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Odds Favor Harbaugh Remaining Michigan’s Coach in 2020; Stanford’s David Shaw 3-1 Favorite as Replacement, Urban Meyer +700

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in College Football

Updated Mar 25, 2020 · 1:28 PM PDT

Jim Harbaugh press conference
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is again on the hot seat following the Wolverines' 35-14 loss Saturday at Wisconsin. Photo By Maize & Blue Nation (Flickr)
  • Odds out with a pair of props regarding Jim Harbaugh’s future as coach of the Michigan Wolverines
  • One prop favors that he will return as coach for the 2020 season
  • The second offers odds on candidates to replace Harbaugh, a list that includes former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer

Jim Harbaugh was supposed to do for Michigan what Urban Meyer did at Ohio State. He was going lead a football renaissance. He was a Michigan man through and through after all.

Harbaugh was a former Wolverines quarterback under Bo Schembechler. He’d coached the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl.

What could wrong – how about everything?

Five years into the Harbaugh plan, Michigan is in shambles. In Saturday’s embarrassing 35-14 loss at Wisconsin, the Wolverines looked more like a team in rebuilding mode, and not the Big Ten favorites and College Football Playoff contenders the Wolverines were touted as in August.

The sportsbooks are already speculating whether Harbaugh has run out of time to right the ship. Books are out with a pair of props regarding his future with the Wolverines.

One prop favors Harbaugh returning as Michigan coach next season. The second prop, though, offers odds on who might replace him on the Wolverines’ sideline.

Will Jim Harbaugh Be Michigan Coach For Week 1 Of 2020 NCAA Season?

Outcome Odds
Yes -140
No +100

*Odds taken on 09/23/19.

There were a number of shocking elements to Michigan’s loss at Wisconsin. The offense was out of sync. The Wolverines rushed for just 40 yards. The defense, such a pillar of their success last season when it was #2 in the nation, looks porous minus Devin Bush, Chase Winovich and Rashan Gary.

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Most alarming of all was how unprepared the Wolverines were, even though they were coming off a bye week. That goes to coaching. Harbaugh acknowledged that his team was out-coached, outplayed and out-prepared.

Harbaugh’s Litany Of Failure

Overall, Harbaugh is 8-11 against ranked teams during his Michigan tenure. On the road, he’s 1-6. His Wolverines teams are 0-7 straight up against ranked teams as a road underdog.

Since the start of last season, Michigan is 0-3 against ranked teams on the road and has lost those three games by an average margin of 23 points. They’ve lost three straight bowl games as well.

In big games, the Wolverines don’t even compete. They are 4-11 against top-15 teams and 1-9 when facing top-10 schools.

Remember, Michigan is a missed Army field goal away from being 1-2.

It could get much uglier.  Michigan still must play against #18 Iowa, #13 Penn State, #7 Notre Dame and #6 Ohio State.

Harbaugh is 0-4 against the Buckeyes.

Do They Make Khaki Flak Jackets?

The man who became known for his khaki pants is under fire. Even the staunchest of Harbaugh apologists can no longer defend these dumpster fire efforts against the rest of college football’s elite.

On paper, from a distance and with very little scrutiny, Harbaugh’s record doesn’t look bad. His teams have gone 10-3 in three of his four seasons. Compared to his predecessors, Brady Hoke and Rich Rodriguez, he’s proven to be a significant step up.

Rodriguez went 3-9, 5-7 and 7-6 in three years. After an 11-2 mark in his first season, Hoke was a combined 20-18 over the next three.

But this is Michigan. Coaching there is like managing the New York Yankees. Bringing the team from bad to respectable isn’t enough. Titles are the only item that matters on the agenda.

Harbaugh won’t be compared to his predecessors, he’ll be measured against Lloyd Carr. Between 1995-2007, Carr went 122-40. His teams won won five Big Ten titles, shared the 1997 national championship and compiled a 122-40 record.

He’s a Cash Cow for Michigan

At $7.5 million a season, Harbaugh is the second-highest paid college football coach after Alabama’s Nick Saban. And there’s a reason for that.

It doesn’t show up on the field when it’s most needed. But it does fill the school’s coffers.

Harbaugh makes money for the school. Big money. Since his first season in charge, Michigan’s football revenues have increased from $97.1 million a season to $125 million. Michigan led NCAA football attendance every year between 2014-17. And the Wolverines draw eyeballs. The viewing audience for last year’s game against Ohio State was $13.2 million.

Harbaugh has turned Michigan football into a cash machine. As much as the fans might not like it, unless the Wolverines really go south this season, Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere.

Pick: Yes (-140).

Who Will Be Michigan Coach For Week 1 Of 2020 NCAA Season?

Coach Odds
David Shaw +300
Bronco Mendenhall +400
Kyle Whittingham +400
Dino Babers +500
Urban Meyer +700
Mike Gundy +800
Luke Fickell +1000

Would Meyer Consider Michigan?

College football’s #1 free-agent coach, who would be more galled by the notion of Meyer as Michigan coach – Meyer or Wolverines fans?

Remember, Bo Schembechler left Woody Hayes’ staff with the Buckeyes to take over the Michigan program and become the school’s most famous coach.

But it’s really a moot point, because Harbaugh isn’t going anywhere.

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