It’s been a long time since I’ve responded to questions, so it’s time for another emptying of the sports mailbag.
Q — Were there any surprises to you about the All-KCAC football selections?
A – I respect all the coaches in the conference, but I have to take exception to them in leaving off McPherson College defensive back Braden Bush from the first team. He led the KCAC in interceptions (6), return yardage (226) and tied for first in pick-sixes (2). He also was sixth in the conference in tackles (90), which is normally a spot occupied by linebackers. Sure, Mac’s defense played more snaps than any in the conference, which gave him more opportunities, but the guy was everywhere. He shouldn’t be punished for the team’s 0-10 record or the fact he's only a sophomore and has to "wait his turn."
Q — With the KCAC opening conference basketball play tonight, how do you feel about having 11 teams this year, which means one team is off each night?
A — Can't stand it. The KCAC should have stayed at 10 schools, plain and simple. Nothing against Oklahoma Wesleyan and next year's new team, York College, but they're in Oklahoma and Nebraska, respectively. The "K" in KCAC should forever stand for Kansas. I've been all over the KCAC this fall and I have found no schools that have a positive feedback about the additions.
Q — Do you go along with analyst and former Super Bowl champion quarterback Trent Dilfer when he says “the NFL has never been worse?”
A — I don’t think he’s that far off. I think a lot of it has to do with so many injuries taking out the game’s stars. Every Sunday it seems like a half-dozen good players go down and it’s watering down the product. Very few teams can run the ball anymore and it’s become a passing league. I’ve been watching the NFL for 50 years now and other than the Chiefs, I can take it or leave it when the other teams play. It also doesn’t help when the Dallas Cowboys are lousy because they are still considered “America’s Team” — with apologies to “Loyal Royals.”
Q — Staying on that same theme, what about the NBA?
A — I fear for the league when LeBron James retires. I loved the NBA in the days of Magic, Bird and Showtime. Now, it’s an ugly, grunt-and-groan league as players put their heads down and charge to the basket hoping to be fouled. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ll watch a complete NBA game this season until it gets to the finals.
Q — Now that Royalsmania has died down, what do you see for next year?
A — Well, I definitely won’t make the same mistake of picking them fourth in their division next year as I did this year. I think they have a lot of tough decisions to make, especially with Alex Gordon. My gut tells me they’ll get something worked about, but I won’t be surprised if they let him walk. But when Colby Rasmus gets one year at id="mce_marker"5.8 million, that tells me baseball’s salary structure is all out of whack. I really would like to see Ben Zobrist back because he was the missing piece to the puzzle. If Gordon goes, they could play Zobrist in left and return Omar Infante to second base. He’s serviceable and I think maybe this year was an aberration at the plate.
Q — What do you think of the new college basketball rules changes?
A — The four quarters for women is a novel idea, but you’re still going to have a ton of free throws shot. On the men’s side, I haven’t covered a game this year that’s been less than 2 hours. The extra 5 seconds off the shot clock makes a difference as it means more possessions, which should favor the better teams. But already there’s been a passel of upsets, which makes the sport unpredictable.
Q — What was your initial thought when Ronda Rousey lost her first fight on Saturday to Holly Holm?
A — Mike Tyson. All I could see in my mind was Mike Tyson being knocked silly by Buster Douglas, and Tyson looking dazed and confused as he scrambled for his mouthpiece. Rousey's invincibility has forever been stripped and if she should lose to Holm again, my guess is she's off to do movies for good.
Q — Are you good with Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame as the top four teams in the college football playoffs?
A — Notre Dame? No way. Oklahoma would take out the Irish in a heartbeat. The Fighting Irish are still a ratings draw, the only reason they're this high.