What Should Michigan do with Jim Harbaugh?

One  head coach in the state of Michigan lost his job today. Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia was fired today after starting the season 4-7. What about the most prominent head coach in Michigan? As of now, Jim Harbaugh still has his job at the University of Michigan, but for how much longer? The Wolverines just dropped to 2-4 on the season when they lost to the now 1-5 Penn State Nittany Lions. Michigan seems to be a directionless program and it may be time for them to move on from Jim Harbaugh.

The Case for Firing Jim Harbaugh

To put it bluntly, Harbaugh has not gotten the job done while at the helm for the Wolverines. Since he got hired in 2015, Michigan has gone 3-3 against Michigan State, 11-16 against ranked opponents, and 0-5 against Ohio State. Harbaugh has done a decent job recruiting, but it has been a revolving door at the quarterback position. Harbaugh is supposed to be great with QBs but none of his recruits have really panned out. The most successful QB under Harbaugh was Shea Patterson and he transferred in from Ole Miss. The number that really stands out to me is being winless against Ohio State. the Buckeyes are always one of the best teams in the country, but even Purdue has a win against them since Harbaugh has been hired.

Harbaugh has really struggled putting up wins when they are needed. Not only has he gone winless against Ohio State and 11-16 against ranked opponents, but he has gone 1-4 in bowl games. That is simply not good enough for a program as prestigious as Michigan.

To sum all of that up, Michigan has not been able to pull out the big victory when needed against highly ranked teams. My personal favorite is when Penn State blew them out during the white out game back when Saquon Barkley was a junior.

The Case for Keeping Harbaugh

There is no doubt that Harbaugh knows how to coach. He brought the 49ers to the NFC Championship game in each of his first 3 seasons with the team. Harbaugh has also recruited very well during his tenure. As of right now, they hold the #9 ranked recruiting class with a 5-star QB and 11 4-star guys. To ensure those guys stay committed, keeping Harbaugh is the right move. If he goes to another school or even back to the NFL, those recruits might jump ship as well. Harbaugh also posts a pretty good record since arriving at Michigan. In his time there, he has gone 49-22, good for a .690 winning percentage, but only a .200 winning percentage in bowl games.

Final Thoughts

With every week, Harbaugh’s seat gets hotter and hotter. He is making it very difficult for Michigan to keep him. However, the athletic department needs to think about whether Harbaugh’s replacement would be any better. How desirable is the jobat Michigan? That would definitely limit the potential candidates who would be interested. As a Penn State fan, I hope Harbaugh stays. Michigan does not really have any direction to their program and Harbaugh is part of that reason. However, I do believe it is time to move on from him. He has shown time and time again he cannot get the big win when needed, and that really is the name of the game.

-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)

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