College football stocks: Midseason edition

Movie quote of the day:

“Why do you wanna listen to the TV with the stereo on?”

– Ricky Bobby, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” (2006)

Hard to believe that we’re already at the midway point of the college football regular season. I’ve now had eight weeks to watch some of these teams and I’ve decided to come out with another “stocks” post. There are teams that I’m staying the course with, teams that have changed my mind, and some new teams that I was still uncertain about after the first month, but I now have a better feel of them halfway through the season.

Staying the course:

Alabama

Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) – Buy

Eight weeks in, and Alabama is still really good. The last time I did a “stocks” post, I said I didn’t see anyone in the SEC that could contend with Alabama, and that’s starting to come to fruition. Although, keep an eye on Auburn.

clemson

Clemson Tigers (7-0) – Sell

Clemson still might finish unbeaten, win the ACC, and go on to the College Football Playoff, but I think you’re a fool to believe the Tigers are serious contenders. In my opinion, Clemson lacks an identity and this team doesn’t look like it’s gelling together.

oklahoma

Oklahoma Sooners (5-2) – Buy

After getting off to a 1-2 start, Oklahoma is starting to find its stride – winning four games in a row. Oklahoma still has to play the meat of the Big 12, but the Sooners are looking like they’re still the team to beat in the conference.

washington

Washington Huskies (7-0) – Buy

If you’re still not sure about Washington, you need to start buying in because the Huskies are legit. Washington can score a lot of points – behind the arm of Heisman-hopeful quarterback Jake Browning – and have a stout defense. I think the Huskies are a serious contender for the national championship.

Changing my mind:

florida-state

Florida State Seminoles (5-2) – Sell

Florida State has a big game this week against Clemson at home. Even if the Seminoles win that game, I’m still not sold on them. Florida State’s defense has been porous and the offense has started to sputter. I don’t think this team is good enough to get to one of the major bowl games and win.

houston

Houston Cougars (6-2) – Sell

What has happened to Houston? After getting off to a hot start, the Cougars have been struggling the last three weeks – losing to Navy and SMU, and barely beating Tulsa at home. It doesn’t look like this team is going to be the Group of Five representative in a New Year’s Six bowl. Heck, Houston might not even compete for its conference championship. Is Tom Herman looking ahead to what Power Five job he’s going to take after the season?

lsu

LSU Tigers (5-2) – Buy

Don’t look now, but LSU is starting to play really well. The Tigers have won three games in a row since firing Les Miles. I’m not sure LSU has what it takes to beat Alabama or win the SEC West, but keep an eye on the Tigers going forward.

washington-state

Washington State Cougars (5-2) – Buy

After starting the season 0-2, Mike Leach challenged his team and they have responded. Washington State is another team that has been playing really well recently. The Cougars are slinging it around with Luke Falk and playing pretty good defense too. The matchup against Washington at the end of the year will likely decide the Pac-12 North division, and I can’t wait to watch that game.

New ones:

auburm

Auburn Tigers (5-2) – Buy

The question the whole season is who is the second-best team in the SEC. Many have said Ole Miss and Texas A&M, but I’m starting to think it’s Auburn. The Tigers have been hot since the close game against LSU in late September – outscoring opponents 152-24. Granted, Auburn’s schedule has been pretty weak the last 3 games, but the Tigers are taking care of business and Gus Malzahn has this team rolling.

michigan

Michigan Wolverines (7-0) – Buy

I wasn’t sure about Michigan before the season, or after the first month. However, I’m now ready to buy in. The Wolverines have a tough defense – only allowing 70 points this season – and an offense that can score points. This team is a serious contender for a national championship. I knew Jim Harbaugh would get Michigan “back” but I didn’t think it’d be this soon.

penn-state

Penn State Nittany Lions (5-2) – Sell

Penn State just knocked off Ohio State from the shelf with the rest of the undefeated teams, and many people have started to ask if the Nittany Lions are that good. I’m going to go ahead and answer it: They’re not. Anyone can get up to play a top-five team at home coming off a bye week. I know this team could get in a three-way tie for the Big Ten East division title, but keep in mind this team was embarrassed by Pitt in week two and struggled with Temple and Minnesota. Penn State is not good. Period.

west virginia

West Virginia Mountaineers (6-0) – Buy

I like to think I’m pretty objective when I’m judging my favorite team – but West Virginia looks legit. I’ll agree with anyone that WVU doesn’t have a signature win yet, but it’s not like the Mountaineers haven’t played anyone. BYU has played a tough schedule and is better than its record, Youngstown State is ranked No. 14 in FCS, and Kansas State, TCU, and Texas Tech aren’t slouches. The main storyline with WVU is that it plays defense – holding three Big 12 offenses to just 43 combined points. This is the most balanced offense I’ve seen WVU ever have. WVU is effective running and throwing the ball, and has a very good offensive line. The meat of WVU’s schedule is still coming up, but the Mountaineers get Big 12-title favorites Oklahoma and Baylor at home.

Thanks for reading

Shane Price
Follow me on Twitter – @priceisright53

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