At this time of the year, this column is typically devoted to reading my blue and white crystal ball and a tongue-in-cheek look at what's ahead for Penn State the following year.
We will forego that today in hopes of returning to the format in 2011.
We're deferring because of the rumors swirling around the Nittany Lion football program, Joe Paterno's future and a possible succession plan.
My Christmas was interrupted by a call from a friend convinced she had a breaking news story.
"Did you hear JoePa will retire after the Outback Bowl, and Tony Dungy will be the coach?" she gasped. "My sources say it's a done deal."
First of all, that rumor, along with an exaggerated version of JoePa's physical condition, have flooded the Nittany Nation via the Internet for the past few weeks.
The rumor that the Florida game will be his last is certainly possible since he surpassed the 400th victory milestone last month, he's now 84, and he presumably would want to walk away while he still can.
To that end, it doesn't take Jean Dixon to predict that the end of the Paterno Era is near. Whether it's this week, this month, this offseason or 2011, well, he'll let us know.
More intriguing is the talk about Dungy as the successor.
It may be the sexiest rumor to hit State College since the early 1980s, when Roger Staubach supposedly was coming to PSU as offensive coordinator.
That didn't turn out to be true, and this one may not, either. But truth and the Internet aren't a match.
The university has denied any discussions have taken place, JoePa says he'd like to come back next year, and insiders I've spoken with have all but dismissed the Dungy possibility.
Then again, they may not be included in the inner circle.
School president Graham Spanier will see this transition and ultimate hiring as his legacy, and it will be.
Based on the aggressiveness and grand vision the school used to bring in Cael Sanderson and start a hockey program, do you really think Penn State won't be pro-active here? Do you really think it will sit back, asleep in an easy chair with no aces in the hole, until JoePa gives the word?
Despite very limited college coaching and recruiting experience - he spent one year on the University of Minnesota staff before starting his NFL coaching career, which ended in 2008 - Dungy is on a very short list of people who could succeed Paterno and be universally accepted.
He's a Super Bowl champion as a coach (Colts) and a player (Steelers) who's also known as a humanitarian.
He's African-American, and Spanier recently spoke of the lack of minorities in head coaching positions in Division I football and basketball.
He's a huge name without the baggage of a huge ego and, though this could be dicey, he's someone who may even be open to keeping worthy members of the staff for continuity and a recruiting boost.
And Dungy's mere presence would be a TV ratings bonanza, much like Penn State has enjoyed with Paterno, evidenced by an otherwise unworthy 7-5 team hooking up with Florida on Jan. 1.
No matter when JoePa retires, it's hard to imagine Penn State could do any better than Tony Dungy so this is one rumor I hope turns out to be true.
Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.