Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Big 12 stock report: Week 11
By David Ubben
Effective convexity! Operating cycles! Securities analysts!
We're back again with more nonsensical financial terms and football.
Time to take a look at a few stocks rising and falling across the Big 12.
Rising: The return game
West Virginia's Tavon Austin broke loose for a 76-yard punt return touchdown to put the Mountaineers ahead in the final minutes of Saturday's eventual loss in double overtime. Believe it or not, that was only the second punt returned for a score in Big 12 play all season. Justin Brown did the same against Kansas earlier this year. Later Saturday, Kansas State's Tyler Lockett took an Oklahoma State kick 100 yards to the house, his second of the season and fourth of his career. K-State is now the only team in the Big 12 with more than one kick returned for a score this year. Only half the teams in the Big 12 have even done it once.
Falling: TCU's turnover margin
How do you beat K-State? Start by winning the turnover battle. Arkansas was the last team to win the turnover battle against K-State and soundly beat the Wildcats in the Cotton Bowl. TCU? The Frogs haven't won or tied the turnover battle in any of their past three games and are minus-9 in turnover margin if you take away a +6 game against Baylor in a win earlier this year. Also not helping: TCU has lost 14 fumbles, twice as many as any team in the Big 12. K-State has lost two.
Rising: James Sims
Sims is quietly on an absolute tear. He can't help that Kansas can't get into the win column, but he's been an absolute workhorse for the Jayhawks. He's topped 100 yards in five consecutive games, the first KU back to do so since 1974. He's averaged at least 5 yards per carry in four of his six games this year, too. He's making the most of his touches and sneaking up on the title of the Big 12's best running back. Considering how much the KU passing game has struggled, that average is pretty incredible. Defenses don't need to respect much in the way of Kansas through the air, and Sims is burning them anyway.
Falling: Joseph Randle
Randle's a great back, too, but he's slowed a big after a huge start in nonconference play. In three of his last four games, he's been held under 4 yards a carry, including just 2.87 yards a carry against Kansas State this week. He carried the ball 15 times for just 43 yards against Kansas State and managed just 80 yards on 29 carries earlier this year against Kansas. Randle can get hot late, but for my money, Sims has taken the title for now as the Big 12's best running back. Randle doesn't run against stacked fronts nearly as much as Sims does, and Sims has been more productive after a three-game suspension to start the season.