Jim Harbaugh has provided many memorable quotes from football players in his time, enough to fill a book (“Attack the Day with an enthusiasm unknown to humanity” is a personal favorite). But this latest quote, which has made a number of bad headlines, will make Harbaugh want everyone to forget it.
But it will be hard to forget for college soccer fans who have looked to his tenure in Michigan. During a Q&A with 247sports.com, the topic of Wolverines winning a national championship was raised. Here’s what Harbaugh had to say:
“I mean, just look back over the past five years we’ve been here for the past five years. About as close as possible. But you have to overdo it. That is what drives us. ”
Hoooo boy Jim. Jim. Jim. Jim. “As close as possible”? Before trying to (somehow) defend him, it should be noted that Harbaugh never won more than 10 games in Ann Arbor and never lost less than three. He has lost four consecutive bowl games, the last two times three. “Close” is the exact opposite of what the Wolverines were at a national championship.
But if we put our Michigan Man caps on for a second, Harbaugh would have had a chance of at least reaching the college football playoffs. In his first year in Michigan in 2015, they lost in the last game against the state of Michigan when they took the 23:21 lead and their punter took a snapshot and watched MSU’s Jalen Watts-Jackson score a touchdown. Had the Wolverines hung that day, they might have gone into the Ohio State game with an 11-1 record (which they lost 42-13). “Close,” I think.
The following season Michigan started the year 9-0 and finished second in the country in Iowa. They lost devastatingly 14:13 at a field goal in the last second. Two weeks later, against the horse chestnuts, they still controlled their own fate. A win would have taken them to the College Football Playoffs, but they lost 30-27 in the Double OT, the Harbaugh, which came closest to the OSU during his tenure.
In 2017…. Oh who am I kidding? They’ve been going between 27 and 12 in the three years since then, which isn’t a three-year record near the college football playoffs. To be fair to Harbaugh, they came pretty close in 2016, but we all know that Clemson would have knocked them out in playoffs like the state of Ohio. If that’s “close”, I would be very upset if I were a Michigan fan now.