Tim Brown: Money in the Bank of America - TheStreet

With football training camp starting in just a few short weeks, I thought it would be a good time for me to start with some preseason predictions. I'll begin with the division I know best: the AFC West.

I think this division is clearly the San Diego Chargers' for the taking. It's certainly not the strongest division right now in the National Football League. And the Bolts have dominated it recently.

Two years, ago the Chargers went 14-2, while last year they knocked off the Indianapolis Colts in the playoffs to advance to the AFC championship. They lost to the New England Patriots. I like San Diego's chances. Although I expect them to do better, they could even finish with nine wins and seven losses and still take the division. Things are that mediocre in the rest of the AFC West right now.

The Denver Broncos are rebuilding and so are the Kansas City Chiefs. My old team, the Oakland Raiders, is also in the rebuilding process. I think going with the Chargers is a pretty easy call -- just look at the competition and track record.

When I sat down to write this column, it occurred to me that there is one key parallel between my pick for the day and my NFL prediction: The competition in the space plays a major factor in my thought process.

Like I do with the Chargers in the AFC West, I like

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

compared to the other top banks involved in the trading market.

JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

and

HSBC

have had the greatest level of bad loan exposure, according to a recent report.

Wachovia

(WB) - Get Report

has been mired in a number of problems, while

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

has experienced problems of its own. Out of the group, I like Bank of America the best.

The entire sector has been absolutely pummeled, making these stocks worth a serious look. When I check out BoA, I see that it has lost about a third of its value since the start of June and is down almost 55% in the last year. Its stock closed at $22.40 on Thursday and continued its downward plunge this morning.

As far as its financials, it has $335 billion in the bank and $26.84 billion in operating cash flow.

I believe this sector will rebound, and out of the potential plays, I like Bank of America most. It is putting itself on solid footing for when the credit market turns in its favor. It is sure to be a volatile pick, especially in this market and with the Countrywide factor. However, I believe it has already taken a lot of the pain from that deal. I'm going long with this play and I like our chances of connecting for a big score.

Keep moving the chains!

At the time of publication, Brown had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tim Brown played 16 seasons in the NFL, where he made nine Pro Bowls. After a brief stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2004, Brown retired as an Oakland Raider. He was a Heisman Trophy winner in college for Notre Dame.