Some Michigan football fans have taken Jim Harbaugh for granted, but looking elsewhere, especially at Texas, should make fans appreciate him more.
You know that thing about the grass always being greener on the other side? Well, that’s something Michigan football fans need to guard against.
If you follow the Wolverines, then you know about the constant push and pull with head coach Jim Harbaugh. One minute, fans want him fired, the next, they are angry about rumors that he could head to the NFL.
It’s exhausting. But hey, at least Michigan football isn’t Texas and at least the Wolverines head coach isn’t Tom Herman.
People want to criticize Harbaugh for not winning the “big game” and if that game is Ohio State, then yes, that is a fair criticism. But Jim has beaten plenty of ranked teams, including five in the past two seasons.
Sure, Herman led Texas to a 10-win season, a Sugar Bowl victory and a berth in the Big 12 championship game. But his overall record is 27-16.
Harbaugh won 10 games in three of his first four season and has never dipped below eight. The Wolverines also don’t lose games they are supposed to win, which is something Herman and the Longhorns really struggle with.
It didn’t take long for Michigan to become a regular in the top 25 again with Harbaugh as head coach and during his five years, only once has U-M fallen as a ranked team to an unraked opponent.
At Texas, in three and a half years under Herman, it’s happened six times, including last Saturday when TCU beat the Longhorns for the ninth time in 11 years.
Just imagine if Jim Harbaugh had six upset losses to unranked teams? The one to Michigan State was bad enough. There hasn’t been another.
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Harbaugh also rarely loses at home and outside of the 0-3 record against Ohio State, he’s 28-2 at the Big House. He’s also 2-2 against Wisconsin, 1-1 against Iowa, 3-2 against Penn State and 3-2 against Michigan State — the other key rivals in the Big Ten.
Before Harbaugh, the Wolverines struggled to beat and sometimes even compete with the teams listed above. Now, the Wolverines have caught or exceeded them, something Texas hasn’t done in the Big 12.
Herman did beat Oklahoma, which is like Ohio State for Harbaugh, so give him credit for that. Yet, Brady Hoke had a win over Ohio State too and that didn’t wipe away the rest of his failures.
The point is, at some point, Michigan football fans may have looked at Herman or someone else and thought, I’d rather have him than Harbaugh. And now, we can see how foolish that looks.
Maybe Harbaugh hasn’t been the savior against Ohio State, but he’s restored Michigan football to its rightful place as a Big Ten power and a team that matters on the national scale.
There is still plenty of work to do but the struggles of Texas should serve as a reminder that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.