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

Published: Saturday, Dec. 31 2011 8:37 p.m. MST

Well, sports fans, there you have it — another year shot to ... heck.

And it was a pretty interesting one at that, what with all the Jimmermania, the sudden departures of Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and the team's top player Deron Williams, the rise-and-out (not to be confused with rise-and-shout) saga of BYU quarterback Jake Heaps, world championships for the Packers, Mavericks, Bruins and Cardinals, and scandalous national stories out of Penn State and Syracuse universities that rocked those programs and shook our sensibilities.

And now a glorious new year is upon us, giving us time to not only reflect on what's happened in the past but, perhaps more importantly, try to make the coming year an even better one.

With that goal in mind, here are my annual "Sports Predictions for 2012" — a list of things that perhaps could happen and, in some cases, definitely should happen during the next 12 months:

January — LSU's football team wins the BCS national championship with a 17-14 victory over Alabama, which is a good thing because if the Crimson Tide had won, 'Bama coach Nick Saban's gigantic, over-inflated ego would no longer have fit in the Superdome. ... Jazz coach Tyron Corbin sets a franchise record for most perspiration expended during a postgame interview.

February — Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers to their second straight Super Bowl title with a 35-27 victory over the New England Patriots. After the game, delighted Packer fans can be heard asking "Brett who?" and "Bart who?" ... During the Super Bowl halftime show, Madonna thankfully does not suffer from any wardrobe malfunctions, although a member of the Cirque Du Soleil performing troupe does suffer a pulled hamstring and is subsequently listed as day-to-day.

March — The BYU and Weber State men's basketball teams each nail down berths in the NCAA Tournament, while Utah State winds up playing in the NIT. As for the University of Utah, well, the Utes are just glad their forgettable 6-25 season is finally over.

April — Albert Pujols hits three homers and drives in seven runs on opening day for the Los Angeles Angels, upon which team owner Arte Moreno proudly proclaims Pujols' contract as "the best $254 million I ever spent." ... The youthful Utah Jazz, a gritty group of role players without a true superstar, shock a lot of so-called experts by sneaking into the NBA playoffs with the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.

May — Three members of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, which has been prohibited from drinking beer in the clubhouse during games after last year's ugly late-season allegations, get caught smoking dope in the dugout.

June — With rumors of his romance and pending engagement to Kim Kardashian swirling around him, Tiger Woods wins the U.S. Open. ... After knocking off LeBron James and the Miami Heat in their Eastern Conference finals showdown, Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls fall to league MVP Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA Finals. Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, benched after a poor performance in Game 5, sits out Game 7 of the championship series with badly bruised feelings.

July — The trial begins for former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who faces more than 50 charges of sexual abuse against young boys. Las Vegas oddsmakers give his defense team roughly the same chance for success that General Custer had at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.?

August — In the 2012 Summer Olympics at London, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and American swimmer Michael Phelps fail to match their amazing performances from four years ago. But wrestler and "Biggest Loser" reject Rulon Gardner brings home another gold medal. ... BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall stuns reporters covering the team when he cracks a hilarious joke during fall camp. The team trainer checks to see if Bronco might have a fever.

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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