Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have stunk against Urban Meyer and Ohio State — as well as against Mark Dantonio and Michigan State — and Fox NFL insider Jay Glazer said today that some pro teams were actively rooting against Maize and Blue yesterday in the hopes that a blowup scenario would make him susceptible to an NFL return:
“Jim Harbaugh is still a very hot candidate,” Glazer said. “There’s a lot of people in the NFL who are gonna have job openings that are hoping things go downhill with him and are hoping he could possibly be available to lure him back to an NFL head coaching position.”
As humorous as I’d find this as a Wisconsin fan — this is an aside but I actually consider Michigan to be our biggest football rival; we’re after at least OSU, MSU, and Penn State in their pecking order, which only makes me hate them more — I’d be absolutely astonished if Harbaugh quit on Michigan without ever beating Urban Meyer or appearing in the CFB playoffs, let alone the B1G championship game.
It’s not like Harbaugh is a carpetbagger at Michigan. This is his alma mater and he’s a prideful man. He knows that if he left now his legacy there would be as a big failure as head coach. (That being said, Harbaugh called “fake news” on a rumor that he was negotiating a lifetime deal with Michigan.)
The Bears are seen as a potential fit for Harbaugh in the NFL because he played there, but the McCaskey family ain’t paying him more than the $9 million he makes at Michigan while they’re still paying John Fox for a year. The Colts do make some sense, given that Harbaugh both played there and coached Andrew Luck in college.
One darkhorse, which we may have a full post on later, is the Broncos. But I don’t know if Harbaugh and John Elway could coexist with personnel selection, and Denver does not have a quarterback. If Harbaugh’s learned one thing at Michigan, you need one of those to succeed.
Depending on how the rest of the season goes, other spots where there could potentially be job openings include Buffalo, Miami, both New York teams, Cincinnati (too cheap to pay Harbaugh), Cleveland, and Tampa. Further, Mike McCarthy should be on the hot seat in Green Bay, but probably isn’t.
Nevertheless, put me down in the “no way Harbaugh leaves Michigan, at least not this offseason” camp.