Why Jim Harbaugh Staying At Michigan Was The Wrong Decision
It has been rumored for the past few weeks now that University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh was eyeing a potential move to the NFL. First, he was rumored to be interested in the Las Vegas Raiders job and there seemed to be interest. After the Raiders hired Josh McDaniels, he then moved on to a surprising team: the Minnesota Vikings. After ongoing interviews, news broke this evening that Harbaugh would be returning to Michigan. Here is the tweet from Adam Schefter:
This off-season would have been the perfect chance for Harbaugh to move on from the college game and return to the NFL. Off the heels of his most successful season while at Michigan: 12-2 record, beat Ohio State for the first time while at Michigan and took his team to the College Football Playoff, Harbaugh was smart to look for a move back to the NFL. Harbaugh coached the San Francisco 49ers from 2011-2014 with a record of 49-22-1 including playoffs. I am here to explain to you why returning to Michigan was the wrong decision.
Reason #1: No Ohio State In The NFL
Let’s call it how it is: Jim Harbaugh has a proven track record that he can not hang with Ohio State. During his tenure at Michigan, he is 1-5 against the Buckeyes. It has been apparent that not only was Ohio State a clear thorn in Harbaugh’s side but he has been badly out-coached in their matchups. Harbaugh’s Michigan team has been outscored 290-196 point total in their games since he has taken over, including a 56-27 embarrassing performance in 2019. This year, they did pick up a 42-27 victory, but that win was viewed as the end all be all for the University. I call BS. A premier head coach could be able to put up a better effort, and keep games closer than some of the blowouts they have had.
#2: “Tell Them To Bring Me My Money”
Jim Harbaugh signed a 5-year deal in January 2021 for $4M a year, but with incentives, it could go up to $8M. There were rumors this year, especially after the Ohio State game that Harbaugh would try to pull for a new contract for more money. But the college money pales in comparison to the money he could’ve got in the NFL. If Jon Gruden can go from Gruden’s QB Camp to 10/$100M+, imagine the money that Harbaugh could’ve signed for. Harbaugh had all the momentum this year to land a massive deal with almost any team he could’ve wanted, but instead screwed the pooch and ran back to Michigan. I know that money isn’t everything and it can’t buy happiness…but I know for me money could buy me a nice, big boat. And a big boat sure would make me happy. Maybe that’s just me.
#3: Full Roster Control (Probably)
Most of these big-name head coaches will fight to have their hand in most if not all roster moves. I understand that at the college game, you have to go out and recruit players that fit the style and schemes you have so you can argue that recruitment is kind of like roster control. Nope. Getting to bring in literally ANY player you want (either via free agency or in trade), that kind of control is so much more intriguing than what the college game has to offer. Transfer portal or no transfer portal, nothing compares to the guys you can bring in in the NFL. Most college guys would be salivating at the prospect of full roster control. I guess Jim Harbaugh doesn’t care about that.
No matter how you slice it, I firmly believe that Jim Harbaugh made the wrong decision in returning to the college game and the University of Michigan. If Harbaugh had made himself available earlier, he would’ve maybe had a chance at some other NFL jobs (hint: the Denver job was incredibly intriguing for anybody) but his only two interviews did not land him a job. With head coaching positions available in New Orleans, Jacksonville, Miami and Houston, why pull yourself out early? It doesn’t make sense. Harbaugh could’ve landed any of those four jobs, most of which are very intriguing especially Miami. But he decided against it. That was the wrong decision.