At some point, Michigan has to put an end to this delay and make a decision regardless of whether Jim Harbaugh is ready to make one or not. If Michigan hasn’t yet reached that point, how much longer are they willing to wait?
Over the past two weeks, multiple insiders have suggested that a deal between Michigan and Harbaugh was nearly complete, that the delay was simply the result of the contract going through a normal legal process, and that a significant meeting was set to take place on Monday...or Tuesday...or sometime this week where Harbaugh’s return would likely be announced. Some of those same insiders have suggested that, according to their sources, Harbaugh’s plan has always been to return to the University of Michigan.
Maybe, maybe not.
While multiple insiders continue to paint a picture of a deal nearly complete, reality has painted a much different picture. For most people, it’s become crystal clear that the hold up to any resolution in Ann Arbor isn’t due to vacations or a lengthy legal process - it’s the NFL. Multiple head coaching positions that have been linked to Jim Harbaugh have recently become available, including positions with the Detroit Lions, the Los Angeles Chargers, and the New York Jets.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand why Jim Harbaugh would be interested in exploring any opportunities that may be available to him - I just don’t understand why the University of Michigan would be interested in waiting. After all, it’s not as if Jim Harbaugh has proven himself to be irreplaceable during his tenure at Michigan. Though his 69% winning percentage has been a plus when compared to his two predecessors, the increased winning percentage has only resulted in a 3-3 record against Michigan State, an 0-5 record against the Ohio State Buckeyes, a 1-4 bowl game record and zero conference titles.
Regardless of Michigan’s struggles over the better part of the last two decades, the head coaching position of this football team is still one that is coveted. There is no shortage of phenomenal candidates who would jump at the first opportunity to lead the Michigan Wolverines out of the tunnel in 2021, yet Michigan continues to wait on the one who doesn't appear to be quite sure yet.
Based on optics alone, most people outside of the program have already decided that Michigan is Harbaugh’s back-up plan - a belief that is eating away at what little support he has remaining in Ann Arbor. Fans have become less concerned about whether or not Jim Harbaugh wants to be here and more concerned about just how long Michigan is willing to wait for him.