Until Jim Harbaugh leads Michigan to a win over Ohio State, many will not be satisfied with the job that he’s done with the Wolverines. Harbaugh has pretty clearly improved the program from where it was, but Ohio State has been dominant in the series for an incredibly long time now.
Heading into 2020, the pressure isn’t dying down. Harbaugh is 0-5 against the Buckeyes, who didn’t miss a beat with the transition from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day in 2019. It seems unlikely that Harbaugh could get fired over one rivalry, but if there’s any sport for that, it is college football.
He’s not unaware of the pressure that he faces here. In a recent appearance on Mike Tirico’s Lunch Talk Live on NBC Sports Network, he discussed the major challenge that Ohio State presents. He’s just as angry about the lack of success in the rivalry as Wolverine fans are.
“We’ve gotta beat Ohio State,” Harbaugh said, via WolverinesWire. “Nothing makes us angrier than that, or me. That’s what we’re working toward every day. We’ve beaten everyone else, but we haven’t beat them. That’s what we have to do, beat them, win a championship, get ourselves into the playoffs, win a national championship.”
— Isaiah Hole (@isaiahhole) May 20, 2020
Big games as a whole have been a point of struggle for Michigan under Jim Harbaugh. Last year’s 9-4 team took a step forward against some teams, but Ohio State went the same way it has been going.
The Wolverines blew out rivals Notre Dame and Michigan State, albeit in a very down season for the Spartans, but lost handily to Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Alabama in the Citrus Bowl. Penn State, which has pushed to supplant Michigan as the second-best team in the Big Ten East, also won a one-touchdown game against Michigan.
One win over Ohio State would go a long way, thought right now the gap seems to be getting larger.