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ESPN: This Offseason Will Be An "Uncomfortable" One For Michigan

Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh and starting quarterback Wilton Speight #3 watch the video replay during the first quarter of the game.

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 16: Michigan Wolverines head football coach Jim Harbaugh and starting quarterback Wilton Speight #3 watch the video replay during the first quarter of the game against the Air Force Falcons at Michigan Stadium on September 16, 2017 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Here's the Worldwide Leader on the current state of Michigan's football program.

"Uncomfortable."

That's how ESPN college football writer Dan Murphy would classify Michigan's offseason status.

The Wolverines are coming off a disappointing 8-5 campaign that ended with a brutal Outback Bowl loss to South Carolina. Jim Harbaugh's program has been recruiting well, but the elite results aren't there yet. Will they be in Year 4? Michigan's fan base is desperate to find out.

Does any of this mean that Harbaugh's job is on the line, though?

ESPN says no. And they would be right.

It would be wrong to call 2018 a “do or die” year for Harbaugh and his football team. What would the “die” in that trope really mean here?

A new coaching regime? Absolutely not; Harbaugh remains as good of a cultural fit as his alma mater could hope for and has a football mind coveted at every level of the game. So does that mean it’s time for a reality check about Michigan’s ability to compete for championships? That doesn’t seem right, either. The school has the resources, interest and recruiting prowess to remain among the programs that cycle through national championship contention runs.

Harbaugh isn't going anywhere.

Michigan's head coach was asked after the Outback Bowl if he'd coached his "last" game for the Wolverines, the reporter hinting at a possible move to the NFL. Harbaugh quickly replied "no." NFL insider Peter King then reported that multiple NFL teams were interested in possibly pursuing Harbaugh, but found out that he's firmly at Michigan.

So, Michigan will head into the 2018 season with a committed Harbaugh and a lot of desperation among its fan base. The Wolverines should be good next fall, especially if Shea Patterson is eligible, but will they be as good as everyone seems to want them to be?