* I’m not sure why I don’t care for Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops. He’s never done anything to me. But there’s something about him. Maybe it’s that he makes so much money. I hope I’m not that petty. Money isn’t that important. Maybe it’s that he’s brash. But what coach isn’t, at least to some degree? Maybe it’s because I feel he jacked around with quarterback Blake Bell, who comes from a family I know pretty well and like a lot. Whatever the reason – and maybe it’s an all-of-the-above kind of deal – I’m not a Stoops guy.
* And I don’t think he’s the right guy at Oklahoma any more, either. Folks say that Stoops is still successful, and they’re right. But at some point, the amount of success has to match the pay. And Stoops was paid on the heels of winning 60 games and losing only seven in his first five years at OU. The record has been good in the years since, but not as good. Not close to as good. So coaches like Stoops, who reap the unbelievable riches of success, are subject to more scrutiny as that success begins to wane.
* Is it fair? I think it is. Stoops gets paid to have OU in the hunt for national championships. That’s not happening. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, for Oklahoma to scale back in salary and hire another coach who the Sooners’ brass deems to be an up and comer who might return the Sooners to the kind of prominence they once enjoyed under Stoops?
* It’s what happened to Gene Stephenson as baseball coach at Wichita State. He ultimately became a victim of his own success. He was making too much money for WSU to continue down the Stephenson path. He was paid on the merits of seven College World Series appearances from 1982-96, but the Shockers didn’t make it to Omaha in the final 17 years of Stephenson’s tenure at Wichita State.
* Stoops has a contract worth nearly $5 million per year that runs through the 2017. Chances are he’s not going anywhere.
* Oregon came up short, huh? Now what if Alabama loses Saturday to LSU. A Florida State-Ohio State national championship game?
* Baylor? Good team, but I’m not blown away. I don’t think this Baylor team is as good as the 2012 version and certainly not in a class with the RGIII teams. But the Bears look plenty good enough to win a Big 12 championship.
* Kansas State has a chance to beat Texas Tech on Saturday in Lubbock and run the table to finish 8-4. My question: What will it mean?
* If Kansas goes winless in the toothless Big 12 this season, when will the Jayhawks win a football game? Oh my, I’m writing about KU football. I apologize. Yes, I know it’s basketball season.
* Speaking of KU basketball, I’m headed to Lawrence tonight to see the Jayhawks take on Louisiana-Monroe. I’m curious to see how Bill Self molds this young team with so much talent. I’m expecting a lot of early-season mistakes by the Jayhawks, but because of a demanding non-conference schedule there’s not a lot of room for early missteps.
* I will experience a first come Monday night at Koch Arena. I have never covered a game that started at 11:59 p.m., the scheduled tip between Wichita State and Western Kentucky. I’m trying to figure out how to prepare for the game. Do I take a nap Monday afternoon? Yes, I think so. What time do I get up? Maybe 5 or 6? Will that make me lethargic during the game? Or more lethargic? That’s my fear. I’m a little intimidated.
* I had my first meal at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse at Kellogg and Rock on Thursday night. Nice place. Great atmosphere. Oustanding bar area. I’ll be back.
* These windy days are brutal. And I’m not even out in the wind. But I hear it howl as I work on this blog. I have lived in Kansas my entire life (which is a long, long time) and I’ve never gotten used to this ridiculous wind.
* What’s wrong with the Wichita Thunder? I know it’s early, but this team hasn’t been very competitive in the season’s first couple of weeks. Even with the key injuries the team is attempting to work through, it’s odd to see the Thunder start so slowly.
* I had an argument/discussion with a guy last night about quarterbacks Matthew Stafford and Cam Newton and which guy we’d rather have. I took Newton, predicting he’ll win at least one Super Bowl during his career. The other guy, a Lions fan, went with Stafford. Sorry, I just don’t see it. Stafford puts up huge numbers at times, but he doesn’t strike he as the kind of QB who can win a championship. For some reason, Newton does. I look forward to Carolina putting more weapons around him in the future.
* I find myself counting down the days for the Kansas City-Denver game a week from Sunday in Denver. I’m not making any predictions just yet. My early feel, though, isn’t a positive one for Kansas City. But I’m still working this game out in my head.
* Given the choice of watching NBA or Arizona Fall League baseball the past few nights, I’ve gone back and forth. Part of the reason is because some Cardinals prospects have been on television. But another part is that I’m just a baseball guy. I can’t help myself.
* I have watched enough of the NBA to say that the Indiana Pacers are my early season pick to win a championship.
* I sure hope I can talk my wife into seeing 12 Years a Slave this weekend. Based on what I’ve read about this movie, it’s going to win the Oscar for best picture. I said the same thing after reading the early reviews on Lincoln last year. Wouldn’t it be something if movies based on slavery won back-to-back Oscars in the years 2013 and 2014? That’s remarkable.
* I can’t get enough John F. Kennedy remembrance. I was in the third grade when JFK was assassinated and the memory is still fresh. It was very confusing and I was scared, not just that a president had been killed but that my parents were so distraught. I was too young to make sense of it, but I know it was terrifying.
* What is the hook for Kansas State basketball this season? Is there one? Anybody? I sure hope something interesting develops with the Wildcats.
* I hope this wind dies down before the high school playoff games tonight.
* Speaking of wind, I’m finished here. Have a wonderful weekend and please stay in touch. I consider us close.