Jim Mora Jr. Reflects On Jim Harbaugh's Time At Michigan, Contract Extension

There are several different ways to look at what Jim Harbaugh has done at Michigan and whether or not his extension was warranted.
Publish date:

I've been pretty open on my stance about Jim Harbaugh. I don't think he's done enough to still be at U-M and I definitely don't think he deserved a contract extension. It's not personal and it's not because I didn't give him a chance. I thought he'd have Michigan on top of the Big Ten and in the running for national titles by year seven.

I was wrong.

Harbaugh has won 69% of his games at Michigan but doesn't really have a program-defining win during his six years. He's got a couple nice Ws against Florida, one against Notre Dame in 2019 and a few others that are nice to look back at, but nothing that makes you think, "Man, that win changed the trajectory of the program."

He is 0-5 against Ohio State, 1-4 in bowl games, is barely over .500 against Big Ten teams who are also over .500 and hasn't even played for a conference championship. He can't even claim a wining record against Iowa, Penn State, Michigan State or Wisconsin — otherwise known as Big Ten teams with a pulse.

To me, those marks are unacceptable and the opposite of what's necessary to get a contract extension. College football is a harsh, results business and those results aren't good enough.

Part of the problem is that expectations were extremely high when Harbaugh was hired, but they were warranted. He was arguably the most coveted coach in the country — college or pro — and he was coming back to his alma mater with a ton of buzz and momentum and was just the guy to wake up a sleeping giant. The giant is still napping as Harbaugh embarks on year seven, but there are still plenty of people who think he'll figure it out. 

Football analyst Jim Mora Jr. seems to fall somewhere in between what I think and what Harbaugh apologists think. Hearing him talk in the video above about Harbaugh's tenure at U-M and his new extension made me think a little bit, but overall I still feel like Harbaugh is getting chances that he doesn't deserve.