Harbaugh’s winning percentage at UM

Submitted by TK on November 19th, 2018 at 12:22 PM

Just an interesting note. With our 10 game winning streak, Harbaugh now stands at 38-12 for a winning percentage of .760. In the past 2 games he has eclipsed Lloyd Carr (.753) and Gary Moeller (.758). He’s got a long way to go to catch up to Bo. Obviously a loss or two can change it going back the other direction, but it goes to show what he has been able to do here in 4 years. Also worth noting that the Big 10 is obviously stronger as a whole then it was 15-25 years ago. So..he’s doing just fine. 

Now to take the next stop and knock off the evil empire down south. 



November 19th, 2018 at 12:24 PM ^

It's amazing, given that he's only been here 4 years and one of those was... pretty awful. Even if you assume Harbaugh is a more often than not 10-2 type of coach, that number will increase over time. 


November 19th, 2018 at 12:28 PM ^

I think of 2 games that I will never forget. Blocked punt in 2015 and “the spot” in 2016. If those 2 go the other way, Harbaugh is probably 41-10 with a 4-3 record against his rivals and looking for his second big ten title and playoff appearance in 4 years. I know close doesn’t count, but it’s “that close”. That’s why this year can not have that chance slip through our fingers again. 


November 19th, 2018 at 12:43 PM ^

Yes, but a couple of odd bounces and it might. So the question becomes whether the knicker-twisters will tie themselves up in knots if it happens or be smart enough to know we're on the right path anyway. 

In a way it doesn't matter, because upstairs the sense is he's doing great. (A few of those eggheads may be even more interested in whether he's graduating fellers.)

Save yourselves the gray hairs, Twisters, and think of them as you would your family--you love 'em even when they stumble. Yours whether you like it all or not.


November 19th, 2018 at 1:04 PM ^

It wasn't just "the spot"... the whole OSU game in 2016 was full of ref bias in their favor.  In addition to that and "the punt", there were also injuries.  Harbaugh inherited a weak 5-7 team with little depth and could ill-afford any key injuries.  If Speight does not get injured in 2016, we may have beaten Iowa and almost certainly beat OSU.  If Newsome doesn't get injured, think how different 2016 and 2017 look... and maybe this year, too.

Take away the flukes and coin flips, and Harbaugh is 41-10.  Take away one or two injuries, and he's probably even better.  Now that we have a fully-weaponized Harbaugh team, we are better able to withstand some injuries and fluke plays... and it shows.

Ali G Bomaye

November 19th, 2018 at 12:47 PM ^

Last year was extremely frustrating, but wasn't that bad. Almost every good program will have a "meh" year now and then.

Carr was HC for 13 seasons, and had five seasons with 4-5 losses. Moeller was only HC for five seasons, but had two 4-loss seasons. Bo was HC for 21 seasons, and in his final 11 seasons, he had three four-loss seasons plus a six-loss season (while recognizing that Bo was a great coach, it's worth noting that his record in the 70s was so stellar because the B1G other than OSU was complete garbage - he went 61-4 against non-OSU B1G teams in the 70s).

So even setting aside that our 2017 record was largely the result of bad recruiting in the two years before Harbaugh got here, it's not unusual to have a stinker every so often.


November 19th, 2018 at 12:55 PM ^

It was bad. Definitely worse than the record indicated. Losing 5 competitive games is one thing. Last year was something worse.

The fact that Harbaugh managed to get the team to 8 wins is a strong endorsement of him and his staff. O'Korn was a welcome addition to the team, but a generationally bad QB. 

I don't think Harbaugh will ever have another season like that. Even if he loses 5.

Newton Gimmick

November 19th, 2018 at 2:01 PM ^

Do you have any concrete data to say the team was worse than their record?

S&P+ ranked them 27th in the country last year, and third highest among teams with at least 5 losses.  Their 2nd-order win (i.e., expected number of wins based on box scores) total was 8.3, so if anything, they were slightly better than their record.


snarling wolverine

November 19th, 2018 at 2:02 PM ^

Definitely worse than the record indicated. Losing 5 competitive games is one thing. Last year was something worse

I don't understand this.  Only PSU was a lopsided loss.  In all the other games we were ahead or within one score in the fourth quarter.  

MSU - had the ball with a chance to win in the final minute, lost by 4.

Wisconsin  - trailed 14-10 entering the fourth quarter when Peters was knocked out.

OSU - had the ball with a chance to win with 2:30 to go when JOK airmailed an interception

South Carolina - led most of the game and lost by 7.


November 19th, 2018 at 2:37 PM ^

You somewhat lay it out yourself. I think getting blown out by a much better PSU is not really a big deal. When you play a better team, you're probably going to lose.

Losing four more totally winnable games due to absolutely dogshit QB play made those losses excruciating to sit through. There's a reason why people were calling for Harbaugh to get fired after losing to ND and it wasn't just the five losses last year (or simply their own stupidity). It was how terrible the team looked in those losses last year. 

Like I said, it's amazing what Harbaugh managed to do - he kept the team from falling apart after that MSU loss, despite horrible QB and pass pro play. 

snarling wolverine

November 19th, 2018 at 2:42 PM ^

There's a reason why people were calling for Harbaugh to get fired after losing to ND and it wasn't just the five losses last year (or simply their own stupidity

No, it was their own stupidity.

Your comment makes no sense.  Harbaugh didn't want to play JOK but had no other option.  Because our third-string QB played badly, Harbaugh should be fired?  

You're a troll, I get it now.

Newton Gimmick

November 19th, 2018 at 2:46 PM ^

You seem to be contradicting yourself now.  Earlier, you said "Definitely worse than the record indicated. Losing 5 competitive games is one thing. Last year was something worse."

4 of their 5 losses were competitive, 4 of those 5 were to better teams in S&P rankings, and 3 of the 5 were away from home.  I'm having trouble understanding what you mean by saying they were "worse than their record."  What would a team that was "better than their record" do?


November 19th, 2018 at 2:50 PM ^

Probably I am somewhat. However, you're confusing an ex-post comparison of the scores with actual in-game performance. We both watched that MSU game. Did you seriously think it was competitive? It looked like a trainwreck to me, regardless of the score. 

Was MSU's game against Nebraska competitive? They only lost by 3. I'd contend not. 

Newton Gimmick

November 19th, 2018 at 4:50 PM ^

I guess I didn't and still don't know what you mean by competitive.  Michigan outgained MSU last year and lost by 4.  It was between two Top 30 teams, both stronger on defense than offense, in a rainstorm.  So even though it wasn't beautifully played, it was competitive.  Michigan played pretty much even with an eventual 10-3 team, so I don't know why you would say they were worse than their 8-5 record.

MSU's game with Nebraska was between two mediocre teams in the snow.  MSU led the game in the 4th quarter.  It was competitive in most colloquial uses of the term.


November 19th, 2018 at 2:31 PM ^

I think it's an underestimate of Harbaugh's future long-term performance. I think he's taking Michigan to a team that's as likely to go 12-0 as it is to go 10-2. 

Harbaugh is an elite coach and there's absolutely no reason why he won't eventually approach Urban's ~90% win percentage. Harbaugh will always be weighted down by these early year growing pains, so he might not ever get to that level but I think it's asymptotically achievable if he stays here for a decade.  


November 19th, 2018 at 2:38 PM ^

You're setting yourself up to be disappointed.  The only coach that can meet that super-high standard is Nick Saban, and he has advantages that we don't have. 

To go 10-2 is already really, really good.  



November 19th, 2018 at 12:33 PM ^


Part of my motivation for posting. Glad that he has distanced himself from those comparisons. They were very loud after Notre Dame. Actually I’ll raise my hand and say I was starting to wonder if it was going to be Brady Hoke year 4 when we were down 17-0 to NW.  I did not see this coming. 


November 19th, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

GRRR. That drove me nuts. 

Too many people listen to our rivals crap then make determinations of our program. 

I've heard of people who *still* think Harbaugh should go due to bad playcalling. 'I could figure it out....' Whatever. 


November 19th, 2018 at 12:33 PM ^

I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with someone who hates UM and didn’t think Harbaugh was doing a good job. I told him he’s won 75% of the Gabe’s he’s coached there. How many programs can claim that?  We are lucky to have him at UM and hope he is here for a very long time 


November 19th, 2018 at 12:39 PM ^

Honestly, beyond all the obvious reasons, I want Michigan to beat OSU and NW and capture the B1G Championship just so we can once and for all shut down the bullshit Harbaugh is overpaid and hasn't won anything troll narrative.  Just the thought that we may never have to hear that nonsense from the troll fringe ever again in a couple of weeks is glorious to think about.


November 19th, 2018 at 12:49 PM ^

If you wanted to add a trendline to Mork and Harbaugh's performance, one is currently going up while the other is strongly negative. 

It's pretty clear that Mork requires a really good pro-style QB and NFL prospect RB to make his system work properly. That's a tough ask to consistently pull players like that to MSU.

Mork hasn't been lucky in the past since he's a good coach. However, PSU and UM both being down really helped him out. Even though Franklin sucks as a coach, he's an elite recruiter who is keeping good players away for Mork. Harbaugh is Harbaugh. 

I can't imagine Mork isn't starting to think about life after MSU HC. 

Reggie Dunlop

November 19th, 2018 at 1:10 PM ^

Yeah. Hoke was 31-21, Dantonio 33-19.

I've been tracking and cherry picking this for some time now. If you stretch back to MSU's CFP loss to Alabama and start there, Dantonio is 19-18 in his last 37. In his last 37 games at Michigan, Hoke was 20-17. 

Why 37 games? Because nobody has time to debate context or random sample size when you blast out stupid crap like this, as we all know from when they were using it against Harbaugh.

(And Hoke is 11-3 in the remaining 14 games moving backward. Barring an undefeated MSU next year, this nonsense comparison will play for at least another year.)



November 19th, 2018 at 1:57 PM ^

The worst was people arguing that "each year has gotten worse under Harbaugh."  He inherited a 5-7 team and went 10-3 in year one.  Then he went 10-3 again but that team was in playoff contention all year and lost those three games by five points.  Then we went 8-5.  So OK, one year - when he had ittle talent in his junior and senior classes - got worse.  



November 19th, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

Until we start beating OSU at least half of the time, I will look at Harbaugh as a good coach but not yet a great coach.  We are four years into the Harbaugh era and hopefully the pantry is getting stocked with the talent we need to beat the best teams we face. 

Next Saturday may start changing my mind.


November 19th, 2018 at 3:11 PM ^

I once had boss with a sign in his office that read "Results, Not Excuses." 

Harbaugh should be 3-1 against MSU too, but you know that last play where the punt didn't quite work out, or playing OSU and the play where Hoke decides that we go for two and things didn't work out either or the refs in Columbus, etc. etc. etc.


November 20th, 2018 at 6:59 PM ^

You once had a boss that was a moron.  Don't buy into the moron method of "Slogans, Not Thinking."

If you are going to wait until every expectation has been met before recognizing greatness, you are due for a lifetime of disappointments.  Appreciate the Harbaugh you have at hand, rather than moaning about not having the Harbaugh of your dreams.


November 19th, 2018 at 2:45 PM ^

Hoke recruited defense really well, which is why our defense exploded under Harbaugh almost immediately. His offensive recruiting wasn't great(or probably even decent) though. As RR's guys left, our team became increasingly bad at offense.

That was a huge hole for Harbaugh to climb out of. The fact that he was able to do it with Speight is amazing.