CC: Thoughts on Harbaugh after the Orange Bowl

Submitted by chewieblue on January 4th, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Putting all the speculation aside for a moment, I thought I might ask an actual football question.  Who knows if Jimmy boy will end up being our next HC, but being that most of you probably watched your first Stanford game from start to finish last night, I'm interested in hearing what everyone thinks about Harbaugh as an actual coach.  

I've watched three Stanford games this year, and I thought last night they looked awfully physical, fast, inspired, and were fun to watch.  On the other hand I am not sure how good VT really is and I've always been a fan of pro-style football so I am admittedly a bit biased in this regard.

What are the feelings out there about JH as a HC? 


Young Pretty a…

January 4th, 2011 at 9:00 AM ^

Great play calling and team plays with lots of toughness.  I also enjoyed the Defensive blitz packages.  If Jim does not end up at Michigan, I will still continue to root for his teams.

Go Blue


January 4th, 2011 at 9:01 AM ^

I loved watching AL roll out on a nakid boot and throw to a wide open TE.  That was a staple in the good old M playbook for many many years.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:02 AM ^

That team looked a lot like what Michigan put out in the end of the 90's and early 2000's.  It also looked like a much better version of what Michigan put out in the Mid-2000's.  But I guess that makes sense.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:04 AM ^

I think it was the 3rd quarter when Gruden did a slow-mo, telestrator thing with Stepfan Taylor's 56-yard run from Stanford's 3-yard line.  He showed Stanford's use of motion and shifting on the line before the play started and how that confused the VT defense.  It was a really basic football move but executed really well.  I think Stanford was really prepared for Bud Foster's schemes and really showed the second-half adjustments when they ran away with the game.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:11 AM ^

The over-riding impression, fair or not, that I came away with was that Stanford looked like a TEAM.  They didn't execute everything perfectly or play flawlessly, but I couldn't help thinking that the only touchdown they gave up was on a terrific, super-athletic play by VT's QB, Tyrod.  And he's a phenomenal athlete and quarterback.  But it wasn't enough - not even close.  The team always wins in football.  I'm not saying you don't need athletes - of course you do.  Nor am I saying that Stanford isn't athletic - of course they are.  But they just all did their parts and the results speak for themselves.  VT would have needed lots more special athletic plays to keep up with the superior blocking, gap control, sound assignments, etc. that JH threw at them. 


January 4th, 2011 at 9:47 AM ^

The game looked like Michigan circa 1990's, with that role played by Stanford, versus current Michigan, with that role played by VT.

A solid team against an outstanding athlete or two.  The athletes make a few highlight reel plays but the team wins the game. 


January 4th, 2011 at 9:05 AM ^

My name may give a clue to my loyalties, but in three years, besides Zoltan fake punts, it seems that RR's offense has been fairly bland.  I don't recall any real trick plays, ever.  That is the thing that I'm really disappointed in...


January 4th, 2011 at 9:41 AM ^

RR has never had a QB who has any experience.  It seems to me as if he has said that he has had to keep things somewhat basic.  At the beginning of the year, one very successful play was for DR to fake a QB draw and then hit a slant.  That went for at least a couple of TDs before opposing Ds figured it out.  Even with a limited playbook, though, you would think that he could have come up with a few more twists, and a trick play of two could have been helpful in a few situations.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:53 AM ^

to shift your offensive formation before the snap or put a guy in motion?  This has nothing to do with experience and everything with scheme and coaching philosophy.  From what I saw last night.:

JH / Stanford philoshopies >>>>>>  better then RR / Current UofM schemes

Stanford has 350 plays and do not seem to have the same level of "execution" and "mistakes" we here about in every post game press conference this year after a loss....

After watching the game last night JH and his staff are WAY better coaches then the current group of guys we have now at UofM. 


January 4th, 2011 at 9:07 AM ^

I like that they tackle well and play hard, physical defense.  They lost contain a few times (first half) but continued to put pressure on an quick, elusive quarterback.  I kept thinking that it would be great to have a defense like that.

Indiana Blue

January 4th, 2011 at 9:09 AM ^

with football fundamentals.  Something that is missing right now at Michigan.

Harbaugh said it ... this team loves the preparation to be good.  Sounds just like Bo !

Go Blue !


January 4th, 2011 at 9:09 AM ^

Stanford looked like the aggressor all night. VT didn't have a chance, IMO. Although, Taylor had that amazing TD pass while JH was yelling that he was out of bounds. That is one of the top plays all season. 


January 4th, 2011 at 9:11 AM ^

And I especially liked how he coached the players up after making mistakes, rather than having a look of defeat and chewing players out for missed assignments. Now granted, they won 40-12 so there weren't many mistakes or missed assignments.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:16 AM ^

I was a fence sitter until last night.  Watching how disciplined, fundamentally sound and just downright good Stanford was is justification for throwing a lot of money at JH.  As of today, it doesn't sound like he's coming, but nobody knows but JH.  To do what he has done with a typical PAC 10 doormat is amazing.  Just look at how much better his recruiting class for 2011 is ... probably top ten.  If he doesn't come to AA, how deflated is the Maize and Blue nation going to be????  If he stays at Stanford for a potential national title run next year (pending Luck staying) I say give RR one more year.  If serious improvement has not happened, then we go at JH again.

Go Blue!


January 4th, 2011 at 9:17 AM ^

I got a little sick to my stomach realizing that this is "what could have been".

Stanford looked well prepared, very physical and motivated.  That's a good football team.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:21 AM ^

Their defense was really good and the offense was solid early and much better in the second half.  They also were able to overcome their sloppiness early on related to special teams (fielding a punt inside the 5, missed xtra pts, questionable fake punt). 

Doing well in two facets of the game is twice as good as where we are now.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:25 AM ^

I think he's a good coach. But if he can get players that will play that style of football at Michigan, then good lord I can't wait. Well, if he does come here to coach. If we don't get him please don't go after Brady Hoke. I would rather have Rodriguez and our flashy offense. Eventually our defense would have to get better, Right? I mean can it really get worse?


January 4th, 2011 at 9:49 AM ^

But...the same could have been said about RR before he came here. RR's teams were physical, fast, well coached, tough, all of the above at WV.

If JH comes here I'll be happy for one reason; he can unite us, unite the clans (quote courtesy of Braveheart).


January 4th, 2011 at 9:30 AM ^

Sort of OT, but how great was it last night when it was 33-12 and Stanford comes to the line in some crazy formation and continues to shift 4 or 5 times and then just runs it off tackle? The camera shoots to Bud Foster and he is LIVID and then the camera shoots to Harbaugh and it's business as usual. I LOVED IT. The guy doesn't give a s**t.




Six Zero

January 4th, 2011 at 9:31 AM ^


Honestly, all year I've thought his team looks very similar to Coach Carr football, with perhaps a little more daring in the playcalling.  Harbaugh's players certainly seem to have a strong foundation of technique and awareness, and to know what they're supposed to be doing and how to do it.  A little bend but don't break on D, but as long as a team wins that's always an acceptable philosophy.

I Wrote a 4 Wo…

January 4th, 2011 at 9:33 AM ^

I've been very firmly in the RichRod camp, and am still confident he would be successful if he returns, but Craig James statements during & after the Gator Bowl have stuck with me...that there's just so much negativity surrounding the program that I don't know if he can overcome THAT. If we win 9 next year with RichRod, there'd still be people calling for his head. I wonder if we won 10 if people would still be calling for his head -- I think so.
<br>That being said, I love more and more how Harbaugh handles the press & interacts with his players. Obviously we know RichRod interacts with his players well also, but I'm not quite as fond of how he handles the press.
<br>I want RichRod but because of the fanbase, and the heat he'd probably feel even if he won, I wonder if it'd be best to appease the haters and just being in someone else. I'm afraid of the possibility of RichRod staying and winning while there's still a faction against him who tries to dig up dirt again which ends up hurting MICHIGAN as much as RichRod.

True Blue in CO

January 4th, 2011 at 9:38 AM ^

when the team and the coach have it because everything is working well.  RRod could get there but JH's faster rate of continuous improvement is in sharp contrast to RRod's mixed results on both offense and defense.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:41 AM ^

I think Harbaugh made the right hire for his defensive coordinator position. Last year Stanford had an atrocious defense but watching them last night it looked like they were very, very good. Vic Fangio should be given a lot of the credit for the job he has done. This was Stanford's 3rd defensive coordinator in Harbaugh's time as coach at Stanford. Think they found the right one this time. Hopefully when RR is retained he can find his own version of Vic Fangio for the defense in year 4.

willis j

January 4th, 2011 at 9:45 AM ^

about how Stanford plays a 3/4 and we play a 3-3 sometimes 3/4 and our defense never blitzes like that. 

Whats not to like. They run plays out of tons of formations. They shift, they motion. Play action. They get everyone involved. They keep the defense from getting complacent and you never know whats gong to come next. 

The defense tackles well. They communicate. They have good fundamentals. They know where to be on the field and how to read the offense and how to get off of blocks. 


January 4th, 2011 at 9:46 AM ^

When I watch Stanford, its as if watching Moeller's teams, no joke. They are tough as nails, especially on defense, and can run and throw.

When I watch Rod's teams, I think of Millen's Lions, no joke.  The offense had lots of weapons.The defense is small and cannot tackle, much like their Tampa 2 they tried.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:56 AM ^

The starkest contrast I saw was between Vic Fangio and GERG

Stanford last year on D was in Michigan's position this year. Terrible. And costing the team a chance at a much better season.

Fangio changed the scheme, put different players in new positions and got a studly year out of the Skov kid, who make no mistake was a blue chip recruit. A defensive recruiting prize in 2009 for the Cardinal

Makes me wonder what he could do here with our defensive parts.


January 4th, 2011 at 9:56 AM ^

but has anyone done a comparison of the rosters?  How does Standford compare to Michigan in terms of age and experience on the 2 deep?  That seems to be a pretty big indicator of success.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:34 AM ^ is mentioning. The line had 120+ collective starts and Luck just ended his SECOND year of starting.The offense there, as a whole, just ended Harbaugh's 4th year at the school. The TE who caught all the passes(at least it seemed like it) is a JR. The stud FB/LB two way player is a SR. The defense, even being in the first year with a new coordinator, only had two starters as underclassmen. They definitely have experience.

Now, I'm not sure just how much that experience translated into the good play on the field, but one would have to think that it added at least something to the mix.


January 4th, 2011 at 10:40 AM ^

....and I know it doesn't win points for imaginative offense was when The Cardinal was down there on the VaTech 2 yard line and on first down the ran the ball straignt up the gut for half a yard then on second down they ran the fullback for 1 yard and on third down they ran the fullback again for the score.

My thought were of Woody Hayes teaching Bo to "Run the G-dd---ed fullback it preys on the defenses mind" The Padawan has learned well form the Jedi master It is now time to complete the circle. Come home Jim we need ye.......  


January 4th, 2011 at 11:05 AM ^

I thought one of the most impressive things was how well they contained Taylor.  He definitely got away a few times but it seemed more often than not the Stanford line stayed in their lanes and the blitzes didn't just fly by Taylor.  They slowed up and kept Taylor in the pocket - great discipline.