Michigan hired Jim Harbaugh after the substandard tenure of Brady Hoke, and he’s brought a ton of energy and currently has a 20-6 (13-4) winning record in Ann Arbor.
How do you think the Wolverines have done under his stewardship, and what do you see in his future?
LPW: The guy absolutely can coach! I mean, he built Stanford up from ruin into a contender playing smash-mouth football while dealing with stringent academic restrictions. Also, taking the 49ers to the conference championship game is no small feat. I’d like to see Nick Saban succeed at a school with academic restrictions and then succeed in the NFL.
That being said, Harbaugh is crazy. His manic energy is just what the stodgy University of Michigan program needed after the bad fits of RichRod and Hoke. Also, what’s with dressing like Woody Hayes with the browline glasses and hat?
I think, eventually, he’ll get past Urban Meyer and make a Rose Bowl. He’ll have his work cut out for him.
GF3: “Stringent” academic restrictions. Sure. We’ll go with that. Anyhow, if we look at Harbaugh through the objective lens of a sane person, he’s got a bit of a Donald Trump vibe going for him. He talks way too much on Twitter. He stirred up a bunch of hype on his arrival that he was making Michigan great again. And yet, like the nascent administration in DC, he hasn’t really delivered on those promises.
Last season was his most mature team yet and the best load of experience he’ll see for quite some time (Jabrill Peppers, did we mention Jabrill Peppers, greatest player in the history of organized athletics?) and he did what? Derped away the season with a loss to Iowa (Iowa!) and then let a moribund OSU offense run by that Eddie Munster hack Tim Beck come back and crush his soul yet again. I’m not saying he’s a bad coach. That would be idiotic. I’m just saying that, like some other notable “eccentric” leaders in the zeitgeist of 2017 America, he’s long on talk and short on results. At least Brady Hoke won the Sugar Bowl.
MNW: Sure, he’s a good coach. Jokes about 3rd in the Big Ten East are funny, but eventually that streak will end (yes, because they finish 2nd or 1st, you clown) and they’ll find their way to a Rose Bowl or something. He recruits at a high enough level, but I’m almost curious as to whether he can ever do enough with it to match, like GF3 notes, how much he runs his damn mouth.
If I were to make a semi-lukewarm #BOLDPREDICTION, I’d consider a conversation about whether Harbaugh might eventually get Cooperino’d. I could see it happening while Meyer is leading Ohio State.
(Also yeah, I’ll second GF3 about the bullsh!t Stanford admissions thing—never mind that he definitely didn’t Do It The Right Way. There’s a story out there, though, titled “The Genius Hires of Bob Bowlsby,” who somehow stumbled into Captain Kirk and Crazy Jim in his first two shots at it, then followed it up with 10 Wins and White Bread.)
Brian: How did Aaron Rodgers put it? "Relax" Yeah, last year was a disappointment, particularly losing three of four to finish the season, but the guy has put together back-to-back, ten-win seasons and has stocked the cupboard with young talent. He’s doing fine.
Townie: Jim Harbaugh? A couple of things come to mind. First of all, if tantrums = wins, then Michigan would be undefeated.
I imagine that stupid shenanigans and staged bullshit will eventually wear out even Michigan fans. At some point, they will have to come to realize what we all already know.
You were a barely contained douchebag when you were hired.
Now you are a loud and proud douchebag for the world to see. Congratulations on shaming the hell out of your maize and blue or whatever the fuck those colors are...
So congratulations on your career choice, Jim. Even if football doesn’t work out so well, “you are set for life”.
WSR: Who are we talking about here? Just some middle of the pack coach that throttled Rutgers? A guy who’s landed a ton of high-level recruits but hasn’t really accomplished anything?
I thought we talked about D.J. Durkin during Maryland week a while back.
BRT: Personally, I'm pretty over the current American mania for insane, tantrum-addled white guys in positions of prominence and authority, so I'm never going to be a Jim Harbaugh fan. I will, however, do Jimmy the credit of saying he appears to possess some skill in his chosen field, which is more than can be said for some others of like character.
Though I'll never be a Harbaugh fan, he was a fantastic hire for Michigan, and he's done an excellent job for them far. It was precisely what was needed, on field and PR-wise, for Michigan to try to counter a Meyer-led OSU. The biggest threat I see to Harbaugh are those very antics which won him so much immediate love. If he has an off year (and it probably won't need to be very off, given the expectations at Michigan), the behavior can go from loveable to alienating in the public eye REALLY quickly. I think, at some point, this is how we'll see Harbaugh go. But I don't think that will be for some time—not until Rutgers awakens, anyway.
Stew: Attempting to keep it strictly to the questions that were posed. The Wolverines of Michigan have done well, and I expect them to continue doing so. Probably a ROSE BOWL or two, maybe a conference championship, maybe even a playoff birth. He will also annoy the ever loving crap out of everyone else.
Dead Read: Look, he is winning games at Michigan and he is doing fine. But he is manna from heaven as far as the media is concerned. Wasn’t he once “Captain Comeback?” Now he is “Captain Click.” The man is a lightning rod and most of us will revel in his absurdity. I wonder “what his deal” is. I have a hypothesis based on an old episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent. I think someone may be dosing his Skoal. Food for thought.