DALLAS -- Perhaps Penn State's search committee already has its man, a big-name coach who has given a firm yes but is being kept secret until after the bowl game next week.
Daydream away about who you'd like that to be, but realize most rumored candidates are probably just wishful thinking.
As we all speculate -- fans and media alike -- it's becoming increasingly clearer that only the search committee has any idea about how assured or nervous it should be concerning the biggest hire in Penn State history.
The committee has done a remarkable job keeping everyone guessing -- incredible, really, if you think about it in today's media age -- but the committee's silence can be perceived as deafening if you consider the alternative to the best-case scenario presented above.
Today is Dec. 29, and if the committee doesn't yet have an agreement in place with a new coach -- 51 days after Joe Paterno was fired -- then one has to wonder if anybody qualified and deserving of what still should be considered a good college job actually wants it.
Penn State alum Mike Munchak, one of the so-called "home run" candidates, doesn't want it. The Tennessee Titans' first-year head coach made that clear Wednesday as, once again, he had to shoot down speculation that he was a leading candidate.
"I love my alma mater, but I have no interest in being the head coach at Penn State," Munchak bluntly and rather definitively told The Tennessean. "I never want to leave Tennessee. I have a great deal of respect for Penn State, and I hope they find a great coach there. But I am happy where I'm at."
So many coaches issue statements denying interest in jobs that it has become common not to believe them. But Munchak appears to be a different story.
Yes, he's a Penn State alum, and he probably looks back on his four years there with great fondness.
McGloin still out
Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin did not practice once again Wednesday as he recovers from a concussion. His status is day-to-day, and it's looking more and more like Rob Bolden will start Monday's TicketCity Bowl against Houston.
But four years pales in comparison to 30 years. That's how long Munchak has worked for the Oilers-turned-Titans organization, first as a star offensive lineman for 12 seasons, then as an assistant coach for 17 years before finally getting his shot as a head coach this season.
His loyalties, understandably so, seem to be more with the Titans than to Penn State, and that shouldn't be perceived in any way as a negative.
"I am set where I am at," Munchak said. "I am thrilled with what I am doing. I am not interested in the Penn State job. I am interested in what happens there, and I don't want to distance myself from Penn State. But as far as the head coaching deal, I am. I would love to be involved in my alma mater. My point is I have no interest in being the head coach there."
Even though there's really no such thing as job security in the NFL, Munchak would not be wise to leave a job he has prepared for his whole life for a job that he, frankly, is not prepared for.
He's been away from the college game for so long, has no experience recruiting and might have even had trouble putting together a strong staff since most of his coaching ties are in the NFL.
Coaches aspire to prime NFL jobs, not to leave them after one year -- even if it is for their alma mater.
Just because Munchak has legitimate reasons for turning down Penn State doesn't mean it's not an attractive job, or that other coaches should be saying "thanks, but no thanks" quite so quickly.
The notion that the PSU job is "toxic," as one agent for coaches said last week, is hogwash.
Clearly, it's not the job it was seven weeks ago, before the Jerry Sandusky scandal. But let's be clear: This is still Penn State, a school that still boasts magnificent facilities and tradition, plus a huge, passionate fan base.
Yes, there will be some tough times for any coach who takes over the program amidst the scandal. There will be negative headlines about the school for at least a couple of years, potential NCAA sanctions, recruiting will be tough for a while and, of course, there's the difficult act of following Paterno.
On the bright side, the next coach can come in with a clean slate, with no links to the scandal and almost certainly will be given the benefit of the doubt for a few years by an educated, understanding fan base that realizes how difficult things will be for a while and won't place unrealistic expectations on him.
Tough should not in any way be confused with toxic. It's not like the new coach is going to be bombarded with neverending questions about the scandal from fans and media every day for two years. Instead, it's reasonable to think most of his day-to-day activities won't be all that much different from any other college coach.
As long as it hires the right coach, there's every reason to believe Penn State can return in a few years to being one of the nation's top 10-15 teams each season.
At that point, some of the coaches who don't want to have anything to do with the job right now because of the scandal might be kicking themselves for missing out on what should be a great opportunity once the dust settles.
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. Reach him at 949-7031 or @CoryGiger on Twitter.