So I'm still doubtful we wind up with Harbaugh, but I'm becoming more hopeful. Brian's daily assessment of the situation appears to rely on 3 things: his own insider sources; public reports; and applying logic to whether any of it makes sense assuming JH is a rational actor. With SF being out of the playoffs, I think we may have more to go on fairly shortly (as Brian said last week). Couple items to think about:
If Harbaugh is truly interested in the job, it would benefit him to begin allowing some signaling of that interest in order to "freeze" potential recruits for another couple weeks while he makes a decision.
Also, on a less logical more speculative angle, the dude is now playing out a string after a very difficult year marred by both poor play and disintegrating professional relationships. Now he has an opportunity to lead a bunch of talented college kids, desperate for a fresh start.. He also has an opportunity to step into a select few living rooms with a story no one else can tell. Somehow coached Stanford to prominence. Turned a tire fire in SF to a Super Bowl team. Now back to revive his alma mater. Think maybe he'd be invited into Mikey Weber's house? Sounds like a great way to wash away the stench of a shitty season and sooner may feel better than later.
Per Bruce Feldman on twitter. I know he wasn't really a candidate for the Michigan job, but it will be interesting to see how he does.
It's a made up internet honor I believe, nonetheless, pretty cool to see Cole get some love.
The next coach certainly gets the benfits of having a OL with experience and a touted freshman LT coming back.
OL: Mason Cole, Michigan
He became the first true freshman in Michigan history to start the season at left tackle, and he stayed there through all 12 games. The Wolverines had issues on their offensive line, but Cole showed a ton of promise and poise.
SBNation charted how each school's football team performed relative to Vegas preseason expectations. I think we all know about where Michigan would fall on this list, but it is interesting to see in a chart with every school listed. Michigan finished 124 out of 128, and only South Carolina was worse among Power 5 schools. Ugh.
Preface - I am assuming JH has not made a decision yet btw NFL and NCAA and future events will help to sway him.
I think the mob mentality that is wishing Jim be fired ASAP is not the right train of thought. Michigan has a unique advantage over any NFL team that wants Jim. Those teams will be required to pay a ransom - small, medium, or large - that UM does not require to pay. Negotiations for that dowry could take days, or hell a week or two to play out. They could be ugly - this requires York, Baalke, Harbaugh, and a 4th NFL party all to agree to something. And this something is an agreement where Harbaugh and future NFL team would be on 1 side of things and Baalke and York on the other. That doesn't seem very easy. You want Jim to be stuck at the hip with 49ers if you are a Michigan fan. The minute Jim is fired he is a free agent and UM loses that distinct advantage.
Saban walked to Bama in early January following his NFL season with 3 years on his contract. Jim can do the same with 1 year left.
It is to our advantage to muck things up for NFL teams if he is in any situation where he is 50/50 or 70/30 or 30/70 btw NFL and NCAA. The 49ers may drag it out 7-10 days during which an exasperated Jim turns the 50/50 into a 100/0 to UM.
Last point, any trade marginally weakens Jim's future employer in the NFL. Perhaps it is a modest loss like one 2nd rounder, or a 3rd and 4th rounders in two future years. But it is something that remains a penalty for any NFL job he considers IF HE IS employed with the 49ers. Again, if he is fired - that penalty does not exist so it is no longer somehing for him to consider (however minor) as he weighs all his options, pro and con.
I welcome dissenting opinions - maybe I am missing something obvious.