Headlinin’: The countdown begins to Texas A&M’s Big 12 departure (or does it?)

Making the morning rounds.

Buyer beware. By the end of the day Thursday, the online rumor industry had turned the latest round of "Texas A&M to the SEC?" chatter from idle speculation to a done deal and was already on to speculating about the next domino to fall. Texas A&M's Rivals site, AggieYell.com, reported that the nine-member Board of Regents has made up its mind and will accept an invitation from the SEC ($) at its next meeting on Aug. 22; its well-connected Texas counterpart, Orangebloods.com, expects radio silence until then, but also cited two anonymous sources who said SEC presidents could convene an emergency meeting this weekend to discuss bringing the Aggies aboard.

Still, we haven't heard a mumblin' word suggesting a move from anyone resembling an official source from Texas A&M or the SEC, and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has said only that he's taking the rumors seriously. Even the anonymous leaks have been few, far between and uncertain. Until someone appears to actually know something, don't take for granted that there's anything to know. [Orangebloods.com, AggieYell.com, The Oklahoman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Mobile Press-Register]

Not just a river in Egypt. Arkansas fans are holding their breath today after All-SEC tailback Knile Davis "went down screaming" during Thursday's practice with an apparent knee or ankle injury that could put him on ice for "a significant portion of the season." Davis — responsible for 1,458 total yards and 14 touchdowns last year despite spending the first month of the season splitting time with three other backs — has previously broken the same ankle twice, once in high school and again as a true freshman, but media relations deflected all queries about Thursday's injury after the fact. More coming later on Davis' status, when there is some kind of official word. [HawgSports.com, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette]

Meanwhile, in Indianapolis... Amid the fervor over Texas A&M's possible departure from the Big 12, the Aggies actually got what they wanted Thursday when the NCAA officially banned broadcasts of high school games by school-specific media as an unfair recruiting advantage. The ESPN/University of Texas-owned Longhorn Network had already shelved plans to air high school games this fall at the behest of the Big 12, and can now put those plans on permanent hiatus.

"We are pleased that the NCAA addressed this issue quickly," A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said in a statement. "This is a decision that we believe is in the best interests of prospective student-athletes, as well as the entire NCAA membership." Which roughly translates to: See you in hell, Shorthorns. [Dallas Morning News, Austin American-Statesman]{YSP:MORE}

Who's next? USC's three-man battle to back up starting quarterback Matt Barkley is down to two after redshirt freshman Jesse Scroggins unexpectedly underwent surgery on his right thumb Thursday, leaving the duel to touted true freshmen Cody Kessler and Max Wittek. "[Scroggins' surgery] was a surprise," said coach Lane Kiffin. "We did it quick for obvious reasons, but as of yesterday, I didn't think it was going to be that severe." In the meantime, Kessler appears to have the edge on Wittek, although not necessarily for very long. [Orange County Register, L.A. Daily News]

It's Vader time. Cincinnati's all-black helmet is real, and it's … well, here it is:

Whether the Bearcats actually intend to wear it in a game is uncertain, but you have to respect the effort. I guess. [No Two-Minute Warning, via Kegs 'n Eggs]

Quickly… Ohio State goes in front of the Committee on Infractions today with plenty of reasons for both hope and fear. … Bylaw Blog calls for the NCAA to hire full-time representatives from each conference. … Iowa loses a backup linebacker to a season-ending Achilles injury. … Cris Carter clarifies his son's status at Alabama. … Georgia issues scholarships to eight walk-ons. … Trey Burton sits down for the best interview of his life. … Derek Dooley channels Shakespeare. … And don't fall for all the "toughness" talk at Michigan: Brady Hoke is going to go with what works.

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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.