Am I schizophrenic or scatterbrained? Whatever, I can’t pick just one topic. There’s just too much out there to think about!
What’s wrong with the Kansas Jayhawk basketball team? Not much really, other than there are a heck of a lot of really good basketball teams out there and a bunch of them are in the Big 12. Jayhawk fans may lament this but other teams have closed the gap on Kansas. The Jayhawks are just as good as ever BUT Iowa State, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Baylor are close. Really close. Road games are mine fields. Any team that wins four road games in conference play will be in the trophy room!
They say it can’t be done but right there it is, with the NCAA logo stamped right at the top. A national collegiate football playoff tournament that involves 24 teams. The ONLY difference is that it is for the FCS schools instead of our “Big Boys”, the Bowl Series schools. The FCS bracket started play on Nov. 28, and concluded with the national championship game on Jan. 9. North Dakota State-yes, the same school that defeated Kansas State, Kansas and Colorado in recent years-defeated Jacksonville State 37-10. It was,incredibly, their fifth straight national championship. No cries of “too many games,” “they miss too much class” or “too hard physically on the players” are heard, simply because it isn’t true. Don’t tell me it can’t be done with the top schools.
The Central Plains boys left no doubt that they are the class of basketball in the Golden Belt area as they dominated St.John in a 51-38 victory in the Mid-Winter Classic. That was preceded by a solid win over Dodge City the week before. Hoisington surprised by winning their own Winter Jam title in an upset over Minneapolis. The Cardinals are not a great shooting team but they are athletic.
Is it just me or does ESPN spend an inordinate amount of time trying to promote, to convince us, that freshman Ben Simmons of LSU is the best college basketball player on the planet? They can hype him all they want but he still can’t make a jump shot. Besides, he hasn’t been able to make the Tigers anything more than mediocre. Athletic? Yes. Good ball handler? Yes. Good rebounder? Yes. Best in the country? NYET! You know my feelings about labeling anyone or anything the “best.” There is simply no way to pick “the best” college basketball player. Too many good ones, a few great ones, not one!
Best name for a football coach? How about Dabo Swinney? Swinney took Clemson to the national championship game. He LOOKS like a football coach! Dabo. Don’t you want to name your kid Dabo?
As we near national signing day for football recruits we notice that not much has changed. Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Stanford are rumored to be putting together the best recruiting classes. “The rich get richer and.....” you know how it goes. Meanwhile, Kansas State, as usual, gets no mention as Bill Snyder quietly puts together another class of “no-names” and walk-ons that in a couple of years will compete with the big boys.
The NCAA has given the Big 12 permission to hold a league championship game in football. I hope not. It’s silly and counterproductive. After a round-robin season you want to take the first place team and the second place team and make them play each other again? Really? The only time it would make sense is if two teams tied for the league title and they held another game to break the tie. Doesn’t happen often.
Just because things are inevitable does not mean that they are good.
Charles Tabler is a contributing writer from Larned.