When the Michigan Wolverines hired Jim Harbaugh to be there head football coach in 2015 they envisioned Big 10 and National championships galore. However the former 49ers coach hasn’t even been able to get his squad to appear in a Big Ten title game in four full seasons. His teams haven’t been bad though as the 2015, 2016 and 2018 teams all achieved 10-3 records however in two of those years (’15,’16) they ranked third in the Big 10 eastern division.
Not the Big Ten, the Big Ten east.
2018 was certainly Harbaugh’s best year at the helm as his team parlayed a week one loss to eventual playoff contender Notre Dame into a nine game win streak. The 9-1 record to begin the season had the Wolverines sitting at #4 in that weekns CFP’s top 25 ranking. However they ran into their kryptonite, the Ohio State Buckeyes (More on them later) whom they lost to before dropping to Florida in the Peach Bowl. Why can’tthe Wolverines finish any of their seasons strongly?
Two words: Ohio State
The Buckeyes are 4-0 over the Wolverines in the four years that Harbaugh has been the head coach. That’s pretty alarming considering that in 2016 and 2018 “The Game” decided which team would represent the Big Ten East in the Big Ten title game. More importantly, in both of those years Michigan was a top 4 team and in prime position to glide into the College Football Playoff.
If Michigan is going to become true championship contenders John Harbaugh is gong to have to figure out a way to get his team through the Ohio State roadblock. The Buckeyes have a new head coach in Ryan Day so hopefully Harbaugh’s experience will be able to will his team over the hump. Is Harbaugh a good enough coach to get his team to a championship? Yes.
Will he actually be able to is the real question that Harbaugh must answer. 2019 is the year he must answer that.