I did not make this headline up
THE VERB REPLACED IS "STEP," YOU DEGENERATES
Via MGoUser Red_Lee
A BRIEF FOLLOW-UP ON "IT'S DONE." Ace debunked it yesterday; let me add my voice to the chorus of No Way. I am sure Marcellus Wiley does have serious people telling him it's a done deal. I have that. Many other people have that. There are many people saying it. That does not mean it's true. Done means pen to paper, press conference scheduled. That does not describe Harbaugh's situation.
I would triple that skepticism in re: Paul Finebaum's report of same. It's not done.
This is why it's a coaching fiasco—no matter the outcome. It's a circus and will always be a circus.
FWIW. Alejandro Zuniga compiled the full text of Wiley's assertion:
BUT IT SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD YOU GUYS. I continue to get stuff too vague to Report but seemingly credible that indicates Michigan's AD is extremely confident this is getting done, with the current focus on handling buyout issues with San Francisco and an announcement by December 30th.
I fully believe many people in the AD and a big community of Harbaugh friends and acquaintances think it's all over but the shouting. I don't know if I believe they're 100%right, if you get my drift. Someone can always come in with a Godfather NFL offer. Going to be a long 8-10 days coming up.
SCHEFT SHIFT PART II. In the meantime I'd rather have randos coming out of the woodwork to say it's happening instead of it's not happening. It is also good when previously-adamant NFL guys are beginning to say it's possible. Ace mentioned Adam Schefter's apparent shift from "no way" in a lengthy Facebook post. First:
49ers HC Jim Harbaugh’s family and friends have been encouraging him to take the Michigan HC job, but he is torn because his heart is in the NFL, per sources close to the situation.
That's pretty good news, especially since I find the idea that Harbaugh's heart is in the NFL to be questionable at best. This is a guy who can't help quoting Bo about every press conference.
The rest of Schefter's post is a mixture of obvious bunk and interesting bits. Schefter asserts Michigan might not be able to wait, which is nuts. They are fully prepared to wait on Harbaugh until the 28th. They told their players they should expect a coach when they come back on January 4th. It is a a recruiting dead period (you can call but no face to face meetings) until then and if they have a good shot at Harbaugh—they do—they'd be insane to move on before he responds to an offer. Schefter also makes the bonkers assertion that "some have pointed out that recruiting would be a challenge," which may stand as the nuttiest thing said about this coaching search.
On the other hand, Schefter reports that:
- Harbaugh's agent "has a good sense of realistic NFL options already," though this directly contradicts an assertion earlier in the post.
- Harbaugh's wife is okay with a return to An Arbor.
So I don't know how seriously to take anything specific in there. The overall thrust is a guy going from utterly dismissive to serious, though, and that's a big move.
WHERE THE EXTREME SKEPTICISM MAY BE COMING FROM. NFL guys talk to agents, mostly. They've been adamant it isn't happening. Therefore: agent probably the reason NFL guys are so adamant. (That and NFL-level arrogance.) Agent likely has a vested interest in being adamant because he wasn't Harbaugh's agent when he was in college and might not be if he returns there. Dunn does not represent college coaches.
This isn't necessarily to say he's acting in bad faith, but he may be inclined to tilt towards something personally beneficial to him, and also to make NFL teams snap at the bait.
NO. Mike Florio reports that Harbaugh turned down a larger offer from Michigan than he got from the 49ers back in 2011—$5.2 million a year in fact. That is false. Negotiations with Harbaugh never got that far. That number was drawn up out of thin air by an agent: you can tell because the great and powerful NFL didn't pay him more than Michigan was offering when that's chump change to them.
A FOLLOWUP ON THE ROSS BIT. Yesterday I mentioned the Miami Herald reporting that the Dolphins were not suitors in the Harbaugh sweepstakes. I forgot to remind you that that's one of our main canaries here: if Ross gets involved with the Dolphins that's a sign the dream is dead. So far so good on that front.
PLAN B? Sam says that the ever-fluctuating Les Miles Realism Monitor is at low ebb($). IE: he doesn't seem like a realistic option. Up next would probably be swings at Stoops and Mora and then it's Mullen or a wild card with dubious qualifications.
MATTISON RETURNS? We've heard DJ Durkin's name as a possible DC before, and now Sam mentions Greg Mattison as a possible… linebackers coach($)?
It sounds nutty, but Michigan did sign Mattison to a contract that lasts through 2016 last March. For Michigan the cost of not keeping Mattison is whatever the buyout is plus whoever the new coach is—close enough to Mattison's current deal that you may as well keep him. Meanwhile Mattison was planning on retiring in Ann Arbor before Hoke got axed and if Michigan's amenable he may still want to follow through on that plan. At this point in his career, I doubt he gives a crap about job titles, and Michigan could name him associate head coach or whatever. Would be good for continuity, recruiting, and Swag Mattison memes.
A BRIEF NOTE ON TIES. A clarifying note on the lead bit from yesterday: it doesn't mean anything—it was just a friend of the Harbaughs sending him some ties as a wink-wink joke. Somehow the receipt got loose and several people sent it to me, which I thought was funny. I thought it was clear this was just a "look at us we're crazy people" joke; if that was not clear it should be now.
One thing it's not: a "complete fabrication($)." That's what Tom Beaver called it, which is rich from a guy who spent the duration of TomVH's career at this blog implying that Tom was stealing his scoops from Beaver. Probably thinks he's stealing from him at ESPN now. Anyway, I have multiple independent pictures of the receipt, which I won't post because it has personal information on it and this is fundamentally trivial. But just ask yourself: when's the last time Beaver had anything checkable?
Beaver should stick to mangling the English language beyond recognizability and let the people with sources who exist outside their own head handle things.
ETC.: Wheatley on coaching in the pros versus college. Harbaugh's probably worth the money. Niners Nation poll on Harbaugh's future has Michigan as most likely option… and contract extension with 49ers #2. May not be scientific. Jamie Morris says his gut tells him Michigan will get Harbaugh.
Michigan dropped their fourth straight game, unable to Harbaugh themselves past SMU. Their three-point shots wouldn't fall through the Harbaugh; the Fightin' Harbaughs hit just 8/36 shots from beyond the arc.
A nice stretch by Mark Donnal, who finished with 13 points, briefly got Michigan back into the Harbaugh in the second half, only to see the Mustangs pull away late. Caris LeVert couldn't hit the broad side of a Harbaugh, scoring four points on 1/8 shooting. Zak Irvin and Derrick Walton required far too many Harbaughs to tally 17 and 11 points, respectively.
The Wolverines are really going to have to Harbaugh in Big Ten play to have any hope of making the NCAA tournament. With only Monday's game against Coppin State left before conference play beings, they must get their Harbaugh together soon.
[Still time to get in our $5 league before tomorrow]
The Jimmah tag returns. Jimmah: always and forever.
The title suggests this will be another post making fun of NFL beat writers; negatory. This is the latest game with fantasy partner Draft Kings that we're collectively collecting in, a $5 NFL league with a $400k prize pool.
There's just one pick I will stand behind: the Bears benched Cutler this week, meaning good ol' Jimmah is gonna start against Ndamukong Suh and the Lions. For $3100 fake draft dollars you can have the Lions' defense. For $5 real dollars you can have another bracket and take the Lions again.
-$400,000 prize pool
- First place wins $50,000
- $5 entry fee
- Top 18,995 are paid.
- Starts on Sunday, December 21st at 1:00 EST
- Salary Cap Style Drafting. $50,000 to select 9 spots. 8 players and 1 defense
- Roster Format: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex and 1 Defense
- First time depositors at DraftKings receive a 100% bonus up to $600
HI IT'S ACE YOU WILL ALL CALL ME BRIAN EITHER BY MISTAKE OR INTENTIONALLY BECAUSE THAT'S HOW IT WORKS NOW.
This is such non-news that I didn't want to write a post about it but people are freaking out because it's on ESPN Radio and such so I guess it's worth a post. Marcellus Wiley, the guy who replaced Colin freakin' Cowherd on SportsNation, hit the radio today saying he's "as confident as [he] can be" that Jim Harbaugh has already signed a contract with Michigan, which is almost assuredly 100% not true. A transcript of his remarks via the Daily's Alejandro Zuniga:
Harbaugh is still under contract with the 49ers. He's coaching them tomorrow night. He's not simultaneously under contract with Michigan. The only reason this is somewhat worth posting (aside from the accompanying freakout) is that Wiley may be getting an actual contract confused with a Memo of Understanding; I'm by no means a lawyer, but my understanding is a MOU is completely nonbinding. Harbaugh signing one of those would be a good sign but not at all a guarantee that IT'S HAPPENING.
Other stuff from today...
MOSS PUMPS THE BRAKES. The DSR's Jeff Moss, who was among the first to say that Michigan was pointing a rather large money cannon in Harbaugh's direction, is less optimistic after hearing this:
Anyway, last night Jim Harbaugh called one of his former teammates. The conversation did not start well as my source states the San Fran head coach asked, “Would you hate me if I didn’t come?”
He also suggested that the Atlanta Falcons, who are backed by Home Depot money, could enter the fray; Mike Smith's tenure there has gone decidedly south over the last two seasons and he could be on his way out.
Providing the rebuttal is The Wolverine's Chris Balas, who said in a pretty optimistic update that he doesn't believe the rumored "would you hate me?" quote ($).
SCHEFTER STATES THE OBVIOUS. Welcome to the show, Adam Schefter.
49ers HC Jim Harbaugh’s family and friends have been encouraging him to take the Michigan HC job, but he is torn because his heart is in the NFL, per sources close to the situation.
Harbaugh first would like to see what head coaching opportunities come available – and he is likely to be a top choice for a handful of teams – before getting back to Michigan with an answer, per sources.
Harbaugh would like to finish coaching this season, go through the players’ getaway day on Monday, Dec. 29, and then make his decision as quickly as possible. As another source said, Harbaugh’s agent, Dave Dunn, already “has a good sense of realistic NFL options already.”
But as one Michigan source wondered Friday, “If he wants to stay in the NFL, who will pay him $8 million per year?”, an indication that Michigan is prepared to go hard after Harbaugh.
There's more at that link. It's entirely stuff that's either common sense or points already covered by Michigan insiders, but I guess it's nice to see an NFL guy get on board with the whole Michigan Has A Real Shot thing.
META: There was a board thread asking for a health update, so I posted one.
Michigan (6-4) vs.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|WHEN||Noon ET, Saturday|
|LINE||Michigan -2 (KenPom)|
PBP: Dave O'Brien
Analyst: Dan Dakich
Right: You're all right by me, LB.
THE LINEUP CARD
Projected starters are in bold. %Min and %Poss figure are from this season now—yes, there will be a fair amount of noise in these numbers for a while. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open.
|G||11||Nic Moore*||Jr.||5'9, 170||80||24||No|
|The rare sniper point guard. Tiny, great shooting #s, high assist rate, TO-prone.|
|G||1||Ryan Manuel||Sr.||6'4, 185||57||15||Very|
|Relative non-factor offensively. More FTA than FGA. Athletic defender.|
|G||4||Keith Frazier||So.||6'5, 190||68||19||No|
|Good shooter, mostly takes threes. Solid defensive rebounder.|
|F||00||Ben Moore||So.||6'8, 205||76||22||Very|
|Active off. rebounder and shot-blocker. Gets to FT line. Iffy finisher (45% 2-pt).|
|C||2||Yanick Moreira||Sr.||6'11, 220||60||25||Very|
|Efficient finisher, very good rebounder and shot-blocker. Welp.|
|G||21||Ben Emelogu||So.||6'6, 205||46||14||Yes|
|Same profile as Manuel except he takes some threes, hits 27% of them.|
|C||15||Cannen Cunningham||Sr.||6'10, 225||44||22||Very|
|Good shot-blocker, only okay rebounding #s, decent finisher.|
|G||3||Sterling Brown*||So.||6'6, 200||44||13||Kinda|
|Tiny usage. Good rebounder, finisher. Shot 3-pt well LY but 0/6 this season.|
Larry Brown's SMU squad is off to just a 7-3 start, but their losses are all of the quality variety: road games at #7 Gonzaga (by 16) and #51 Indiana (by six) and a home contest against #31 Arkansas (by six). They've tallied a pair of home victories against top-100 opponents: #64 Wyoming and #88 UC Santa Barbara, though they needed overtime to dispatch the latter. Outside of a win over #108 Eastern Washington, the rest of their triumphs have come against relative dregs.
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]
Harbaugh wears ties for these kinds of events
IS IT HAPPENING? More unconfirmed reports that it's happening, including a number of people sending me a receipt for ties from Van Boven—a local upscale men's retailer—destined for one Jim Harbaugh in California. HE GOT SOME TIES is in the THEY'RE SHOPPING FOR A HOUSE vein of circumstantial evidence, except… somewhat less convincing. But I'm pretty sure Jim Harbaugh just got some ties from Ann Arbor. Or at least someone who knows him sent him some.
Please do not send Jim Harbaugh ties unless he's coming back, readers.
In less speculative connections: players on the team are pretty optimistic. Some recent grads have the same agent as Harbaugh and they are feeling good about it, and it's filtering out as they tell the people around them. The telephone chain is pretty long here (Harbaugh to agent to recent graduate to current player) and there's a natural inclination to turn "it might be happening" into IT'S HAPPENING along the way, but… yeah, players on the team are thinking it's happening.
I have totally unconfirmed reports that there's a verbal agreement and the only thing that could nix it would be an NFL team coming in with a ludicrous deal. I don't know if that should make you feel better or worse, because a ludicrous NFL deal is definitely a possibility. Conflicting reports on whether Hackett and Harbaugh have actually met/talked or if this is still at the agent stage. I don't buy the verbal agreement bit—too much telephone for that to be meaningful.
I can state that there is stuff going down at the regents/AD level, with meetings scheduled today and Monday. It is possible some of these meetings may turn into public events. Something is happening. Is it IT?
FWIW. I find the react posted by thosewhostay7 to be pretty credible; people have been questioning whether I still buy it. I'm not saying it's gospel, but it is a data point, one that agrees with other stuff I've heard: Harbaugh is just now seriously considering his future, Michigan wants this done by January 1st, and that even if an NFL team promises him the moon the fact remains that he has an owner who is likely to meddle. "Autocracy" is in fact what college offers, for the most part. Bayesian reasoning, man: this is not as good as getting a call from Hackett but it's enough to move the needle some.
This is in conflict with the done deal stuff, yes. I think the done deal stuff is less accurate than the above. I know you don't want to hear some of it; don't shoot the messenger. My current status: considerable, but fearful optimism.
ROSS IS NOT GETTING INVOLVED IN THE BAD WAY (FOR NOW). Ross puts it out in the media that he's not interested in being an NFL suitor for Harbaugh:
Despite widespread media speculation that the Dolphins will pursue 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, owner Stephen Ross has shown no indication that he has any interest in making a coaching change, sources told the Miami Herald on Thursday.
Furthermore, the organization has no desire to be used as leverage in Harbaugh’s upcoming negotiations — which some see as inevitable based on Ross’ previous relationship with Harbaugh.
Given previous speculation that he would jump in if Michigan was out, that's good news. For now.
MORE ON TIMING. December 23rd has been kicked around as a potentially important day; it is, but not because it's Harbaugh's birthday. I mean, it is important because it's Harbaugh's birthday. If he comes that's New Christmas. In terms of the coaching search, though, it's important because it's one of two scheduled meetings between Hackett and the team. That's a point at which we might get unofficial word, or at least a vibe on whether it's happening.
The second meeting is scheduled for the 28th. You will no doubt read something into that whether I tell you to or not.
THE PRECISE NUMBER. Bruce Feldman and John U Bacon both said the Godfather money mentioned by the NFL press is not accurate. If so it's not that far off, as I've heard numbers ranging from 45 to 49 pretty consistently and Webb is saying that is the number, period. PFT is on point with their article, noting that the offer is disputed "because of course it is." This coaching search, everybody!
The number that is likely in dispute is how many years it is, as that has ranged from six to eight. Have heard that in lieu of a traditional buyout, the contract is backloaded to encourage Harbaugh to finish out the deal.
Either way we are talking Saban money, enough that if Harbaugh does stay in the NFL it isn't about said money.
LET'S READ EVERYTHING INTO PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES. Harbaugh did not say "screw you guys, I'm going home" yesterday, but in terms of reasonable presser outcomes this was pretty good:
-Q: Have you been offered a contract by the University of Michigan?
-HARBAUGH: As you know, I only talk about the job that I have. We’ve been together a long time. Always been my policy.
-Q: Trent mentioned recently that you and he met briefly this week and agreed that you’d talk about everything at the end of this season. Was that something you asked for? How did that come about?
-HARBAUGH: As you know, Trent and I have discussions every day. So…
-Q: You said in the off-season that your intention was to coach out this contract. Is that still your intention?
-HARBAUGH: Umm… Yeah, I’ve said I’m going to finish this ’til the end. My focus is the same as the players’ focus, it’s the same as the coaches’ focus, the focus on the practice field, the focus in meetings, by our players, by our coaches and by me.
That is our focus–this football game against the San Diego Chargers. And playing well and winning. That’s where our energy and focus is.
San Francisco beat writer and licensed internet troll Tim Kawakami thought there was something a bit different with Harbaugh:
I've been around Harbaugh a lot. I've asked him a ton of questions. This was the calmest I've ever seen him. http://t.co/bppIIxl3CD
— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) December 18, 2014
You wont have Harbs to kick around anymore? Let's read into that excessively, okay? Okay. It's agreed. Based on a licensed internet troll's opinion of Harbaugh's body language, Harbaugh is a lock. Glad we could come to this opinion together.
YOU OWE US A DOLLAR. Steve Addazio signs an extension based on rumors that Michigan might be thinking about thinking about considering making him a part of their long list. This turns into:
This development removes Addazio from the search for a new coach at Michigan, where he was considered one of the prime candidates after San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh. Michigan didn’t make direct contact with Addazio, but a source said the school reached out to gauge his interest.
My eyes roll so hardcore at that. Yes, Michigan pinged Addazio's agent. They pinged David Cutcliffe. They pinged a number of people who aren't in need of an extension right now. None of that means anything except you are on the long list. Football Scoop of course took this as evidence that their previous take on Addazio was gospel and I mean… cumong man.
A lot of this is people talking to coaches. Why would coaches know anything about Michigan's search unless they are actively involved in it? Coaches are not sources.
I AM NOT IN HARBAUGH'S BUSHES. I had to miss my weekly spot on WTKA because I'm out of town, leading to a joke about how I'm in San Francisco. I am not, please don't blame me if everything falls apart. It is not because I'm creepin'.
A REMINDER. Chatsports is not credible, even if they've moved on from the Ace Williams moniker. Good luck at prom this spring though.