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#pounditSunday, September 25, 2022

Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh has bold prediction for Aidan Hutchinson

Aidan Hutchinson in gear

Jim Harbaugh offered a bold prediction on Saturday night regarding Aidan Hutchinson.

Harbaugh was in New York City to accompany Hutchinson for the Heisman Trophy ceremony. Hutchinson had his moment in the spotlight when he and his family were interviewed by ESPN. That was followed by an interview between Marty Smith and Harbaugh, who is Hutchinson’s head coach at Michigan.

Harbaugh was complimentary of Hutchinson, outlining all the things the defensive lineman did for the team.

“He took our team on his back, along with Hassan Haskins. Broke his dad’s record,” Harbaugh said.

Then Harbaugh 1-upped everyone.

“And I think he’s going to be the No. 1 pick in the draft.”

And there it is.

The last time Harbaugh made a statement like that, it came true. He said he thought Hutchinson deserved to be in the Heisman Trophy conversation, and Hutchinson ended up in New York. Maybe next up will be the No. 1 pick, just like Harbaugh said.

Photo: Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) warms up before the game against the Michigan State Spartans, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.

John Harbaugh sends message to critics of brother Jim

John Harbaugh

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was named the AP Coach of the Year on Friday, and his brother was among those taking a victory lap.

John Harbaugh spoke a bit about his brother during his press conference on Friday. The Baltimore Ravens coach offered his reaction to Jim’s award, then concluded by sending a message to his brother’s critics.

“He’s always been a great coach,” John Harbaugh said of Jim. “And all those that want to pile on, especially some of the local media there, there you have it. Back in your face. That’s how I look at it. He’d never say that, but I’ll say it.”

John Harbaugh has been sitting on that message for a while. After all, Jim entered the year amid speculation about his job status. He faced questions about whether he could even win at Michigan. Things were so rough at the end of 2020 that Michigan’s biggest rival was openly celebrating Harbaugh’s contract extension.

Little more than one year later, Harbaugh is the coach of the year. He made a lot of people look bad as he took his team to the College Football Playoff. John is clearly getting a kick out of that.

Jim Harbaugh’s old tweet about Kirby Smart resurfaces

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

An old tweet Jim Harbaugh sent about Kirby Smart has resurfaced ahead of the College Football Playoff.

Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines have reached the CFP for the first time in school history. They are ranked No. 2 and will face No. 3 Georgia in the CFP semifinals on Dec. 31.

The game will be the first between the schools since 1965. Despite that, there is some history between Harbaugh and Smart.

Back when Harbaugh took over the Michigan program, he was making all sorts of noise nationwide with his satellite camps, such as ones in Florida.

At the time, Smart said he thought Harbaugh might have been breaking some rules by venturing so far out of Michigan for his camps.

Harbaugh responded with a strong tweet.

Harbaugh was so bold and confident at the time, he didn’t even mention Smart by name. That was the cocky Harbaugh, before the coach started losing to Ohio State and toning it down.

Now that he’s living up to expectations, Harbaugh is piping up a bit.

Maybe he and Smart moved past their issues since it’s been nearly six years, but you can bet the tweet will be a topic of conversation leading up to the game.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

College football writer hammered over Jim Harbaugh tweet

Jim Harbaugh walking

Michigan secured a spot in the College Football Playoff with a blowout win over Iowa on Saturday night. The victory was another huge one for Jim Harbaugh’s legacy, as he proved for a second straight week that he can, in fact, win important games. Now, even writers who ripped the coach before are trying to jump on the bandwagon.

Toward the end of Michigan’s 42-3 dismantling of Iowa, USA Today’s Dan Wolken called it “absolute insanity” that people thought Harbaugh should be fired a year ago.

By sending that tweet, Wolken overlooked one of the most basic rules of the internet — people don’t forget.

In one of his columns last year, Wolken wrote that the Harbaugh era in Ann Arbor is “doomed to mediocrity.” He said Harbaugh and Michigan needed to formulate a plan to part ways before things got ugly. People were more than happy to call Wolken out over the hypocrisy.

Wolken certainly wasn’t the only one who felt Harbaugh had to go. It’s just surprising to see him openly admit that he was among the, as he called them, insane.

Harbaugh has now finally defeated Ohio State and led Michigan to the College Football Playoff. Between the on-field success and recent gesture he made off of it, his popularity at Michigan is through the roof.

Photo: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021

Jim Harbaugh has awesome gesture with his Michigan bonuses

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

Jim Harbaugh’s approval rating at Michigan is through the roof coming off the team’s huge win over Ohio State, and fans will likely appreciate the coach even more when they hear about the classy decision he has made with his contract.

Harbaugh signed a four-year contract extension with Michigan back in January that includes far less guaranteed money than the top coaches in college football. His guaranteed money for 2021 is $4 million, but he has the ability to earn roughly $4 million more in incentives. Even if he earns all of that money, however, Harbaugh is not planning to keep it.

Harbaugh announced this week that he will give any bonus money he earns back to Michigan’s athletic department. He wants to help alleviate some of the hardships that were caused last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

You could argue that $4 million is more than enough money, but Harbaugh is under no obligation to give anything back. He’s making less than half of what the highest-paid coaches in the country are earning this year despite Michigan being one of the best teams in the country and on the verge of a College Football Playoff berth.

Harbaugh went 11-8 from 2019-2020, which is one of the reasons he took a pay cut. He has proven this season that he probably deserves to be paid more, but he’s giving money back. Between that gesture and the awesome quote he delivered after beating Ohio State, Harbaugh has never been more popular among Wolverines fans.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan OC Josh Gattis commits all-time dumb move

Josh Gattis claps

Michigan got its first football win over rival Ohio State in 10 years, and they’re acting like they want to go another 10 years before they get another win in the series.

First you had Jim Harbaugh taking a dig at Ryan Day after Michigan overpowered Ohio State 42-27 in the Big House on Saturday. Two days later, it was Josh Gattis talking trash.

Gattis, 37, is in his third season as Michigan’s offensive coordinator. He talked Monday on the “Inside Michigan Football” radio show and shared some insight regarding the team’s strategy against the Buckeyes.

Gattis said Michigan viewed Ohio State as a “finesse team” and “not a tough team.”

“They’re a good team. They’re a finesse team, they’re not a tough team,” Gattis said, via the Detroit News’ Angelique S. Chengelis. “And we knew that going into the game that we can out-physical them, we can out-tough and that was going to be the key to the game, and that’s what we prepared for all year long.”

Gattis went even further, saying that Michigan saw Oregon overpower Ohio State and committed to the same gameplan.

“You saw earlier this year in the game they lost to Oregon, Oregon was the most physical team on the field,” Gattis said. “That’s the way they lost, and we committed to that recipe, and it paid off.”

Look, nothing Gattis said is incorrect. Anyone watching the game could see that Michigan just bullied Ohio State and pushed them around. We wrote about it. We gave credit to Gattis for his gameplan. He, Harbaugh, and Michigan’s players and coaches deserve all the credit for the win.

But you have to wonder what in the heck Gattis was thinking by saying that out loud? That’s the type of thing you keep to yourself and leave unsaid.

It was already widely recognized and known that Michigan pushed around the less physical Buckeyes. Did Gattis feel so strongly that he had to make sure people recognized his genius by saying it publicly?

Gattis essentially called Michigan’s biggest rival “soft.” That’s the kind of quote that stings, that sticks in your head, and that motivates you.

Between what Harbaugh did, and what Gattis has said, Ohio State has all the bulletin-board material they need for next year. They are going to be motivated to hang 100 points on Michigan next season, and the Wolverines can thank Harbaugh — and especially Gattis — for that.

H/T Eleven Warriors

Photo: Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Jim Harbaugh takes clear shot at Ryan Day after rivalry win

Jim Harbaugh in sunglasses

Jim Harbaugh on Saturday got his first win in six tries against Ohio State and wasted little time settling scores.

Michigan had beaten the Buckeyes just twice in the last 20 years coming into Saturday, and Harbaugh had a personal record of 0-5 against his rivals. That had become a very popular talking point among Ohio State faithful, and the school has embraced it everywhere you look.

When Harbaugh was asked about that trash talking in recent years after Saturday’s win, he did not hold back. He made a remark about some people being born on third and thinking they’ve hit a triple.

This is widely being viewed as a shot at Buckeyes coach Ryan Day, who inherited the program from Urban Meyer. Day was never previously a head coach but got to take over for Meyer, who had Ohio State running as a national powerhouse and a top destination for recruits. Harbaugh was 0-4 against Meyer but is now 1-1 against Day.

There appears to be a mutual dislike between the two men, as Day and Harbaugh sparred on a head coaches teleconference in 2020. That led Day to make a bold statement to his team. Saturday’s game marked the first meeting of the two schools since then.

The quote is reminiscent of the Harbaugh that first arrived at Michigan back in 2015. That Harbaugh was happy to lob missiles at rivals over anything and everything. Those comments had become less frequent in recent seasons as criticism of his lack of titles mounted. He’s at his best when he’s like this, so Michigan fans should be very encouraged to see these kinds of comments again.

Photo: Nov 16, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh reacts during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan pushed around Ohio State like Jim Harbaugh dreamed about

Jim Harbaugh walking

Michigan finally broke through under Jim Harbaugh and beat Ohio State 42-27 to improve to 11-1 and win the Big Ten East. The win couldn’t have gone any better than if Harbaugh scripted it.

Michigan beat Ohio State by overpowering them in the exact way that Harbaugh loves. The Wolverines rushed for 297 yards and six touchdowns and absolutely pushed around Ohio State at the line of scrimmage. Team leader Hassan Haskins carried the team with 169 yards and five touchdowns.

This was classic Harbaugh ball, dominating at the line of scrimmage and controlling the game. In past years, and even in the loss to Michigan State, Michigan blew leads late. Not this time.

The Wolverines had four possessions in the second half and scored touchdowns on each one. Even with under five minutes left and Ohio State knowing Michigan would be running the ball, they still couldn’t stop the Wolverines. Michigan ran Haskins five straight times while leading 35-27 and scored a touchdown to effectively seal the game. It was the second drive of the half where they ran the ball every play of the possession and scored a touchdown.

Michigan still completed passes when they needed to and kept Ohio State somewhat off balance, going 14/20 for 190 yards in the passing game. But when it came down to it, they beat Ohio State by running them to death and making big stops on defense. Haskins and his five touchdowns and Aidan Hutchinson and his three sacks were the stars of the game.

Winning the game is one thing. But beating Ohio State by pushing them around shows that Harbaugh and his vision for success are not outdated.

Photo: Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh watches warmups before a game against Northern Illinois at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

Video: Juwan Howard congratulates Jim Harbaugh on field

Juwan Howard congratulates Jim harbaugh

The Michigan Wolverines finally did it and beat their rival Ohio State Buckeyes 42-27 on Saturday to win the Big Ten East and clinch their first appearance in the conference’s championship game.

It was a mad party in Ann Arbor after the win, with fans rushing the field and players celebrating in the middle of Michigan Stadium. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh enjoyed himself after the win and even was met by Wolverines basketball coach Juwan Howard, who congratulated him on the field.

Here is video of the meeting:

That’s very cool and shows just how tight the members of the school’s athletic department are.

The win was absolutely enormous for Michigan. Both teams were 10-1 entering the game. A spot in the conference title game and a shot at making the College Football Playoff was on the line. Michigan was 0-5 against Ohio State under Harbaugh. And they prevailed. Howard knows just how much the win means to the school.

Paul Finebaum throws more shade at Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh in a Michigan hat

Paul Finebaum is a notorious Jim Harbaugh detractor, and he was at it again on Wednesday.

Finebaum was one of the panelists on ESPN morning show “Get Up” and was talking about the the College Football Playoff rankings. The SEC-focused host was asked by Mike Greenberg whether this will be the year that Harbaugh beats Ohio State.

Finebaum had a blunt answer.

“No, no, no,” Finebaum said. “Greeny, you can ask me this question until I’m 150, and the answer is still no. I don’t think this Michigan team, although they are better than they have been — significantly better — can beat Ohio State. This is a really good, if not great, Ohio State team.

“And I think there’s something in Jim Harbaugh’s brain. I don’t know what it is, I don’t really want to know. He is incapable — incapable, Greeny — of beating his biggest rival.”

That’s a pretty strong insult and one that Harbaugh will not appreciate. Harbaugh is in his seventh season coaching Michigan. His teams have gone 0-5 against Ohio State (they did not play last year during the COVID-shortened season). The teams played a close, double-overtime game in 2016. Ohio State has fairly easily handled Michigan all the other seasons under Harbaugh. The Buckeyes boat-raced the Wolverines in their last two meetings.

Both teams are 10-1 this season, as was the case when the teams met in 2016. At the minimum, it should be a good game.

H/T Saturday Down South

Photo: Aug 31, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh before the game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports