Is The Jim Harbaugh Project a Failure, So Far?
So back in December of 2014, the college football world was shook as Jim Harbaugh accepted the Michigan coaching job. His alma mater, the man set to send Michigan to the next level. Michigan had only won 11 games twice since being undefeated in 1997. In the season prior to his hiring the maize and blue had only won five games.
His first game was against Utah. Utah beat Michigan, as did Michigan State and Ohio State. UM finished 10-3 and were optimistic with “The Quarterback Whisperer” getting his QB, Jake Rucock over 3,000 yards. The problem was their lack of a run game with their leading rusher just over 750 yards. Their record was somewhat impressive but the Wolverines had tight, one score games with unranked Indiana, Minnesota and Penn State. They went on to beat the Florida Gators in the Citrus Bowl and optimism was soaring into the 2016 season.
The Wolverines started their season ranked 7th in the country and won nine straight to start their season and got as high as # 2 in the polls. After the hot start, Big Blue dropped
three of their final four games, capped off with a loss to Florida State in the Orange Bowl. Wilton Speight was their starting quarterback and he struggled throwing seven interceptions and only eighteen scores. Again, not a rusher very close to 1,000 yards and again, Michigan failed to win big games. They still finished in the Top 10 and everyone had their eyes on the next season as Harbaugh’s recruits were beginning to take over the team.
So far this season has been another disappointment as the Wolverines fail to find themselves at the top of the conference. The season started so well with a win over, now understood as terrible Florida. They proceeded to fall to Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin with offensive struggles being very key. They have yet to find a true starter at QB with three different players taking reps (Yes, injuries suck). Combined they’ve thrown for only eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. The run game is finally coming around but there’s still one aspect. Big games. With a loss to Ohio State next week, the Wolverines would finish 5-4 in conference.
So what are the main things that were expected of Jim Harbaugh coming in?
- Win the Big 10 – Michigan has yet to even make the title game much less win it. They’ll be watching it again at home this season.
- Beat State – Michigan has lost to MSU twice out of the past three seasons with both of their losses being at home.
- Beat OSU – Another thing Harbaugh has yet to complete. With a loss this week that would be the sixth year in a row that Ohio State has beaten the Wolverines.
- Make the Playoff – Not even close
- Win Big Games – Harbaugh is currently 1-6 vs Top 10 opponents and could easily be 1-7 by this time next week.
With all of his antics from Satellite Camps to running around shirtless at practice to staying overnight with recruits, it seems like Jim loves the spotlight. The problem is,when it comes down to it, Michigan hasn’t been moving forward. If they were to lose to Ohio State and their bowl game they would end this year 8-5 and I’d be quick to say that he is 100% on the hot seat.