Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger discuss reports that Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh could be considering leaving the school to take an NFL head coaching job.
DAN WETZEL: Sure, the Super Bowl is the greatest prize in our sport, but winning a national championship? That's pretty darn great. Let's do that.
He wants to coached in the NFL. He's an NFL guy. Let's start with Harbaugh.
Reports are out that Denver is interested. Indianapolis could be interested. The Carolina Panthers could be interested.
And all of this occurs one year after Jim Harbaugh tried to get the Minnesota Vikings job, got rebuffed after flying to Minneapolis, and didn't get the job-- that was humiliating-- declared he was returning with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, delivers arguably the best season in-- one of the best seasons in Michigan history, won at Ohio State, gets to the playoff, really has a rough performance in a game they should have won. But after declaring this was a one time dalliance with the NFL and his interest in winning the Super Bowl was over and this would not be an annual occasion, here we are Jim Harbaugh back in the NFL's sights. And for 36 hours since the report, zero statement from Jim Harbaugh saying I'm staying at Michigan.
There are entities at the University of Michigan who think he is gone if he gets the chance. There are other people close to Harbaugh who tell me they don't think he leaves. He's having too much fun.
This was his, like, most content year. My guess, he's gone if someone offers him a job. Pat, what do you think? Harbaugh gone or staying?
PAT FORDE: My sense is largely the same as yours-- that if there is an opportunity to go, he wants to do it. And I say this as a Broncos fan. I don't know whether anybody wants that job because you're tethered to Russell Wilson for years.
Indianapolis, where he played, where he's considered one of the great figures really that the franchise has had-- Carolina's got a chance to basically start over there. Maybe. As you pointed out, if he meant what he said last year about that was a one time thing and he's committed to Michigan, then you just come out and say it, all right?
You cut the speculation short. I think Michigan's probably preparing as if he's going to go, and we'll see where it ends up. Obviously-- no, predicting what Jim Harbaugh is going to do is crazy, but if you make me say yes or no, I'm going to say yes, he would leave if he has a place to go.
ROSS DELLENGER: Seeing the stories yesterday that started coming out, it was deja vu, right? The same stories came out a year ago, very kind of, like, speculative, anonymous sourcing. But yeah, it seems pretty obvious within the industry the last several years, his wish was to go back, or there was a good chance that if he had an opportunity, he would go back, go back to the pros. So obviously, it's a huge job if it were to open. We always talk about the late season coaching cycle and how there's always something that pops up and causes some dominoes, and this is obviously one that would.
DAN WETZEL: Let me just reread. I mean, this is a column he did with Mitch Albom, who he's very close with for back to his playing days. Quote, sure, the Super Bowl is the greatest prize in our sport.
But winning a national championship? That's pretty darn great. Let's do that.
It's all right there. The Super Bowl is the greatest prize in sport. Winning a national title, quote, pretty darn great. He wants to coach in the NFL. He's an NFL guy.
PAT FORDE: Yep.
DAN WETZEL: And that's fine. I always thought he was a short term answer at Michigan. He was brought back to write the program. They were like 24 and 32 in Big Ten play under Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.
And for Michigan, that's what's not acceptable. Winning a national title is desired at Michigan, but it is not the mandate at Michigan. Make no mistake.
They are very disappointed right now, but this isn't Alabama. This isn't Georgia. This isn't whatever.
Like, but you can't be losing all the time in the Big Ten. And he came back. He got that in order.
He finally, after X number of tries, beats Ohio State. He finally wins the Big Ten. He's got the program humming.
He's done what he was supposed to do. To see him go, other than those comments, is absolutely no surprise. So we will see.
I wouldn't take that Bronco job for the life of me. But Carolina or Indy? Yeah, maybe.