They went there in Austin today. During Tom Herman's weekly press conference, the Texas head coach was asked if he's concerned about the rumors that he'll be fired and replaced by Urban Meyer after this season.
"I'm concerned about our players. I'm concerned about our program. I'm concerned about beating Kansas. I'm concerned about all of our goals still being in front of us," he said.
"With our players it's really easy because they know the truth. There's a second of people within our enterprise that know the truth, and then there's rumors. There's unnamed sources, there's agendas, there's Internet reporters that claim their own opinion as fact. The player part is really easy, almost comical where a player will come up to me and say, 'Coach, you'll never guess what lunacy just came across my feed.'
"The recruiting part's a different story. When you have the things that have been written about us and our program, myself and our future, very unfounded articles that state opinion as fact, that state unnamed sources as factual, that's very hard to defend against. If I'm a competing recruiter, what do you do? You press print and you say, 'Look, this is true. It must be true, it's on Orangefans.com," Herman concluded.
The ironic part about Herman's answer is that the question was asked by Anwar Richardson, who works for Orangebloods.com. So it's very possible Richardson or one of his colleagues wrote the very articles Herman just lamented.
And, yes, annoying as it must be to deal with job rumors swirling over your head while trying to sell recruits on spending the next 4-to-5 years in Austin, he's far from the first or last coach to deal with that particular job hazard.
Just ask rival Lincoln Riley, who has been hired away by half the NFL by this point according to the rumor mill. While the genesis of those rumors are totally different, the message to recruits is the same -- that the coach recruiting him won't be around long.
Texas has won its last three games. Thanks to off weeks bookending wins over Baylor, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, it's been five Saturdays since the Longhorns have lost a game.
With no recent loss to ruminate over, the Austin media has focused its palace intrigue on Chris Del Conte's Twitter account. The Texas AD, you see, didn't tweet about any of the football team's wins during its ongoing streak, while making a point to praise victories by other UT teams.
"I couldn't be more aligned with our athletic director, my boss, who we meet with constantly, who has assured me of his support and the support of university leadership, and who has commended me and my staff for how we have handled the craziest year in college football history," Herman said.
"I know what is said to me eye to eye, man to man, in offices, in meetings and all of that. There is no stock placed in the tweet count of a 50-year-old man," he said later.
Texas will likely be favored in its last three games, road trips to Kansas and Kansas State sandwiched around a home date with Iowa State. Win each of those and Texas will be back in the Big 12 Championship, likely against the winner of Saturday night's Bedlam game.
Win that and Herman will have forced UT's hand, to keep him for 2021 or fire the coach who just secured the first Big 12 title in 11 years.