Probably Useless Speculation Update

Submitted by Brian on January 3rd, 2011 at 3:03 PM


I'm not sure what value all this has since none of it is anything more than fourth-hand whispers that happen to end up on a verified twitter account or—ugh—random sports talk radio, but the thing to do at the moment appears to be "collect and relate various Harbaugh related items," so here are various Harbaugh-related items.

We have the wobbly Schefter report and the all but certainly worthless Big Lead post already mentioned. Also:

Positive: NFL Network reporter (and OSU alum who irritatingly uses "the") Albert Breer has a couple tweets indicating the supposed Ballke hire would be bad for the 49ers in their pursuit of Harbaugh:

Hearing front-office structure/GM is vital to landing Jim Harbaugh for NFL teams. And that could put Baalke's candidacy in peril with 49ers. Basically, if the Niners really want Harbaugh, might have to pass on Baalke. We'll see. Either way, who the GM is, is very important to JH.

All that said, Michigan's still a very viable option for Harbaugh. I don't think there are many NFL jobs better than that one.

Negative: Schefter tweets

Worth noting: Jim Harbaugh does not have blind loyalty to Michigan. He still remembers being bypassed for Mich QB coaching job in 2002.

…wait, what? Because Lloyd Carr didn't hire Harbaugh in 2002 he wouldn't be the head coach, thereby getting the ultimate-I'm-nailing-your-ex revenge on Carr? There was a different AD, different coaching staff, and now the current guy is a former teammate of his who escorted Carr out the door earlier this year. If Brandon asks, the fact that someone else didn't want him to be QB coach doesn't seem like it would play a factor.


Schefter also expanded on that NFL feeling from the twitters on the four letter, and it was transcribed by the News:

"Now, there is a real feeling around the league he would prefer be in the NFL, but it will have to be a situation and an organization that is aligned in a way Jim Harbaugh wants it to be, and if that's the case then maybe he makes the jump to go to San Francisco, but Michigan is clearly interested and is making his decision difficult."

Schefter believes Harbaugh's decision could come as early as the middle of the week. Stanford is scheduled to return to Palo Alto, Calif., by 8 p.m. Detroit time on Tuesday.

"I would say sometime 24 hours after that we should be able to get a decision on whether Jim Harbaugh will be leaving Stanford to go to the NFL or whether Jim Harbaugh will be going to Michigan," Schefter said. "All along, we've said Michigan is in play and it would be up to an NFL team to convince him not to go to Ann Arbor and make it worth his while to prevent him from going to the college ranks, and that's exactly what's going to happen.

"If there's an NFL team out there, a la, the 49ers that can come with a compelling enough offer and make it worth his while, then he's going to the NFL."

Kirk Herbstreit said the opposite as the college and NFL guys displayed their biases. A "feeling around the league" is about as worthwhile as a feeling from Ann Arbor, because NFL guys can't think of anything else they'd rather do up to and including see their children.

Positive: On 97.1 this afternoon, Doug Karsch asserted that "two very connected sources" within the athletic department said that if offered the job, Harbaugh would come and that if he doesn't it's because Michigan didn't offer the job, something no one believes will happen. This is the Ann Arbor version of "feeling around the league."



January 4th, 2011 at 9:08 AM ^

Who is the schmuck in the picture above trying to wipe Harbaugh's ass with a towel.  He was obviously very close to Jim, so he probably has some beneficial information on the current situation - or at least the cleanliness of Jim's crack. 

New Carr

January 3rd, 2011 at 5:19 PM ^

Formerly BILG here....Same guy who 3 years ago told you Schiano wasn't coming, Les Miles deal was off the table, and RR was interviewing....all before the media outlets broke it.  Brian and many others on here can attest to was fact.   No...I am not psychic.  I had a friend in the athletic department at the time, so I was always about a day ahead of the news.  Nothing to write home about, but always nice to get a head start. 

According to my same friend, Dave Brandon has been incredibly tight lipped about the entire situation over the past month, and wouldn't even address the issues with close colleagues for fears of leaks, ala the Ed Martin-Les Miles debacle.  The only info available is that Brandon has been in contact with Harbaugh for over 3 weeks now.and there was an initial "committment" from both sides.  The Gator bowl game outcome would have no effect on Harbaugh to Michigan....if he wanted it, it was his, and at the time, he wanted it.  How all these new NFL offers will change the dynamic I have no info.

Word around SCHEM hall is that Harbaugh wanted to coach in the Orange Bowl and Brandon was open to it.  Hopefully the "handshake" committment holds.

I know this post is nothing new, and adds no value, but felt the need to update with what I had.  If nothing else, Brandon has done a much better job of controlling the info flow than Martin.  There are a lot of nervous people around the athletic department right now as the entire situation seem in limbo.


January 3rd, 2011 at 3:41 PM ^

I've heard it said that there is no such thing as a coincidence, so query me this: Did you by any chance catch Sesame Street this morning, i.e. Wherein the word of the day was "scrumptious" with Jessica Alba serving as the guest celebrity doing the word of the day spot? (And, apparently, Sesame Street is a much more mature show than I thought...). 


January 3rd, 2011 at 7:22 PM ^

Wow, no, i didn't. What's even weirder is that's a word i seldomly use. It just popped into my head when i saw his avatar.

My daughter never watches that show otherwise i'd assume i could've accidentally heard it in my subconcsious as i was getting ready this morning, but as far as i know, this is coincidence/karma/some kind of transcending subconscious shit.

But the fact that Alba was on Sesame Street for "scrumptious" is pure awesomeness. She certainly qualifies in the scrumtious category as well!

Too funny...


January 3rd, 2011 at 3:16 PM ^

does decide to can Rich and Harbaugh decides to decline. I really like the idea of going after Pat Fitz from NU. defensive minded coach who runs the spread. smoother transition then before.


MI Expat NY

January 3rd, 2011 at 3:30 PM ^

I don't know how I feel about him.  Poor tackling, which is a majority of NW's defensive problems can just as easily be a coaching technique issue as a player ability issue.  I tend to think it's more of a player issue at NW, based on the idea that they seemed to have guys in the right place most of the time, but I admit, I didn't watch NW very closely this year.

His Dudeness

January 3rd, 2011 at 3:16 PM ^

If/when JH comes to AA what do you people honestly expect to happen? We will still have the bulk of the players we do now. There may be some influx of freshmen who should not see the field for another one to three seasons. I am honeslty asking what anyone is expecting a JH hire to bring us within the next three seasons. I can't see anything better than what we have now happening within the next three years if JH comes here.


January 3rd, 2011 at 3:21 PM ^

we'll stop playing 200 pound freshmen OLB's in that 3-3-5 alignment against power running teams. I expect to see some smashmouth football from the defensive side. I expect to see that regardless of who the coach is next year. I expect us to get a FG kicker. I expect experienced CBs that will allow us to blitz more than once every 10 plays.


January 3rd, 2011 at 3:30 PM ^

The mostly young players will be a year older. I think the 3-3-5 could even work here if they played it like at WVU, but they couldn't do that this year because of the youth of the secondary. The wheels really fell off when J.T. Floyd went down.

I hope a CC would drain the swamp, but then there's this new, "Jim Harbaugh was turned down in 2002" thing. How many Lloyd-folks are left in the athletic department? Is Jim going to hold a grudge against them? My goodness, what a freakin' soap opera. What really pains me is that the focus this week should be on Pryor and the shenanigans at tOSU.

His Dudeness

January 3rd, 2011 at 3:38 PM ^

Drain the swamp? That is beyond harsh, but I will let you have those words (which I don't agree with at all) that being said; you think it is going to take any less time to rebuild again? Do you see what I am getting at here? Maybe we should honor the contract we originally agreed to. Even if we go into next season with exactly the same staff it will be better than this season without question. If we hire JH it very well could be worse.


January 3rd, 2011 at 3:47 PM ^

Even if we go into next season with exactly the same staff it will be better than this season without question.

I don't see how you can say "without question" when each year, the defense has gotten worse. This year, it was the cornerbacks. Next year, it will be the linebackers and, if Martin leaves, the Dline. Could it have improved? Certainly, but it's not "without question."

His Dudeness

January 3rd, 2011 at 4:09 PM ^

The linebackers will certainly be better next season then this season. Demens and JB will be better than Ezeh and Mouton and those two guys are young. I don't see how our defense will be worse, mostly because it can't get any worse. The only way Martin leaves is if RR leaves and even then I just don't see it happening. It is a certainty that we will be better next year if RR stays.


January 3rd, 2011 at 4:29 PM ^

that things will be better next year, no matter who coaches. But I also think that too many fans and others in theAdmin have given up on RR. The word that has been used is toxic. This is very frustrating. RR is being put in a total no win situation. Short of winning every game next year, many people are going to be unsatisfied. Which is unfair. But life isn't fair.

I have foreboding about how many current players and recruits will jump if RR is cut loose.

The difference? I think that we have eaten enough humble pie that JH will be given more support and time than RR was given. Honestly, I don't know what to think anymore.


January 3rd, 2011 at 5:00 PM ^

RR is being put...

No, RR put himself...

He lost all those games.  His offense got worse as the year progressed.  His defense was the worst ever.  His special teams were indeed "special".  He said "Detractors Not Allowed".  He oversaw the departure of all those commits.  He recruited players that could never qualify.  He hired his staff.  He fired the prior staff.  He chose the offense.  He chose the defense.  He said "At least we're fun to watch".  He collected a giant paycheck.  

These are not things that happened passively.  You might want him to have more time (while the vast majority of the sporting world disagrees), but at least own up to the guy's many failures without acting as if this poor little soul stumbled into this unforeseen situation.


January 3rd, 2011 at 7:35 PM ^

I have no clue what happened.  I think I instantly lost 1000 points, but I didn't see any giant negs on any of my posts nor an explanation of why (if it was a mod).  Maybe there is an official rule against speaking out against RR?  Maybe points expire?  If a mod did drop that on me, an explanation would certainly be nice.

EDIT - It looks like I was docked 1000 points by an unnamed admin for the following reason:

Refrain from the name calling. You have points you can argue well, but flaming by name calling gets you nowhere.

The irony of that is that I called no names, but had pointed out the tired nature of all the swearing and name calling by the pro-RR set.  Perhaps the worst thing you can do is to get called an "asshole" or "douchebag" because apparently that will result in -1000.


January 3rd, 2011 at 8:40 PM ^

Do you believe this guy? All RR had to do was win ONE game, any game, against any one of the good teams that pummeled us over three seasons. He didn't win a single one of those games. He defied the odds and pulled a complete ofer. And this guy is saying we've demanded too much of the guy. If RR had even come close against one of the good teams we played this year, he'd be safe.


January 3rd, 2011 at 4:31 PM ^

1) If Obi and Mouton's replacements are so much better, why didn't they play this year? It's not like Fitzgerald is a freshman.

2) Didn't people say the same thing about Stevie Brown, that we'll be better off without him? (Not that you said it. I don't know if you did or not.)

3) Martin is looking into his value. You never know. I seriously doubt his decision will be affected by RR leaving as much as it will be where he might get drafted.


January 3rd, 2011 at 5:13 PM ^

Well, I'm not convinced that senior JB will be better than senior Mouton, but it might not be a big drop-off.  I am convinced that RS Soph Demens is better than senior Obi, and I'm pretty sure RS Junior Demens will be even better yet.  I'm certainly convinced that Woolfolk will be better than James Rogers, and that everyone who is returning will be anywhere from somewhat to much better than the 2010 version of themselves.  Mouton's position will be the only spot where we regress, and depending on who fills that spot and how they play, it might not be by that much.  Mouton was solid, but he won't be irreplaceable. 


January 3rd, 2011 at 3:53 PM ^

I think most are in agreement that at least D and ST need to be rebuilt - if it would take JH just as long to do so as RR, isn't that as damning an indictment of the RR regime as there can be? They could be the same, as long as RR has a 3 year head start?

The RR loyalty is nice, especially in the dark days of the freep jihad, but it's over, man. The plane has crashed into the ground. Even Fearless Leader has laid the flowers on the grave,


January 3rd, 2011 at 5:08 PM ^

To me the larger issue is that, at this point, I have no faith that RR will be able to ever make the proper decisions on the defensive side of the ball (choice of DC, assistants, scheme or in recruit evaluation) to field a good defense at UM.

The defense has gone from bad (2008) to awful (2009) to OMG!-I-want-to-shoot-myself horrific in 2010. What evidence is there that the defense will ever be even competent under RR? None, that I can see.

At this juncture, I would literally rather have Ron English as the HC over watching another RR led squad flail helplessly around like a JV squad for another year.

a non emu

January 3rd, 2011 at 3:33 PM ^

But  a different scheme as the person above pointed out. Not rushing 3 and giving Relf/Pryor/*InsertQBHere* all day to attack the most vulnerable part of our defense. Maybe, you know, bringing pressure once in a while. I was marveling at MSU's defense the other day. Every time we were in 3rd and >5, they lined up like they were going to bring the house, and then brought the house. Whereas, on 4th and 2, we rush 3, and give 10 yard cushions to their receivers. Whaaa... ? You can say youth, but everyone on the secondary is essentially a Sophomore now. They have an entire regular season behind them, and they had 15 additional practices to learn schemes and practice. At some point you have to stop saying the talent sucks, and maybe you know, wonder if they are being put in a position to succeed. 

I know it isn't about the 3-3-5 blah, blah. So either get someone who actually knows how to run the scheme, or go with what your coordinator is comfortable running, and butt the fuck out. RR did neither. I really really wanted him to succeed, but his stubbornness with the defense, and other failings mean he's lost me as a supporter and defender. 

His Dudeness

January 3rd, 2011 at 3:28 PM ^

I guess so even though I doubt RR doesn't teach fundamentals...

I remember the last three seasons, how awful the losing has been, but we are prepared to hit reset on that? This isn't going to be an easy transition back to pro style... we're really going to hit reset on the last three seasons? I thought we were almost out of the woods and now we want to get dropped right back into the shit? Alright, if you guys think that is best.


January 3rd, 2011 at 3:45 PM ^

Almost out of the woods? Come on now, thats absurd. Did the offense look good at times against inferior opponents sure, but there are no excuses for the defense and special teams we saw from coach Rich Rods team this year. The fact that you say we are almost out of the the woods after what I witnessed on Saturday leaves me speechless. 

His Dudeness

January 3rd, 2011 at 3:53 PM ^

I understand you may think that and the bowl game was bad, but as our guys get older and more seasoned in the system our oponents will get younger and less seasoned in theirs. Our competition is going to get worse next season while our team will definitely get better.


January 3rd, 2011 at 3:59 PM ^

I don't get it...are we playing Benjamin Button next year?  And don't forget all those commits that left under RR (29% on defense...I previously noted 32% but was corrected on one player).  Ours is not a team on the rise.  we got worse as the season went on (in all phases of the game).

His Dudeness

January 3rd, 2011 at 4:06 PM ^

Our schedule is backloaded as it has been since OSU wasn't good. Normally bowl games are against equal or tougher oponents. It could be that we played against a tougher schedule in the back half and that our youth (gasp) was worn down.


January 3rd, 2011 at 4:55 PM ^

No, we didn't get worse because we played better teams (cough, cough Illinois, cough Purdue).  Our team showed its true stripes because we weren't playing UMass (against whom we still looked terrible) or Bowling Green.  We can't just omit the better teams on the schedule and pretend we were better than we really are.