Michigan Football: So this is who the Wolverines are now?

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

When Michigan football hired Jim Harbaugh as their head coach, he was expected to return the program to relevancy; he’s failed.

Before last night’s shellacking at the Wisconsin Badgers’ hands, the Jim Harbaugh-led Michigan football team had lost ten straight games as an underdog.  The Wolverines would indeed continue that losing trend in an embarrassing fashion at home to the Badgers 49-11.

It felt like we were watching Rutgers squaring off against the Badgers last night instead of Michigan; that’s how bad it is in Ann Arbor.

When you look at the 2020 Michigan football team, it resembles the Rich Rodriguez (Rich-Rod) era; aka not a good thing to be reminded of if you are a Wolverines fan.  In three years as the head coach of Michigan, Rodriguez produced a 15-22 overall record losing his lone bowl appearance.  Since leaving the Wolverines, Rich Rod has led Arizona to a 43-35 record that included a 3-2 bowl record.

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Harbaugh has guided Michigan football to a lackluster 1-4 bowl record and a 48-21 regular-season record over five-plus seasons. Harbaugh is 33-15 in Big Ten competition.  Still, this product that the school provides its fans in 2020 is nothing short of atrocious.

When you look at Harbaugh’s overall record at Michigan, it doesn’t look too bad, but the narrative is not complex; he beats up on the lesser opponents but fails to prepare his team for the marquee matchups.

Harbaugh had been expected to propel the Wolverines back into the Big Ten Championship conversation, something the school hasn’t won since 2004.  Forget about the National Championship aspirations for a moment; if Harbaugh could beat Ohio State and lead the Wolverines to a Big Ten Title, Ann Arbor would party for weeks.

It just goes to show you how far ‘away’ the program has been from being relevant.  Schools like the aforementioned Ohio State, along with the Clemsons’ and Alabamas’ of the world, set their sights on the College football playoff year after year. Michigan football is just trying to beat their archrivals once.  It’s baby steps, I guess.

The Buckeyes will carry an eight-game win streak into the 2020 matchup, which includes a 5-0 record over Harbaugh’s Wolverines.  Can it even still be called a rivalry?  Rivalries are supposed to be competitive, aren’t they?

The problem is the Wolverines are headed in the wrong direction.  Earlier in the year, the Wolverines were embarrassed by Michigan State, who was shutout yesterday against Indiana, who also had their way with Michigan earlier in the season.

If this awful product continues for the remainder of the year, Harbaugh’s days should be numbered,. I wouldn’t be surprised if the former quarterback were to step down after the 2020 season rather than force his former teammate Warde Manuel the schools’ athletic director or the school president Mark Schlissel to buy-out the final year of his complex contract.

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Harbaugh is under contract through the 2021 season, and his deal reportedly carries a life insurance policy.  It’s been reported that if the Wolverines wanted to buy-out his 2021 season, it would cost the school about $10-million total.  If Jim truly loves Michigan, he needs to do them a solid and just walk away.