Yahoo Sports’ reporter Pete Thamel went for the kill shot today with this piece on Jim Harbaugh, his staff, his football team and management above him.
You don’t often see articles like this.
There are many, many more; but just a few select lines from Thamel that struck me:
“The Wolverines have no juice, no identity and, increasingly, no hope.”
“Harbaugh’s most recent glaring negligence came with hiring the inexperienced Josh Gattis from Alabama in the offseason to both run the offense and overhaul the program’s pro-style DNA. The early results are a distinct failure… Gattis’ early struggles should be pinned squarely on Harbaugh….Harbaugh basically put the future of the program on a 20-minute phone conversation, which is a bit like getting engaged after the first drink on a first date. And he did it knowing that Nick Saban had an opportunity to promote Gattis to the same job and declined. That’s impulsive and reckless even by Harbaugh’s standards…”
“For Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, the pattern of big-game failures has evolved into an expectation. It’s become predictable that Harbaugh’s program will flop on the big stage with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”
Whew buddy. Harbaugh will likely point to Thamel’s close connections to the Ohio State coaching staff as having something to do with this; but man there is a lot to unpack in this evisceration.
So, what does Michigan do from here?
Thamel rightfully points out that Harbaugh is only under contract for this season and two more. If Michigan were to decide following this season to buy out Harbaugh’s contract, that would likely cost Michigan in the range of $10 to $12 million. While $10 million is unquestionably a lot of money, in comparison to the amount of revenue the Big Ten is spinning off to each University, this is a paltry sum.
Dollars won’t be the deciding factor for Michigan on this one.
The question is, does Warde Manuel want to endure the embarrassment that would come with Michigan conceding defeat on this hire. Such a move would be a crushing blow to many a Michigan Man; but losses like today’s hurt a whole lot as well.
Link to Thamel’s: Wisconsin’s utter embarrassment of Michigan exposes Jim Harbaugh.