We can cross some names off the list. Or can we?

Of the names that have been tied — at least loosely — to Kansas University’s head football coaching vacancy, a good chunk appear to no longer be in contention for the position.

Mississippi’s Houston Nutt and Minnesota’s Tim Brewster have taken their hats out of the ring officially. It appears Central Michigan’s Butch Jones is the leading candidate for the Marshall job. Houston’s Kevin Sumlin is “99-percent” done with a contract extension at his current school. Charlie Strong, a successful coordinator from Florida, has been hired at Louisville, and Randy Edsall has been mentioned as a possible replacement to Charlie Weis at Notre Dame.

Oh, and when Jim Harbaugh isn’t busy almost getting his brother fined by the NFL, he has been saying a whole lot of nothing.

Having said that, however, none of the above information (with the exception of Strong’s commitment to Louisville) necessarily means anything at all.

If you remember back to the program’s last coaching search, in 2001, Mark Mangino reportedly passed on the Kansas opening the first time around, which figured to be the end of the Mangino-to-Kansas rumblings.

Then-athletic director Al Bohl persisted, however, and eventually convinced Mangino to come to Lawrence, where the coach led Kansas to an Orange Bowl title in his sixth season.

So things happen. People change their minds. Crazy scenarios play out.

Also, as one well-versed newspaper man told me the other day, “The thing you’ve got to remember about coaching searches is that everybody lies.”