You don’t lose to Indiana in football. Not if you’re Michigan.
You’re not really supposed to lose to Michigan State all that often, either. But Jim Harbaugh has done both. And it only took two games in back-to-back weeks.
It used to be that Harbaugh just couldn’t beat Ohio State. Now he can’t even beat the basketball schools.
Indiana’s 38-21 win Saturday wasn’t even that close. It felt like a lot more than 17 points. Harbaugh’s future would be called into question even if the Wolverines had lost by a point. But they were drilled.
Indiana is 3-0. Northwestern is 3-0. Ohio State will be 3-0. Michigan is 1-2.
Granted, the Hoosiers are no joke this season. They were ranked 13th in the nation at kickoff and this win could move them into the top 10.
But these are the games Michigan normally wins. They normally ruin the hopes of the Michigan States and especially, the Indianas. Now it’s fair to wonder if the Wolverines can even beat Rutgers. Now it’s Iowa that is ruining the hopes of Michigan State.
Yes, Michigan State was pummeled by a 49-7 count against Iowa — one week after beating Michigan.
That’s not all.
Saturday marked the Hoosiers’ first win over the Wolverines in 33 years. How’s that for making history? Too often lately, Harbaugh has been on the wrong side of that history.
Indiana looked well-prepared and put in a position to succeed. Michigan looked disorganized and often disinterested. At least part of that has to be chalked up to coaching. And even if not, that’s who will take the blame — the coach.
And now, the coach may be finished once and for all.
Michigan may be inclined to keep Harbaugh for the season. After all, the Wolverines’ season is over. But there’s no chance he returns.
Losing to Indiana is no crime, but for a proud program like Michigan, it’s undoubtedly a firable offense.