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#pounditFriday, September 18, 2020

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh accuses Michigan State of planning pregame scuffle

Jim Harbaugh

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was still furious with the Michigan State Spartans a full 48 hours after a pregame scuffle that he accused them of planning.

It started before the game, when Michigan State’s traditional pregame “Spartan walk” took place with Michigan players already on the field for warmups. This started a scuffle, and so infuriated Wolverine linebacker Devin Bush that he tried to deface the Spartan logo on the field.

Harbaugh doubled down on his criticisms Monday during his bye week press conference, claiming Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and his program planned the walk to coincide with Michigan’s warmups and start an incident, referring to it as “an orchestrated stormtrooper march.”

Michigan ended up winning 21-7, and did not hide their jubilation afterward. Dantonio had firmly rebutted Harbaugh’s claims after the game and will likely do so again, but the Michigan coach isn’t prepared to let this go, even if he got the victory.

Jim Harbaugh blames ‘bush league’ Mark Dantonio for pregame scuffle

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It’s safe to say that the pregame incident between Michigan and Michigan State was not forgotten by the Michigan side after their 21-7 win over the Spartans.

The two teams scuffled before the game as Michigan players clashed with Michigan State’s pregame “Spartan walk.” Michigan alleged that the Spartans came out ten minutes late to interfere with Michigan’s warmups, and he took full aim at the Spartans and coach Mark Dantonio after the game, calling their actions “bush league” and saying that his respect for them had dropped.

Dantonio was asked to respond in his own postgame press conference, and he wasn’t buying Harbaugh’s line of attack at all.

These are two coaches that have never particularly been fond of each other heading two teams that feel the same way. It’s even more true when this was only Michigan’s third win in the last 11 against the Spartans after historically dominating the rivalry. Michigan clearly wanted to make a statement, were motivated to do so, and were happy to say so after their two-touchdown victory.

Jim Harbaugh suggests Michigan, Michigan State could ‘use a break’ from trash talk

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The rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State is often just a little bit more personal than your average game, but Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh just wants to keep his eye on the football.

Harbaugh suggested Monday that both teams would be better off ignoring the cliched trash talk ahead of Saturday’s matchup, a pivotal game for both teams.

The rivalry is usually filled with “little brother” quips and stake-planting. That’s especially true with both teams consistently being major contenders nationally over the past three years since Harbaugh’s arrival, even though the Spartans have generally been on the better end of the rivalry since Mark Dantonio took over there. Of course, the Michigan coach has been guilty of getting involved himself. Just not this week.

Jim Harbaugh says Big Ten admitted mistake on ‘phantom’ holding call

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The Michigan Wolverines pulled off their biggest comeback of the Jim Harbaugh era with their win over Northwestern on Saturday, and they had to overcome one of the worst calls of the season in order to make it happen. How bad was it? Even the Big Ten agrees that the flag could have wrongly cost Michigan the game.

Michigan was trailing 17-0 early before charging all the way back to win 20-17, and they managed to not lose their focus after this holding call when they were trailing 17-13 in the fourth quarter:

As you can see, Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson faked a handoff to running back Karan Higdon, who was tackled by a Northwestern defender. Patterson then scrambled for a 15-yard gain, but Higdon was flagged for holding. The call was inexplicable.

In his weekly interview with “The Jamie and Stoney Show” on 97.1 The Ticket Wednesday, Harbaugh was asked if the Big Ten called him to say, “Sorry we missed it.” He said an official from the conference did, in fact, admit the mistake.

“I’d say it was the worst call in the history of college football — since 1869,” Harbaugh reiterated on Wednesday, via Aaron McMann of “I’d put it right up there with it.”

Again, the Big Ten is lucky Michigan was able to win the game. If not, that would have been quite the controversy.

Jim Harbaugh explains why he didn’t go to senior prom

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Jim Harbaugh may have been a star quarterback at Palo Alto High School in 1982, but apparently not all star high school quarterbacks are the prom king.

While speaking with the media on Monday, Harbaugh was asked a lighthearted question about high school homecoming dances. The Michigan coach said he attended them when he was an underclassman, but he didn’t go in 11th grade and also did not go to his senior prom.

Is that a surprise? Sort of, but not really to those of us who have followed Harbaugh’s career. We know he’s a very strange cat, so it makes sense that he wouldn’t do all of the traditional things a high school quarterback did.

You’ve probably heard people say, “Never change, Jim.” Stories like this one confirm that he hasn’t and probably never will.

Michigan president weighs in on Jim Harbaugh’s job security

Jim Harbaugh

After a season-opening defeat to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, there were some murmurs of discontent surrounding Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh and the job he’s done in bigger games.

Harbaugh is now 1-6 against chief Michigan rivals Ohio State, Michigan State, and Notre Dame, and some wondered if he might perhaps consider returning to the NFL if the Wolverines have another disappointing season in 2018. One thing is clear: according to Michigan president Mark Schlissel, the school certainly won’t be casting him aside anytime soon.

It’s very hard to imagine Michigan sending Harbaugh packing in any context unless things get really bad. He’s still one of the most high-profile coaches in the country who brings in elite recruiting classes and publicity for the football program. Combined with his status as a former Michigan quarterback, he’s an iconic figure at the university, and it’s tough to envision them doing any better.

Michigan may not fire Harbaugh, but there’s always the chance he himself could choose to return to the NFL, and there’s enough intrigue there that oddsmakers are willing to dip their toes into that market.

You can bet on whether Jim Harbaugh will be Michigan’s coach in 2019

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Jim Harbaugh entered the 2018 season needing a big year, and he did not get off to a good start.

His Michigan Wolverines were soundly beaten by Notre Dame on Saturday 24-17 and showed the same issues that have plagued them throughout his tenure as head coach. Quarterback play remains a concern, and the offense as a whole showed very little. Already 0-1, Michigan still has road games at Northwestern and Ohio State on the schedule. They also have a brutal three-game home/away/bye/home stretch against Wisconsin, Michigan State and then Penn State.

It’s fair to wonder how much worse the season will get for Michigan. Combining that with Harbaugh’s tendency to stay around four years at many of his career stops has led to betting odds where you can wager on whether he will be Michigan’s head coach at the start of spring practice next year.

The odds do favor Harbaugh coaching Michigan next year, but you can bet on other possibilities, such as him returning to the NFL. Here are the odds via

Michigan Head Coach -150
NFL Head Coach +275
Head Coach of Any other College Team +450
Television Analyst 7/1
Baltimore Ravens Assistant 20/1
High School Head Coach 50/1

Despite the interesting betting options, we’re still favoring Harbaugh remaining at Michigan next year. He seems dedicated to the position, and the school seems dedicated to him. He brought a lot of positive attention to the program immediately and had two very good seasons to start his tenure. He just needs to avoid an embarrassing season this year, which he should do, and make sure things are square for next year.

Jim Harbaugh not expecting any suspensions due to shoe selling

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh is not expecting Michigan to join North Carolina in suspending players due to shoe violations.

The Wolverines investigated its football players to see whether any of them had violated team rules by selling shoes they were given by Jordan brand as part of school endorsement.

On Monday, Harbaugh said that they took a shoe inventory and that all shoes were accounted for. Because of that, he’s not expecting any suspensions.

Michigan was one of three schools contacted by North Carolina about potential violations. A shoe reseller told UNC that they had bought shoes from Michigan, Marquette, and Cal, leading the Tar Heels to warn those schools.

North Carolina last week announced the suspension of 13 players for selling their school-supplied gear.

Former Michigan QB details Jim Harbaugh’s bizarre dietary beliefs

Jim Harbaugh

Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is known to be a pretty eccentric guy, but one story about him from a former Michigan quarterback might just take the cake.

According to Wilton Speight, who has since transferred to UCLA, Harbaugh doesn’t want his players eating chicken, because apparently white meat is evil.

It’s hard to figure out how someone could even get to such a conclusion, and not do so with at least a little bit of a smirk. I mean, sure, this is a guy who used carrying babies to impart a lesson on ball security, but we’re on another level here.

Inquiring minds want to know: what birds are not nervous and are thus acceptable? No, really, we definitely want to know.

Mayor of Ohio city takes shot at Jim Harbaugh

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It’s a little-known fact that Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer were both born in the same city: Toledo, Ohio. One has a key to the city, though, and it might not be the one you expect.

Earlier in the summer, Toledo mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz gave Harbaugh a key to the city, an honor still not yet bestowed upon Meyer.

Not only did this go down poorly with Ohio State fans, the University of Toledo also wasn’t pleased. The Rockets won the Mid-American Conference last year, but coach Jason Candle didn’t get one either. That led at least one Toledo trustee to send an angry letter to the mayor, while athletic director Mike O’Brien said the school was “surprised” and “frustrated,” via David Briggs of the Toledo Blade.

On Thursday, Kapszukiewicz tried to undo some of the damage his decision had caused.

Nice try, Mayor, but the damage has been done. Meyer probably hasn’t given it any thought, though. He’s hurting his Wolverine counterpart in other ways.

H/T The Spun