October 18, 2006

Aggie Stock Watch

One thing is for sure. Trading Texas A&M football stock is not for the faint of heart. For the third straight week, huge profits and losses were made at the closing bell as the past three Saturday trading sessions have come down to the final minutes with very important performance numbers released late in the day.

For the second week, the late news coming from Aggie football headquarters was extremely positive. In its win over Missouri, A&M beat a ranked opponent at home for the first time under head coach Dennis Franchione.

In early session trading, sellers were profit-taking after a furious run-up on the stock at the end of last week's session at Kansas. In addition, Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel had investors nervous directing the Tigers on drives of 80, 74 and 70 yards to open the game. However, cushioning the blow was cornerback Jordan Peterson stripping Mizzou receiver William Franklin as he was going into the end zone.

After the first quarter, the stock had slumped to $36.89, which wiped out the gains from the Kansas week on fears that the defense was performing at 2005 levels again. If not for Peterson the stock was in trouble, not just for this trading session, but throughout the fall season.

The offense also propped up the stock price in the first half. Receivers Chad Schroeder and Kerry Franks successfully executed reverse pass deep into Tiger territory that set up A&M's first field goal.

The offense had more surprises when the normally conservative group faked an option, and quarterback Stephen McGee hit Franks again for a big play down inside the five-yard line. From there, fundamentals took over and Jorvorskie Lane finished out the final three yards for the score.

While these surprises had short-term spikes in price, investors were concerned that Aggie football was having trouble running the ball, which is the trademark of Aggie football in the marketplace. Thus, despite a 17-17 stalemate at halftime, the stock started losing momentum.

Those negative sentiments carried over into the second half, and when Cody Wallace snapped the ball through McGee's hands that resulted in a safety, the stock again headed south with investors disgusted at the stock's schizophrenic performances the past two weeks.

As in last week's game, the momentum of the session made a dramatic and decisive shift toward the positive with a greatly improved performance from the defense in the second half. The unit's fundamentals showed huge changes in tackling, pressure on the quarterback and most importantly in coverage. While the A&M defense gave up almost 300 yards in the first half they shut down the Tigers in the second frame giving up only 106 yards and no points.

That's all investors needed to see, and the stock rose steadily throughout afternoon trading. The stock built even more momentum when McGee completed eight straight passes and the run game opened up on a late third quarter drive that saw the Aggies take the lead for good, 25-19.

Aggie football never looked back. More positive news in the running game came from Lane and an exciting, fumble-free Mike Goodson had investors giddy as time ran out on the session with A&M holding onto the ball.

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