There have been rumblings after some disappointments in past seasons, but the talks of Jim Harbaugh potentially being out at Michigan have really ramped up this week. After the Wolverines were absolutely demolished by Wisconsin on Saturday, the direction of the program has really come into question.
It is unclear if Harbaugh actually finds himself on the hot seat, but if Michigan has another middling season, when it was preseason favorite in the Big Ten, it'd be hard to argue that the program doesn't seem to be in a bit of a rut.
There's a decent chance that Michigan wouldn't fire Harbaugh, a favorite son of the program and a guy that fans were so desperate to pry out of the NFL just a few years ago. As FOX Sports' Joel Klatt said on a recent sports radio appearance, Harbaugh could choose to walk away at season's end.
Klatt discussed the potential departure, and the ugly Wisconsin game for Michigan, on KTCK-AM The Ticket in the Dallas area.
Via Saturday Down South:
“I thought this would work, but when you all of a sudden hit the panic button and you try to change your identity and your philosophy that has been successful over several different stops at several different levels of football, it’s either going to be all or nothing,” Klatt said. “And what we’re seeing is the nothing side of this. “This was very much chips all in at the middle of the table and that fifth card comes down and he went bust. Right now it has been a failure of a switch for their offensive philosophy, and their defense was not even that physical. They lost that game on the defensive side as well. It was just an all around total beatdown.”
“I’m not going to be surprised if he walks away at the end of this season,” Klatt continued. “He just doesn’t have the same sense of urgency, that same Jim Harbaugh kind of stinger, if you will, that he did in previous years.”
Plenty has been written about Harbaugh's short fuse at his coaching stops. This season is his fifth in Ann Arbor, making it his longest stay with any team as a head coach.
It could be that Harbaugh is better at rebuilding teams but isn't the best guy to maintain them once things plateau a bit. Michigan is in a much better place than it was when he took over, but Harbaugh may not be the one to get things over the goal line.