Sunday, September 28, 2014

Jim Harbaugh is officially the Michigan version of Jon Gruden.

Jim Harbaugh. Photo via FOX Sports.

Michigan suffered a humiliating 30-14 loss to Minnesota on Saturday. It was the first time the Wolverines lost the Little Brown Jug to the Golden Gophers since 2005. The good news for Michigan is that things can't get much worse for the program and its embattled head coach Brady Hoke after losing to Minnesota on Saturday.

Scratch that, it can. The Wolverines still have the Land-Grant Trilogy of Terror (Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State) to go through.  Plus the scathing ire of Michigan fans, many of which called for Hoke and Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon to be fired.

The scene recalls the the grease fire that was the Derek Dooley era at Tennessee, where Vol supporters were calling for Dooley's finely-coiffed head to roll after his second disappointing season in Knoxville. Many of those supporters already had an idea who they wanted to replace Dooley at the time - Former NFL coach in exile and ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden. (They got Butch Jones instead.)

It looks as though the same story is taking shape in Ann Arbor. Only it's Michigan alum and current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh in place of "Chucky" Gruden in the speculation department. 

Yahoo! Sports Dan Wetzel laid out the argument for Harbaugh earlier this Sunday morning.

"There is zero question about Harbaugh’s ability to recruit, teach, motivate, game-plan, coach and win. None.

Jim Harbaugh back at his alma mater will undoubtedly result in a national title contender. He’s won big everywhere he’s ever coached and proved to be a master at not just bringing in talent, but properly evaluating it first.

He built a powerhouse at Stanford when no one thought that was even possible because of the school’s culture and academic requirements. Harbaugh turned it all into a positive."

Wetzel pointed out that Harbaugh and his current bosses at San Francisco weren't actually getting along at the moment.

"There were reports he was almost traded to the Cleveland Browns last offseason and while the Niners denied that, there is little doubt the tension there is real and could result in him leaving the franchise at the end of this season."

Wetzel also suggests that getting rid of Brandon as Michigan AD might have to occur to get Harbaugh to leave the 49ers. Which judging from recent Michigan struggles with attendance, is a strong possibility.

Barring an seven-game winning streak, "Last Days of Brady Hoke" melodrama looks as though it will end with its logical conclusion of Hoke being an ex-Michigan head coach. The big question will be if Harbaugh is asked and accepts the Wolverine head coaching job, or he decides, like Gruden eventually did, to stay put where he is.

(via Yahoo! Sports)

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