November 07, 2008
Replace "the merger" with "hiring Gary Patterson," and this is a pretty good reenactment of the afternoon on Kansas State and TCU message boards:
For a couple hours this afternoon, it looked like the Kansas State alum had been hired as the new head coach at his alma mater -- five years, $2 million, complete control over staff decisions, the whole spiel, confirmed by multiple sources. Turns out, eh, not so much. Patterson's agent shut the door on that speculation quickly, and the coach's loyalists at TCU are not happy; word is Patterson isn't, either, and will be going in front of cameras shortly to say so. Imagine how you'd feel if you lost a shot at the BCS in the dying seconds on Thursday night, then lost your coach on Friday.
This could be Les Miles-to-Michigan writ very small: there's not much chance Patterson's press conference will be anywhere near as entertaining as Miles' before last year's SEC Championship, but where there's smoke -- i.e., "multiple sources" confirming serious negotiations -- there's at least a little fire. The deal, whatever it was, if it existed, may have been in the works, but not yet finalized. We'll never know now; just like Miles after Kirk Herbstreit's bogus report, when the media jumps early, the bait runs for cover and doubles up on caution.
Unless this is Obama-McCain level misdirection on the part of K-State and the Patterson camp, you can probably cross his name off KSU's wish list going forward. That leaves ... uh, Bill Snyder? Are they still talking about him?