Who’s Got It Better Than Michigan?

Wisconsin for sure.

Jim Rome
September 23, 2019 - 10:45 am
Jim Harbaugh

USA Today

Categories: 

With the pace of the world today, by the time Monday rolls around, something that happened on Saturday might as well have been ancient history. Normally, it’s in the past, but when it comes to one particular game, it’s still very much the present. 

Wisconsin 35, Michigan 0

Don’t let the final score fool you, it wasn’t a 35-14 game. It was a 35-0 game. It was Michigan being down 28-0 at halftime. It was Michigan getting outrushed at one point 200 to 0. 

Talk about a world of suck. 

Don’t get me wrong – there is no shame in losing to Wisconsin. That is a damn good football team with a damn good coach and an absolute beast at running back. Jonathan Taylor rushing for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns can happen to anyone. And it could have been a helluva if he didn’t leave for a time with cramps. Michigan is lucky he didn’t’ go for three bills.  But he probably would have. 

Because he can fight for the tough yards like this.

And kill you with his sprinter speed on runs like this.

Jonathan Taylor is good. Like not just one of the best to ever tote it Wisconsin good, which is saying something. Good, like, by the time he’s done we’ll be talking about him as one of the best to ever do it on that level. Period. And Wisconsin is good. Like playoff good. That good. 

The problem is, people thought Michigan was good too. And they aren’t. 

If you lose a tight game to Wisconsin, that’s one thing. Again, they’re really good. But to come off a bye, and have those two weeks to prepare, and find yourself down 28-0 at halftime, that’s embarrassing. That’s unforgivable. And that’s on the coach. 

Michigan was “Outprepared and outcoached. Outplayed.” Not my words, Jim Harbaugh’s. And he’s right.  For the first time, maybe ever, Harbaugh owns something.  Then again, what choice did he really haven’t. That was embarrassing. And for it to happen, on that big a stage, in his fifth year, inexcusable. 

As Brady Quinn said at halftime: “it’s honestly sad.”

Again, talk about a world of suck. The only thing worse than criticism is pity. And that’s where Michigan football is right now. Pity. Condescending pats on the head. It’s honestly really sad.

How the hell is it possible that five years in with Harbaugh, Michigan football still has no identity? Well, other than knowing that on the biggest stage, they’ll no show and he’ll take a big dump in his pants! That’s not me bumping my gums just to bump my gums: look at the numbers Michigan man. In fact, you don’t need to: you already know them. The whole point of hiring Harbaugh was to give that program an identity and to stack trophies. He’s a Michigan Man who was going to get them back to Michigan Football. 

And yet they have no identity. Their identity is getting jacked up in their biggest games. Repeatedly. The quarterback whisperer has turned into a grab-bagger on offense. And the defense is getting humiliated time and time again. 

And it’s not for a lack of talent. For years now, everyone has heard how Harbaugh’s killed it on the recruiting trail. How he connects with high schoolers because of his zany antics, like sleepovers and shirtless football and drinking milk. 

But that hasn’t led to results. Here are Michigan’s last five games:

62-39 loss to Ohio State to end the regular season
41-15 loss to Florida in the Peach Bowl
40-21 win over Middle Tennessee 
24-21 double overtime win over Army
35-14 loss to Wisconsin

And the question comes up: is this the end of the Jim Harbaugh Era? 

Better question – when did the Jim Harbaugh Era begin? Was there even a Jim Harbaugh Era?

Seriously. What is the best moment since Jim Harbaugh was hired? The Citrus Bowl win? Going 8-5 in year 3? That time he played shirtless football in khakis?

Harder yet, what’s been the worst moment since Jim Harbaugh was hired? Was it Saturday? Was it the 23 point loss to Ohio State last year? Or the 29 point loss to Penn State in 2017? One no-show after another in big games? 

I know Michigan fans were hyped when he came, but they’re raging now. This is not what they were expecting. When you’re getting steamrolled by Wisconsin, those sleepovers with recruits and pillow forts with 2 percent milk aren’t translating into wins.

What happened to Jim Harbaugh? What happened to that Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind?

This isn’t year one. Or year three. This is year five. He built this program. He recruited the players, he hired the staff, and he’s has literally nothing to show for it. . Instead, he’s getting this kind of reaction from respected alumni like Charles Woodson in the studio:

“I’m sick about how Michigan football looks right now. And I came here on this show—this is my first weekend on Big Noon Kickoff—and I came here with high expectations of how my team was going to look in front of you guys. And I’ll be honest with you, man, I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed by that.”

I’m embarrassed for you, Chuck.  You deserve better.  So does everyone who has ever attended Michigan.

So where does Michigan go now?  Look at the schedule: there are plenty of more losses in that schedule to be had.  And what if Ohio State gets him again???  Is that officially are the end.  Are if he can find a way to beat them, does he buy himself another year.  I know this, when he got there, it seemed like he could stay as long as he wanted.  That obviously is not the case.  He’s not bigger than that program.  Especially given he can’t win a game that matters.   And they’re not getting a return on the crazy investment they made him him.  They’re paying Nick Saban money for Brady Hoke results. Except these might even be worse than Brady Hoke results. At least Brady Hoke beat Ohio State.  Outplayed, outcoached, out toughed and outclassed is a horrible way to go through life, Michigan fan: except by now you’re probably used to it.  Coach em up, Jimbo, your job and your legacy depend on it.