Focusing on the end of the football season for the Texas Longhorns hasn't exactly been easy with all the talk about head coach Mack Brown's future and those pesky rumors about Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban continuing to perpetuate themselves.
On Wednesday night, there was another flare-up of rumors, including a report from the Football Brainiacs, whatever those are, that Saban-to-Texas is a done deal. Or at least "appears" to be a done deal, a rather important qualification.
Word quickly spread that an Austin radio station was reporting the news, when in fact it was merely the local hosts commenting about the reports. So things go on Twitter these days.
Then, noted SEC homer and master troll Paul Finebaum decided to jump in the fray with a little bit of snark:
I think tonight would be a good time for Nick Saban to call a news conference and deny for the 478,099 time he's going to Texas.— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) December 5, 2013
That's not going to happen, of course, as Saban has roundly denied this all, as he would. And his wife told the Wall Street Journal that the Sabans are staying in Tuscaloosa, echoing Saban's comments about being too old to start over again.
All by-the-book stuff.
Just like Texas president Bill Powers coming out and roundly denying everything, including saying that he hasn't talked to Saban.
Of course, what's lost in that statement is that Wallace Hall and Steve Hicks and Tom Hicks weren't exactly going through Powers when they decided to reach out to Saban's agent, Jimmy Sexton, back in March -- as things appear to work around the 40 Acres right now, the shot-callers aren't necessarily waiting for Powers to make the first move.
The denials and Vegas still being skeptical about it has the writer for SB Nation at the above link basically saying there's nothing to any of the rumors, perhaps a step too far given that all this just won't die down.
And noted SEC homer Clay Travis pulling a chat transcript from behind a paywall at Inside Texas to grab some page views for his own site won't help all that, either, especially since the notable addition to that particular post is from the tipster who pulled the transcript, who says that he has his own Aggie sources who heard it's a done deal from a Texas booster and another booster (please don't click that link).
Follow all that? Kinda?
Just like the regents going behind Powers' back to talk to Sexton's agent, then Hall leaking the story to the AP to throw some political dirt -- this is an inherently silly story, even if it somehow happens.
It's compelling and people like talking about and it generates page views, so there are numerous reasons to engage in this discussion that all go back to that phone call between Sexton and the regents and Sexton giving the feedback that it's the only job Saban would think about leaving for and the house shopping rumors and the fact that Saban has a notorious wandering eye.
Justifications for continuing to talk about it, yes.
But the fact remains that if Sexton's agent that had that phone call and if it hadn't become public and if Inside Texas hadn't called it when it happened originally, all of this would have much less impetus.
And that impetus, beyond the fringe reports from the Brainiacs and whoever else may want to get in on this early, is what makes this all plausible.