tradition of Rose Bowls, National Championships, and Heisman Winners. Edward’s advantage is that he can read minds, USC’s advantage is that they buy their star players houses in San Diego and give them cars with ridiculous looking rims.

Cal fans desperately want what USC has the way Jacob wants Edward’s girlfriend Bella. Bears and werewolves are both fetid creatures like Cal hippies, and you’ll probably find Cal fans wearing the same jorts & birkenstocks as Jacob Black and his buddies. The pack that Jacob rolls with is native american and these tree-sitters that delayed the Memorial Stadium upgrade tried to make a case that the land surrounding the area was a sacred Indian burial ground. Luckily for the Bears, this is football, not fantasy. The games actually have to be played instead of dancing around and flirting with each other.

The Trojans came in as seven point favorites, but you couldn’t tell based on how the teams were played inthe first half. The Bears received the kickoff and gashed the USC defense for an 8 play 73 yard drive that was capped by a 12 yard Anthony Miller TD in the corner of the end zone. Matt Barkley would march his troops all the way into the red zone before a tipped pass was intercepted by Sean Cattouse in the middle of the field. With the Cal offensive line holding its own, Kevin Riley was able to find Marvin Jones on a play-action pass for a 36 yard pickup to put the Bears past midfield. After a Jeremy Ross reverse and HB screen to Shane Vereen the Bears went up 14-0. The Trojans would come right back though with Allen Bradford plowing over Cal freshman linebacker Chris Martin to pick up 15 yards. Matt Barkley started to find his groove completing 3 of 5 passes with a beautiful over the shoulder pass to fullback Stanley Havili on a wheel route that resulted in a touchdown. The Bears struggled the rest of the half as the Trojan defense started to get more aggressive. Devon Kennard and Jurrell Casey each notched a Kevin Riley sack with Casey’s resulting in a fumble and recovery for USC. The final score of the half was USC freshman Dillon Baxter’s 25 yard TD out of the wildcat to cut the halftime score to 20-17 in favor of the Bears.

The Trojans came out in the second half and looked undisciplined offensively by racking up two false start penalties in the first five plays. This set up a 3rd and 12 for Kiffin in his own territory and he played it conservatively with a delayed hand off only to see CJ Gable hit in the backfield by Cameron Jordan. After a Trojans punt the Bears drove right down field in 6 plays, but failed could only manage a field goal to go up 23-16. USC looked like they were about to tie it up on their next possession, but a Matt Barkley fumble at the Cal 6 yard line shifted the momentum to the Bears.  Just when Cal fans thought Jeff Tedford would go to his classic we-only-have-a-one-score-lead-but-will-play-ultra-conservative strategy, Kevin Riley was throwing on 3 consecutive downs to move the chains back into Trojan territory. Shane Vereen would have a 15 yard TD called back on a Jeremy Ross holding call and the Bears would have to settle for another field goal to put them up ten points. Trojan wide receiver Ronald Johnson finally got into the mix with a 47 yard completion to get them back in the red zone. Two plays later Matt Barkley would hit Bryce Butler in the middle of the field for a 19 yard touchdown to get within three with 6 minutes to play in the game.

Isi Sofele would collect the ensuing kickoff for the Bears and take it all the way back to the Cal 43 yard line. We were certain that Jeff Tedford would milk his lead, but he came out with play-action on first down that he tossed it to the H-back Spencer Ladner for a 13 yard gain and a first down. Two out of the next three plays were out of the wildcat formation, but Shane Vereen would only gain seven yards and failed to get a first down. The Bears were forced to punt with 3:45 to play and Bryan Anger delivered by pinning it at the five yard line. With the Trojans 95 yards away from victory, everyone expected a drive similar to the one Matt Barkley had the year before against Ohio St. With the Bears dropping eight into coverage to prevent the long-ball, CJ Gable took a screen pass 8 yards. Freshman WR Robert Woods and caught a  10 yard pass to give them a first down. Matt Barkley then hit Kyle Prater on the sideline for a 25 yard pass, but it was called by on a holding penalty and resulted in an 8 yard loss. Matt Barkley shook it off and went right back to business hitting Ronald Johnson on a slant play resulting in a 15 yard gain. On second and three Lane Kiffin tried to keep the defense honest by running the ball one more time, but Bradford failed to pick up positive yards or run out of bounds and it kept the clock running. With only 60 seconds to play the Trojans started to feel desperate and pick up the pace, but two incompletions by Matt Barkley would end the USC’s drive. Cal fans stormed the field and the band was on the field!

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