Football Michigan Monday The Rivalry

Michigan Monday: Looking at Possible Replacements for Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh Big Ten Football

Sunday evening, ProFootballTalk.com reported that the NFL’s New York Jets would be making an attempt to hire Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh after the season.

The Jets are currently 4-11 this season with one game remaining and head coach Todd Bowles is expected to be fired.

The trends have not painted a positive picture. After finishing 10-6 in Bowles’ first year with the Jets in 2015, the last three seasons have gone 5-11, 5-11, and no better than five wins this season.

Harbaugh, meanwhile, is on the complete other end of the success spectrum. He has taken the Michigan football program to heights they have never seen before. This year alone, Harbaugh’s Wolverines did the unthinkable and tied for a division crown.

In three of his four seasons at Michigan, the Wolverines have nearly made it to the Big Ten Championship Game almost every year. He clearly has the program on the right track, and leaving now would seem foolish, especially having successfully chased Urban Meyer out of the Big Ten.

The chatter persists, however.

Harbaugh is now finishing up his fourth season at Michigan, and he hasn’t spent a fifth-consecutive season anywhere in over 25 years. He was at Stanford for four years and San Francisco for four years as well.

Maybe he believes it is time to scratch his NFL itch once again.

I don’t expect him to leave, but if he does, the University of Michigan will be able to lure any number of top candidates.

Who should be on their radar? I have some ideas.

1. Brian Kelly, head coach Notre Dame

Brian Kelly has been talked about as a candidate for the NFL in the past and at times it seems like he and Notre Dame have grown out of love. He would be a good fit for the Wolverines. He’s familiar with the state and recruiting the Midwest, but would he want to take a step down athletically, academically, and historically?

2. Tom Herman, head coach Texas

Tom Herman is not on good terms with Ohio State right now, so he could be an appealing option for Michigan. Of course, wanting to get the better of Ohio State and being the Michigan head coach are mutually exclusive at the moment.

3. Condaleezza Rice, noted American

Condaleezza Rice has picked up steam as a potential football coach and there is little doubt that she would be a great recruiter. The Xs and Os would be an issue, but that didn’t stop Michigan from hiring Brady Hoke.

4. David Shaw, Stanford head coach

This is the most natural fit because David Shaw is the coach you go to when you want to improve upon what Jim Harbaugh has done.

5. John Harbaugh, Baltimore head coach

You know that Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons where it is discovered that Bart was a de-conjoined twin as a baby and his twin Hugo had been living in the attic because he was deemed to be the evil twin and then later it was found out that it was actually Bart who was the evil twin? Let’s just say this could be a working theory in Ann Arbor right now.

6. Kirby Smart, Georgia head coach

Kirby Smart is the next great head coach in college football but maybe he doesn’t want to be.

7. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State head coach

Mark Dantonio has experience beating Ohio State, which should put him at the top of Michigan’s search list. Michigan probably won’t offer him the job, however, because he’d have too much fun saying no. He still owes Michigan some skywriting, after all.

8. Matt Campbell, Iowa State head coach

Matt Campbell is eventually going to be coaching at a Big Ten power, and coaching at Michigan would be good practice for when that happens.

9. Mark Richt, Miami head coach

Let’s be honest, being the head coach at a program like Miami is only meaningful for an alum like Mark Richt. Players don’t reach their potential, coaches don’t reach their potential, the team folds in big games, and the fans are in denial about the current status of their program. Wait a second, have Miami and Michigan ever been seen in the same room together?

10. Urban Meyer, Ohio State assistant athletic director

Urban Meyer is about to have some time on his hands after the Rose Bowl and he owns the best winning percentage in Michigan Stadium history, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect.

19 Responses

  1. Funny story, Tony. About Matt Campbell, why would a Big Ten program look at him, unless Illinois fires Lovie Smith. Matt hasn’t won anything of importance. No Big 12 titles and no MAC titles at Toledo. When Matt and the Rockets had chances to win the MAC West title, they blew it. I’ll never forget the Rockets having a chance to beat Western Michigan for the West title and seeing my alma mater getting their heads handed to them by the Broncos the day after Thanksgiving on the final day of the regular season…then a day later he bolts Toledo and goes to Iowa State. That was a planned move by him to leave Toledo for Ames. He is not a winner.

    But come to think of it, maybe he’d be perfect for that team up north to continue to lose the Big Ten East to the Buckeyes, Spartans and Nittany Lions every year he’d be there. His 8-4 seasons in Ann Arbor would make him their next LLLLoyd Carr.

  2. Amazed at the number of people who either don’t have a sense of humor or can’t recognize satire. Great article, Tony. Very creative and fun.

  3. Merry Xmas & Happy New Year to you, Tony, and the staff. Also to all the Buckeye fans on this site …… even the ones who think they’re being “paid by the word.”

  4. Tony!

    Deftly done!

    Poor Harbaugh’s going to read that and, before he quite catches on that it’s not on the level, your rapier-like wit will have utterly fileted him.

    As he’s left blinking and gulping and wondering what the heck happened to his innards.

    He’ll probably feel a lot like he did after that last rivalry game.

    LOL!

  5. This appears to have been written to simply cause people to react. I doubt that a string of more inane comments can be put together for any other reason.

    1. In other words, you don’t have a sense of humor.

  6. Easy there fellas on “chasing Urbs out”. Tony’s entire article was a satire. And a well written one at that.

    1. Well done as usual. Satire is a good thing in sportsing world. Thanks and Merry Christmas.

  7. Stupid article! Taken Michigan to heights they’ve never seen?! Really, like they never won the National Championship in 97. This writer doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Just trying to create a story where there isn’t one.

    1. Another person who doesn’t have a sense of humor.

  8. Having chased Urban Myer out of the Big 10. What is the color of the sky in your Fantasy World?

    1. You do realize the whole piece was tongue-in-cheek humor?

    2. I DO believe that was Tony’s version of,TIC……………

  9. “Having successfully chased Urban Meyer out of the Big Ten?” Lmao!

    Yes, I’m sure it’s Harbaugh’s intimidating 0-4 record against him is what drove Urban to retirement. Gtfoh!

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