What If Jim Harbaugh Goes To The Minnesota Vikings?
Multiple media outlets are reporting that Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh (pictured) is interviewing with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday. And Chris Balas of The Wolverine is writing that Harbaugh will take the Vikings job if offered.
Well, what does happen to Michigan if Harbs (as Tim Staudt likes to call him) leaves Ann Arbor to coach in the NFL?
Well, if Harbaugh leaves, Michigan would hire an interim coach while conducting a search for a permanent head coach. It could be assistant Mike Hart or Josh Gattis, just to name a few.
Some Michigan fans are panicking/freaking out if Harbs does leave (these are the people who view him as the Messiah). I'm not one of them. He was the right hire back in 2015, But I have been critical of him for several reasons (lack of trust in the QB, too conservative on offense, poor game coaching decisions, etc), and if I was running things, I would've fired him in 2018 after the Ohio State debacle where Urban Meyer outclassed Harbaugh every which way but loose (to coin and old Clint Eastwood movie).
Under normal circumstances, it would be difficult to get a really good coach. The late signing period has started and spring ball isn't too far away. However, given the fact that these coaches will do almost anything for any reason or any amount of money, they could get a real good coach in a short amount of time.
The names I have heard are the same as everyone else. Iowa State's Matt Campbell would do very well at Michigan, IMO. If you believe the media, Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Ruhle is looking get out of the pros and get back to college. Michigan could be a place for him. Cincinnati's Luke Fickell (despite the man-crush some people have on him) would never come to Ann Arbor because he's an Ohio State alum and would leave for Columbus if Ryan Day ever leaves the Buckeyes.
If you want to promote from within to save money, you could go with offensive coordinator Josh Gattis. Or if you want to go with the "Michigan man" theme, Mike Hart could be the choice. I think that's unlikely. Athletic Director Warde Manuel would go after a bigger name.
There's never a good time for coaches to leave (remember Mark Dantonio, who left Michigan State at about the same time on the calendar two years ago?). But I don't think Jim Harbaugh leaving Ann Arbor for the NFL is as big a disaster as some Michigan fans think it is.
What do you think? Let us know.