Morning Drinking: Approved

Submitted by Brian on January 4th, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Both Adam Rittenberg of ESPN via Chris Mortensen and perpetual bearer of hate news Michael Rosenberg are reporting that if Harbaugh does not take an NFL job he will not leave Stanford:

Brandon's seemingly obvious move with Michigan football -- to fire coach Rich Rodriguez and hire Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh -- appears to be off the board. Colleague Chris Mortensen reports that Harbaugh is more likely to remain at Stanford or take an NFL job than return to his alma mater.

Because of course he is. Rosenberg is even more direct:

Jim Harbaugh is highly unlikely to accept the Michigan football coaching job if it becomes available, a person with direct knowledge of Harbaugh's thinking told the Free Press.

Harbaugh plans to decide this week whether he wants to take a job in the NFL. If he stays in college coaching, he has decided he will stay at Stanford, where he has built a potential powerhouse. It would take an extreme change of heart for Harbaugh to end up in Ann Arbor, according to the person, who did not want to be identified because Rich Rodriguez is still U-M's coach.

Hopefully that's as accurate as the rest of his reporting about the Michigan program but with a second confirming source it looks grim. Somehow Michigan has managed to screw this up, too. If the athletic department had a two-inch putt lined up they would whack it into a communications satellite. Seriously, what the hell, Harbaugh?



January 4th, 2011 at 11:04 AM ^

that he can come in and be the DC this year and take over as HC next year. 

In public, DB can always just say he has completed his eval, he sees progress in O but the D has to change and we have gone out and acquired a top-flight DC with complete autonomy to do just that. 

Communist Football

January 4th, 2011 at 12:53 PM ^

If Michigan did the kinds of things Nick Saban does -- recruiting players and then throwing them on the street -- would you care?

If MIchigan did the thinks Lane Kiffin was accused of doing at Tennesse -- getting young coeds to hook up with recruits -- would you care?

I am a Michigan fan, born and bred. But a big part of why I root for Michigan is that I always felt Michigan was more than just a school and a football team -- it was a place that stood for something more, something about the ideals of sportsmanship and the scholar-athlete.

The behavior of our fan base, and the deeply unfair treatment that RR has received, have made me question whether Michigan is truly a place that stands for something more. Whatever my complaints about the Schembechler-Moeller-Carr era, that was never one of them: those three men stood for the highest ideals of sportsmanship and the scholar-athlete.

If Michigan is to become just another school that cares about Ws and Ls, and nothing more, where coaches and players are treated like disposable diapers all in the "service" of the almighty W, that's fine -- that's clearly what most of you want.  Some of us aren't sure that is what we want.


January 4th, 2011 at 1:33 PM ^

some M faithful who want RR gone actually believe he has fallen short of the standards you set out, via the recruiting of guys that can't qualify and the (minor yes) NCAA thing. But even granting your point, I am amazed that anyone can be a rabid RR supporter these days.

I am in favor of dismissing him, but would not be upset if a 4th year was granted either, if we can't get a clear upgrade for the position. And people writing in are not necessarily thinking only of wins and losses as you dismiss them, some of whom actually believe Harbaugh is a better coach.


January 4th, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

To be fair, I think the main complaint about the Carr era was that for all of his wins and Big 10 championships, he didn't win enough - especially against OSU and in bowl games. That same standard is, for many fans, being applied to RR.

Also to be fair, for all of JH's past indiscretions and apparent quotability, there is no evidence that Stanford's football program is one that only cares about Ws and Ls, and nothing more, where coaches and players are treated like disposable diapers all in the service of the almighty W.

I think the real difficulty for DB (and RR) is that even if RR is retained and extended, given Casteel as DC, every possible best case year with RR is inevitably going to be compared to this year's Stanford team under JH. And frankly, I don't believe those are realistic expectations for Michigan next year. But since the argument is fundamentally about giving a coach 4 years, and we continue to compare RR's record to JH's record in his first 3 years, then the fanbase standard for RR's 4th year becomes an almost impossible 12-1 season with a dominant BCS bowl victory. And that one loss has to be to an undefeated team playing for a national championship.

It's not fair, but it's inevitable. What choice is there?


January 4th, 2011 at 2:01 PM ^

Let's get RR a real defensive staff and kick ass next year.

What has RR done to make you think this is even remotely possible?  Our defense has gotten worse each year.  We've lost a ton of commits (29%) since RR took over.  He's had 2 different DC's in three years.  There just isn't any evidence that points to RR being able to get the job done in A2.  You might also want to consider that he needs an offensive staff capable of scoring against better competition and a special teams coach.  Oh, also...kidding.

UM Indy

January 4th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

and coaching searches do not mix!  Rich Rod is a lame duck and knows it.  Who could blame him for resigning and jumping on one of the Big East openings?  As for DB, maybe he, along with the rest of us, assumed too much with Harbaugh?  Now we've stepped in it.  And Brady Hoke?  Really?  I mean, really?


January 4th, 2011 at 11:06 AM ^

i mean just look at what ESPN is reporting now... Marvin Lewis is actually coming back to coach the Bengals... Less than 24 hours ago it was "Marvin Lewis not expected to return". Lots of things can change in a matter of hours... Let it play out before we scream bloody murder.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:07 AM ^

He said he was going to wait until the end of the season to make a decision.  Since then, he has done exactly what he said he would do, wait.

During that time, we may have lost the commitment of Dee Hart to a school that won a national title last year, smoked one of our rivals in a bowl game a few days ago, and just got to spend the last few weeks camped out in his high school's parking lot.

Other than that, nothing has changed or happened except in the swirling madhouse of the internet.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:09 AM ^

If JH did say that he doesn't want to come to UM and instead stay at Stanford, it was because he just won the Orange Bowl and was caught up in the moment, which I can understand. 

Howeva', once his hangover wears off, he will realize that he wants to come Home, be the Savior, and play for national championships year after year with top notch recruits (which he can't do where he is now).


January 4th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

Maybe what the hell everybody else. Based on the fact that we know literally nothing about Brandon's/Harbaugh's/Rodriguez' plans, who has spoken to whom, etc., this is only a "screw up" for those who believe that we just HAVE TO HAVE, OH MY NO OTHER OPTIONS, HARBAUGH. 

For some of us who want to see Brandon retain Rodriguez, the only screw up has been letting this hang so that we become the focal point of idiot media attention all over again.

There is also the distinct possibility that Brandon has simply played his cards carefully so that no one looks like they turned down anyone else or didn't end up with what they wanted (again, except for the must have Harbaugh contingent). This still leaves us too much in an unwanted spotlight, but probably makes the school look less like simpletons and tools.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:11 AM ^

90% of the Michigan fans and alumni want Harbaugh (just like we wanted Les Miles last time around) but the people in the administration do not want him.

Brady Hoke is Michigan's #1 guy according to Ryan Ermanni and that "Dave Brandon loves Brady Hoke and May Sue Coleman does not want him here because of his nasty divorce, DUI and speaking against the school." The people at Michigan (the president and AD) want it to seem like they made a run at him and that he rejected us. Basically we have Les Miles all over again... if this is true then DB is just as bad as Bill Martin.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:13 AM ^

I'm not so insane to think that three years is enough time to judge a program change of this magnitude. Time warp me to the end of this week when everyone realizes that keeping RichRod is the ONLY option. Denard just set all time records as a sophomore. Dude deserves another year.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

a person with direct knowledge of Harbaugh's thinking

Sounds like someone with insde knowledge is speculating on what JH's thinking process may be.  This may be one of those "all things being equal" scenarios which $4M would blow apart. Of course I'm just speculating.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:14 AM ^

Michigan is now the butt of everyone's joke.  RR is beyond lame duck and  cannot return, and more importantly has done a poor job of managing the program.  Let's hope that DB has a plan in place or Jimmy is posturing for a better contract.
Obviously I am in denial.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

"A person with direct knowledge of his thinking"? I have direct knowledge of my wife's thinking and never know which decision she will make. Certainly not a good story but not sure it means too much yet.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:16 AM ^

A few minutes ago on 1130AM, they were reporting that Michigan does not want Harbaugh.  Why?  They reported that Coleman wants no part of Harbaugh because, and this is way too puritanical for me, he has a prior DUI and a messy divorce.  They reported that Brandon has wanted Hoke and Hoke only this entire time.

So, why the wait until after Harbaugh's bowl game?  Got me.  Why not just make the hire and get on with recruiting?  Got me.  I'm just the messenger on this info.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:15 AM ^

Right now it looks like Harbaugh is a no show for the ball, but luckily we still have our second best option in a coach who happens to still be our current coach.  Couldn't we use some of the money that was would be used to buy RR out and assemble a premier defensive staff, even if it is for only one year.  It looks like Randy Shannon is still available, and I would imagine that the prospect of making pretty good bank for a year, while getting all the credit (and looking like a coaching genius) for turning around the ~100th best defense to the ~70th best defense, is a win-win situation for all parties. 


January 4th, 2011 at 11:18 AM ^

It's hard to believe that Harbaugh made any kind of decision between last night and this morning.  At the very least, assuming that he and Brandon had even talked, the two of them would have a talk.  After all, from what others have posted the two of them played together and know each other.  Common courtesy would involve some further discussion.  Having said that, if Harbaugh is not all in for Michigan, do we really want him to come?  Wouldn't we be better off with someone who really wants to be at Michigan?  Living in the DC area, I have heard more than I need to hear about the Maryland coaching change, and the one thing that made it seem as if Edsall may have been a smart hire is his saying that he had been a Terp fan all his life and really wanted to be the Maryland head coach.  If Harbaugh doesn't really feel that way about Michigan, do we want him to come?  Personally, I want someone who really wants to be in Ann Arbor and wants it for the rest of his career.  While I have thought that would describe Harbaugh, if it doesn't, do we really want him?

A Real Toe Tapper

January 4th, 2011 at 11:20 AM ^

I find the "Seriously, what the hell, Harbaugh?" at the end of the post unnecessarily hostile.  The guy is being presented with multiple job offers, each of them with numerous pros and cons and a fantastic opportunity in its own right.  Throw on top of that the fact that he obviously feels very strongly about the program that he's built and especially his players at Stanford (anyone who watched the game last night could see that) and it's obvious that Mr. Harbaugh has a tough choice ahead of him.  I really, really hope that he picks Michigan.  But if he doesn't -- even if he stays at Stanford -- I certainly won't be asking "What the hell, Harbaugh?"  I'll be saying "Best of luck." 

Note:  I DO understand (and, to some extent, share) the hostility towards the athletic department due to its handling of the coaching situation.  It's the hostility towards JH that I don't get. 


January 4th, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

Not just in Brian's line, but in many comments on this issue.  Make no mistake, at this point I'll certainly be awfully disappointed (on many levels) if Harbaugh is offered the job and turns it down, but it's not like he owes a duty to the school or anyone else to accept it.  He spent 5 years on the team and another 10 or so growing up near the program, but he also spent 16 years in the NFL  -- it may just be the case that he's a guy who considers the NFL the biggest stage to prove his talents.  If that's the case, we've just got to deal and move on.  At least we'll know soon.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:23 AM ^

that the "later half of (this) week" is determined by a week that starts on a Friday.


This thing might reach fusion bomb status if there is no presser before noon tomorrow.


January 4th, 2011 at 11:27 AM ^

Mortensen is not a source, he's a reporter, sort of. I'm in no position to deny that any of this is true, but what we have is two reporters claiming this, one without attribution, and the other attributing an opinion, not a quote, to somone with "direct knowledge of Harbaugh's thinking," which is phoney on the surface. Rosenberg is so bad a reporter that it's his editors who should be fired for buying this swill. The story is bull even if it is accurate. What would RR's still being coach have to do with anyone close to Harbaugh not wanting to be named as a source in saying that Harbaugh isn't interested in the Michigan job?

None of this is to express optimism. But I'm not slashing my wrists until something more credible comes along.


January 4th, 2011 at 12:14 PM ^

Completely agree. Leave the guy alone for a bit. He probably hasn't even had his coffee yet.
<br>And Michele Tafoya really rubbed me the wrong way...again. I understand that she's a media figure, but annoying, highly public questioning about a touchy subject RIGHT BEFORE the game is likely to provide some negative sentiments. I hope the media hasn't already upset JH too far beyond normal tension.