Polls. Rankings. Those 2018 predictions.
As disposable as a banana peel, and every bit as slippery. Most picks (except mine, of course) have the shelf life of a Miami Marlins winning streak.
Ah, but sustained market value. Now we’re talking.
A college football stock report is different from a mere ranking.
A ranking is all about the next game.
A stock report takes into account fundamental investment advice such as growth, fluctuations, bull market vs. bear market and which character Leonardo DiCaprio might play in the film.
The criteria here is upside, fan vibe. Relative potential.
An ACC and SEC stock report:
SEC: Why LSU is No. 1
1. LSU. Get in low. If it’s not Ed Orgeron and his new Joe Burrow quarterback toy, it’s the next guy who is likely to get a major brand name back to the big time.
2. Georgia. Hot buy caveat: slight 2018 dip possible. Hold on for a few more recruiting cycles as head coach Kirby Smart and Co. build an SEC East powerhouse.
3. Alabama. Why No. 3? Very expensive. But Nick Saban will keep winning.
4. Texas A&M. Texas has always been fertile land for growth potential. Oil. Cattle. Football.
5. Tennessee. As South Carolina was winning ugly in Knoxville last fall, Gamecock fans on hand wore “Keep Butch Jones” T-shirts. Maybe Jeremy Pruitt isn’t the answer but eventually the Vols will make progress.
6. South Carolina. From 3-9 (Steve Spurrier’s mess) to 6-7 to 9-4 and Will Muschamp is still improving his overall roster quality. This could be a Georgia Tech-like buy: consistently good but almost never spectacular.
7. Arkansas. There is a built-in Razorbacks ceiling in the SEC West but also upside going into the Chad Morris administration.
8. Florida. The Gators will get better after a bizarre 4-7 season during which Jim McElwain was fired, but everyone knows that. And how much better with Georgia loading up on the kind of elite recruits Florida continues to struggle to sign?
9. Auburn. Buckle up for a “War Eagle” thrill ride. Every month of every year.
10. Ole Miss. Purchase low, hope for middle-of-the-pack results.
11. Mississippi State. The best example of the difference between a 2018 prediction (No. 2 in the SEC West and 10 wins perhaps) and a stock buy (not sure Joe Moorhead or anyone else can match Dan Mullen for steady Starkville overachievement).
12. Missouri. A lot of fluff built around senior quarterback Drew Lock’s strong arm.
13. Kentucky. The 7-6 act with wins over South Carolina is up.
14. Vanderbilt. You can always buy Vandy low, just as you are free to invest in Siberian real estate.
ACC: From Dabo to Petrino
1. Clemson. Because Dabo Swinney seems to be in it for the long haul and there is no indication the Tigers won’t stop winning big.
2. Florida State. Willie Taggart is recruiting well and the Seminoles will get back in the College Football Playoff picture soon. Like maybe this year.
3. Miami. It’s been a while since the quality of the coaching staff matched the richness of the South Florida recruiting base.
4. Pittsburgh. Stunned national title winner Clemson in 2016. Upset No. 2 Miami in the 2017 regular-season finale. Worth the modest share price.
5. Virginia Tech. Even if the Hokies take a step back in 2018, upward ACC Coastal mobility is likely.
6. North Carolina. Should be better than the 3-9 of 2017. Will get there eventually, though perhaps without Larry Fedora.
7. Virginia. Generally left for dead in the ACC Coastal. A better program than that over time, and Bronco Mendenhall is a better coach than that.
8. Georgia Tech. Conservative Growth Strategy 101.
9. Wake Forest. From 3-9 to 7-6 to 8-5. Biggest question: Will Dave Clawson land a better gig?
10. N.C. State. Dave Doeren is annoying at times — like when he accused Clemson of cheating against the Wolfpack last year. But he’s slowly built a solid program.
11. Duke. David Cutcliffe deserves all the plaudits for going 59-67 with five bowl appearances in 10 years at Duke. The Blue Devils are good enough to finish second or third in the ACC Coastal this year. But it won’t get better.
12. Boston College. Overpriced as the ACC’s trendy surprise pick for 2018.
13. Syracuse. Upset Clemson last October but too up and down for secure funding.
14. Louisville. About to spin South in Bobby Petrino’s post-Lamar Jackson era.
Follow Gene Sapakoff on Twitter @sapakoff