The return of Tiger Woods (left) and Phil Mickelson to the Greenbrier Classic would certainly make 2013 special. It would be even more special if they both made the cut this time.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- SO WHY exactly did you celebrate New Year's Eve? To honor your household budget being thrown off the "fiscal cliff"? To see the price of pop at the vending machine at work hit $1.25?
Or did you try to dull the pain? OK, I get that.
But I do not open this new year as a humbug, nor do I come to set resolutions. I see a bright 2013, especially if some of the following comes to pass:
Conference realignment continues to be entertaining. Let's see ... Boise State has just told the Big East "thanks but no thanks," which means San Diego State shall be close behind.
The Big East will live on because, hey, Mike Aresco wants to keep drawing a paycheck. As he has shown, he will cast a wide net and see who lives, sort of like the 1990s East Coast Hockey League model.
Do NOT be surprised if Aresco makes a run at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, which has yet to play a varsity football game. Then again, the 49ers will be able to whip Tulane by 2015.
Marshall basketball players learn the fine art of drawing the charging foul. Save for Chris Martin, I have trouble recalling another Thundering Herd player doing so this season.
We're not talking about European soccer flopping here. We're talking about getting in position, getting feet set and taking contact from an opponent who thinks he has a free ticket to the rack - such as Kentucky enjoyed against the Herd recently.
Oh where art thou, Tirrell Baines?
The return to the Marshall lineup, and subsequent good behavior, of DeAndre Kane. Yes, Elijah Pittman is impressive and D.D. Scarver can shoot off the catch, but the Thundering Herd offense treads quicksand without the hand-in-cast Kane.
College basketball and football coaches re-emphasize the recruitment of athletes who attend ONE high school for four years and maybe ONE junior college or prep school. I'm guessing six different transcripts sets off sirens in the dark recesses of the NCAA Initial Eligibility Center.
Reduction of classifications in West Virginia high school athletics. Two is plenty, and one too many in several sports - tennis and golf come to mind. Another pipe dream, I know.
A pink driver shows up at the Greenbrier Classic. That would come attached to Bubba Watson, who was one of the game's great characters before his nearly impossible shot at the 2012 Masters.
That's not a pipe dream. The hunch here is Jim Justice will land Watson, whose family will enjoy a weekend at the resort without off-course fan stalking (yep, that has happened).
Should Tiger and Phil return to Old White, they make the cut for once. One of them would discover a 62 or 63 in the scoring-friendly third round, and then we would have some Sunday fun.
Then again, I'd "settle" for a final Sunday twosome of Watson and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, the latter a consistent Classic contender and overall good guy.
Conference USA, still in one piece with realignment, survives bowl "silly season."