Fiu's DAILY Cavalcade of
Whimsy ... Dec. 23
Frank Costanza's Festivus Airing of the Grievances
a.k.a. The obvious attempt to keep readers coming to the site on a
regular basis during the off-season.
What's your beef? ... Fire
If this column
sucks, it’s not my fault
I've bought 12 Christmas gifts so far with 11 of them for me.
Instead of the Cavalcade going on an eight-month hiatus, from here on
throughout the off-season this will be a daily column of sorts with one
or two musings, blurbs, thoughts, or madcap moments of reflection every
Monday through Friday, or whenever the mood strikes, starting out with
the annual holiday wish list for every team.
Up next this week, more on the situations with Gene Chizik, Joe Paterno,
the bowls and more. In the meantime, have a happy holiday. Thank you so
much for continuing to read this and for all of your kind words this
season. Once again, a donation has been made in your name to the Human
wish list for all 119 teams this holiday season. To ...
At least one win against the Mountain West’s Big 3.
Akron: DT Ryan Bain to heal up and be the player he was in 2008
Alabama: Gene Chizik … wait a minute Bama, you’re not supposed to
open your presents early.
Arizona: The Las Vegas Bowl as the jumping off point for the Mike
Stoops era, and not the plateau.
Arizona State: An offensive tackle who can protect the passer,
and a deep tissue massage for Rudy Carpenter.
Arkansas: A Matt Ryan jersey.
Arkansas State: A seventh win. (At the D-I level, the program
hasn’t won seven games since 1978.)
Army: Rich Ellerson (the Cal Poly head coach whose offense led
the FCS averaging 44 points and 487 yards per game).
Auburn: The next five years to go by very, very quickly.
Ball State: Nate Davis to stick around one more year and for a
few more dollars to be able to keep a coach like Brady Hoke the next
Baylor: A few more finds like Robert Griffin.
Boise State: 108 wins in ten seasons to bring a bit more respect
from the BCS.
Boston College: Anyone but Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship.
Bowling Green: The Falcon offense to be better than 115th
in the nation (what Tennessee’s offense was with Dave Clawson, the new
head coach, in charge of the attack).
BYU: A new pair of pants after soiling the ones worn against TCU
Buffalo: Another season with three overtime wins, a Hail Mary to
pull out a victory, and for more fumbles in the biggest game of the
California: For the NCAA to take five minutes off from its
treasure bath and understand why the words Reggie and Bush and New Era
Sports & Entertainment all go together.
Central Michigan: A pair of lock-down cover-corners.
Cincinnati: Butch Jones in the waiting room to be ready when
Brian Kelly inevitably bolts.
Clemson: Dabo Swinney to be worth not going after an A list head
Colorado: Chris Petersen.
Colorado State: A sack or a tackle for loss.
Connecticut: Donald Brown to not wake up and realize he belongs in
Duke: Another Michael Tauiliili for the defense and a healthy
Thaddeus Lewis for the offense.
East Carolina: Charlie Weis to stay at Notre Dame and for Skip
Holtz to wait a few more years for the gig to open up.
Eastern Michigan: The headlines to quickly turn from race to how Ron
English has the program on track for its first winning season since
Florida Atlantic: Howard Schnellenberger to open up the new stadium
in 2010 with a Sun Belt powerhouse … and a sponsor for the building.
FIU: Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, Bose computer speakers,
and a size-too-small Golden Dazzler cheerleader outfit for the wife …
oh, wait, Florida International, not me? Fine. As big a jump in
production from 2008 to 2009 as there was from 2007 to 2008.
Florida: The NFL advisory board to give Tim Tebow a 5th
round projection, and for the Cleveland Browns to not want to go the
college coaching route after the Butch Davis fiasco.
Florida State: Another Myron Rolle and fewer of the 17 players who
got nailed for academic cheating last year at this time.
Fresno State: To realize the season isn’t over even after a loss to
a team from a BCS league.
Georgia: A crowbar to open up the slammed shut window of national
title opportunity the program had with future Detroit Lion QB Matthew
Stafford under center and Knowshon Moreno in the backfield.
Georgia Tech: For Paul Johnson to get the type of next-level
athletes who can make this beautiful precision offense really sing.
Hawaii: For all the teams that book the Hawaii game as a sort of
reward trip to get a bumpy flight, a crying kid, the Sudoku in the
in-flight magazine to be half finished, and for the regular, dry roasted
peanuts and not the honey roasted variety. Upon arrival, 80 degrees and
bikinis as far as the eye can see.
Houston: Head coach Kevin Sumlin to remain under the radar when the
coaching openings come up.
Idaho: Linemen, linemen, linemen.
Illinois: A faster rowboat to catch up to the ship that sailed.
Indiana: A healthy and focused Kellen Lewis.
Iowa: Jewel Hampton to have taken good notes to be ready when Shonn
Greene jumps to the NFL.
Iowa State: A quick and convenient end to the Gene Chizik era
with some mind-numbed program stepping in to take him away. Wait, you
got that? Then shoot for the stars and ask for the Red Rider BB gun.
Kansas: Bill Snyder to come back from the cobwebs to take over
again at Kansas State … Santa visited early.
Kansas State: The right JUCO transfers to come in and mesh with all
the other JUCO transfers.
Kent State: A healthy Eugene Jarvis for a full season.
Kentucky: The incoming quarterback recruits to be good enough to
allow Randall Cobb to be used in a variety of positions.
UL Lafayette: Quick and talented replacements for QB Michael
Desormeaux and RB Tyrell Fenroy.
UL Monroe: An offensive lineman who can protect the passer and a
defensive lineman who can get to the quarterback.
Louisiana Tech: Derek Dooley, son of the legendary head coach, Vince
Dooley, to not be in line for the Georgia job if and when Mark Richt
continues to fail at getting the program over the hump.
Louisville: Todd Graham.
LSU: A damn strong football team and a quarterback whose favorite
receiver isn’t wearing the other team’s colors.
Marshall: A head coach with a defensive coaching background. No,
Maryland: More close wins (five of the seven were by eight points
Memphis: Even stronger quarterback play to take the pressure off
RB Curtis Steele.
Miami: All the superstar recruits to be superstar players sooner
Miami University: An offense that can score, a defense that can stop
the run, an offense that can stop turning the ball over, a defense that
can get into the backfield, an offense that can run the ball ...
Michigan: Pat White, Steve Slaton, Darius Reynaud, Owen Schmitt,
Ryan Stanchek, Greg Isdaner, Keilen Dykes, Reed Williams, Johnny Dingle,
and a Big East schedule.
Michigan State: Rich Rodriguez to get an extension.
Middle Tennessee: Some semblance of a running game.
Minnesota: Eric Decker to come up with that catch against
Ole Miss: Ed Orgeron to come back as the recruiting coordinator.
Mississippi State: Dan Mullen to show right away that his offense
consists of more than Tebow right, Tebow left, Tebow right.
Missouri: More players named Chase.
Navy: Ken Niumatalolo to continue to show he can keep the Paul
Johnson success going for at least a few more years before taking the
offense to a BCS program.
Nebraska: The defense to have Bo Pelini’s temper.
Nevada: A corner, a safety, another corner, and maybe another
safety for the nation’s worst pass defense.
New Mexico: Mike Locksley to have gone to the Ron Zook school of
New Mexico State: The Hal Mumme offense to be able to score more
than two points against Utah State and the defense to be able to keep
someone’s running game to under 200 yards.
North Carolina: Five minutes without hearing the name Tyler
Hansbrough. Sorry, that’s a gift for the world this college basketball
season. For the football team, one year when the key parts stay healthy
and the head coach stays put.
NC State: A decent start (The Pack started 2-6 this year and 1-5
North Texas: The supposedly high-octane Todd Dodge passing attack
to at least be above-average, and for a defense that can keep someone
under 483 yards and 48 points.
Northern Illinois: A move from the brutal MAC West to the light
and breezy MAC East, and 14 more points (The Huskies lost to Minnesota,
Western Michigan, Tennessee and Central Michigan by four points or
Northwestern: More games against mediocre teams that didn’t end up
in a bowl. (Only two of the seven wins came against FBS teams that
finished with a winning record.)
Notre Dame: A schematic advantage to figure out how to bring
Urban Meyer to South Bend.
Ohio: More players named Boo.
Ohio State: Youngstown State: Sit Beanie and start Terrelle.
Oklahoma: A double-digit Texas loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta
Bowl to put an end to the Longhorn whining/rock-solid talking point.
Oklahoma State: A defection to the Big 12 North, with the story
to be reported by Jenni Carlson.
Oregon: A quarterback who doesn’t have the life expectancy of a
Spinal Tap drummer.
Oregon State: An instruction manual: 1) Ask the choking team to
stand if it is sitting. 2) Place yourself slightly behind the standing
victim. 3) Reassure the victim that you know the Heimlich maneuver and
are going to help. 4) Place your arms around the victim’s waist. 5) Make
a fist with one hand and place your thumb toward the victim, just above
his or her belly button. 6) Grab your fist with your other hand. 7)
Deliver five upward squeeze-thrusts into the abdomen. 8) Make each
squeeze-thrust strong enough to dislodge a foreign body. 9) Understand
that your thrusts make the diaphragm move air out of the victim's lungs,
creating a kind of artificial cough. 10) Keep a firm grip on the victim,
since the team can lose consciousness and fall to the ground if the
Heimlich maneuver is not effective. 11) Repeat the Heimlich maneuver
until the run defense proves it can stop the Oregon running game.
Penn State: Joe Paterno to coach as long as he damn well wants to
if his teams continue to go 11-1 on the way to the Rose Bowl.
Pitt: A masseuse to ease the back problems of LeSean McCoy and
Scott McKillop after they carried the team for key stretches.
Purdue: An offense that can score more than seven points against
a team that doesn’t suck.
Rice: Jarett Dillard to go one day without having his first name
Rutgers: Mike Teel’s second half of the season to join forces
with his first half.
San Diego State: Brady Hoke to be on the same career path as
Urban Meyer, who went from a MAC program, to a Mountain West program, to
a superpower. At this point, the Aztecs will take a rent-a-coach if it
finally means a little bit of success.
San Jose State: An offense that’s half as good as the defense.
South Carolina: An interception that Gamecock quarterbacks don’t
like to throw.
South Florida: To be sheepish about only getting to go to the St.
Petersburg Bowl against a mediocre team like Memphis.
SMU: Greg McMackin.
Southern Miss: Stacy and Clinton to raid the team’s closet and
take care of those New Orleans Bowl uniforms. Also, for DeAndre Brown to
come back better and stronger than ever.
Stanford: A manicure after scraping the nails on Pete Carroll’s
Syracuse: Drew Brees to come and run the Doug Marrone offense.
TCU: A Ross Evans kick that goes about three feet to the left.
Temple: A freakin’ break after going 5-7 with a loss to Buffalo
on a Hail Mary, losses to Navy and Connecticut by three in overtime, a
7-3 loss to Western Michigan, and a 41-38 loss to Kent State.
Tennessee: Lane Kiffin’s wife to not be the only aspect of the
program that’s smoking hot.
Texas: A case of Stickum for Blake Gideon.
Tulsa: The David Johnson of the first 12 games of the season.
Texas A&M: R.C. Slocum.
Texas Tech: Taylor Potts to Detron Lewis to become the new Graham
Harrell to Michael Crabtree.
Toledo: Tim Beckman’s defense to be better than his Oklahoma
State defense that didn’t generate a pass rush and was awful against the
Troy: Someone to block Michael McGee.
Tulane: Health for at least one of the key skill players.
UAB: A nickname change to the UAB JoeWebbs.
UCF: A quarterback who can complete a throw. (UCF quarterbacks
completed 43% of their passes on the season and went 48-of-124 for 541
yards in the final five games.)
UCLA: A healthy alternative to Kevin Craft.
UNLV: A defensive lineman who can stop the run and another who
can get into the backfield.
USC: A year’s supply of Focus Factor with a double order for the
games when no one’s really paying attention.
Utah: Alabama to assume Utah is just some team from a non-BCS
conference … like Hawaii of last year.
Utah State: New head man Gary Andersen is half the recruiting for
the Aggies that he was for Utah.
UTEP: A win in the final two games of a season. UTEP hasn’t won
any of its final two games in a season since 1999 and since 1996 is 1-24
after November 15th.
Vanderbilt: A quarterback who can throw half as well as Jay
Cutler and an attack that can score more than 14 points on a consistent
Virginia: Former Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon to be
good enough with the Virginia offense to get a new head coaching gig
Virginia Tech: The redshirt to be taken off Tyrod Taylor from day
Wake Forest: The defense to have held Boston College to 233 yards
of total offense instead of 234.
Washington: To have gotten the right ex-USC offensive
Washington State: A run defense, a passing attack, a takeaway, a
drive without a turnover, a pass rush, an offensive lineman who can
protect the passer, a punt returner, and a running back.
West Virginia: The 2008 Michigan Wolverine highlight video.
Western Michigan: More games against Big Ten teams
Wisconsin: The ability to sit still on a two-point conversion
attempt against Michigan, the ability to defend the option in the final
moments against Ohio State, the ability to complete a pass against Penn
State, the ability to tackle Iowa’s Shonn Greene, and the ability to get
one more first down against Michigan State.
Wyoming: A completed pass and the occasional touchdown for the
nation’s worst scoring team.