CC: "Maybe he misspoke" - JH on Stanford AD

Submitted by Abe Froman on December 25th, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Happy holidays fellow Wolverines.

Just read this and found it interesting.  MANY apologies if someone has beat me to it and this is a repost; I tried searching and didn't see that it has already come up.

Summarizing the DetNews:

Harbaugh has yet to sign with Stanford, and when asked about his supposedly pending contract extension he stated:

"I haven't even discussed it."

Perhaps more interesting, when asked to respond to remarks from the Stanford AD implying that Harbaugh will sign the contract, "Maybe he misspoke."

From The Detroit News:



December 25th, 2010 at 3:25 PM ^

Could we please stop using "Stanford was 1-11 so that is the end all of the discussion on what teams they took over" as a line of reasoning. Let's look at this reasonably. Walt Harris was fired at Stanford for going 1-11. He got fired because:

-the team had way more talent than going 1-11 and probably should have won 5 or 6 games

-the team was supposed to go 1-11 and they fired him because they didn't like him

Guess which one is true. Harbaugh inherited plenty of talent, which is the exact reason Harris was fired....because he didn't get enough out of them. If you want to argue Harbaugh is a better coach than Harris, then yes, I agree. Jim Harbaugh has less of a track record than RichRod did before Michigan, so what makes you think he can come in here and win games? I guess coaches should be fired before their players become juniors though. Good call.


December 25th, 2010 at 3:45 PM ^

Walt Harris was fired because he went 1-11, which is unacceptable at Stanford. In fact, dropping off from 5-6 to 1-11 is probably going to get you fired at any school if it's not your first year. As such, it is irrelevant whether or not they expected a 1-11 season before it began because whether it is expected or not, a 1-11 season is cause to be fired at Stanford.


December 25th, 2010 at 6:08 PM ^

No, that is exactly my point. He got fired because he went 1-11. And yet we are saying Jim Harbaugh is amazing for getting them to 4 and 5 wins. Truth is, if he would have had them playing to their talent level and gotten 4 or 5 wins, JH wouldn't even be coaching there. So Harbaugh took over a team returning the starting QB, RB, and top 2 WRs and did exactly what the last coach should have done. Then he got better from there. I don't think JH is a bad coach, but the ass kissing that goes on from his supporters because he took an underperforming team of 1-11 talent and got them to where they were supposed to be at 4 or 5 wins is a little ridiculous. It would be like if JH comes in next year and wins 8 or 9 games but I say he should be fired because we didn't win the 11 or 12. I mean, we won at least 7, maybe 8 this year and bringing back 19 starters....he needs to win at least 11 or else he sucks.


December 25th, 2010 at 10:12 PM ^

Harbaugh took a perrenially mediocre program in Stanford and produced an 11-1 team after inheriting a 1-11 team in four years. And in year 3, he beat both Oregon and USC. He has done, by any standard, a tremendous job at Stanford. In contrast, Rodriguez has been at best lackluster at Michigan, having a subpar record without any big wins and a number of embarrassing losses. This doesn't mean that we should fire Rodriguez, but it does mean that Harbaugh's performance at Stanford has been vastly superior to Rodriguez's performance at Michigan.


December 26th, 2010 at 2:36 AM ^

Until Harbaugh wins a conference title or maybe even a bowl game, I really don't know how you can say his coaching performance has been vastly superior to RR's at UM.

In reality, Stanford is middle of the road in Pac 10 championships. They have more than Oregon actually. Jim harbaugh has a record of 28-21 at Stanford, which is not even as good as what their overall winning percentage is. It is very easy to base whether a coach is amazing after 1 season in which he went 11-1. His trend is getting better every season, which funnily enough, is the exact same trend UM is under with RichRod. My suggestion would be to see if RR can get to 10 or 11 wins next year bringing back 19 starters and JH can get to 10 or 11 wins without the #1 pick in the NFL draft as his quarterback. But then again, why would we want to do that.


December 26th, 2010 at 5:59 PM ^

You're claiming that going 28-21 with a BCS bid, two wins over USC, and a win over a very good Oregon team last year all at Stanford, is not demonstrably superior to a 15-21 record with no major victories at Michigan. This is simply insane. It can be reasonably argued that this does not definitively prove that Harbaugh is a superior coach to Rodriguez, but to claim that Harbaugh has not performed better than Rodriguez is simply ridiculous.

Even if we compare Harbaugh's first three years at Stanford to Rodriguez's first three years at Michigan, meaning that we discount his best season, Harbaugh still wins the comparison. Here's the Sagarin Ranking for Stanford v. Michigan in each year. And bear in mind that Michigan has significant advantages over Stanford in recruiting because of superior prestige and history, along with lower admissions standards for athletes.

2007 Stanford: 70
2008 Michigan: 95

2008 Stanford: 50
2009 Michigan: 81

2009 Stanford: 29
2010 Michigan: 48

Harbaugh's performance at Stanford has been vastly superior to Rodriguez's performance at Michigan by any reasonable method of comparison. This doesn't mean that we should immediately fire Rodriguez if we can get Harbaugh, but it is a significant factor to consider when making a decision between the two.


December 25th, 2010 at 6:29 PM ^

Likewise, Michigan's 9-4 record before RR's arrival doesn't really tell the whole story unless one additionally admits that the 7-5 season from 2005, loss to Appalachian State, and home blowout to Oregon were all the first signs of longcoming future grief for Michigan--the first signs of systemic defensive deficit.


December 25th, 2010 at 9:54 PM ^

How on earth was 2005 a sign of long term defensive deficit? We had an incredibly talented defense in 2006 that returned most of the players from 2005. This kind of argument mindlessly repeats the theme of Misopogan's excellent diaries without understanding the point of them.

And anyway, it's not like the defensive recruiting and attrition issues that led to Rodriguez's intial situation have disappeared since he became coach. It would be one thing to use the talent deficit we had on defense as reason to absolve him of responsibility if we hadn't had massive issues with attrition among his defensive recruits, but we have.


December 25th, 2010 at 1:28 PM ^

This is the worst list of reasons I've heard for favoring Rodriguez over Harbaugh. Well, actually that last statement was a lie, but that's because there have been some really stupid posts on the topic. But still, these are pretty bad. Let's review:

-Rich Rod and Harbaugh have had nearly identical records in their first three years at their current schools.

Even if we make the (rather long) assumption that Rodriguez and Harbaugh inherited equally bad situations, then we have to note that Harbaugh has performed better at Stanford than Rodriguez has performed at Michigan. Meaning that this comparison still squarely lies in Harbaugh's favor because the difficulty of winning at Stanford is a lot higher than the difficulty of winning at one of the nation's elite football programs.


-Pac-10 sucks this year and I don't care what Sagarin says. USC hasn't been "reasonably dominant" in a couple of years. There's no such thing as "reasonably dominant."

First of all, when your subject line is, "There are these things called facts", then you probably should list facts, rather than your opinion about the strength of a conference. Especially when you are contradicting a statistical measure of the conference's strength based on actual data. It makes you look really dumb.
Furthermore, the reasons the Pac 10 gets rated as a very strong conference is because they do very well in non-conference action. It is true that the records of the Pac 10 teams after Stanford aren't very good, but that is the product of having to play an extra conferene game (meaning that more teams are going to fall below .500) and them beating up on each other in conference play. 
Now, while I agree with your note that USC hasn't been "reasonably dominant" because there is no such thing, I will say that USC has had reasonably good teams. At any rate, Stanford also beat a very good Oregon team in 2009, so I'd say that they were halfway decent. Especially compared to us, as our best wins this year (I'll be generous and take this year instead of last) came against UConn, Notre Dame, and Illinois. In fact, Rodriguez has yet to beat any team as good as 2009 Oregon or 2009 USC.

-Everyone on that 9-4 (not 9-3) team in 2007 on offense left and the remaining contributors were constantly injured (Minor, Brown). People like dahblue assume that everyone who left was retainable, which isn't the case.

This is irrelevant. If Rodriguez is fired, it will be because the defense has regressed into the realm of the absurdly terrible. There are many reasons for this. Some are not his fault. But a fair number of them are. This topic has been discussed time and time again, so I won't delve into it in depth right now.

-Two of those four losses were THE HORROR and the Post-Apocalyptic Oregon game. Great.

True, but they also beat Penn State, Illinois, and Florida. The first two losses were bad, yes, but the team got past them and finished out decently. We were a good team in 2007.

-Apparently Harbaugh gets all of the credit for Luck and Gerhart, but Rod deserves none of the credit for Denard and Graham.

Once again, this isn't relevant to the question of which coach is better or if Rodriguez should be fired. Rodriguez gets all the credit in the world for Denard and Graham, just as Harbaugh does for Luck and Gerhart. However, Denard and Graham were great players on mediocre teams. Luck and Gerhart were great players on better teams. Team performance is what matters, not individual performance.
EDIT: I finally get around to posting this and see that dahblue already made most of the same points. Whoops.


December 26th, 2010 at 2:06 PM ^

if you think harbaugh coming into michigan and would instantly win against our rivals, your kidding yourself.

If he could beat #1-ranked USC in 2007 with a horrible Stanford team, he just might win a rivalry game or two with a team that should have more talent than that.  Good coaches usually find a way to win some of these games early on.  In fact, most first-year coaches have won in the UM-OSU rivalry.  The only two who haven't in the past 50 years?  John Cooper and Rich Rodriguez.


December 25th, 2010 at 11:52 AM ^

Look, everyone, I'm intrigued by Harbaugh and I think most people should be very favorably impressed by what he's done at Stanford.

With me?

Now, this:

"Give us our program back."

What exactly does NV mean by that?  I have a baaaaaad feeling he's hoping Harbaugh brings us BIGGER players so we don't get PUSHED AROUND anymore.  Never mind that our O-line is at least average size and that at least two of RichRod's recruits there (Lewan and Omameh) have shown promise.  Never mind.  Just bring Jimmy back!

As always, it's OK to criticize Rodriguez.  (I personally could fill five postings about defense and clumsiness in public places.)  Just be smart and thoughtful about it.  Don't be emotional.


December 25th, 2010 at 9:45 AM ^

Since this subject won't go away, one thing I have been thinking about is just how polarizing the decision Brandon makes will be.  There will have been well over a month for both sides to think that there will/will not be a change and regardless of the outcome, there will be bitter disappointment to half of the Michigan nation (give or take) regardless of Brandon's decision, another negative for waiting as long as he did.


December 25th, 2010 at 10:08 AM ^

I think it'll be polarizing if he goes but things should quiet down considerably if he stays.  Especially if he stays with a new DC and support staff.  I can't imagine JH saying "I really wanted to go to Michigan but they didn't want me" cause it would kill Stanford for no gain.  So if he stays at Stanford (or even goes to the NFL) I would imagine him saying something like "it was nice to be thought of but in heart i always wanted to coach at <fill in blank>".

That won't be too polarizing I think cause we don't have a Plan C.  It's either Rich or Jim.  And if Plan B (JH) says he didn't want to come - what are the JH supporters going to be upset about?

But, IMO, if RR gets smoked after the bowl game all Hell will break loose. 


December 25th, 2010 at 10:29 AM ^

For me, as a pretty staunch RR supporter, a change would be polarizing, but only for a day or two.  I would invoke the "24 hour rule" and then start supporting whoever the new coach is.

What would concern me, though, would be if DB and JH have an agreement already.  That would mean that DB has been lying to the public on numerous occasions while representing the University of Michigan.  I'm pretty sure that is "cause" for firing.  Also, Bo hated Illinois because they didn't allow Gary Moeller to finish his contract there.  If Bo was here, I would have to think he would want to see RR afforded the same luxury. 

Lastly, I really think Michigan could be a "surprise" 11-1 team and make it to the inaugural BTC game under RR.  If a pro set coach comes in, it could be another two or three years of waiting.  Then, the same people who wanted RR gone would be advocating patience for JH becuase of his Michigan pedigree.

Ultimately, though, it's still the University of Michigan.  It's still a team I have followed since attending my first game as a child in 1960.  So, while I would be extremely pissed, I would vent during the first day or two, and then I would get back to being a very supportive Michigan fan. 

Just because a fan on either side of the fence doesn't get his way, though, it's no reason for a Tom Hagan-like meltdown or disappearing from the fanbase because he didn't get to pick the coach.  Hopefully, at least here, whichever side "loses" has its say and then gets back to supporting the Maize and Blue, no matter who is coach after the bowl games are over.

The University of Michigan is bigger than any one player, it is bigger than any one coach, and it is bigger than any one Athletic Director.  Also, it is bigger than any one fan.


December 25th, 2010 at 10:42 AM ^

I don't know why someone negged you as your approach appears to me to be the right way to do things.  One needs to move on and support the next head of state, as it were.

Where I partially disagree, is with respect to giving someone their whole term as coach. There are times when it is obvious that things simply won't work out.  The removed coach is contractually guaranteed he/she won't be harmed financially.

11-1... from your lips to God's ears, but with our D, and having to play OSU and Nebraska next year and no guarantees about special teams.  Let's hope you are right.

Any you are right about your assessment of the University of Michigan. A couple of times in the last few years when we sucked on the field and I was feeling down I started thinking about Michigan academics and the culture of the school, the great educations I and my sons received there, and I generally feel better.


December 25th, 2010 at 4:40 PM ^

RRod will be a success in the very near future.  I'm afraid that if he goes, he will definitely come back to bite us in a critical game.  The offense he can put together is record breaking and if he can ever put it together with a decent D, it will be the beginning of dynasty of destruction.  

I would rather that happen here than somewhere else...and it will happen. 

KOB Returns

December 25th, 2010 at 12:23 PM ^

Ladies, we need do nothing more than apply Occam's Razor here.

Like someone elts said: It's Harbaug, always has been, and always will be. UM bothced this thing in a huge way last time by hiring Rodriguez instead of Miles.

It won't happen again.

I have to think Brandon took the job on the pretense he would be given the power (and the money) to get rid of Rodriguez and hire Harbaugh. Football will be his legacy--why would he want to risk goofing it up?

And Harbaugh hiring/Rodriguez firing is "polarizing" onlly to Rodriguez's fan clubs here or on Scout.

And tater, your thoughts are welcome music, nay, manna to this weary soul who has fought the good fight to rid the Michigan program of Rodriguez for three long years--you'll be ticked (for Gawd knows WHAT reason) for a little while, then throw your considerable rooting powers firmly behind Michigan once again.

We appear to have won the fight: Rodriguez is a (deserved) bowl victory away from packing up his office and moving back to the holler.


December 26th, 2010 at 2:13 PM ^

I think it'll be polarizing if he goes but things should quiet down considerably if he stays.

If RR stays, why would that calm things down?  According to that recent survey, 35% of U-M fans in the state of Michigan want him gone.  Are they suddenly going to change their minds if he's retained? 

If Harbaugh is the hire, it might be polarizing on this particular message board, but probably not too much overall.  He's the hottest name in the profession and former U-M star.  Most likely, a large proportion of the fanbase would instantly accept him.


December 26th, 2010 at 4:54 PM ^

If RR stays, things will not calm down unless he is given an extension and that probably will still not calm things down.  Only way for things to calm down is for RR to start winning.

As for JH, I don't know what people would do.  Has there been a poll conducted?  Just because the people who support JH are loud doesn't mean they are the majority.


December 25th, 2010 at 10:56 AM ^

This could be because he wants to focus on preparing his team for the Orange Bowl and not  be focused on contracts....or maybe he feels he can get a better extension deal if he wins the Orange Bowl. A loss wouldn't hurt the deal he gets because Stanford wants him to stay no matter what, a win could get him more years on the deal, more money, etc.


December 25th, 2010 at 11:16 AM ^

I don't think any of this is hard to figure out. Unless something unexpected happens in the next two weeks, the head coaching position at the University of Michigan will "officially" be offered to Jim Harbaugh.



Coach Rod deserves credit for conducting himself with a tremendous amount of class throughout these last five weeks. It's a bizarre situation for all parties involved.

KOB Returns

December 25th, 2010 at 12:32 PM ^

Does that include seizing the end of year dinner and subjecting the world to the hand-holding, Emo-like Josh Groban singalong?

He OUGHT to conduct himself with "class" after the last three years that has seen him wipe out almost all the dignity of this once proud program.

His treatment of recruits, some players left over from the Carr years, putting an undisciplined, poorly coached, unprepared product on the field, his treatment of Shafer (and likely Greg Robinson if kept), and so many other miscues has been the exact opposite of anything representing "class"

It was simply a bad hire; one Rodriguez has proven time and again to have been ill-prepared for.

We have been reduced to an excuse machine as a fan base.

Tim Waymen

December 25th, 2010 at 5:41 PM ^

You have no idea what it means for a program to have no dignity left.

His treatment of recruits, some players left over from the Carr years, putting an undisciplined, poorly coached, unprepared product on the field, his treatment of Shafer (and likely Greg Robinson if kept), and so many other miscues has been the exact opposite of anything representing "class"

All fucking rhetoric.  How do we know how badly RR treated the players?  Because Michael Rosenberg--the scumbag who wanted to be the Bernstein/Woodward of sports journalists but is really little more than a Benedict Arnold--said so?  How many players have gotten into trouble?  RR made some big mistakes and has some shitty cronies, but he has been disproportionately villified. And through all this, he has acted far classier than, say, Jim Harbaugh through the years.

We have been reduced to an excuse machine as a fan base.

We have a bunch of sorry, impatient, and irrational douchebags who would fit in better at an SEC school.  I don't llke every coaching decision he's made, and sure, it sometimes feels like we'll never be elite, but you don't know that it's all over after 3 years when his teams have improved each season.  I do think that UM might have gone in a better direction with a different hire in 2007, but they went with RR and it's too damn early to wave the white flag.

And really, just how dignified did you feel on Sept. 1, 2007?


December 25th, 2010 at 5:50 PM ^

Boy!.... after reading this post the one and only thing that I know for sure is that we got us some posters that must really be getting their ass kicked by their OSU or MSU buddies.

Please read BO's book.....please.


December 26th, 2010 at 12:36 PM ^

Adam Schefter just reported on NFL Sunday Countdown that he is hearing that Jim Harbaugh will be going to Michigan instead accepting the coaching spot in Carolina.