Stock Up: Alabama (of course)
The Alabama Crimson Tide have done what they always do after losing the national championship. Take it personal then proceed to torch every team standing in their path. Nick Saban has the boys from ‘Bama on a different level, and they did not even need Bryce Young to dismantle a good Arkansas Razorbacks team last week. Even after Arkansas made it a little close for comfort, the running back room for the Crimson Tide put their foot down to the tune of 247 yards on 12 carries in JUST THE FOURTH QUARTER. Alabama has jumped Georgia in the polls and is daring anyone in the SEC to challenge.
Stock Down: Oklahoma
When the Oklahoma Sooners hired former Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to take over for the departed Lincoln Riley, many saw it as a move to build a defensive system ready to compete in the SEC. Those masses now sit and scratch their heads after the Sooners allowed TCU to score 27 points in the first quarter alone. After allowing an average of 10 points a game through their first three, Oklahoma has allowed a whopping 48 points per game in its last two. Both of those ended in defeats to Kansas State and TCU. It doesn’t matter how good your offense is if you can’t keep the ball out of the end zone.
Stock Up: DJ Uiagalelei
After a down year for their standards, the Clemson Tigers look like a College Football Playoff team again. This can be accredited to quarterback DJ Uiagalelei figuring it out. A polarizing prospect out of high school with a cannon for an arm, Uiagalelei struggled in his first full season last year. This season has been a complete reversal of the script. Uiagalelei has figured out how to mechanize his game in a way that allows him to use his arm strength and make the correct reads with accuracy. Clemson has taken full advantage of the offensive resurgence, averaging 41 points per game on the way to a perfect 5-0 record.
Stock Down: Sean Clifford
Sean Clifford should be able to feel Drew Allar supporters breathing down his neck. The sixth-year Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback had another dud against a middling Northwestern team. Penn State has a defense that makes it a threat to win a Big Ten Championship, and an offense with athleticism and talent stacked across the board. Clifford has been the lone gray spot for this undefeated Nittany Lions team, showing flashes at times while disappointing the Nittany Lions faithful most of it. While Allar may be a true freshman, the limited action everyone has seen is impressive to say the least. If Clifford cannot perform against Northwestern, how is he supposed to win games against Ohio State and Michigan?
Stock Up: City of Los Angeles
Los Angeles football is back! Both USC and UCLA are looking like potential Pac-12 championship contenders. USC is also the best shot the Pac-12 has at getting in the CFB playoffs for the first time since Washington in 2017. Head Coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Caleb Williams have created one of the best offenses in the country, and nothing has slowed them down yet. UCLA has witnessed a program turnaround of their own, beating a ranked Washington Huskies team. They are now staring down the eleventh-ranked Utah Utes in a game that may very well decide who takes on USC in the Pac-12 Championship. This would be the first time (and most likely the last will both teams moving to the Big Ten) that both the LA schools were in the Pac-12 Championship game.
Stock Down: The Jump Around Scene
After an abysmal loss to Illinois and a bleak 2-3 start to the season, head coach Paul Chryst has gotten the boot from the Wisconsin Badgers program. Wisconsin was the consistent power in the Big Ten West in recent years, but the program has been turned on its head in the last few years from transfers and lackluster recruiting. The Badgers have named assistant Jim Leonhard the interim head coach. There won’t be much jumping in the student section this year in Madison, but Badger fans should turn their attention to the nascent hockey season and try to de-stress.