Cougs: 20 crimson-hued New Year's resolutions

IT'S JUST NOT as fun making New Year's resolutions only for one's self. Here then, is some of what we'd like to see in 2014 -- 20 New Year's resolutions focused in and around Planet Coug, the Pac-12 conference and college football and basketball as a whole.

Cougar special teams: Return a kickoff for a touchdown for the first time since 2003.

Marcus Mason: Lead the Pac-12 conference in all-purpose yards.

Darius Lemora: Be the breakout safety all Cougar fans are hoping for in that first season out on the college gridiron.

Connor Halliday: Take an education from 2013 and turn it into a corner-turning, fewer-interceptions, lots-of-TDs-and-wins kind of senior season out on the Palouse.

Xavier Cooper: Keep the pads low and become one of the best d-linemen in the Pac-12 in 2014.

Spokane: Embrace Washington State on football Saturdays.

Ken Bone: Pull off a few upsets in Pac-12 play, exceed expectations of a last-place conference finish and wind up around the middle of the Pac-12 or better.

Bill Moos: In a Phil Knight/T. Boone Pickens kind of game-changing way, go out and land Paul Allen in Year 4.

Mike Leach: Continue to show recruiting prowess, become that Pac-12 team nobody wants to play in 2014 and continue upward path by bringing a winning season and a bowl game win to the Cougar Faithful in Year 3.

Mike Leach II: Answer football-related questions with football-related answers in an insightful way that will please WSU alumni, and retire the phrase; "We're excited…"

Dave Yost: As Leach's eye in the sky, become an authority down to the second on clock management as it pertains in all aspects to the 2014 Cougs, as sometimes it's an assistant's job to help his head coach even when he doesn't want it. And regularly talk to the media this season. It can only help the Cougs with alums and indirectly with recruits, such is Yost's personality.

Larry Scott: Fix the officiating problems in Pac-12 football and basketball – yes, the Pac-12 Commissioner has done a remarkable job in so many areas but this one continues to be in dire need of a fix, rather than a public relations talk-a-thon defense.

NCAA Basketball: Revisit the inconsistently applied hand-checking rules (and others) and revamp the entire process by which hoops rules changes come into being.

NCAA Rules Working Group (Football): After a phalanx of missteps by the RWG and their predecessor over the years, including some in 2013 that the RWG spent more than a year on (proposals that in part would have led to unlimited texts and phone calls to recruits, 600-page media guides, recruiting personnel departments at college football "have's") there's really only one resolution that makes sense: Fire yourselves. And then do what you can to help put in place a new group with a better grasp of how rules changes would play out in the real world.

Media: Less idolatry, less blather about "heroes" and "geniuses," more focus on just the game itself.

Steve Sarkisian: Start doing good deeds now. Because when hubris finally comes to visit it's going to be a tough slog after poaching UW commits, publicly stating you'd try to hire Ed Orgeron in a move that came across as self-serving, insincere and transparent, plus about 27 other missteps since taking the UW job. A good place to start would be to realize you're actually not the smartest guy in the room.

Tosh Lupoi: Switch to tea.

Bill O'Brien: He's not even close to being the first coach to lie to recruits, parents and others about his future coaching plans, while all the while having preached ad nauseam about trust, family, community and longevity. But if O'Brien can serve as an impetus for change, perhaps as one of the many reasons why an early signing period in football would provide more positives than negatives, then some good may still come from his move to the NFL after two seasons at Penn State.

NCAA Scheduling: While still allowing schools and conferences the freedom to craft their schedules, preclude schools from being able to regularly schedule seven and even eight home games. Also make it an NCAA rule that schools that want to buy their way out of home-and-homes have to pay a minimum of $3 million. For any who still bail, dictate half of that $3M buyout goes to the school cancelled upon, and the other half is donated to concussion-related research, support and help for former student-athletes who need it.

Cougar Fans: Focus (just a little) less on the negatives when they occur. More importantly... Enjoy the good times more.

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