Above all, new coach Joe Moorhead wants a seamless transition from the Dan Mullen era, and because Nick Fitzgerald (presumably) still will be around next fall, that wish should be relatively easy for Santa to grant. A secondary wish is for a seamless transition when it comes to recruiting for Moorhead. After all, he’s going from recruiting Philadelphia, Pa., to recruiting Philadelphia, Miss.
Barry Odom simply is asking for an increasing level of comfort with his defense. That unit made strides this season, with the yards-per-game average dropping almost 55 yards from 2016 (from 479.7 to 425.3). Another 50 or so yards would make Odom much more comfortable. Truthfully, like a child who genuinely likes every toy he gets for Christmas, even if others think some of them are lame, Odom won’t care if his defense isn’t considered top of the line; if it’s average, he’ll be fine.
Matt Luke knows he received an early present – two, actually. One is that the NCAA investigation is over; while Ole Miss didn’t get what it wanted in terms of a result, it still is over and that is big. The second thing is that Luke was named permanent coach. Bottom line: Santa ain’t visiting Oxford and Luke is just fine with that.
Santa has looked into it and thinks Will Muschamp simply has made copies of his Christmas 2010 “wish list,” from when Muschamp had just been hired at Florida, and sends the same one over and over. It says, “Offense, please.” Santa wants some effort put into those wish lists, which may be the biggest reason he never has come through for Muschamp.
Santa feels really bad for Vols fans, who have lived through a decade of mediocre football under three coaches. Thus, he’d like to grant the wishes of new coach Jeremy Pruitt (there are a lot of them, with the main one being a defense that shows some toughness). But remember that Pruitt still is performing his duties as Alabama’s defensive coordinator, and granting Nick Saban’s wish (which Pruitt would share in, obviously) and granting Pruitt’s might be giving Pruitt a bit too much for one Christmas.
New coach Jimbo Fisher already has struck it rich (literally and figuratively), and Santa has to be careful not to give too many gifts to one coach. But Fisher is asking anyway. Fisher’s offense is as quarterback-centric as any in college football, and he certainly wouldn’t mind high-level quarterback play for the Aggies in 2018.
Unlike most coaches in the SEC, Derek Mason isn’t one for elaborate wishes. He simply wants a winning season. Think of this way: While other SEC teams want shiny toys and top-of-the-line electronics (i.e., national titles and the like), the Commodores have a huge need for the basics, like underwear, socks and T-shirts (i.e., a winning season). Alas, Vandy hasn’t had a winning record since 2013 and has had just three since 1982; given that history, that’s a tough wish to grant, even for a guy who delivers gifts all over the world in one night.
(You can follow Mike Huguenin on Twitter @MikeHuguenin)
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