Before the game kicked off I told myself, "Even if Michigan loses, you can't go after Jim Harbaugh again. People are fed up, but you can only beat that dead horse so much."
I was wrong.
If a loss did occur, I was going to focus a bit more on the coordinators this week. Really dive into the numbers to see just how bad Don Brown and Josh Gattis were. Maybe it was really bad and one or both of them should start looking for new employment. Or, maybe it wasn't as bad as it seemed. Maybe there were some things to celebrate and potentially improve upon moving forward. Then Wisconsin beat the absolute piss out of the Wolverines on primetime television in Ann Arbor.
This is such a large problem. Normally, if a team looks as awful as Michigan does, the head coach gets fired midseason and one of the coordinators takes over to finish out the year while a plan is put in place to find a new head man. But has Michigan done anything on either side of the ball to indicate that Don Brown or Josh Gattis could run this team? It almost seems like that would be worse.
Firing all three probably isn't a realistic option, and would never happen on Warde Manuel's watch anyway, so what does Michigan do? It's likely no one knows since this is essentially uncharted territory. Michigan hasn't been 1-3 since 1967, when Jim Harbaugh was just four years old.
I was hard on the coaching staff last week...
I received some flack for it. I was even contacted by one of the coaches that I have a pretty good relationship with saying it was a little much.
This team was beaten by a putrid Michigan State team and bombed by a good Indiana team. I just didn't think they could look much worse at home knowing that Wisconsin is a damn good team itching to get back on the field after missing two weeks. Boy, was I wrong. The Wolverines looked dead, deflated, flat and bored as they ran out to touch the banner before the game.
It got worse once the action started.
Wisconsin marched up and down the field scoring touchdowns on its first four drives, while Michigan eked out one single yard in the first quarter. The Wolverines made a habit out of going three and out and turning the ball over, while Wisconsin methodically moved down the field against Don Brown's unit. In fact, per ESPN at halftime, Michigan's defense recorded zero sacks and forced zero turnovers in their last five halves of football. They're the first Big Ten team over the last 15 seasons to not record a sack or a takeaway in five consecutive halves.
Warde Manuel has to pull the trigger now. Any trigger. Tell Jim to pack his bags, or tell him to tell someone to pack their bags. Something needs to change right now to show that they're all at least self aware. Either that, or the year is going to continue to spiral out of control, recruits are going to jump ship and the program is going to take major steps back ahead of an ill-timed coaching search, that is certainly a must at this point.
If Manuel isn't already putting wheels in motion, he should be fired as well. He's the athletic director and the football program is the lifeblood of athletics at U-M. It's in his best interest to do what's best for the program and the entire athletic department. We initially learned that Manuel wasn't going to fire Harbaugh period, which obviously means it's not happening during the middle of the season. But that needs to change. The things that are happening are simply indefensible.