Matt Patricia out as Detroit Lions head coach. Jim Harbaugh in?
The embattled Michigan head man is in the midst of his sixth season in Ann Arbor, and things aren't exactly on the up-and-up.
The Wolverines are a disappointing 2-4, after losing to the previously winless Penn State Nittany Lions at The Big House this past Saturday.
Now, Harbaugh does have another year on his contract. So, if the Wolverines were to fire him at the end of this season, they'd be on the hook for a buyout of approximately $10 million.
They likely wouldn't move on from him until after 2021 because of it.
However, if they were to lose their final two games of the season to Maryland and Ohio State, respectively, maybe administration would cut ties with the former U-M quarterback a year earlier.
It would free him up for a job with -- yes, you guessed it -- the Lions.
Sure, he's largely been a disappointment during his time roaming the sidelines in Ann Arbor.
But, he's still bound to be a candidate for NFL head coach openings, such as the one in Detroit, due to what he accomplished while he was the head man of the San Francisco 49ers.
He spent four years in San Francisco (2011-14), and won 69.5 percent of his games.
He never produced a losing record, and finished with an overall mark of 44-19-1.
Most impressively, from 2011-13, he guided the 49ers to three consecutive campaigns with at least 11 wins, highlighted by three straight NFC Championship Game appearances and an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII against his brother John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens.
Jim ended up on the losing side of that Super Bowl, and never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy during his time in San Fran.
However, what he accomplished was still one of the most impressive four-year runs for a head coach in NFL history.
And if he desires to become an NFL head man again one day, it's his biggest selling point to prospective teams, especially one like the Lions which has never reached a Super Bowl.
If he were to land a job interview with Detroit principal owner Sheila Ford Hamp, you know he would bring up the above, and sell to her that experience matters and is the difference between him and the other candidates for the vacancy.
And maybe, he would have a point.
Look at how many coaches have gotten their first head coaching job in Motown and have failed.
From Marty Mornhinweg and Rod Marinelli at the beginning of the 2000s to Jim Schwartz and most recently Patricia.
And the list goes on and on with underachieving head men that lacked the prior experience of Harbaugh.
I'm not opposed to the idea of the Lions hiring an individual with experience to replace Patricia, either. There's definitely some sound logic to it.
But, at the same time, it has to be the right guy. It can't just be any person who's coached a few years in the NFL and managed to garner some success along the way.
For me, Harbaugh is no longer the right guy.
Sure, after his first three-four years on the job at Michigan, he probably would have been the right man for the gig.
However, at this point, I no longer believe it's the case.
Harbaugh is no longer the same coach that was hired by Michigan in December of 2014.
Since, he's lost the high volume of energy that he once patrolled the sidelines with, and has seemingly become fine with being the leader of a second-class team in the Big Ten.
Most notably, he hasn't won a single game in five tries against archrival Ohio State, and still is without a Big Ten title.
That's not the Harbaugh that U-M bent over backwards to bring back to Ann Arbor or the Harbaugh that Hamp and the Lions should desire.
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