Randy Hollis: These sports stories could steal the spotlight in 2012

Published: Saturday, Dec. 31 2011 5:00 p.m. MST

September — BYU crushes those "other" Cougars from Washington State in its season-opener. ... Utah State knocks off Utah in what was once their annual "Battle of the Brothers." And with the Utes struggling on offense, they decide to take the redshirt off freshman quarterback Chase Hansen. ... New Weber State head football coach John L. Smith wins his first game with the Wildcats when they stun Fresno State on the road.

October — Urban Meyer suffers heartburn — and irritating pain a little further south than his chest — after the all-powerful, all-knowing NCAA says his Ohio State football program may be in line for further sanctions after discovering that a Buckeye player once received a two-for-one discount at Arby's without actually having a coupon. What's more, the player asked for extra Horsey Sauce and secretly stuck some in his coat pocket.

November — Real Salt Lake caps a tremendous season by capturing its second MLS Cup in four years, knocking off the defending champion L.A. Galaxy in a 2-1 thriller. And, due to increasing demand for tickets, RSL owner Dave Checketts announces plans to expand Rio Tinto Stadium by an additional 8,000 seats. .... In an answer to many non-believers and naysayers' prayers, Tim Tebow abruptly announces his NFL retirement to become a minister.

December — The BYU, Utah and Utah State football teams all land in bowl games, with the Cougars playing in the Poinsettia Bowl, the Utes find themselves in the Las Vegas Bowl and the Aggies go to something called the Spuds, Buds 'n Duds Bowl (formerly the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which has taken on additional corporate sponsors featuring a Boise brewery and a popular women's clothing line). ... Weber State reaches the Football Championship Subdivision (it was so much easier when we simply called it Division I-AA) national semifinals. ... And a Deseret News sports writer is reprimanded after offending hundreds of readers with his annual "Sports Predictions for 2013" column.

email: rhollis@desnews.com

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