This Month in MGoBlog History - May 2007: Jim Harbaugh Says Something Controversial

Submitted by Maize.Blue Wagner on May 6th, 2017 at 12:22 PM


April 2007

May 1 - Tuesday

Unverified Voracity Identifies Counterpunt. CB Chris Richards is in legal trouble. His representation happens to be Nicholas Roumel aka Counterpunt on the back of the program.

Until I was twelve I thought he was one of the six coolest people on the planet.

May 2 - Wednesday

Andrew Cogliano has signed with the Edmonton Oilers and won’t be returning to the hockey team.

Unverified Voracity is Dynomite (!). Beilein is looking at a Vermont transfer named Joe Trapani. He would eventually choose Boston College and go on to be a three year starter.

May 3 - Thursday

The APR has been released. In only its third year, the APR is widely decried  for how it punishes small schools. This isn’t equitable, but Brian says many of these schools shouldn’t be I-A anyway.

Those who can't hack it shouldn't be playing. Personally, anything the NCAA can do to nuke FIU and their ilk out of I-A is a good thing. Florida International in no way deserves a Division I football team, but because they want to blow a bunch of money to have one they do. Every game the Panthers play detracts from college football. Hell, the entire Sun Belt fits in this category. Each pitiful Buffalo or FIU or Temple in the D-IA ranks is four or five opportunities for real football teams to avoid playing each other. They're miserable on and off the field. They're a blight on the game. No one will mourn their passing or even notice that they're gone. I-A football is not a right.

May 7 - Monday

Recruiting Board Update. Two recognizable last names have been offered. MD RB Josh Haden (Joe’s younger brother) and IL OL Graham Pocic (older brother to Ethan).

May 8 - Tuesday

Unverified Voracity and Such and Such. Jake Long is the #1 rated prospect for next year’s draft by one source and #4 to another. Mike Hart is showing up in the 1st round in certain mocks, but that seems dubious. Also, Jerry Dunn has been added to Beilein’s staff.

May 9 - Wednesday

Now we are reminded of what Jim Harbaugh was doing ten years ago. Making this  statement:

"Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there, but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in and, when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They’re adulated when they’re playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won’t hire them."

This makes Michigan fans distraught and ND fans gleeful. Brian doesn’t disagree though, but this is who Harbaugh is

This marks the second controversial thing he's said in the past few months, and given his history we can expect more uncensored, potentially unconsidered comments from him in the future.


This affects Harbaugh's chances for the job in no way. The presumption Carr is retiring after the season is universal and Harbaugh just can't be a candidate after one year at Stanford. Anything multiplied by zero is zero.

Basketball recruit DJ Wright has been released from LSU his LOI. Might be a fit for Beilein.

May 10 - Thursday

Rudimentary CFB mems.

Unverified Voracity No So Happy. BTN is either going to be amazing...or it will be available to no one. Also, the college 3 point line might be moved out a bit.

ESPN has named ‘M’ basketball the most underachieving team of the last ten years. Jay Bilas didn’t include Michigan on his ballot because, Tommy Amaker.

May 14 - Monday

Brian has been visiting Canada over the weekend.

May 15 - Tuesday

Recruiting Board Update. It includes a link to an impressively detailed list of the top players in Michigan.

May 16 - Wednesday

Likely Hello Ben Cronin.

Unverified VoraussityOi Oi Oi. Lloyd Carr is doing his best Jim Harbaugh impersonation by spending a week with Russell Crowe in Australia. If this were ten years later, the entire team would have gone.

May 17 - Thursday

More Ben Cronin background information. Also, this comment is interesting in retrospect:

The instate crop for '08 is very bad anyway, especially with Anthony Crater already committed to OSU. The only other guy who appears to be on the radar of Michigan or MSU is SF/PF Draymond Green, the one-time Kentucky commit who opened it back up when Tubby went away. There have been some breathless headlines re: Green of late on GBW, so maybe he's making headway there.


Hello Kurt Wermers. You won’t be remembered fondly.

May 18 - Friday

Hello Brandon Moore. He was a top 100 guy to Scout and Rivals. Probably will be the last player to wear #87.

May 20 - Sunday

Goalie Steve Jakiel is leaving the hockey team.

May 21 - Monday

Recruiting Board Update. There will likely be 5 or 6 O-Linemen in the class. Also, because it’s still likely MI RB Jonas Gray doesn’t have an offer, it is likely that the coaches already know that Sam McGuffie is going to be a commit.

May 22 - Tuesday

Pistons beat the Cavs in game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. Apparently, Lebron James passed up a late shot to Donyell Marshall. But it was the right play.

Toledo will fill a spot in the 2008 schedule. This is a depressing post.

May 23 - Wednesday

Unverified Voracity Goes Ping. Michigan baseball is Big10 champs.

May 24 - Thursday

Bill Martin says he wants to continue the ND series, but move it so that OSU and ND aren’t home and home in the same year. ND has the same problem with USC. However, ND fans believe that Michigan is being, um...chicken.

May 25 - Friday

Hey, the Pistons beat the Cavs again. They’re up 2-0.

May 28 - Monday

Recruiting Board Update. OH RB Michael Shaw has been added. GA S Omar Hunter is expected to be in the class; he would end up at Florida.

May 29 - Tuesday

Brian picks apart a Mark Snyder blog post about how amazing the BTN is going to be. Since there is still much uncertainty about how many people will be able to get the network, it is looking more like it will be a disaster.

Rivals 2008 top 100. Here are some highlights:


They have committed.

  • #49 Boubacar Cissoko

  • #53 Brandon Moore

  • #62 Dann O'Neil


They should commit.

  • #54 Daryl Stonum

  • #65 Brandon Smith

In With A Shot

They could commit. It would be nice to pick up two from this category.

  • #2 Darrell Scott

  • #7 Will Hill

  • #12 Shayne Hale

  • #28 Jonathan Baldwin (almost in the "favored" column.)

  • #34 Stephen Filer

  • #83 Jon Major


Token Offers

Guys we've offered that have given no indication they're considering Michigan and live far away and stuff. Guys in this category could end up interested but haven't given any indication they are yet; probability dictates we aren't likely to get any of these guys. One if we're lucky.

  • #15 Arthur Brown

  • #20 Deion Walker

  • #25 Brandon Barnes

  • #48 Ethan Johnson

  • #52 Michael Floyd

  • #69 Antoine McClain

  • #33 Matt Patchan



Ticketed elsewhere but I've heard of them as Michigan recruits.

  • #1 Terrelle Pryor

  • #26 Lucas Nix

  • #42 Rahim Moore

  • #87 Kavario Middleton

  • #100 Robert Blanton

May 30 - Wednesday

The Pistons lose and the series is tied 2-2. Chauncey seems to be broken.

May 31 - Thursday

Unverified Vor--Not this Again? This was really the beginning of a decade of arrogance and domination for the SEC. It was starting with things like Phil Fulmer saying that Michigan doesn’t play a very tough schedule.  



May 6th, 2017 at 4:09 PM ^

Just thinking about how different the last ten years would have been if Bill Martin had put more effort in the 2007 coaching search (or perhaps let someone else handle it and kept himself out)...  is somewhat depressing


May 7th, 2017 at 10:33 AM ^

I don't know. It took a perfect set of circumstances for Michigan to land Harbaugh:

A) Bill Martin hiring Rich Rodriguez, who would go on to lose far too many games and get fired by the new AD Dave Brandon. 
B) Brandon's coaching search, which resulted in the hiring of the incompetent Brady Hoke.  
C) Hoke driving the program into a ditch, which led to the public firing of Brandon and Hoke's eventual firing, leaving the job open at the exact moment when
D) San Francisco was foolishly firing Harbaugh 

The chain of events worked out perfectly for Michigan.

If that 2007 coaching search is successful, Michigan winds up with a good coach who avoids driving the program into a ditch and is only completing his 8th season at Michigan in 2014. Therefore, there is probably no coaching vacancy in 2014 when Harbaugh gets fired. Not only that, but Brandon is still the AD since under any scenario he was getting the job after Martin. And since the 2007 coaching search was successful, Brandon doesn't get to make a coaching hire in 2011 thus preventing his own demise since the Hoke disaster doesn't happen. And since Brandon doesn't get the chance to doom himself, and he and Harbaugh do not see eye to eye, his continued presence at Michigan probably assures that Harbaugh is not hired in the future.

Michigan probably avoids the decade of despair with a better coaching search in 2007, but it's unlikely they wind up with a coach as good as Harbaugh.


May 7th, 2017 at 12:06 PM ^

Avoiding the "lost decade" at the cost of not hiring Harbaugh might be an ok trade IF the 2007 hire was good enough (though who that would have actually been is dubious - maybe Les, maybe not). However, you bring up a very good point that Brandon would probably still be in place in any other combination of circumstances, which would probably ruin the whole experience anyway.

rob f

May 7th, 2017 at 3:49 PM ^

Dave Brandon is still long gone by now.  Even if Martin had hired better, there's no guarantee Brandon doesn't  manipulate things in such a way that he can bring in his own coach anyway.  And then, whether or not that hire turns out to be Hoke, the "strings attached" to his man still include Brandon meddling in meetings and all the other things he was known to do that made Hoke's job much more difficult.

There were so many ways that  Brandon was pissing off alumni and fans and others, that even if Michigan Football didn't crater, there was little or no real peace and harmony keeping everyone happy and something was bound to eventually become a tipping point leading to either Brandon jumping ship or being pushed out.

Don't forget, too---Brandon reportedly had political aspirations back when things were still all rosy-looking.  The govenorship of Michigan, among other things, was sometimes mentioned as Brandon's next stop after using Michigan as a stepping stone.


May 10th, 2017 at 9:19 AM ^

The thing is, if the football team is winning, none of the other stuff Brandon did gets half of the response it did.

If Martin hires the "right" coach (I have no idea who that actually is), they keep the football team at late nineties-early aughts levels, then Brandon's meddling and brandification of the Athletic Dept. is likely still ongoing, with only slight grumbling, not the overwhelming groundswell of resistance it actually caused.  


May 16th, 2017 at 2:50 PM ^

I'm a week late here, alas.

But the only "right coach" options were the retread Les Miles at LSU, who may have squandered more offensive talent than anyone in history, and the young up-and-comer with the revolutionary offense that we did get that turned out to be a disaster.

I don't think Les Miles would have worked. Either he uses the same type of recruiting tactics that we believe are legion in the SEC and local media catches wind of this and destroys the program (we get upset at the Freep and Rosenberg for addressing the practice hours thing--do you think they'd just blissfully overlook the kind of rampant cheating we believe is swept under the carpet down south?). Or he fails to recruit here nearly as well and basically has decent teams that are bad on offense and continue the Lloyd Carr tradition of underachievement until he gets tired and quits or gets fired.

DB probably can't fire Miles, and perhaps isn't quite as obnoxious with a Bo-lover at the helm. There is a good chance he is still the AD and that people don't like him but haven't painted him as public enemy #1 yet.

In that quote about JH it's pretty clear that Brian didn't think Harbaugh was a legit option. Everyone felt the same. One otherwise bad year with one surprise upset at Stanford and a few decent seasons at San Diego? 

We should've done it in retrospect, but there was no honest criteria that would have compelled us to hire him in 2007 that wouldn't hire a bad coach 19 times out of 20.


May 17th, 2017 at 2:41 PM ^

Harbaugh made his comments in May 2007, but it wasn't really a major story then, it only blew up in early August.  That's when the B1G had media days and Michael Hart and Lloyd Carr publicly commented and JH commented back and "rabble rabble rabble rabble rabble."

Given that --- Harbaugh could have won the National Title at Stanford in 2007.  I think there was still a 0.0000000000000000000000000% chance Michigan hires him to replace Carr.  The emotions were still way too high among too many U-M folk.  Brian made his infamous "Destroy Harbaugh" post here on MGoBlog in August 2007.


May 10th, 2017 at 12:27 PM ^

Seeing the article related to Punt and Counterpunt brings back some childhood nostalgia. Used to love grabbing a free program before the game with my old man.