Friday musings

* You know what I haven’tdone in a while? I haven’t read a book in probably two years. That is shameful, so please don’t pile on. But I’m in the mood to read a book and would value your suggestions.

* Not just sports books, either. I like a good sports book as much as the next guy, but I’m also interested in other things. Many other things. Most other things, in fact. I like to think of myself as well rounded, in fact. Almost a renaissance man. But I tend to give myself too much credit.

* I like to karaoke, and recently I did the song “Baker Street” by the late Gerry Rafferty. It was an enjoyable experience (for me at least), and I’m looking forward to singing that song again. Rafferty is underrated. Listen to some of his stuff sometime if you haven’t already.

* I don’t expect Kansas State to have much trouble with Texas on Saturday night in Manhattan. I’m looking for a three-touchdown win. It feels like the Longhorns have checked it in for the season and Kansas State has a lot still to play for.

* My prediction: 38-17, K-State.

* Kansas, meanwhile, finishes its season at West Virginia. My first thought is that going to West Virginia is a long trip to finish up a season. And if KU loses, which it probably will, it will be a long trip home.

* I would give West Virginia a C-minus for its first season of Big 12 football. TCU gets a B-minus. Neither program has changed the landscape of the conference.

* What would Kansas do if presented with the opportunity to leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten, which is rapidly growing out of its 10 into more like a 14 or 16? It’s an interesting topic since KU doesn’t really fit the football-crazed mold that conferences are morphing into. KU, I believe, should be a viable football program, but I still think there is a place for schools that emphasize basketball, whether college presidents and athletic directors agree with me or not.

* It’s not like the Big Ten is some pud football conference, either. A little down on its luck this season, for sure.

* Would KU fit in the Big Ten? It’s a legitimate question. There are reports, rumors, innuendo – call it what you will – that the Big Ten could have its eyes on Kansas. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But it makes some sense. And wouldn’t this basketball season be a whole lot more interesting for Kansas fans if the Jayhawks were in the Big Ten with the likes of Indiana, Michigan and Ohio State?

* I was always dead set against the possibility that Kansas and Kansas State could be split up when all of this conference realignment is behind us, if it ever is behind us. But as time passes, I’m not sure I’m as adamant about this as I used to be. If the Big Ten does have interest in Kansas, I think Kansas should listen to the offer and not concern itself with the fortunes of Kansas State.

*If KU did leave the Big 12 for the Big Ten, I would hope Kansas State would get an invite, too. The best thing for athletics in the state of Kansas is for those two schools to be forever-associated. But I don’t think it’s mandatory. I think each could survive on its own.

* It is a little scary to think about, though, isn’t it?

* Meanwhile, there are some Wichita State fans who feel a little left out in all of the realignment. To which I say: Consider yourselves lucky. I understand those who wish the Shockers had a football program. I feel your pain, even. But the Shockers are in a stable conference in the Missouri Valley, at least as stable as a conference can be in these tumultuous times. Are there things about the Valley I would like to change? Of course. But that can be said about every conference.

* The Valley is a much better than average basketball conference. And for WSU, basketball is what matters most.

* Despite all the football fun provided in Manhattan this season, Kansas is a basketball state. There’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make us second-class citizens. We need to embrace our basketball heritage and run the fast break with it. Basketball is what defines us as Kansans, more than any other sport.

* But it’s nice to have some great football, too. Thanks, K-State.

* Seeing that former Shocker pitcher Mike Pelfrey has been non-tendered by the New York Mets. Pelfrey, who in May had Tommy John surgery on his elbow, is now a free agent. It’ll be interesting to see which team goes after him. I suspect it will be a one-year offer loaded with incentives since Pelfrey won’t be 100 percent by the start of the season. Kansas City, perhaps?

* The Stiefel Theater in Salina has announced some of the acts that will be performing in that wonderful venue during the first 4 1/2 months of 2013. Count me in for the Doobie Brothers and Chicago and I’m a strong maybe for the Beach Boys.

* The Who is playing the BOK Center in Tulsa on Valentine’s Day. Actually, Valentine’s Night. The Who, as far as I know, doesn’t play daytime concerts. Anyway, that’s one I want to go to. Will I? Stay tuned. I don’t always do what I want to do, unfortunately. But if we all did exactly what we wanted to do, how long until anarchy prevails? So restraint can be a good thing.

* I’m rambling.

* Thanks again for reading my blog. As I told one of the Eagle editors today, this blog is one of my favorite things to do. There was about a two-year period of time when I really had no idea what a blog should be. I’m still not sure I know. But it’s fun for me to do and I hope at least somewhat enjoyable for you to read. Have a great weekend.