Nick And Jimbo's Saturday

Who had a worse weekend?

Jim Rome
December 02, 2019 - 11:08 am
Jim Harbaugh

USA Today


Who had a worse weekend – Jim Harbaugh or Nick Saban? Don’t answer immediately, because they both had horrible ones. Let’s start with Nicholas, who took his Alabama team into Auburn without a chance to win the SEC, but with a chance to make a final claim for a spot in the playoff. And they lost 48-45 to their rival in a truly excruciating way.

How bad was it? Let me count the ways.

There was the clock at the end of the first half that allowed Auburn a chance to kick a field goal.

As you can imagine, Saban handled that a champ.  No he didn’t. He damn near lost his mind.

And then there was a 100-yard pick six.

There was the chance for the game-tying field goal with two minutes left

And then there was the fourth down play where Gus Malzahn’s crew completely fooled Nick Saban’s.

And as you’d expect, Saban handled that like an absolute legend. Actually, he didn’t handle that well either. He complained that it was “unfair.”

My guy, you lost a game where you gave up 48 points and committed 13 penalties. Yes, your kicker missed a crucial field goal and your backup qb had a pair of painful picks, but your backup qb also had a total of 367 yards and 4 TDS.

Back in the day, that would’ve been enough for a Nick Saban defense to win. But this wasn’t a Nick Saban defense. And hasn’t been for a minute now. And that wasn’t an Alabama team that deserved to be in the playoff.

And Saban was left losing his mind on the field, on the sideline, and then complaining in a press conference. And for the first time ever, the ensuing questions about is Saban past his prime and is the Alabama dynasty dead? I’m sure Saban will handle those two questions as well as the others he tried to handle this past weekend. In other words, really badly. He’s a sore winner and a sore loser. 

And then there’s Michigan.

This was supposed to be the year. Year five. His guys, his culture. His process. No more excuses. Sure, they’d been humiliated 62-39 by Ohio State last year, but this was the year. Jim Harbaugh had waited out Urban Meyer and now he was going to get to face the kid, the new guy, Ryan Day. And he was going to do it in Ann Arbor. It was set up for him, and his team. 

I mean, If Jim Harbaugh couldn’t end the streak this year, when would he? Answer: maybe never. Because with all of that going for them – the veteran against the first year head coach, playing at home, the chance to break the streak, Michigan came out fired up.

They knew what was at stake. And they were going to do anything and everything they could to get an edge. To get inside Ohio State’s head.  Which is why I couple dopes went bush league and untied the shoe of Ohio State running back JK Dobbins after a play.

I know Harbaugh likes to coach enthusiasm, but he sure as hell doesn’t preach discipline.  Not if you’re eating 15 yard flags for unsportsman like conduct in arguably the most critical game of your tenure. 

Holy crap. What ever happened to Michigan Men? And the idea of being classy? I mean, if you can’t win, at least be classy? And if you can’t do either, well, what are you?

You’re a team that just got curbstomped, by your rival 56-27 at home.

The good news is you didn’t give up 62. The bad news is you lost by 29. At home.

Harbaugh is now 0-5 against Ohio State. 0-5 in the only game that counts. 0-5 in the game that every Michigan coach gets measured by. 0-5 against the team you were hired to beat: the team you pay you hellafied jack to beat. 

And as you can imagine, unlike Saban, Harbaugh at least handled that embarrassing beatdown pretty well. No, he did not. 

Quote: I’ll answer your questions, not your insults.

That is an incredible line. You’ve just been smashed again and the facts feel like insults. Because that’s the thing – that wasn’t an insult. You just lost your last two games to Ohio State by a combined score of 118-66.

You gave up 118 points in the last two games to the most important opponent on the schedule. Saying Ohio State played better isn’t good enough. You don’t just play better and score 118 points in two games. It’s way more than that.

And yes, it feels insulting. Because it should. That scoreboard is insulting. It’s offensive. And if it’s not insulting and offensive to you, it’s definitely insulting and offensive to Michigan fans. Because they just got their teeth kicked in again. And it shows no signs of stopping.

There is a huge gap between these two programs on every level – talent, preparation, coaching, execution, you name it.

You are there to win that game; that’s the most important aspect of your job:  and you haven’t. All the other stuff doesn’t matter.

Because this is the game that Michigan has been pointed to ever since Urban Meyer announced he was leaving. They’ve been building towards this and they got the exact same result.

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields has an idea for what happened: "I just think we take it more seriously than they do, I think. We prepare for it all year. We're preparing for them next year right now. I think it just means more at Ohio State. That's pretty much, I think, the bigger reason why we have more success than they do."

He's right. 

And notice a word that I haven’t used so far: rival. Because this isn’t a rivalry. A rivalry is a battle between equals. This is an annual game between two teams in the same conference. They aren’t equals. Michigan has lost 8 straight. In the last few years, Purdue and Iowa have more wins over Ohio State than Michigan does. 

Michigan has beaten Ohio State twice since 2000. That’s not a rivalry. And Harbaugh was the guy to come in and change all that. And not only has he not changed it, not only has it not gotten better, it’s gotten worse. And more humiliating.

And all the milk drinking and shirtless football playing won’t change that. Who’s got it better than us? Everybody.