Where would you rank Bob Stoops for active college football coaches?
I think he's gone from top 5 to now top 10.
Best OU defensive player going into the 2013 season?
Aaron Colvin. He was the best OU defender in 2012.
ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL AROUND THE NATION
I hate to even ask, but it appears conference realignment is back. What are your thoughts around the Big 12 and do you think Florida State is truly an option?
Don't hesitate to ask. Conference realignment is my favorite topic. I think Florida State is an option, if the Seminoles believe the ACC is shaky. I don't know if FSU feels that way or not, but I think the 'Noles are paying attention. An eastern bloc of the Big 12 — FSU, Clemson, Georgia Tech, West Virginia, whoever — would make for an interesting conference.
Do you think Te'o's story is honest on his part, and, do you give a hoot?
I give a hoot, absolutely. It's fascinating. I assume Te'o is being honest. I don't know why someone would make themselves look like a doofus, otherwise.
Do you think Texas A&M will make it two in a row over Saban's ‘Bama boys in 2013?
I might take Alabama. But give me some time. See how Bama recovers from its losses.
ON THE OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER AND THE NBA
Who do you foresee in the NBA finals this season?
I'm liking an OKC-Miami rematch. That's what I picked in October and it's looking good, still.
Is Durant the best player in the NBA right now, if not, who is?
No. LeBron James is the best player. Durant is phenomenal. Might be a top-10 player ever. But LeBron might be the No. 1 player of all time.
Thoughts on the Hornets changing their nickname to Pelicans? Cool or not?
Oh, I guess. I don't have major thoughts one way or the other. I wish teams would be more thoughtful when they first make decisions. "Jazz" should never have followed the franchise to Utah. Clay Bennett wisely allowed Seattle to keep the Sonics name, in case another team came back there. Now Charlotte is thinking of taking back the Hornet name. The truth is, the problems in New Orleans and Charlotte concerning the NBA have nothing to do with nicknames. They're putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound.
ON THE NFL
Your thoughts on Dallas getting rid of Rob Ryan and hiring Monte Kiffen? Do you think Ryan well be a good fit for the Rams?
I like Rob Ryan as a d-coordinator. The Ryans-as-head-coaches deal isn't panning out. Rex's problems with the Jets are doing Rob no good in getting a head coach job. But he's still a fine coordinator. Dallas' defense was better. I think firing him in Big D was just a PR stunt by Jerry Jones. I think Monte Kiffin is a fine coach, but he's seventy-something years old and has been out of the NFL 2-3 years and just got lit up by Pac-12 offenses. Someone cracked that Chip Kelly took the Eagles job just so he could play against Kiffin's defenses twice a year.
Do you know what teams would be interested in drafting Landry Jones?
No. I don't know. But I know there are some teams that need a QB, whether or not it's through the draft or through free agency. KC, Arizona, Philly, Buffalo. There are others, too.
How much longer will Tony Romo and Jason G. be in Dallas?
Romo has much better job security than does Garrett. Love him or hate him, Romo is one of the 15 best QBs on planet Earth. You can find 215 coaches just as good as Garrett at most any coaching convention. You just don't know which ones they are. So I'd say Garrett is not long for the job. Romo will be Dallas’ QB four years from now, I predict.
What do you think of Weeden2Fitzgerald?
Weeden to the Cardinals? I think that would be good for Weeden, I suppose. It's always better to be somewhere you're wanted. If the Browns are waffling on Weeden, he would be better off elsewhere.
Who do you like in the Super Bowl? Yesterday, Stephanie Kuzydym said she thinks Harbaugh will win. I thought that was pretty cool response.
I sort of like the 49ers. I think Frisco's defense is better. I sort of want Baltimore to win — my boss will be in a good mood for like seven years if the Ravens win the Super Bowl — but I like that 49er team.
Your comeback player of the year in the NFL? Rookie of the year in the NFL?
Comeback player of the year? Adrian Peterson. From catastrophic knee injury to historic season. Rookie of the year? I vote Russell Wilson. I thought he was the best of the three rookie QB stars.
ALL THE EXTRAS
To borrow one of your signature phrases, what time period would you describe as the "salad days" of sports journalism and why?
The salad days of sports journalism? I'd say today. But newspapers? I'd say the '90s. Writing and information has gotten better and better. The Internet has mucked up the pot, but it's also provided great information and access to information.
I thought you might say "today" for the salad days of sports journalism due to the Internet! I'm 1 for 1 in my weekly pick 'em.
Here's the deal. I have more readers than ever before. Like you in Arizona. My stuff is on a bigger platform than ever before. The technology stuff makes me connected to readers more than ever before, even to the point you can watch videos of me and Jackie O. (Jenni Carlson) on a weekly basis. Hear our voices, see our mannerisms. Now, there are some things that are worse. Relationship with our subjects are much worse.
What is your tool of choice for writing/Internet work? Has Mike Sherman sprung for new convertible Ultrabooks for you guys with all that money saved by having two bowl games within a week in Dallas?
I don't know what an Ultrabook is. I use a Dell computer. If I've got wireless Internet, I'm good to go.
Any chance you can get more sports radio time in place of those two knuckleheads who waste radio drive time by seeing who knows names of songs and other tomfoolery?
I doubt it, because the world is a cold, cruel world. Talent stays underused.