Post-Bye Mailbag: Recalibrating Expectations, Harbaugh's Future, The Quarterback Question, and More
Jim Harbaugh Hot Seat Watch is off. May we interest you in a potential quarterback controversy instead?
SITE STUFF: We ran into an issue recording the podcast that I’m waiting for customer support to resolve. (We’ll be recording with a different platform in the future.) Since that didn’t come out at the normal Tuesday night/Wednesday morning time, here’s a mailbag to hold everyone over. I’m hoping to get the podcast out ASAP but I’m still waiting for Cast to get me all the audio from last night. I’m not frustrated about this at all! Everything is fine!
Seat Heat: Chilly
Jim Harbaugh has secured his future at Michigan barring a collapse that’s hard to foresee. His offseason staff overhaul is producing better results than anyone could reasonably expect, the team has rallied around him, and the program’s improvements feel sustainable.
Even as the internet’s most steadfast Matt Campbell advocate, I’m happy to see where this goes. Harbaugh has one five-star cornerback committed for next season in Will Johnson and could land another in USC soft commit Domani Jackson. He’s already rotating a five-star quarterback into games — and the playbook, at least in the running game, expands when the five-star’s on the field.
Michigan would probably have to lose to MSU, PSU, and OSU — all currently ranked in the top ten — and blow a game in the Northwestern/Indiana/Maryland portion of the schedule for any convincing chatter about terminating Harbaugh to emerge. Warde Manuel didn't want to move on after a miserable 2020. Now there’s much more reason to believe in the future of Harbaugh’s Wolverines.
I’d be shocked if Harbaugh left for an NFL job. He has deep roots in Ann Arbor and is making good on a second chance to turn around his alma mater’s program. I’ll never say never — what if the contract extension/renegotiation left a sour taste in his mouth? — but it’d be a hell of a heel turn. I don’t think he started anew with his approach and hired a young coaching staff to bolt as soon as an NFL gig emerged.
While I wish Harbaugh would apologize for his comments about Bo Schembechler from last offseason, it’s clear the entire university is set on silence in that matter. At this point, my issue is far more with the school and how they’re controlling the message (or not) than with the football coach who predictably voiced support for his mentor.
I wanted Michigan to move on from Harbaugh after last season and expected to feel the same way after this one. Instead, I believe he’s the right coach for this program going forward.
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