College Football: Top 50 Gifts Santa Is Delivering This Season
"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."
Perhaps, a revision is necessary to address the needs of many programs throughout the FBS.
"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the program, not a player was stirring, not even a coach."
OK—that was weak.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? I bet most, if not all, of the head coaches, fans and athletic directors in the FBS hope that St. Nicholas comes down the chimney on Christmas Day to deliver presents for their beloved teams.
Let's face it: There are many teams that have tangible and/or intangible needs, and obviously there are clear-cut needs for some high-profile teams out there.
So, in the spirit of the holiday season, let's take a look at 50 teams with obvious and elusive needs that surely will draw some controversial banter.
James Walker is a National and Syndicated Writer for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on:
Twitter - http://twitter.com/BRJamesWalker
Penn State Nittany Lions: A Hearing Aid for Head Coach Joe Paterno
Poor coach Joe Paterno—the man gets absolutely no love in Tampa, Fla. During a telephone interview with a local AM radio station, JoePa struggled to hear anything that was being said.
He's 83 years old. Seriously, does he know that Urban Meyer's last game is in the Outback Bowl? Did he hear the news?
Don't count on it.
Big 10 Football: New Division Names to Replace Proposals
The Big Ten went out and came up with a new logo for the same old name, and someone came up with the brilliant "Legends" and "Leaders" names for each division.
Really? You're joking, right?
Perhaps someone can wish for cooler heads to prevail and go with names that are more in line with today's style of Big Ten football. Instead of "Legends," change it to "Has-Beens." And change "Leaders" to "Followers."
When the Big Ten actually wins a BCS title game, then they can show a little arrogance. Until then—sit down, Waldo!
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football: A 5-Star Recruit for Brian Kelly
Is it possible? Could Santa stuff his sack with one or two 5-star recruits? I bet Brian Kelly could care less which position they play, just as long as they are top-flight athletes.
Perhaps St. Nick could perform some magic and make George Atkinson III, out of Granada High School in Livermore, Calif., or Davaris Daniels out of Vernon Hills, Illinois, 5-star recruits. Right now, Rivals has them both ranked as 4-star.
It is the season for miracles, yes?
Texas Longhorns Football: Short-Term Memory Loss Erasing the 2010 Season
ESPN College Gameday: A Gracious but Quick Retirement for Lee Corso
Say what you want about Lee Corso—he may make a lot of mistakes and forget from time-to-time what he's saying, but he is hilarious!
That being said, it's time for the old coach to hang it up before Kirk Herbstreit dies of embarrassment on national television.
ACC Football: A Gift of Relevancy
When FSU joined the ACC many felt that the ACC was going to become one of the premier football conferences in all of college football. Then FSU tore off and won the conference championship every season for a gazillion years and made ACC fans wonder if it was a good thing that FSU joined.
It also made ACC fans continue to yearn for the start of basketball season.
Then Miami (Fla.) moved in and many thought the two state of Florida powerhouses would definitely take the ACC over the top. As Lee Corso is famous for saying, not so fast my friend.
FSU and Miami would struggle to compete for the ACC championship, bringing very little to the table.
Yes, FSU is beginning to show signs of life, and other teams in the ACC show flashes of brilliance from time-to-time; however, the ACC still remains a basketball conference.
Will the ACC ever become relevant in football?
UCLA Bruins Football: Offensive and Defensive Lines, a QB and Fans That Care
UCLA Bruins football has become as exciting as watching paint dry. A once-proud program is struggling to muster fan support for their football team these days.
Perhaps UCLA would consider recruiting—they may be surprised what they could accomplish if they actually hit the road to find talent for their offensive and defensive lines.
They just might find a quarterback while stopping for a bite and gas somewhere out on the road.
Now that rival USC was hit with recruiting violations, maybe, just maybe, UCLA can actually pick up some real talent.
Florida Gators Football: An Offensive Coordinator for Head Coach Will Muschamp
A recent Gallup poll revealed that the No. 1 wish for citizens of the Gator Nation this holiday season is a replacement for current offensive coordinator Steve Addazio. Of course I'm joking, but rumor has it that Temple is courting Addazio for their head coach position.
Even Mr. Two-Bits is praying that Addazio gets the gig.
Urban is gone, the spread offense will soon be gone, and now Florida is searching for an offensive coordinator.
Every Gator is begging Santa to deliver a new offensive coordinator as soon as possible.
Georgia Bulldogs Football: A New Head Coach to Replace Mark Richt
Seriously, when will Georgia finally see the light and give up on Mark Richt as head coach? He has failed to deliver so many times that Gator fans are now cheering for Georgia to keep him. Even with Florida's worst season in 20 years they still beat the Bulldogs.
And please, don't give me that he's a nice man, great recruiter and has a tremendous offensive mind. Results count and the rest is fluff.
Auburn Tigers Football: An NFL Lockout So Cam Newton Stays for Senior Season
A NFL lockout is the only thing that's going to keep Cam Newton at Auburn in 2011. On second thought, there may be other reasons for Cam to bail on the Tigers:
- A better offer from Alabama.
- This time he knows the laptop was stolen when he bought it.
- He gets caught cheating on exams again, allegedly.
Keep the faith, Auburn, and War Cam Eagle!
Maryland Terrapins Football: New Head Coach Mike Leach Wrapped With a Bow
After a rather ugly dismissal of Ralph Friedgen, the rumor mill immediately cranked up about former Texas Tech Red Raider head coach, Mike Leach, being offered the gig as Terrapins head coach.
Can the Maryland faithful put up with the idiosyncracies of Leach, or can Leach stay out of trouble—or at least, out of the watchful eye of Craig James?
Just keep him and his players away from sheds and all should be well.
Michigan Wolverines Football: A Victory Over the Ohio State Buckeyes
Wolverine fans—do you remember 2003? Ann Arbor? That's the last time Michigan beat Ohio State.
I bet the Wolverine faithful wish Lloyd Carr was still running things in Ann Arbor. Remember when Michigan fans were calling for Carr's head from time-to-time. This is the perfect example of being careful for what you wish for—you may get what you want.
On the other hand, Buckeye fans hope Rodriguez gets another year, or two, or three....
Tennessee Volunteers Football: A Second and Third String of Players
Talk about a football program suffering from anorexia. The Tennessee Volunteers did pretty good this season considering everything the program has gone through.
Have faith, Vols fans. Derek Dooley will have you back in the SEC East fight annually before you know it. That is, if he can recruit players fast enough to fill in the gaps.
USC Trojans Football: Scholarships and a Time Machine
This is a two-part wish for USC fans and athletic director Pat Haden. First, the USC Trojan football program is about to struggle big-time with the lack of scholarships due to Reggie Bush's transgressions.
Some may argue it isn't fair to penalize the kids today for yesteryear's transgressions, but whoever said life was fair?
Part two is to be delivered directly to the office of Pat Haden—a time machine, so he can move three years into the future and fire Lane Kiffin. Everyone knows it is inevitable.
Ole Miss Rebels Football: A Real Mascot
The day was October 14, 2010, when Ole Miss announced that their new mascot would be Rebel Black Bear. The RBB won over two other choices, Rebel Land Shark and Hotty Toddy.
Personally, I like Hotty Toddy out of the three, but like their football program, their mascot is still weak.
TCU Horned Frogs Football: Death to the BCS
Yes, I know, the Horned Frogs are joining the Big East so the BCS issue will go away. So what—they and other non-BCS schools are still getting the shaft.
And who's to say the Big East will continue to receive an at-large bid to a BCS bowl? The Big East hasn't been that impressive as of late.
Alabama Crimson Tide Football: A Personality for Nick Saban
Nick Saban is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best, coaches in college football. That cannot or will not be argued. What everyone can agree upon is that look he has on his sour puss 24 hours a day. One would think he was forced to swallow a goldfish.
If he's not bringing a NFL player to tears, lying to everyone about his intentions, or calling agents "pimps," Coach Saban really needs to ask Santa to bring him a personality.
Who knows, perhaps he'll be liked again in South Florida.
Yes, I know, that will never happen.
Ohio State Football: A Bowl Victory Over Any SEC Team
Admit it, Buckeye fans—there is an uneasy feeling in your stomach that you cannot figure out. It started in 2007 when Florida embarrassed Ohio State in the desert of Glendale, Ariz.
Then there was the game against LSU when you started strong but ended weak, once again.
Seriously, will the Buckeyes ever beat an SEC team in a bowl game?
Ohio State Buckeyes Football: Tattoos for Free
Really, Buckeye fans? Illegal tattoos for football players?
It has become a right of passage to have ink all over your skin when you play professional sports, but you can at least coach your players to pay for it themselves.
Virginia Cavaliers Football: Becoming Cavalier Once Again Before It's Too Late
When was the last time anyone considered Virginia a top-flight football program? Once upon a time everyone respected the Cavalier program, but now it is very mediocre.
No, it's just plain bad. Let's call it for what it's worth.
Will Virginia ever return to prominence? How about competitive at a minimum?
Indiana Hoosiers Football: Realization There Is More to Life Than Basketball
Wasn't Lee Corso once the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers? Do you think he remembers that he was once the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers?
Surely he's forgotten, but do not blame his age for it.
Here is the perfect plan: Since the Big Ten refuses to change its name, why don't they drop Indiana and Northwestern so they'll be back to 10 teams.
Scratch that .. .
Like Vanderbilt in the SEC, the Big Ten needs a think-tank like Northwestern to represent them, too.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football: A New Winning Streak Over Navy
You know things are bad in South Bend when a once-cupcake rival like Navy has an official winning streak over them. Surely, it will come to an end sooner or later.
However, as soon as they defeat Navy, they'll probably lose to Army. Face it, Irish fans, your football legacy has come to an end.
Deal with it.
USC Trojans Football: Auburn University's Legal Staff
Come on, USC: You have more funds than lowly Auburn University. Surely, you can recruit the Tigers legal staff to make their way over to Southern California to help you out with your legal needs.
Oh wait, that's right—you went and hired an athletic director with class, Pat Haden.
Michigan State Spartans Football: Better Cardovascular Health for Mark Dantonio
With some of the fake field goal calls made this 2010 season, it's clear why head coach Mark Dantonio's heart may have skipped a beat or two this season.
Seriously, Coach Dantonio is a class act, and hopefully his health will continue to improve going forward.
Bill Stewart: A 12-0 Record for West Virginia During the 2011 Season
West Virginia's athletic director, Oliver Luck, felt that the Mountaineer football program was not moving in the right direction, so Stewart's tenure will end after the 2011 season.
In comes Dana Holgorsen, current offensive coordinator of the Oklahoma State Cowboys, and heir apparent to Stewart.
Was it a classy move? Perhaps not. Was it a necessary move? Yes, it was.
Nick Saban: A Gatorade Bath Courtesy of His Players and Coaching Staff
The infamous Gatorade bath to celebrate a victory is now the most played out act in all of sports. That being said, I could watch Nick Saban take a Gatorade bath after every game for the rest of his career.
Go back a few slides to the wish for a new personality for Saban—now wouldn't you agree?
Rich Rodriguez: One More Year as Head Coach of Michigan Wolverines
Rich Rodriguez is taking his Michigan Wolverines to Jacksonville, Fla., to face Dan Mullen's Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Gator Bowl on January 1, 2011. He's hoping he is allowed back on the plane for the return trip to Ann Arbor.
Michigan's offense showed signs of life this season, but the defense—well, that's a whole other story. Besides, if he's to get fired, he'll need time to get his resume fine tuned for his next coaching job.
I hear the Gators need an offensive coordinator....
Iowa Hawkeyes Football: One Arrest, Suspension, Drug-Free Year for Kirk Ferentz
What's the big deal about Iowa's program having faults with their drug testing programs? Seriously, it's Iowa. If you were stuck going to school, playing football and living in Iowa, wouldn't 4:20 PM come sooner rather than later in your life?
Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, Jewel Hampton (allegedly) and Adam Robinson obviously struggled with it.
Kentucky Wildcats Football: End of 26-Game Losing Streak Against Tennessee
The season was 2010 and the Kentucky Wildcat faithful thought this was the year. They hadn't defeated the Tennessee Volunteers since 1984, but clearly they had a good shot to do it due to the Vols' struggles.
In the fourth quarter, Kentucky tied the game 24-24 with 33 seconds left in the game. The game went into OT when the Vols scored a touchdown and stopped Kentucky to win 30-24.
Santa, would you mind giving Kentucky a victory over Tennessee? Obviously the Wildcats can't do it on the field.
Heisman Trophy: An Award Recipient Without Any Baggage or Controversy
Whatever happened to the Heisman Trophy award being given to a player with the utmost integrity and athletic skill on the gridiron? As the past winners stood by and watched Cam Newton walk up to accept the award this year, how many wondered why they didn't get paid to play when they won the award?
Maybe we shouldn't ask that question. Reggie Bush had to give his award back already.
Ohio State Buckeyes: A New Sweater Vest for Head Coach Jim Tressel
Ohio State Buckeyes football conjures many images when mentioned in conversation. However, when the head coach's sweater vest is one of the first things that comes to mind, that's pretty weak.
Come to think of it, Santa probably brings a new sweater vest to the Tressel home every year. Instead, maybe Santa can bring Coach Tressel a strategy to finally defeat an SEC team in a bowl game.
College Football: More Conference Stablization Throughout the FBS
Prior to the 2010 college football season, it was rumored that Texas was going to bring the Big 12 to its knees by moving to the Pac-10. Subsequently, Oklahoma and other Big 12 teams were going to move with Texas, while Texas A&M was thinking of joining the SEC.
A last-second decision kept Texas where they were, but Nebraska bolted to the Big Ten, and Colorado decided to go to the Pac-10. The Big Ten will now have 12 teams in 2011, and the Big 12 will have 10 teams.
Will the NCAA survive in the end? More teams have moved to different conferences (e.g. TCU to the Big East and Boise State to the Mountain West), and eventually one would think that the creation of "super-conferences" may end the BCS and give what most people want—a playoff in college football.
Jim Harbaugh: The Michigan Wolverines Head Coaching Job
This gift could be for either Jim Harbaugh or the Michigan Wolverines, depending on how you look at it. If you're a Wolverine fan, then you would get a winner and a "Michigan Man." If you are Jim Harbaugh, then you get the top job at your alma mater.
However, Jim Harbaugh is doing quite well at Stanford. When you get right down to it, where would you rather live and coach, Ann Arbor or Palo Alto?
Keep the faith, Wolverine fans.
Michigan Wolverines Football: A Defense to Match Rich Rod's Offense
Rich Rodriguez is winding down his third season as the head man in Ann Arbor, and Michigan's offense was very exciting in 2010 to say the least. Too bad the Wolverine's defense did very little to keep points off the board.
If Santa would bring Michigan a defense, then perhaps Rich Rod could have success at Michigan. Think about it.
Oklahoma State Cowboys Football: A Bedlam Win Over Rival Oklahoma Sooners
The first Bedlam game was played in 1904 and the Sooners annihilated the Cowboys 75-0. Since then, the Oklahoma State Cowboys have won 16 times.
Really? The Cowboys have won only 16 games?
Yes, Santa, please bring a victory to Stillwater this holiday season.
Pac-12 Conference: A Television Network Starting the 2011 Season
The Pac-10 has been staring up at the SEC and Big Ten conferences for some time now, but with the creation of the Pac-12 in 2011, perhaps Santa could bring a television network for the new conference.
Here's a question that needs to be answered: Would anyone actually watch it?
Les Miles: More Natural Turf Fields for LSU Tigers to Play On
Here's one you may now know—LSU's head coach Les Miles is a strange dude. He feels that eating grass keeps him in touch with the field of play during a football game.
Here's an idea, Coach Miles: Why don't you suit up and play quarterback for LSU? Perhaps you could kill two birds with one stone!
Mack Brown: A New Coaching Staff for His Texas Longhorns Team
The Texas Longhorns did their best to keep Will Muschamp on staff to replace Mack Brown whenever he decided to retire. It was thought to be a lock for Texas that Muschamp would remain the "coach-in-waiting" no matter how long it would take.
So much for that.
West Virginia Mountaineers Football: A Year Without Pitchforks and Lighters
Now that head coach Bill Stewart is going away, perhaps the pitchfork-and-lighter mobs will go home and give the program some peace.
Fresno State Bulldogs Football: Coordinators That Stay More Than Three Years
Seriously, what is it with the Fresno State program that drives offensive and defensive coordinators to bail out after three or less seasons? Is it Pat Hill? He's been there since 1997 so he can't be that bad, right?
Whatever you do, Fresno State, do not hire Lane Kiffin when USC fires him. Just ask Tennessee what he can do in one season.
John Brantley: Confidence and a Pro-Style Offensive System at Florida
How would you feel knowing that you are filling the shoes of possibly the greatest college football player of all time? You would feel a bit nervous, right? Then when your time comes to shine, the offensive coordinator loses his mind and asks you to run option plays when clearly you couldn't run away from your grandmother.
Give John Brantley a break—the pro-style offense is coming to Florida now that Will Muschamp is running the program, but confidence may be a whole other thing.
Rutgers Scarlett Knights Football: One More Relevant Season
Just when you think that Rutgers would matter once again in the Big East, then comes along a weak overall record of 4-8 and no bowl appearance in 2010. Come on, Rutgers, it's the Big East!
Perhaps Rutgers should hope that Schiano doesn't have second thoughts about leaving the program.
Syracuse Orange Football: To Not Play Football in Their Basketball Arena
The Carrier Dome is a tremendous place to visit for a basketball game, but for football? Yes, it's loud, but it can only hold just under 50,000 fans.
Syracuse has averaged an increase of 5,569 fans per game since 2008. If this keeps up, where are these fans going to sit? In the parking lot?
Miami Hurricanes Football: Arrogance and Swagger
No offense Canes fans, but the hire of former Temple head coach Al Golden to replace Randy Shannon was rather lackluster. What's next—a return to the Big East?
The Miami Hurricanes football program has fallen from grace, and the downward spiral is bound to continue unless Coach Al pulls off the unexpected.
Frankly, I want to see a Canes wide receiver to run into a tunnel once again after scoring a touchdown.
Connecticut Huskies Football: More Notoriety Than Their Women's Basketball Team
Let's play a quick mind game: when I say a word or phrase, tell me the first thing that comes to mind.
Don't lie—the 89-game winning streak for the Lady Huskies comes to mind first.
Not that there's anything wrong with that; just sayin.....
Temple Owls Football: A 30-Day Money Back Guarantee on Steve Addazio
Congratulations, Temple University, on your hiring of current Florida Gators offensive coordinator Steve Addazio. The Gator Nation thanks you for taking him off our hands. Not that Will Muschamp was going to keep him around, mind you.
What Al Golden did for your program, Steve Addazio will most likely drive right into the ground.
Washington State Cougars Football: Respect Once and for All
Does Washington State still have a football program? After checking with ESPN and Wikipedia, I discovered that they do.
A quick recap of the 2010 season shows that the Cougars finished strong with a 2-10 record. Their first victory was a one-point nail-biter against Montana State.
Their signature win this season was when they defeated Oregon State 31-14 in Corvalis. It was also their second and last win.
Lane Kiffin: A Tricycle Courtesy of College Football Fans Everywhere
One day Lane Kiffin will grow up and coach like an adult. Until then, he can ride a tricycle with all the other little kids he hangs with.
In all fairness, Kiffin did stay down a bit this season. Then again, what else could he do? USC got hammered by the NCAA, and USC hired Pat Haden, who is looking for any excuse to dismiss him.
Is Lane maturing or scared out of his mind? I'll take the latter, thank you.
USF Bulls Football: Continued Success Against Larger In-State Programs
Get used to hearing about the University of South Florida Bulls football program; it may become a powerhouse in the state of Florida.
Do you think I'm joking? I hope not. They've already defeated the Miami Hurricanes and Florida State Seminoles in the past, and came very close to defeating the Florida Gators this season.
Give it five years, maybe less, before Bulls football becomes a big name in college football.
Rutgers University: A Full and Quick Recovery for Eric LeGrand
Last, but definitely not least, let's all wish Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand a full and speedy recovery. The Christmas season is a time for hope and miracles, and there is no one else more deserving than Eric.