Listen: Michigan, Annaborough Harbaugh, Football discussed on The Lead
"Hey nick. How's it going good. Are you not too bad. So where are you right now. I am at Michigan Radio and Ann Arbor and did you go to Michigan. No I actually went to Michigan State. Okay so so we can't trust anything that you're about to say in other words people like to people like to make a thing of that but yeah that's not really you know with our job. That's what we do so just is what it is all right so what has been the mood in Ann Arbor since this game on Saturday. It's strange. It's not it's not like people are out in the street picketing or something. I mean they're not you know furious to appoint of you know this is just an embarrassment of a program program but they're hurt or confused or or something along that nature where I think that there's no answer really and you know people are kind of just it's a lot of head scratching and maybe more vigorous head-scratching than there's been in in recent years. What is the case against Jim Harbaugh. Like what is the big knock against. This guy can't be quality opponents away from home teams of equal talent when talent is even and he's in an uncomfortable situation away from Michigan Stadium that he can't get it done because that's and that's the one thing standing in their way from going from good to great and that was really encapsulated in this game last Saturday against chance Wisconsin. I mean you know what what what is it that went wrong on Saturday four to nothing dominate from Wisconsin they went down twenty-eight nothing in the first half and hapless it was the worst half they've had of the Harbaugh era. They got pushed all over. The place. Defensively weren't physical. They're outclassed in every area so they're at work. They're skin. There are coach thorough prepared the whole shot so it was really a complete and thorough beating. Do not let that final score for you. That was not a thirty five fourteen game that was thirty five live nothing game that was Michigan being down twenty-eight nothing at half so there's you know big pressure and expectations on every college football coach and on every program program but it seems like at Michigan are just dialed up a little bit and that partly because of the amazing tradition of the program and it all began with that victory victory in the first football game in Michigan team ever played in eighteen seventy nine. You know it's the all time winningest program in cultural history which in part because it's one of the oldest in Jim Harbaugh of course was part of that amazing Michigan football tradition as a player strike. It's not just that but also hear it in. I mean his his dad was an assistant coach at Michigan Back Promotion Boeckler and then he we grew up in in in several areas but I mean he played high school football for a minute in Ann Arbor Pioneer High School which is right across the street from Michigan Stadium he's in Annaborough harbaugh ahead a great college career and he also went on to have a along pretty successful. NFL career yeah yeah I mean and again toughness keping comeback that was the nickname was drafted by the bears. Ah Football game played eighteen years the NFL and I mean that's hard to do for anybody in and he's a guy who was football's entire life. you know he lives in breezy game he said before you you know his plan growing up was to college football play in the NFL for as long as you can go for as long as you can and then die and that's Jim her bows life. That's what he wants to do. And that's that's that's just how it goes and after he retired from playing he gets into coaching he goes to San Diego and then takes a much bigger job at Stanford turns out from kind of laughing stock walk into a college football power off the San Francisco Forty niners that you know struggling franchise that he takes and completely flipped on its head. I mean they were in the super bowl in your to according to the ball game and Ben Yates correct they were a contender for the first three years there and then things began to fizzle out between him and in ownership and management but a guy who again again every place he went as a coach you know he took a team that was struggling and flipped it and did it in three short order and along the way he earned a bit of a reputation for being you you know kind of a colorful character yeah. I mean he's an interesting guy because that's the best way to put it. He just he's really not apologetic. He's likes to sign a lot of quotes. People are heaping flowery words of praise Tanya then you feel more exposed before your enemies use that you try to shut this Ralph Waldo Emerson there and so when Harbaugh was was hired as a head coach at Michigan in two thousand fourteen. That was a huge deal. I mean he was one of the biggest names in coaching at the time and it was like the return of the Prodigal Nicholson. I think the gym was likely no Shirley was a candidate for any of these pro jobs open yesterday and yet he chose to come home. That was the largest attended press conference Michigan. Had I mean there. Were people pressed face thing on the glass outside the building. There are people waiting outside fans nuts. People were crying. It was a whole thing bringing a familiar name back to the state. There's this wonderful great coach and he can. He can out Michigan like to a better future and help them win more football so full disclosure here. My grandfather actually played eight football at Michigan. My parents met at the University of Michigan and I actually just did a journalism fellowship at U. of M. and there's this phrase that I've heard a lot on campus campus Michigan Man. No Man is more important than team. No coach is more important than the team the team the team the eighteen and if we can you explain what that phrase means most people who define themselves that would tell you that that that person is someone who is is willing to be super competitive and put himself beneath the greater need of the entire program whatever it be if you're a football player basketball player a doctor her or whatever you're you're doing everything you can for the greater good of the entire institution and was that part of the excitement with harbaugh. I mean was he seen as a Michigan man. Am I used to say Jim. Harbaugh Michigan went together like peanut butter and Jelly and a shot a red bull. I mean it was like perfect. I mean it was like the exact when he was hired. There was no other option and the program that he took over was somewhat in shambles. I mean they'd been twelve and thirteen over the previous. Two seasons frustration was virtually at an all time high and tomorrow's how does credit he came in and pretty quickly turned the program around yeah. He did what he always does. Michigan I mean there was a five and seventeen. They flipped it They were tenants revolving your they double the win total. This team needed more than anything was a boost in their mental toughness in their Mezzo confidence and that's what he brought back to this team. After this fan base he still calls it his favorite year in football the favorite year he's ever had and Harbaugh put together several ten win seasons which hadn't happened at Michigan in quite some time but of course the measuring stick for Michigan Football Coach is Ohio State and Harbaugh is yet to beat them. They've lost four straight to them so they have one win over st since it's two thousand three in our wise man will solve it you know of course again. It's a hard job because Ohio state chief rival states been one of the best programs in America for well over a decade so harbaugh has earned this reputation for not being able to win the big games but is that really fair. I mean couldn't this just be a case of bad luck in him. Losing a handful of big games yeah I mean that's why it's interesting because the two thousand Sixteen Ohio State game for instance was they played him for most of the game a call goes against him at the end and and they lose a thriller and so if it's that every time if they've lost six of those games like that that way then I would say no. That's not fair because I mean they're just yeah. They're on the wrong end of of of just the game. I guess but it's not that they're getting beat by a field goal at the last second it's that they're getting thoroughly and this. This Wisconsin was probably the worst I will start to question okay. Is this actually going to work because you're going to be able to take them from good to great."