Jim Harbaugh-to-Michigan Smoke Is Becoming Palpable


Michigan’s coaching search has been more or less inert. Then, yesterday, it wasn’t. San Francisco was eliminated from the NFL playoffs. Jim Harbaugh became much more available. Some search wheels appear to be turning.

Rumored candidates are dropping out of the race. Ohio State OC Tom Herman to Houston became public knowledge. Les Miles broke his silence, telling reporters off camera and unquoted he was not considering the Michigan job. Dan Mullen, also silent, confirmed this morning he had no contact with Michigan.

Harbaugh remains silent.

Preliminary Harbaugh rumblings have emerged. Gregg Henson, a Pittsburgh radio programming director, wrote that a deal, “barring a last second flake out,” was done at eight years $49 million. The blog Detroit Sports Rag reported Harbaugh intimated to a former Michigan teammate and prospective staff member, Browns OL coach Andy Moeller, he was getting the band back together. Neither is an established news outlet. But the claims are consistent with optimistic local reports from 247SportsMGoBlog and others.

Detroit News columnist Bob Wojnowski became far more bullish on Harbaugh to Michigan last evening.

There’s nothing definitive here. Keep the champagne corked, Wolverines. But, in concert, the information is interesting. It’s possible coaches are scrambling to avoid a desperate Michigan at last call ready to shower them with money. But, given the timing, the more rational explanation is there’s something afoot, something that would preclude Les Miles, previously dead silent, and Dan Mullen, who had not signed his extension. The longer the process drags out the more apparent that something is not Greg Schiano.