Pac-12: Pac-10 2009 gifts

Pac-10 Christmas gifts, Part II

December, 24, 2009
Ho. Ho. Ho.

Santa Claus here again. As if I've not got enough going on right now, the Pac-10 blog has enlisted me to reveal what conference teams wanted for Christmas this year.

The wish list is in reverse order of conference finish. Sort of like a naughty and nice list. Part I ran yesterday. This is Part II.

Again: Ho. Ho. Ho.


Mrs. Claus is such a card! She's from Alabama, by the way, so take this gift suggestion for what it's worth: A get out of (NCAA) jail free card! Ha! Ha! But that's not atop the Trojans list. Instead, they've torn a page from Austin Powers. The Trojans want their mojo back, baby.


Oh, Stanford, for such a smart school, well, come on! On top of the Cardinal list is a lifetime commitment from coach Jim Harbaugh. Yet you've got professors and other folks -- jealous? disingenuous? dense? -- protesting a bathroom remodel and a contract extension that only gave Harbaugh a below-average salary. Some gifts are for your own good. So Stanford, you get a copy of Adam Smith's "The Wealth of Nations." Santa despises greed, but he also is a capitalist. And if a $1.25 million annual salary for a coach who's generating revenue for a once-moribund program has your underpants in a wad, well, then drop down to the FCS level.

Oregon State

Hey, sorry about that Las Vegas Bowl, but let's just say that Santa was in Sin City for a bit of pre-Christmas fun and he also took a hit. As for a Christmas gift, this one is sort of obvious, eh? The Beavers want a fast start in 2010. Let's be more specific and call it an unbeaten September. I hear you Beavers, but tell your athletic director that scheduling road games with TCU and Boise State doesn't please Santa. Sorta makes this one an expensive gift.


Wildcats fans certainly are full of Christmas cheer. Hey, pretty smart of me giving you some sense two years ago when you were thinking about canning Mike Stoops. Looked at me like I gave you a bottle of castor oil at the time, but, hey, sometimes gifts become more meaningful with age. Looking at your 2010 depth chart here. Some nice things. But, golly, seven starters gone from the defense. Not good, particularly with the program developing high expectations. So consider the request for some emerging defensive stars under advisement.


You Ducks seem split. Do you want a Rose Bowl win. Or do you want what's behind door number two, a gift that requires patience as it doesn't mature for a year? A hint? Let's just say it's something new and it looks a lot like a Rose Bowl only different. It's played later. In Glendale, Ariz. That's all I'm saying. On Jan. 10, 2011.

Pac-10 Christmas gifts, Part I

December, 23, 2009
Ho. Ho. Ho.

Santa Claus here. As if I've not got enough going on right now, the Pac-10 blog has enlisted me to reveal what conference teams wanted for Christmas this year.

Not saying they'll get it. Heck, the Pac-10 blog dude has been asking me for a pony since he was 4. No dice. And, by the way, ixnay on the Johnnie Walker Blue, hombre.

The wish list is in reverse order of conference finish. Sort of like a naughty and nice list, with Part I today and Part II tomorrow.

Washington State

Ah, Cougars, you can't just ask for wins. Sorry. Not how things work. But your second choice might be doable: A four-leaf clover. First off, you guys are going to need some luck to win a few games in the rugged Pac-10 next fall in any event. But it's not just about good luck. It's about avoiding bad luck. After two consecutive injury-riddled seasons, things might just get back on track if your two-deep depth chart remains mostly healthy and stable over the 12-game grind.

Arizona State

Oh, Dennis, Dennis, hope your fans know how persistent you are! No, I can't make the party in Coeur d'Alene, but thanks for the invite to your swell vacation pad. And, no, don't think I didn't miss your latest appeal for some offensive help. Some might be surprised that a quarterback didn't top your list, but Santa, being built like an offensive lineman, knows that the big guys up front are the key. So, yes, your appeal for some offensive linemen who can both run block and pass protect is duly noted.


A little surprised by this one: Felt sure you Bruins would go negative this year and wish for NCAA sanctions on Pete Carroll and the Trojans. Very noble. I'm a bit skeptical, though. Maybe you've enlisted other supernatural forces for that one, eh Bruin Nation? Of course, there are only so many offensive linemen to go around. Maybe I'll let my head elf, O.J., decide who gets them. Relax! That name is just a coincidence.


Greedy! Greedy! Greedy! Husky fans, you know darn well you already got your Christmas gift! And to ask for a Husky Stadium renovation also? Wow. Like I said; Greedy! I know one of college football's best venues has fallen into disrepair but everybody knows how you take care of stadium issues. You raise taxes, of course.


Here's a wish list lesson: Be specific. No, I can't give a team "consistency." No, I can't wrap up and put a bow around "take the next step." And the last time a program asked for "leadership," I dropped Tim Tebow down the chimney and that seemed to unfairly stack the deck in Gainesville. Still, you Cal fans are creative. I like No. 7 on the list: A magic light bulb. Not sure how you guys heard about that special device that illuminates a locker room for an entire 12-game season, though.

That's it for today.

I'll be back on Christmas Eve to deliver gifts to the top-five teams. Time for some of Mrs. Claus' special eggnog.