The Links
Day of Happy Returns

Gary Pinkel :: AP
In the spirit of holiday giving and as a reward for bringing the No. 7 Tigers back to national prominence -- Missouri awarded head football coach Gary Pinkel a one-year contract extension and a $550,000 raise , meaning he'll rake in $1.85 million a year through 2012. Now that he is the third-highest-paid coach in the Big 12 (behind Bob Stoops and Mack Brown), maybe Pinkel will shell out some dough to help fight Columbia's mold problem, or to support Senator Claire McCaskill's political initiatives as thanks for her BCS-outrage.
Urinal Going Once
Sure, it would be cool to come away from the Orange Bowl pre-wrecking stadium auction with a goal post, scoreboard or seat. But wouldn't it be way, way cooler to score an Orange Bowl food preparation table or urinal?
A Rivalry Renewed
Coaches aren't the only ones getting richer. Texas A&M and Arkansas are close to signing a six-to eight-year contract for a non-conference series at the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium that will guarantee each school $5 million annually. And bonus! The game will likely be played in late September so fans can attend the State Fair.
Epic Eye Poke
Maybe college basketball players should start wearing goggles like female lacrosse players to avoid eye-swipes like this one, suffered by BYU player Jonathan Tavernari.
And The Winner Is
More than 80 college critics participated in UWIRE's first-ever year-end poll , which asked the music and film critics to rank their top-10 albums and movies of the year. Radiohead's In Rainbows and No Country for Old Men were the runaway winners. The message: College kids like when they can get music online for free, and when a seemingly mundane thing like an air gun is used as a vicious murder weapon.
Gamblers Wanted

Sin City's favorite abstainer. :: Josh Holmberg/Icon SMI
The money-makers of Las Vegas probably weren't too excited about those alcohol and gambling-abstaining BYU fans making yet another trip for the Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, but at least BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall wasn't lying to himself or anyone else about it.
Rich Brooks The Second?
Think your inbox is full? At least you aren't getting countless e-mails intended for your school's head football coach because you two share the same name, like the other Rich Brooks at Kentucky.
Pop Culture Nugget
Apparently floating in a pool on a crucifix and eating yogurt in a sexually-suggestive manner while people take your picture is not acceptable if you're the newly-crowned Miss France. Valerie Begue, 22, was ordered to step down after the photos, taken three year ago, were republished in a French magazine.
Odds and Ends
Nick Saban is fine after crashing his car into a tree ...Northeastern needs to shovel more snow...College coaches get more than just satisfaction from winning Bowl games...Keep your holiday spirits high by elfing yourself (it's not as dirty as it sounds)
Videos of the Day
Loyola Marymount Mud Wrestling

Girls. Kegs. Mud. Good alone, better together.

New School Tetris

These kids in Finland turned the side of their dorm into a massive Tetris board. Talk about reinventing a classic.

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