Jim Harbaugh did what he came to Michigan football to do

Win or lose on Monday night, Jim Harbaugh achieved his goal of getting Michigan football the top of the college football world.
Jan 7, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh at the CFP National
Jan 7, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh at the CFP National / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh's happy mission with Michigan football is almost complete. The Wolverines will play for the national championship tonight and if they win, it would be his crowning achievement.

On Sunday, when asked about what a national championship would mean, Harbaugh, as he always does, talked about his players. He talked about how amazing it would be for them to call themselves national champions. "It would be so huge," he said.

It would be huge for anyone who has a passion for Michigan football. The 1997 national championship was incredible. It seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime win. Over the years, it seemed like it would be harder and harder for Michigan to ever reach that level again, especially once we hit the College Football Playoff era.

But after firing Brady Hoke, Michigan hired the best head coach it has ever had -- Jim Harbaugh. A Michigan man, through and through, Harbaugh wanted to get this program to the top and he's turned out to be exactly what we thought he was when hired.

Jim Harbaugh saved Michigan football. That was true even before the revelation that was the 2021 season. The Big House was empty and the program was in shambles when he arrived.

Amazingly, things changed overnight.

Michigan went from five wins to 10 that season, and outside of the 2020 COVID Year, the Wolverines have been among the Big Ten's best every year that Harbaugh has been the head coach. They haven't always won championships, but they were close and the winning has been consistent.

It reached another level when Harbaugh overhauled his defense and found his quarterback in J.J. McCarthy. Add in the championship culture and it's been the perfect storm.

The NCAA and Big Ten tried to ruin it, but this program and its "happy mission" refused to be denied. Whatever the challenge -- they compete -- and they win. No matter what it takes.

That's Jim Harbaugh. That's Ben Herbert. That's the entire coaching staff. But it all starts with one man -- the man who has Michigan football on the doorstep of the unthinkable.

Yes, the NFL might be next. There are new reports that discussions could come soon after the national championship game. But who cares? Win or lose, Jim Harbaugh has done as much for Michigan football as any man in history.

There's one more goal to achieve and you can bet Harbaugh wants it as bad as anyone. But even if the Wolverines fall short, it won't change the fact that Jim has done what he came to do.

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Michigan is a college football elite and for that, we owe Jim Harbaugh a debt of gratitude. So thank you from the bottom of my heart, Jim, and good luck, Go Blue!