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Breaking News: Tubby Smith to Minnesota?

Those crafty Gophers are up to it again. The Minnesota papers, just hours after their published reports of a deal for Xavier's Sean Miller, are declaring Tubby Smith the Gopher's next Head coach.

According to multiple sources, most notably A Sea Of Blue, SBN's outstanding Kentucky site, Tubby Smith has met with Athletic Director Mitch Barnhardt to inform him of his decision to take the Gophers head coaching position.

If this is true, and it has support from WCCO Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Smith's departure from Kentucky to Minnesota not only changes the balance of power in the Big Ten, but makes Kentucky the most sought after job in College Basketball.

According to WCCO:

In a meeting Wednesday night between Smith and University of Kentucky officials, a resignation from Smith was expected. Word is that Gophers athletics director Joel Maturi and associate athletics director Tom Wistrcill were on a flight Thursday afternoon to Lexington to meet with Smith.

As of yesterday, Smith had yet to meet with his AD according to Louisville Courier-Journal. But a slowly creeping sense that Smith is gone has crept into the Lexington media.

While the Smith to Minnesota rumors are red hot, nothing's in writing just yet. Still, if Minnesota pulls this off it will be one of the slickest AD maneuvers in years. It also shows that Minnesota took the bull by the horns and aggressively pursued Smith.

While I was and am an ardent supporter of Smith's candidacy for the Michigan job, reading through the Kentucky papers and listening to Kentucky fans rail on their head coach has tempered my enthusiasm a tad. But, if Smith does indeed end up at Da U, Michigan's coaching search just got a hell of a lot tougher. The dominoes falling over the next few days should be spectacular.

You heard it here first, if Smith jumps to Minnesota, Gillispie to Kentucky.