Cowherd: the Supermodel tripped on the runway Saturday and that can't happen

Submitted by NateVolk on September 5th, 2018 at 11:30 AM

We know this particular member of the media has long been a huge admirer of Coach Harbaugh.

The thing I got out of it was a greater understanding of the fans on here and their negativity. Because the point Cowherd makes is valid. 

A bar has been set by a variety of factors. Many set by Coach Harbaugh's behavior and track record. Many set by program history. Some by a media on the hunt to bring down a big name and a big name program. 

Whatever the source, the bar is there and undeniable. And with the standard, comes expectations. And it also brings upset posters after losses.

I have been guilty of quickly dismissing the negativity on here as unreasonable. But the expectations aren't based on nothing. 



September 5th, 2018 at 11:42 AM ^

Will probably catch quite a bit of flak for this but I absolutely agree with Cowherd.  I'm not one of those people on this board that grow ire for him every time he gives an honest opinion about the trajectory of Harbaugh's record at Michigan.  I will support Harbaugh and I believe he can get things turned around but after year 4 and having an o-line that looks lost at times, it's still disheartening with all the talent that we actually have in other positions with that one group holding us back from greatness or a Big Ten title at the very least.


September 5th, 2018 at 11:42 AM ^

Like any fan of any team, we want to the best for our team, but we also want the best from our team. They didn't look prepared, for whatever reason. Maybe they were beat by a better team Saturday, I don't know. What I do know from watching it over was, they were out schemed. On offense, they looked at what Michigan had on defense and they called the correct play time and time again to beat us. Whether it was Furbush in coverage, or calling a play where the corner was the last man for contain. On offense they bought pressure and got home, when we couldn't. This team may get better and this will just be a footnote in the history of this season, but after waiting all offseason for the 1st game, that was painful, and I don't need Cowherd to tell me that.  


September 5th, 2018 at 12:25 PM ^

What make sure you say they weren’t prepared?  Is every team that we’ve beaten over the last 4 years unprepared because our d line blows theirs away?  Or were we just better than them?

Fact is, sometimes other teams are better. That’s on the coaches, to make the team better.  But unless you have some kind of expertise don’t act like you can tell whether it was preparation or scheming lack of fire or whatever other explanations people have been coming up with.


September 5th, 2018 at 12:59 PM ^

Reading is a very simple thing, kids 4 or 5 learn how to read, but understanding takes a little education. Did you read and not understand what I wrote? They didn't look prepared, for whatever reason. Maybe they were beat by a better team Saturday, I don't know.

Arb lover

September 5th, 2018 at 1:39 PM ^

Please leave the childish put downs off the thread. When your go-to is a put down you probably don't have much content to lead with. 

Saying they didn't look prepared is little better than saying they looked like it was the first game in the season. There were many things that could have easily swung this game for Michigan but didn't. I guarantee that if the touchdown that sailed through 2 receivers hands and was picked up by ND in the endzone was instead an interception, and Michigan made either FG opportunity (rather than sack + botched attempt), = Michigan wins by 3, same other issues, many of you would be so excited for the season, etc. and all the underlying issues would still be there. 

For instance you could go to Penn State or Michigan State's message boards and they are all very optimistic about their seasons, even though they played horribly vs very bad teams.. at home. 


September 5th, 2018 at 11:46 AM ^

People say all these things about how the Finebaums and Cowherds of the world are so evil but they are right that Jim Harbaugh has to start winning big games and beat Ohio state or he is going to be on the hot seat.


September 5th, 2018 at 11:57 AM ^

When OSU's structural advantages, elite (sorry) coach, recent recruiting run (historically good, sorry), clearly greater level of comfort with seediness, etc. are considered, *expecting* Harbaugh to beat them is unrealistic.

Now, he should be making continual progress toward that goal. (Hasn't quite worked out that way ...)

Don't get me wrong. This is the first year I've been really open to bitching about the current regime. Some of it is justified.

snarling wolverine

September 5th, 2018 at 1:52 PM ^

Now, he should be making continual progress toward that goal. (Hasn't quite worked out that way ...)

I really don't have anything to reproach Jim over for the 2016 and '17 games.  The first was a heartbreaker in 2 OT and in the second we were competitive despite having O'Korn at QB.

Of course, it would be nice to finally get over the hump and win.


September 5th, 2018 at 11:50 AM ^

I dont want to create a thread and the resultant shit storm that will ensue but this morning here in Cleveland the morning radio hosts on our sports station 92.3 the fan said they believed if/when the Browns finally fire Hue Jackson they will go hard after Harbaugh for a HC next year.

We'd have Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett, Peppers, and quite a bit of other talent plus a ton of cap room and, if we're firing Jackson, another high draft pick to try and entice him.  And if you remember the Browns also flirted with hiring him before he left to go to Michigan so there's a history there.

Not saying it's going to happen of course but there will be interest here I'm afraid.


September 5th, 2018 at 12:23 PM ^

These are not "my thoughts" - I am simply reporting what was said on the air here in Cleveland.  And yes, they would take him in a nano-second.  The discussion basic discussion revolved around the following points:

1. That Harbaugh could clearly coach in the NFL - college, jury was still out.

2. That Harbaugh would be a massive upgrade in coaching over Hue Jackson.

3. That the Browns had interest once and still remain interested (stated by Ken Carmen who actually works for the Browns)



September 5th, 2018 at 12:17 PM ^

Isn't it a fair assumption that JH will perpetually be high on list of people to call when any NFL HC seat is warm?  Regardless of how you perceive his performance at UM, his NFL tenure speaks for itself.  And in a league full of mediocre retreads and teams desperate for immediate success, he is a golden god.  


You know, we can probably create a template for these posts so that you only need to fill in the team's name to make things easier.  Make it a sticky.


September 5th, 2018 at 12:36 PM ^

I agree with this - he's certainly not on the hot seat, and short of something catastrophic, the end of his leash cannot be see with the unaided eye at this point. Yes, we can complain about the current record against rivals and all that and we should expect better, but I think it was very clear that the athletic department put all the eggs in this basket when this hire was made and it would take more than a loss to Notre Dame to start his fourth season for anyone to even look at the basket uncomfortably. 

I certainly won't dissuade anyone from being critical - I certainly have levelled my share of criticism in the past few days, but I agree that the "hot seat" talk is a non-starter.


September 5th, 2018 at 1:30 PM ^

JH leaves when HE wants to leave. That's a given. The other given is Michigan can't compete against the elite football teams. Schools like Alabama, OSU, Clemson and Oklahoma recruit better and are structured for success. Even at Stanford he wasn't in consideration for the National Championship. He had good solid teams but not elite and but for a star QB (Luck) they were average.

As much as I love my school, I know they don't belong in the upper echelons of college football. They will entertain this year and come late December they will be playing in a nobody bowl. It is what it is.


September 5th, 2018 at 1:41 PM ^

If Harbaugh leaves UM it will because he got fed up with all the negativity and wants a fresh start with a new challenge.  And man, the Browns would be that ultimate turnaround challenge. The pay would be no worse and he would have nothing but upside as the expectations for Cleveland are no where near that of the UM fan base. 


September 5th, 2018 at 11:54 AM ^

Too much expectation for this program. If you watch the Michigan podcast we need to start dialing it back a bit and in turn the media's expectations of us would also be dialed back. This is not a top tier program right now. Need to start developing a mental edge amongst the fans and athletes that we are an underdog because in reality we are 


September 5th, 2018 at 12:55 PM ^

You may not want to accept it, but we are underdogs. It may not be the Michigan that you remember, but it's the truth right now. No player on the team was even in middle school the last time we won the Big Ten. You talk like we're so much better than MSU, but the fact is they've won 3 Big Ten championships since our last one. 

Ever since I've been a fan, (2008 when I was a freshman) Michigan has beaten OSU and MSU a combined 3 times. How do you expect me to believe we're not underdogs? 

BG Wolverine

September 5th, 2018 at 3:29 PM ^

The Michigan that most people on here remember never existed, Michigan was never a regular 1 or 2 loss, NC contending team.  What most want the team to be is what they were in the 90s.  They always beat sparty and mostly beat osu when they (osu) were top 5 ranked.  The 97 natty was an anomaly, not the norm.  Most forget that those teams in the 90s lost 3 and 4 games a year for the most part.  I bet most everyone here would take 3 - 4 losses a year if it meant we beat sparty and osu regularly.  The difference is then the prize was just a Rose Bowl berth if you won the big ten.  The playoff and new years 6 bowls, and the BCS before that have raised the bar and expectations to heights that are hard to reach.


September 5th, 2018 at 12:04 PM ^

"...Many set by Coach Harbaugh's behavior ..."

What behavior are you speaking about that set some arbitrary bar?  Seriously...  Has he ever proclaimed greatness, or guaranteed that his team would win any particular game?  Has he boasted about himself?  Has he thrown players under a buss after a loss?  Is he not repentant enough after a loss, or too jubilant after a win?  I honestly do not understand what behavior you're talking about here.

Maybe he should do those things?  I'd prefer he didn't...


September 5th, 2018 at 3:50 PM ^

Harbaugh hiring press conference:


"I'm not agreeing that it's a turnaround, this is Michigan, and there are no turnarounds in Michigan. This is greatness, and there's a long tradition of it."


Q. Just from a distance, how much did it pain you to watch Michigan struggle the last six, seven years?

"I didn't see the struggles you're talking about."


Harbaugh at Media Days this year:

 "Improvement will lead to success, which will lead to championships." 



September 5th, 2018 at 12:16 PM ^

I think Meritocracy is part of the problem here now. You have the older guys who show up and work hard and do all of the things they are supposed to do. The younger ones are there but haven't fallen into the process as quickly. Based on the tradition Harbaugh has set you play the guys that work the hardest. They may not be the best but they have done what he has asked them to do. He has to play them and thus the problem of meritocracy is set. How do we integrate the youth into the team and get better? That is the big question we have to start asking. Harbaugh believes in doing what is best for the team but not playing the young ones with a bigger upside may be hurting this team. They have to learn how to work like the leaders before them but the curve is much harder for someone just getting adjusted to college life. Kinda a catch twenty two and not sure how we solve it. I am going to support this team and Coach Harbaugh until he leaves because I love Michigan Football. Lets see where we go from here and I hope for great things. Go Blue!!!! 

Arb lover

September 5th, 2018 at 1:45 PM ^

You might have the wrong idea about Harbaugh's Meritocracy. You equate it to the person who works the hardest, not the person who is the best for that position. 

This is flat out wrong because players are working towards being the best for the position, not working towards being the hardest worker. When he says meritocracy he is saying "based on merit" and that he isn't going to play favorites for say, last year's starter. Now it may be possible for young talent that is not dependable to be dinged for showing that they are not dependable, but that's part of the equation for "best for the position". 


September 5th, 2018 at 12:28 PM ^

How many people said this offseason "we will be better team, but our schedule will keep our record from improving much"

Hopeful expectation was entering the OSU game with a shot at the B1G. That means 10-1/9-2 entering The Game, which is still on the table. Losing to Notre Dame didn't change expectations. 

Newton Gimmick

September 5th, 2018 at 12:48 PM ^

I agree.  I think there is a loss of perspective.  Very good Michigan teams have lost games like that in South Bend, where the key flags, crazy broken-plays, and luck seem to go in their favor.  I rewatched the game last night and did not think the teams were far apart -- both defenses had the upper hand, but they hit some 'are you shitting me' plays with Wimbush's armpunts.  If the game were replayed in Ann Arbor this week, I'd pick Michigan.  If it were replayed on a neutral site, I might also pick Michigan.

I think we will take care of business at home this season.  The MSU game will be a coinflip.  I think we go to OSU with 2 losses at most.


September 5th, 2018 at 3:31 PM ^

I agree, and when they announced Runyon at Left Tackle that should have been a red flag to everyone to dial back expectations.

Would have helped if everyone (Brian included) hadn't swallowed the Notre Dame operational deception narrative of Wimbush/offense sucking.

We are where we thought we would be: 90% of the makings of a good solid team and two developmental projects at offensive tackle.

Now we'll see if they can improve on last year with a harder schedule.


September 5th, 2018 at 1:53 PM ^

I think how we played ND changed everyone's expectations versus the pre-season hype.  The defense doesn't look as dominate with Mo Hurst gone from the middle.  The OL doesn't appear to have taken any meaningful steps forward.  In the B1G, you need both a dominate DL and a solid OL to win a championship.  We will need the DTs to improve and the entire OL to vastly improve to compete for a B1G title (and beat OSU in the 'shoe).  The big uglies are not yet ugly enough.  But the season is young and we have a 3-game home-stand to find out and make improvements.

Go Blue !!!


September 6th, 2018 at 10:56 AM ^

Idk, first half of the first game of the season was rough. 2nd half the defense let up ~60 yards and 3 points. Our backup safety lost a 50/50 ball that was INT/TD. A sketchy late hit turned a FG into a TD. 

I don't think the defense was as bad as it felt. The offense moved the ball well enough for most games (300+ yards)


September 5th, 2018 at 12:34 PM ^

not watching the video either but i think OP is right.  Harbaugh had a very strong track record when he arrived at UM.

49ers: had 8 straight LOSING seasons before Harbaugh, and he took them to 13-3, 11-4-1, 12-4 in his first 3 years. 

Stanford: had 6 straight losing seasons before Harbaugh, including a 1-11 the year before he arrived.  Harbaugh built that to 4-8, 5-7, 8-5, 12-1. 

San Diego (pioneer league): pre-harbaugh: 6-3, 5-5, 8-2. Harbaugh era: 7-4, 11-1, 11-1 (2 championships)

Michigan:  pre-harbaugh: 8-5, 7-6, 5-7. Harbaugh: 10-3, 10-3, 8-5.  

another expectation Harbaugh brought is the ability to get MORE success from his team than they otherwise would expect.  OVERachieving. Punching above his weight.  This narrative comes from building san diego and stanford into monsters who can compete with better teams.  Taking the Niners from 8 losing seasons to the super bowl.  

Looking at the records above, Harbaugh has arguably performed just as well at Michigan based on records alone (but we gotta beat OSU and MSU I know).  But still the team and the fans are frustrated. Because it's not the success we thought we'd have, and the sense is that Harbaugh is UNDERachieving with what he has vs. overachieving. 

I'm not sure I buy into the narrative that there's something "wrong", or "off" of whatever with Harbaugh.  Sure, his energy seems different, the antics are more subdued.  Maybe there's something to it, but I'm not confident drawing that conclusion.  

But I do find it strange that Drevno did so well with the OL in Stanford but couldn't replicate at Michigan. The Pep Hamilton hire and continued allegiance still flummoxes me (although remember there were reports that Harbaugh asked Pep to get another job after last season, he interviewed a couple places, umbig11 predicted he'd be gone, but he stayed).  Not sure why we've had to import a QB every season.  Lots of staff turnover.  A history of running offenses that adapted to the players and the competition, but complaints of simple, predictable play calls here.  

So this is what seems to be going on.  An awesome track record with top notch results at every stop.  A track record of over-achievement.  The Michigan, maybe a similar set of results, but a sense of under-achievement.  Losses in big games, losses to rivals, no sense of building a perennial monster but still, in year 4, "rebuilding" what's broken in the past.

Look, everybody who has a successful career seems to have some obstacles.  Harbaugh probably couldn't have predicted the attrition and bad batting average from the tackles he recruited.  He couldn't have known Drevno would regress, he couldn't have predicted Dan Enos would do what he did, that Newsome would retire.  And couldn't have predicted the string of bad luck he'd have on spots, whistles, bounces, etc.  

I think he's slightly underachieving at Michigan based on what he's had under his control but it's not an unmitigated disaster.  I think he could still build a very strong national contender in 3 more years if he goes full pedal to the metal.  But there have definitely been some missteps that cost him a few games and a big hit to his reputation.