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.