As of the time I'm writing this, it's been roughly 84 hours since Mike London resigned as head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers. In those 84 hours, approximately as many names have been floated as London's replacement. But with the news breaking this evening that top target Mark Richt is off to Miami, it's time to take stock of what we know about Virginia's search process.
Here's the answer in a nutshell.
You'll notice that in that nutshell, is a whole lot of nothing.
Let's recap the various things we knew to be true at points today.
Multiple sources have told @Newsplex that Mark Richt is in town now to interview for #UVA football job— Damon Dillman (@DamonDillman) December 2, 2015
Not just in Charlottesville: in Charlottesville NOW! 1:00 PM, December 2nd, IT'S HAPPENING!
Sources also tell @CBS6 Sports that Carl Smith's plane brought Richt to C'ville from Miami last night. @UVa_Football— Lane Casadonte (@LaneCBS6) December 2, 2015
Whoa! That's huge! Getting the big money guns involved! Wait, but...
Meanwhile, Mark Richt did talk with Miami yesterday, but it was in Atlanta. https://t.co/JCPCLviHNB— Seth Emerson (@SethEmersonAJC) December 2, 2015
But then why...
Nope. Met UM officials in Atlanta https://t.co/My0fEFmf3f— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) December 3, 2015
Had three knowledgeable #UVa sources tell me they didn't think Richt visited.— Douglas Doughty (@DoughtySports) December 2, 2015
I'm pretty sure that Mark Richt never set foot in the state of Virginia yesterday or today.— Jerry Ratcliffe (@JerryRatcliffe) December 3, 2015
He was never physically in C'Ville -- or Miami https://t.co/t7L1swvWzv— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) December 3, 2015
DAMMIT INTERNET YOU HAD ONE JOB!
(And lest anyone accuse me of just sitting back and sniping at people who do actual reporting, here's a screenshot of me getting my Richt prediction way wrong.)
This time of year is called the Silly Season for a reason. FlightAware has a ton of data, but no actual answers. There are no more than 10 people in the world who know with first-hand certainty what is actually going on in Virginia's coaching search—and about half of them lose their job if they tell anyone else. Information is perception is leverage; remember that whatever you're seeing publicly has a good chance of being part of someone else's negotiation strategy.
Is that going to stop us from poring over Twitter accounts? Of course not. Will we parse any public information with Zapruder film-like intensity? Of course we will.
But we will continue to be sure to let you know what we don't know. Until you hear it from Craig Littlepage himself, everything else is just a rumor.