The Carolina Panthers haven't had the rights to the first pick in the draft for 24 hours, when the first wave of glee-dampening began.
At the moment, all anyone in Charlotte can do is dream of Stanford QB Andrew Luck, because at the moment, there's not much else to work with.
SI's Peter King said on television Sunday night and wrote Monday that Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh told him that he thought "it's more likely he'd come back."
That got everyone stirred up, but the reality is, Luck's not likely to say anything about leaving school while his team is preparing for next week's Orange Bowl game against Virginia Tech.
He and the rest of the underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft, and most wait until just before the deadline.
While King's report sounded dire, there were almost simultaneous words from Luck's father (West Virginia athletic director and former NFL QB Oliver Luck) that gave a different impression altogether.
Speaking to the Orlando Sentinel, the elder Luck made it sound like the NFL was his son's ultimate goal.
"Well, he'll make his own decisions," the elder Luck said. "He's a smart kid, and he's made good decisions in life, going to Stanford and playing for coach [ Jim] Harbaugh. And he's got plenty of people, me included that will give him advice.
"But ultimately it comes down to a pretty simple question, what does he want to do? I think virtually ever college kid, including my son, wants to challenge himself against the best, and the best is the NFL."
It's the kid's call. But trusting the words of a coach that may want out of Stanford too (you don't keep hearing about Michigan, San Francisco and these guys by accident), or a dad who's trying to protect his son's interests might not be wise.
The best bet will be to just wait, to see what Andrew Luck himself says, when it matters what he says. That time is not today.
-- Darin Gantt