A Christmas Wish List for Each BCS Bowl Team
It is time to hand out Christmas gifts to each and every BCS bowl team. I know you are probably thinking that participating in a BCS bowl is a good enough Christmas present, but you can't punish anybody just for being awesome.
Everybody deserves to receive something this time of year, and that includes BCS bowl squads. But what gifts do you give some of the top teams in the country?
Most of these programs have won their conference title, so the talent is obviously there. Bad coaching hasn't occurred; if it had, some of the following teams would be playing in the Little Caesars Bowl instead. These are the teams that are usually the toughest to shop for during the holiday season.
So Santa and I teamed up earlier this week and came up with some of the best gift ideas for each and every BCS bowl team.
On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer, on Vixen and the rest of the reindeer that will help us make these speedy deliveries across the country.
Wisconsin: A New Head Coach
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With Bret Bielema now doing the "Woo Pig Sooie" down in Arkansas, the Wisconsin Badgers are now without a permanent head coach. Barry Alvarez will be the interim coach for the Rose Bowl matchup against Stanford, but the program is on its own once the matchup concludes.
Last time I heard, not having a head coach to lead your team is kind of a big deal. For recruiting purposes and just feeling confident heading into the long offseason, this is something that must be addressed as soon as possible.
Maybe Santa knows of a young coordinator out there that is willing to take the plunge into coaching a quality Big Ten program.
At this point, this isn't something that Wisconsin wants for the holidays; it is something that it desperately needs. We can't say the same for that pair of long johns your grandmother bought you this year.
Stanford: A Mature Kevin Hogan
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Andrew Luck left and Stanford was without that difference-maker at the quarterback position. Freshman Kevin Hogan has shown promise late in the year, and that has led to junior Brett Nottingham's decision to leave the program.
Hopefully, for the sake of the Cardinal, Hogan is the future of this program.
He is a dual-threat quarterback that has helped spark this offense over the last few games and does provide hope at the position. However, hope and 10 dollars could get me a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
With the quarterback position somewhat important to the success on the football field, Stanford is hoping that things work out with Hogan as early as next season.
This gift may take a while to receive, but it is something that the coaching staff is more than ready to accept.
Northern Illinois: Wish for More Wishes
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There is really nothing you could give Northern Illinois that will help in its matchup against the Florida State Seminoles. Besides, you would think that reaching a BCS bowl is good enough for the Huskies to the extent that a gift isn't necessary for the next five years.
But since we are in the season of giving, I am going to give this team the gift that never stops giving.
Northern Illinois should be awarded with more wishes. Wish that the team can play as well as it has during the regular season in the MAC. Wish that the football gods are on your side when the Orange Bowl takes place. Wish that the Seminoles get on the wrong plane and miss the trip to Miami.
Santa, if you are listening, the Huskies need all the help they can get.
Florida State: A Time Machine
Maybe Florida State is a team that is cursed. The school that we always expect to finally break through seems to fall on its face at some point throughout the season.
This year was no different with losses to North Carolina State and Florida, but a time machine could have helped save the Seminoles.
It seemed like this season was doomed from the start once top cornerback Greg Reid was dismissed from the team for violation of team rules. Then defensive end Brandon Jenkins went down for the season with an injured foot. Later in the year, Florida State lost its top running back in Chris Thompson to an injured knee.
All of this doesn't even include losing All-ACC selection in defensive end Cornellius Carradine to a torn ACL.
If you are not paying attention, the Seminoles lost four key players in one year. A redo on the season is something I'm sure everybody in Tallahassee would greatly appreciate.
Louisville: A Healthy Teddy Bridgewater
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Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater finished the regular season playing with a broken left wrist and a sprained right ankle. In the game against Rutgers, the sophomore quarterback could be seen limping up and down as he tries to lead his team to a BCS bowl.
He was able to get the job done in impressive fashion against the Scarlet Knights, but the Florida Gators defense is a little different. Florida is a team that throws tons of different looks at you and will drop the hammer on the quarterback if given the opportunity.
If Bridgewater has not found a way to shake the limp and heal the wrist, he really stands no chance against the best defense he will have faced so far in his young career.
The only way the Cardinals can pull off the upset is if Bridgewater is healthy.
Here's to that magic healing power during the jolly season!
Florida: A Commitment from Key Defensive Players
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Florida may have overachieved this season, and as a result, the Gators could lose a lot of key defensive players to the NFL draft. Players such as Sharrif Floyd, Matt Elam and Dominique Easley could all skip their senior season and declare for the next level.
The good news is that multiple sources are reporting that at least two of those guys will return to Florida next year. However, none of this has been confirmed by the players or the school, which leaves Gator fans on the edge of their seat.
If the defense remains intact heading into next year, Florida is without question an SEC contender. If the defense takes a hit, head coach Will Muschamp and company will have their work cut out for them during the offseason.
Florida does have a loaded recruiting class that includes tons of talent on defense, but experience is also needed to make a championship run.
Santa, make everybody's job a little easier and convince these future NFL stars to stay one more year. Hey, it worked for Tim Tebow.
Oregon: A Commitment from the Head Coach
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Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is at the top of many Christmas wish lists this season. Word is that NFL teams are hoping to find him under the tree, while the Ducks are trying their best to convince him to return to the program on which he put his stamp.
There should be nothing more important to Oregon fans than for Kelly to return.
Seriously, if you wear that green and yellow proud (along with the many other colors this team displays), you should be willing to return every gift you receive this season in exchange for Kelly returning to the sidelines.
I'm sure the Fighting Duck will have no problem banging out 1,000 pushups. Whatever it takes, Oregon only wants one thing for Christmas, and it really isn't much to ask.
Coach Kelly needs to remain the head coach of this program.
Kansas State: A New Contract for Bill Snyder
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This may be too much to ask, but it is Christmas time, and this wonderful holiday only comes around once a year.
Bill Snyder needs to stick around for a little while longer. His most recent contract only carries him through the 2013 season, and that simply isn't long enough. I know he isn't getting any younger and would like to enjoy retirement at some point, but the 73-year-old Snyder built this program with his bare hands and is finally seeing it grow up to be big and strong.
Kansas State is currently experiencing its best success, and this certainly could be the start of something magical.
Wildcat fans aren't asking for much—just another three years or so. This should be good enough to provide the school with a little stability and consistent success needed to attract a top coach to replace him.
While many of these other schools have a lot to be thankful for, Kansas State's prized possession is its head coach.
Please, Santa; don't let him leave too soon.
Notre Dame: More Hate and Fuel for the Fire
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The Irish don't care that you don't believe in them. They want you to think that they have no chance whatsoever to beat the mighty Crimson Tide in the national championship. This is a team that doesn't need your support and is used to playing the underdog role.
Seriously, how many times have we counted Notre Dame out this season?
This is a team wasn't supposed to beat Michigan State. The Irish couldn't snap the losing streak to Michigan. The defense couldn't slow down the athleticism that Oklahoma had on offense. USC was going to move the ball with ease. The list goes on and on.
All this team continued to do was win, and it has shut the doubters up throughout the year.
Notre Dame doesn't need your support now. In fact, a few more haters and critics would be nice this holiday season.
It has worked so far; why stop now?
Alabama: To Spend Time with Coach Saban
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It is no coincidence why Nick Saban almost never loses big games. It is the fact that he prepares like no other coach in the world that has made him one of the more successful coaches of this generation.
You can just see Saban hiding out in a dungeon somewhere in Tuscaloosa, watching film relentlessly, hooked up to an IV that's dripping coffee. He hasn't showered in weeks and has quickly developed his Cast Away beard.
Of course, there are no reports that any of this is true, but how else do you explain a coach completely dominating the competition when he has extra time to prepare?
The Alabama players just want to see their head coach somewhere other than on the practice field. Have a little fun with the guys, loosen things up a bit and show them that there is a little more to life than the game of football.
Just step on out and show everybody you are alive and well. This can't possibly be too much to ask for Christmas.