With the University of Michigan struggling to such a bad start that the program has been forced to give tickets away to anyone who purchased a bottle of Coca-Cola (unless it didn’t), the speculation already has begun regarding the next coach of the Wolverines.
Coincidentally, the speculation has been ongoing regarding the future of 49ers coach (and former Michigan quarterback) Jim Harbaugh for a while. Mired in a contractual impasse that has been tabled until after the season, any college or program now knows that Harbaugh is in play for a jump to a new job come 2015. With the 49ers already mired in a disappointing, stressful year, that jump could be more likely.
And while other NFL programs technically must wait to openly pursue Harbaugh until after the NFL season ends, Michigan can get a jump on everyone by dumping Brady Hoke and beginning the discussions with a man who has had great success at every stop of his coaching career.
Could Harbaugh be tempted to leave? If he’d leave the NFL for any job, it surely would be the Michigan job. And the Michigan job likely won’t be open every few years. This could be the only time the planets line up just right, allowing Harbaugh to exit the 49ers after four seasons and return to the college game.
Where he can run the show. And run the town. And run to the bank with more money than the 49ers will pay him.