As you know (or perhaps you don’t), Friday is kind of a potpourri day here on the blog. If I think it, I write it. There’s very little editing process that goes on inside my head.
By the way, I hope you’ll all take time Sunday to fill out my 16th annual Reader Survey when it appears in the newspaper and online at kansas.com. I always have a lot of fun with the survey and it might or might not tell us something about what people are thinking about sports in Wichita and the surrounding communities.
You can do the survey online or be more old-fashioned in your survey-filling-out ways. Whatever works for you.
Now, on to other things.
- I’m going to the West-South game tonight at Northwest as a fan. I’m really proud of my long-time friend, Weston Schartz, for returning to West, where he built one of the City League’s best programs during the late-1980s through the early 2000s. Schartz can coach and he’s decided to helping West, which has been really down for a decade, return to some of its previous glory.
- If South Carolina is the No. 9 college football team in the country, then this country is in real trouble (football-wise, that is).
- Mike Leach’s Washington State team scored six points in the coach’s debut last night against BYU. I watch some of the first half with much anticipation. It turned into a waste of time. Sports can do that to you, sometimes. You’ve got to be careful.
- Is it really the last day of August? That’s a rhetorical question. I’m not losing it. So stop worrying.
- I think we’ll go out to watch the Shocker volleyball team play Tennessee on Sunday afternoon. I used to think watching volleyball games was a waste of time, but I’ve come to enjoy the sport. And I admire what Chris Lamb has been able to do with the Wichita State program. It seems like people are starting to take him a bit for granted and I would advise you not to do that.
- I see where “Paranormal 4″ is coming out on Oct. 19. I’m so, so there.
- I’m looking forward to rolling into Lawrence on Saturday for my first college football game of the season. Even if the Jayhawks are playing the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. Great nickname but not much of a team. If it’s a close game, I’ll be surprised. And dismayed for the Jayhawks, who should win this one by a margin of about four touchdowns.
- What am I going to be looking for from the Jayhawks? Well, new quarterback Dayne Crist will be interesting. He’s going to play one season at Kansas in a season where the Jayhawks are everybody’s pick to finish last in the Big 12. I love that dynamic and I’m sure Crist, a transfer from Notre Dame where he was recruited by KU coach Charlie Weis, thinks he has something to prove.
- KU’s defense, the worst in the country last season (look it up), has to be better. Has to be. Under new defensive coordinator Dave Campo, it will be better. But will it be good enough to keep Big 12 competitors from moving the football up and down the field? We’ll start to find out on Sept. 15 when the Jayhawks are at home against Big 12 newcomer TCU.
- Some other Fall movies I’m looking forward to in the next couple of months: The Words, with Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons and Olivia Wilde; The Cold of the Night, with Bruce Willis, Henry Cavill and Sigourney Weaver; End of Watch, with Make Gyllenhaal; Trouble With the Curve, with Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and John Goodman; Won’t Back Down, with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis and Holly Hunter; Butter, with Jennifer Garner and my guy Ty Burrell from Modern Family; The Paperboy, with Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey and Nicole Kidman; Argo, with Ben Afflect, the great Bryan Cranston and John Goodman; Seven Psychopaths, with Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson (how could this movie not be good?); Smashed, with Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul; Alex Cross, with Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox and Edward Burns; Killing Them Softly, with Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta; Cloud Atlas, with Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, directed by the Wachowski siblings; and The Sessions, with John Hawkes, William H. Macy and Helen Hunt.
- This season of St. Louis Cardinals baseball has taken its toll on me. It’s such an up and down team. I’d prefer following a club that wins 100-110 games every season. Is that doable?
- I don’t really have a mood either way on the Penn State football team. I certainly don’t hold any of the current players or coaches accountable for the terrible things that happened in years past. But I’m not quite ready to be a Penn State fan, either. It’s going to take time for me to get the terrible taste of the Jerry Sandusky scandal out of my mouth. Until then, I’m neutral.
- How are the Oakland A’s and Baltimore Orioles doing it? Amazing stuff. And to those people who say it’s always the same teams in baseball, it isn’t.
- Some college football predictions for Week One: Kansas State 45, Missouri State 10; Kansas 47, South Dakota State 14; Michigan State 24, Boise State 21; Notre Dame 35, Navy 20; Iowa State 31, Tulsa 21; Alabama 24, Michigan 13; Clemson 28, Auburn 24.
- I will be shocked if replacement referees are working when the NFL regular season starts next week. Shocked. And disappointed, since the stated goal of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is to improve safety for players. Putting guys out there who shouldn’t be out there to call these games does not improve safety. It’s kind of like putting a 12-year-old behind the wheel of a Ferrari, isn’t it?
- Thanks for reading. I’m enjoying doing the blog again.