We all know how this is going to go, and no one knows it more than the man in the middle. Sonny Dykes will be connected to the Texas Tech job until he signs an amended contract at SMU or there's a new Head Raider in Lubbock.
The son of the most beloved coach in Texas Tech history and a former Red Raider first baseman, Dykes was asked about the opening at his alma mater on Tuesday and said this to the Dallas Morning News' Joseph Hoyt.
"Look, we're focused on getting ready for Houston, and I'm not ever going to talk about other jobs. I just don't think it's fair to anybody. Look, our guys are excited to play, we're focused to play, we know how big of a game this is for our program, and no one's worried about anything other than playing well on Saturday night."
Dykes is the most plain-spoken head coach you'll find in college football, so there's a great possibility what you got there was the unvarnished truth.
It's true that SMU is preparing for a massive game at Houston on Saturday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2). Both teams are undefeated in conference play, and so the winner will be the shotgun rider to No. 2 Cincinnati for the American Athletic Conference title game.
Saturday's game is even bigger for SMU than it is for Houston, considering the Mustangs play Cincinnati in the regular season and Houston does not, and considering Houston has already defeated 2-1 Tulsa and SMU has not.
Following the SMU game, Houston's remaining conference opponents are USF (1-2 in the AAC), Temple (1-2) and Memphis (1-3), so a loss Saturday means SMU's shot at winning its first outright conference championship in 30 seasons would boil down to beating the second-ranked team in the country, on the road, on Nov. 20.
All that to say, Sonny is not at all lying when he says he's focused on getting ready for Houston.
But it's also an effective sidestep of any and all speculation. At no point does Dykes event head fake toward a denial of interest in Texas Tech.
What's also true here is that the Texas Tech job got worse when Texas and Oklahoma joined the SEC, but the SMU job got a lot worse. Gone are Houston, Cincinnati and UCF, and incoming are North Texas, UTSA and Rice.
A school that holds a special place in college football history, that gave us Doak Walker and the Pony Express, that competed for national titles in the 1940s and the 1980s, is now about to share a neighborhood with a regional "rival" that's beaten them six times in 41 tries, and another school that didn't even play football 15 years ago.
Dykes carved a great spot for himself at SMU. He worked hard to brand SMU as the Metroplex's college football team, appealing to high school recruits and DFW-native Power 5 transfers alike. This season's 7-0 start marked the third straight season Dykes's team has won its first five games. Dykes clearly loves living in Dallas.
Dykes clearly loves living in Dallas, and he's legitimately put SMU in its best spot in decades.
But he could also soon have the opportunity to redeem his father's program and his alma mater, to make Sonny Dykes the most beloved Texas Tech coach since Spike Dykes.
It's not something you can just dismiss out of hand, and Dykes clearly didn't on Tuesday.