Kirk Herbstreit Wonders Aloud: If Jim Harbaugh Can’t Win At Michigan, Who can?

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Expectations for Jim Harbaugh were to lead Michigan into the college football playoff, but Kirk Herbstreit claims they shouldn’t give up on the coach. After the first five seasons under Harbaugh, the team still searches for not only how, but who can get them over the hump.

“I think the expectation were so high for him when he came in,” ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbsreit said. “I know I was incredibly excited, because when I was in high school Jim Harbaugh was the starting quarterback at Michigan he had a flair about him, and an arrogance about him as a player that was incredible. It was a gift.”

Herbstreit claimed before Saturday night’s Clemson-Miami game that Harbaugh would bring a “new war” to Michigan-Ohio State. While Michigan piled up a 74-18 record, they haven’t scratched the win column against the Buckeyes (0-5).

“I just would always think, with all due respect to Brady Hoke and others, that if Jim Harbaugh ever came back to Ann Harbor and brought that flair and arrogance with him, I mean, sky is the limit,” Herbstreit said. “It just hasn’t played out the way that I–and I’m sure Michigan fans envisioned.”

“I don’t buy into the fans that think, ‘Let’s get rid of him’, or ‘He’s on the hot seat’, or ‘we need to bring in somebody else’. If Jim Harbaugh can’t win at Michigan, who can? I don’t know how you would ever want another coach to coach there other than Jim Harbaugh.”

“Are they close? Yes. Is it frustrating? Obviously. Do they want to beat Ohio State? Yes. Do they want to get into the playoff? Absolutely.

Michigan isn’t a contender this year either, so the question becomes: why aren’t they contending? Fans usually can handle losing as long as they can pinpoint the the source of WHY they’re falling short.

“I still think he’s building a program,” Herbstreit claims.

This is technically true as Michigan breaks in a new starting quarterback and four first-year starters on the offensive line. This is the final year of Jim Harbaugh’s seven-year contract with absolutely no hardware to show for it.

If Jim Harbaugh wants to get the Wolverines over the top, he needs to bring a quarterback to the next level. He’s yet to do that and that’s in large part why they brought him on board.

Herbstreit’s final point was that Michigan lost four offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL Draft, but all contenders have this problem. Part of building a program is accounting for what’s being lost to the NFL. Looking forward to seeing what type of investment Michigan AD makes in Harbaugh after his up and down tenure so far.

Stay tuned.

Written by Gary Sheffield, Jr

Gary Sheffield Jr is the son of should-be MLB Hall of Famer, Gary Sheffield. He covers basketball and baseball for, chats with the Purple and Gold faithful on LakersNation, and shitposts on Twitter. You can follow him at GarySheffieldJr


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  1. The last “championship” they won was when Bob Griese cried about his son barely winning a Rose Bowl against Washington on live TV only to see Nebraska later that day destroy the #3 Volunteers 42-17 but somehow split a title with Michigan. Michigan is irrelevant.

  2. Some coaches have a limited shelf life. Harbaugh is one of them. Stanford benefitted from one amazing recruiting class. The 49ers peaked with a QB that people weren’t really prepared for.

    But, like Billy Martin in baseball and Greg Williams, the down your throat style of coaching becomes less effective over time. The only possible exception to that was Bobby Knight – but that’s more attributable to Indiana than to him personally.

    Say “goodnight,” Jim.

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