Seat Heating Up For Jim Harbaugh After Michigan State Loss

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Michigan can only give Jim Harbaugh so much leash. At a certain point, it comes time to hold him accountable for the state of the Wolverines football program. We are getting dangerously close to that time.

On Saturday, Michigan lost to in-state rival Michigan State 27-24. Normally, that wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But this is a different Spartans squad. It is a team that was fresh off an 11-point loss to Rutgers. Yes, the same Rutgers that was a combined 3-21 over the last two years and hasn’t had a winning season since 2015.

Michigan State is a rebuilding program under new coach Mel Tucker. But on Saturday, it was a program that was handing Harbaugh and the Wolverines a loss to even the records at 1-1. For Harbaugh, this is embarrassing.

At 0-5, Michigan has not beaten Ohio State during the Harbaugh era. And with the loss on Saturday, his coaching record now falls to 1-6 at home against the Buckeyes and Spartans — the team’s two biggest rivals.

Harbaugh has brought this on himself. He has done a decent job recruiting and building the brand of the program, but everything else has been disappointing. Considering expectations, we can probably even consider it a disaster.

The reaction on social media following the game has been brutal, but completely warranted.

This is Year 6 for Harbaugh at Michigan. It’s not like he is still trying to build the program his way. This is his program, and it has been built in his image. Unfortunately, that image is tarnished, and Harbaugh is no longer viewed as an elite football coach.

The Wolverines haven’t finished a season with less than three losses since he got to Ann Arbor. In bowl games, they’re 1-4 under the fourth-highest paid head coach in college football. Unacceptable.

It is time for time for a change. It might not happen due to the financial implications during a pandemic, but Michigan can do better than Jim Harbaugh. And they should.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and


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  1. I think Harbaugh will jump at the chance to get back to coaching in the NFL. He was a good NFL coach. Maybe he gets the Jets job and can persuade Trevor Lawrence to apply for the draft. Maybe Jerry Jones hires him.

  2. Harbaugh’s problem is his ego. His best years at Michigan were with Brady Hoke’s recruits. I am surprised he is allowed to coach in this day and age since he was the coach that benched Colin Kaepernick for Blaine Gabbert.

  3. The Mid Western traditional football powers are yesterdays news for the most part. ND and Michigan can still be top 10 teams in a good year, but I don’t see either one winning another National Title. I think OSU has seen their last one as well. Urban Meyer was a chronic cheater, and like all those who live outside the law he has to pack it in every now and then when he feels the heat around the corner. Urban is gone, and he’s not coming back. The highest level of college football will be played in the South East (including Clemson) for the foreseeable future.

  4. I’ll issue my usual warning to fans chanting to dismiss a coach who’s consistently winning, but not winning titles like you expect. Please reference Philip Fulmer and Frank Solich. Oh, it CAN get worse. You better make certain you have a total rock star waiting in the wings before you replace a winning coach, or you will set your program back an entire generation.

  5. This is where I disagreed with Clay and all these people who keep saying Harbaugh is overrated or his seat should get warmer. He is clearly NOT Urb or Saban or even Ed Orgeron at this point. But like Melton and others had pointed out above, Harbaugh is a “good” college football coach who belongs to the next tier (Dan Mullin, Mike Leach, Gus Malzahn, James Franklin, etc.) that consistently wins (averaging 8 and more wins every year in Big 10 East is in fact incredibly hard). Once Harbaugh is gone, like every program it will have to go through the RichRod-Hoke years or Kiffin-Dooley-Jones type of wondering in wilderness years (7-10 to be exact) before you luck out and land the right one. Harbaugh is also not overpaid when you look at the athletic revenue increase since he had started and energized the program.

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