The Michigan Wolverines are 10-0 in 2023 with a Saturday road matchup versus the Maryland Terrapins on deck.
This time there won’t (shouldn’t) be any last-minute surprises, as Michigan football will make the trip to Maryland knowing they will be without head coach Jim Harbaugh, serving the second game of a three-game suspension that will now officially keep him out of The Game against Ohio State.
Listen, this isn’t the way I expected this thing to go. I won’t get into all of the legal stuff here, because while I can digest it, I can’t fully regurgitate it well here. That said, I figured Harbaugh would at least be on the field for the Ohio State game.
Will it affect the team? Of course, and it would be naive to think that it wouldn’t. Harbaugh is the face of the program, the biggest voice, and really, the fiercest competitor. To think the team doesn’t need their head coach is silly. That’s why there has been such a clamoring for him to sign a contract extension to keep him in Ann Arbor for the rest of his coaching career.
HOW it affects the team though, will be the key. The Wolverines can use this decision to accept the full suspension as motivation, as fuel. The way I see it, this suspension and the outside noise in reaction to it, only serves to further galvanize this team.
It’s still Michigan vs. Everybody.
Can the Wolverines beat Maryland and Ohio State without their head coach? Absolutely.
The 2023 Michigan football team has 44 seniors on their roster. That’s a ridiculous amount of experience, leadership, and veteran presence. This team is built to weather these types of storms.
They also have the best quarterback in the Big Ten in J.J. McCarthy, the best running back in Blake Corum, the best tight end room, the best offensive line, the best defense, the best coaching staff… I could go on and on. They know who they are and so do we.
This team set out with specific goals this season: Beat Michigan State, Beat Ohio, win the Big Ten Championship, and win the National Championship.
Nothing has changed.