Jim Harbaugh discussion

Discussion in 'NCAA' started by Br4d, Nov 28, 2021.

  1. Br4d

    Br4d 2018 Weeb Ewbank Award

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    Wolverines one win away from the CFP. The Jets chances at hiring a great CEO-coach on the ropes.

    I hope the Wolverines smother their opponents in the Big Ten Championship Game. After that I hope the Johnson's open up their wallet and make Harbaugh the highest paid coach of all time. That's one way you can spend money without affecting the cap at all and 5 years of Jim Harbaugh would change the Jets trajectory forever.
     
  2. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    I have a few thoughts.

    I posted a brief comment about this somewhere in one of the Saleh threads. Jim Harbaugh’s future is one of the most interesting coaching discussions these days, but so far he’s largely been overlooked. That could change over the next six weeks. Michigan will be at #2 in the CFP and is the closest thing to a playoff lock outside of UGA, so we won’t know the answer for at least another month, but I really think Jim Harbaugh’s chances of leaving UM just went UP, not down. For a few reasons.
    • First and foremost - UM reworked his contract a year ago and he went from an $8 million salary down to $4 million with not very large bonuses and a minuscule buyout compared to some of the other coaching buyouts you see. Two years ago, he was paid in the top-5 of all college coaches; he’s now third from the bottom in the Big-Ten, just a cup of coffee ahead of Greg Schiano. UM is now in a bit of a pickle if they really want to keep him. At the very least, he’s going to want his contract renegotiated again if he’s going to stay. If I had to bet, I’d say his agent emailed the AD this morning. The coaching carousel is about to begin, with several really attractive openings and a two of the guys most rumored to be HC targets signing long-term deals with their current teams. Not to mention, +/-20 NFL teams that are probably getting tired of giving two-year head coaching tryouts to coordinators. The point - Jim Harbaugh’s leverage is peaking. At some point in the next couple weeks, as UM gets a bigger national spotlight, someone will ask him whether or not he’s given any thoughts to moving to the NFL. When he gives an answer that says everything EXCEPT, “No, I’m staying at UM,” we’ll know that he’s either looking for more money or a new job.

    • He’s been a really enthusiastic recruiter every year he’s been at UM - except this one. This is a guy who pissed off SEC coaches by holding satellite camps right in their backyards and pulled out some of the best players. This year, his prized commitment is a 5-star from Grosse Point - a local kid who probably wasn’t that difficult to lock down. For UM’s biggest home game of the season, biggest win in a decade and one of the most iconic college football rivalry games, he had a remarkably mediocre list of 2022 recruits in attendance, and only 3-4 really elite kids. Some of this is no doubt because he fired his whole coaching staff last year, and any relationships they built went out the door with them. Sure, he’s had down-years before. It just seems like he’s lost his enthusiasm for recruiting. And it’s not just the 2022 cycle. UM is off to a really slow 2023 too, although there’s still plenty of time.

    • His job was already getting tougher, but it just went up one more notch after yesterday. OSU has been at the top of the rankings, both in recruiting and game results for a while. Now, PSU is in the top-5 recruiting. MSU went crazy last year in the transfer portal and just locked down Mel Tucker with a new contract - a guy who recruited under two relentless recruiters in Nick Saran and Kirby Smart. The Big-Ten East was always tough but it’s only getting tougher, and UM is losing the battle for new talent. 2021 was a great year for UM, but if Harbaugh’s goal is to win a championship at UM, he’ll have to run the Big-Ten East gauntlet every year with no more than one loss and then win the conference championship. His talent to do that is on the decline.

    • Over the last two years UM has lost a shitload of kids via the transfer portal and several were really high recruits. Not exactly sure what this says, because the same thing has been happening at Penn State. If you want to look at this optimistically, you could say it’s because their positions are so competitive they needed to go elsewhere for playing time. For a kid like Zach Charbonnet, that might be true. He had great 2019 but then dropped behind Hassan Haskins and I guess after yesterday we know why. But OSU recruits on a higher level and doesn’t have the same problem. So, something is going on. If nothing else, it’s got to be kind of a gut-punch for Jim Harbaugh to see players leave through the portal. It’ll be interesting to watch the portal in January to see if this trend turns around.

    • Jim Harbaugh put ALL emphasis this year into beating OSU. He’s now accomplished that - the first time in the last 10-years and only the third time in the last 20. For the last year, UM ate and slept beating OSU. A pretty solid strategy - focus on beating the best and everything else will fall into place. Aside from a 4th quarter collapse against MSU, it worked. And, barring a bizarre collapse against Iowa, UM will be a playoff team after going into the season unranked. If Jim Harbaugh left at the end of last season, his legacy would have been - the guy who can’t win the Big Game and never lived up to a UM tradition of excellence. If he’s been entertaining any thoughts of leaving UM, this is probably his best opportunity to go out on a high note.

    • Lastly, the 2021 season will soon be over and any praise he’s earned at UM will soon be fleeting. That’s how it’s been his entire tenure. UM went into the game against MSU undefeated and ranked No. 6. The next day, UM fans were muttering about “Same Ol’ Harbaugh” and revisiting the debate about whether or not it was time to move on. He responded by winning out and beating OSU and you’d think that would silence all critics. For now, it has. If he loses the Big-Ten Championship to Iowa, you’ll hear people again calling for his head. Not everyone, but also not just a few. Harbaugh knows this and it must be an exhausting loop. He also knows that if he goes 9-3 in 2022, with losses against OSU and either MSU or PSU and a 3rd place finish in the Big-Ten East, his current contract means it won’t cost UM much at all to fire him. There’s a better than average chance all that happens. Maybe not, but why not get out while the getting’s good
    I’ve had this discussion and made the same points with a few diehard UM fans, including my nephew, UM senior, just last night. Nobody yet has disagreed with a single point, but every one of them has disagreed with the conclusion. Their argument? Jim Harbaugh is a “Michigan Guy,” bleeds blue and maize, loyal to his alma mater and blah blah blah. All true. Except, has UM been as loyal to Jim Harbaugh as they all think he is to them? He was asked to take a pay cut to make less than Scott Frost, for fuck sake. He could win this week but lose next week and it’s not unthinkable that he could be fired. He won’t, but all I’m saying is - it’s not unthinkable in the world of UM football. As long as OSU is the gold standard in the Big-Ten, nothing he’ll do will ever be enough and people will constantly be calling for his head. When it comes to Harbaugh-UMichigan loyalty, it’s an incredibly dysfunctional relationship. UM fans expect Harbaugh will want to stay until THEY decide it’s over. That’s loopy. His loyalty might mean that he wouldn’t seriously entertain an offer from USC, although he definitely should. I doubt it means he’d stay at UM valued less than Indiana values Tom Allen, while his brother is making $9 million to coach in the NFL.
     
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  3. Br4d

    Br4d 2018 Weeb Ewbank Award

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    @Sundayjack - Helluva post.

    I really think nailing Harbaugh down as the voice and power on the Jets would transform the organization forever.

    Parcells would have done that if he had been on a real 5 year contract - one that the Jets would have re-upped without thinking too hard after year 4. Unfortunately his contract was with a dying owner and he never felt it extended beyond that. Still he transformed the Jets for a run of sustained success over 15 seasons.

    Just imagine what 5 years of a focused completely in control Jim Harbaugh would do for this organization.

    The Jets real runs of success have been when they had the commitment of a no-nonsense HC who was the face of the franchise. Weeb in the late 60's and Parcells in the late 90's who built the framework for the 00's.. Add Walt Michaels in because he came from the Browns back when the Browns were the Browns and he coached under Weeb for nearly a decade. Those are the periods when the Jets were good.

    We need the next great coach to come in and run the show - and I mean the whole show. Harbaugh's issues have always been over power and control. The answer to that is to give him all the power and with that the control he needs to right the Jets.
     
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  4. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    I have to confess - I’m not a huge Harbaugh fan, although I can’t say exactly why. Nothing I could point to. But I’d absolutely take a guy with a record of NFL success over yet another two-year tryout with a modestly successful coordinator. Some guys are good coordinators and that’s all they’ll ever be. So, yeah, I’m onboard for Harbaugh. If anything I said in the magnum opus above is correct, it works the same for any team looking to hire Jim Harbaugh - now is the best opportunity to throw money at him and make it happen. If he reworks his contract with UM after the playoff, he’s off the market for at least a couple years. If for some illogical reason he sticks it out at UM under his current contract, I’d read that to mean he’s looking at the coaching landscape and he’s waiting for his first choice of jobs to open. The time to make the phone call is now. Whether or not the Jets are on his shortlist, it’s not that difficult to figure out what it would take if they really want him. At least $1.00 more than what his brother makes and total control of all football decisions. Gotta be the easiest contract negotiation of all time.
     
  5. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    BTW, your point about the salary cap seldom gets mentioned and it’s really mind-boggling that it doesn’t. Teams will dedicate a disproportionate share of a defined salary cap on a single player and then cheap-out on the one expense that affects success the most and salary cap not at all. Is it unfair to fire Robert Saleh after one season just to hire Jim Harbaugh? Sure. But I’ll bet Sam Darnold thought it was unfair to draft Zach Wilson and trade him away. It’s a business where you should be looking for the best player at every position. Why that shouldn’t apply to a head coach - the guy who fires more guys each year than any one else - is beyond me.
     
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  6. Dierking

    Dierking Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff here, but it’s been pointed out before on this board, who on the Jets has the gravitas to fire the HC and GM at this point? Woody and Chris have no allies or confidants in the industry at this point. Probably why the Jets hierarchy always looks like an island of misfit toys.
     
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  7. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    That’s the most discouraging part. I have a theory on why that is. Still a work in progress, but I’m going to say it because it’s pitching right into Br4d’s wheelhouse and… well… I’m a pleaser.

    Biggest thing holding the Jets back right now? My theory - the moral hazard of Old Money. Consider that the Detroit Lions, owned by the Ford family, and the Jets, owned by the Johnson family, both have the same problem: ownership that has the luxury to not care. From the minute these people exited a vagina, they knew that their worst decisions had little or no consequences. Winning might be nice and losing may suck, but either way it doesn’t change tomorrow.
     
  8. Br4d

    Br4d 2018 Weeb Ewbank Award

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    And the NFL is easy money no matter what you do. It is easy to overlook your shortcomings running a team by pointing at the bottom line, even though it is a collectively bargained agreement that actually makes your money for you - not your competence in running the team.
     
  9. Dierking

    Dierking Well-Known Member

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    The Rooneys seem to be okay though. Of course, the Steelers are the family’s only business so they’re much more properly incentivized to be good at it.
     
  10. Br4d

    Br4d 2018 Weeb Ewbank Award

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    The Rooneys were very bad at football for the first 40-odd years of running the franchise. It was the second generation of family owners that turned the franchise around.

    I did a post on it somewhere here and it was very similar to the Mara's except the Mara's were a bit more successful because the kids took over earlier.

    Also, the Rooneys came out of a saloon-keeper's family in Pittsburgh. The Mara's scion was a bookie.
     
  11. abyzmul

    abyzmul R.J. MacReady, 21018 Funniest Member Award Winner

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    If you were to rank the level of importance each team's owner's voice had at an owner's meeting, where do you think guys like Woody, Chris and Hymie would fall in that list?

    That's something that any high profile HC candidate is going to consider and since these guys handle their business like amateurs from the moment they wake up, I don't they rank that high. If Harbaugh's name ever came up linked to a Jets hire, it would only be for leverage.

    We're stuck with rookies.
     
  12. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    It’s a theory that still needs some work. The only true test would be if we could somehow arrange for Paris Hilton to own the Green Bay Packers. Not forever. Probably only need 5-6 years to either prove or disprove. The problem is convincing all the Wisconsins holding shares in the Packers to temporarily give them up in the name of science.
     
  13. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    A fact that hits you in the face like a fucking frying pan and there’s absolutely nothing any of us can do to fix it.
     
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  14. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    BTW - two of the prized college jobs were just filled today, with Billy Napier going to Florida and Lincoln Riley headed to USC. Not saying Harbaugh would have wanted either of those jobs, but when the coaching market narrows so does his contract leverage. Probably a good thing if you’re an NFL team looking to convince him to jump ship from UM.
     
    #14 Sundayjack, Nov 28, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
  15. Br4d

    Br4d 2018 Weeb Ewbank Award

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    I think the only way you get him to come to the Jets is to hand him a blank contract and take what he gives back to you.

    The Jets are a flaming dumpster fire right now but the prestige for the guy who gets them out of that fire will be enormous.

    That and $15M a year for 5 years would probably draw him. Might have to make it $20M a year.
     
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  16. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    NFL owners would hate whichever partner redefines the high-end of the HC salary spectrum with a 100% increase, but the truth is: that’s where it should be. Queue the first fan who says it’s insane to pay that much. But first, I expect a rational explanation why they’re so concerned about the NFL owners’ bottom line. The whole reason the last decade is littered with coordinators who failed after brief head coaching tryouts is because college HC salaries are now on par with NFL salaries. Most owners aren’t willing to pay for proven success, while colleges are throwing money around like they just hit the trifecta. Sticking with the Big-Ten East, Mel Tucker and James Franklin finished the season 3rd and 4th, respectively. Both just signed new contracts. MSU gave Tucker to a 10-year, $95 million contract. PSU gave Franklin a 10-year contract with $70 million guaranteed. We probably won’t know what USC gave Lincoln Riley for a while, but with Stanford paying David Shaw almost $9 million, it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s close to $10 million. USC said they wanted to make a big splash and no doubt budgeted for If Riley was smart, it’s also loaded with incentives, because USC will be in the college playoff within three years. Compare that to Robert Saleh’s $5 million salary - 12th highest in the league, but wouldn’t crack the top-5 in either the Big-Ten or the SEC. The Jets franchise is valued around $4 billion; Michigan’s football program has a value around $1 billion. I know you didn’t need the links, but that college list adds a fascinating perspective, but it also isn’t equal spending since colleges operate as public or non-profits and off-the-books spending by boosters can be classified as charitable donations. But I don’t think that explains the disproportionate fact that Harbaugh’s salary was cut in half and he’ll still make more than half of all NFL head coaches.

    The only conclusion can be that this is a market that the NFL owners have purposely kept depressed. Until they start doing exactly what you say - raise the salary scale and give coaches full control over personnel, which they have as a college HC - NFL teams will continue with short-term experiments with coordinators. Clearly the NFL owners want it this way. Otherwise, we’d see more owners opening their wallets and buying the best coaching talent from their partners. Seems pretty clear that most owners are content to live off the success of others through profit sharing. Best example is a funny story I heard a while back (and just looked up now) where Jerry Jones offer to pay Mike Brown for the naming rights to Paul Brown Stadium. I’m getting off topic, but it just illustrates cut-throat guys like Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft are unique in the NFL partnership. In a rational NFL world, 31 other owners should be willing to send an Amtrak train full of cash to Foxboro to hire Bill Belichick away from Robert Kraft, based solely on the value of the Patriots now vs. the value when Belichick was hired. Too late now, but ten years ago that would have been the single best move if your goal was on-field success. And before someone chimes in to say, “Kraft would have never sold BB,” or “BB would have never left,” the point is - you’d never know unless you make the call. It works. When Kraft “traded” Parcells to the Jets and the Jets traded Belichick to the Patriots, those teams were transformed. Same with the Raiders’ trade of Gruden to Tampa Bay. Those teams gave up real value for a proven coach. The Chiefs’ trading a fourth round pick for Herm proves that you get what you pay for. To your point, in today’s NFL, that’s the dominant theme in the head coaching market.

    Anyway, good topic.
     
    #16 Sundayjack, Nov 29, 2021
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2021
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  17. Br4d

    Br4d 2018 Weeb Ewbank Award

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    College football coaches at the biggest programs, who are CEO-type coaches, get paid more than their NFL counterparts.

    If anybody ever needed a big man to come front for them and take the organization to the top it is the Jets.

    They better get on this in a hurry before Harbaugh becomes the Lions savior instead.
     
  18. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    And here’s a fun fact. If the Jets want to hire Jim Harbaugh they have to go through the whole Rooney Rule routine in the name of promoting minority coaching opportunities. Consider that three of the top-10 highest paid college coaches - David Shaw, Mel Tucker and James Franklin - are minorities. Roger Goodell can bemoan the state of NFL minority hiring all he wants, but who’s doing more to advance the cause?
     
  19. Sundayjack

    Sundayjack pǝʇɔıppɐ ʎןןɐʇoʇ
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    I meant to post this. I said somewhere above that Jim Harbaugh’s UM contract didn’t have huge bonuses. I suppose that’s a matter of perspective. If he wins next week, he’ll pocket at least another $2 million - $500K for winning the Big-Ten East, $1 million for the Big-Ten Championship and another $500K for reaching the CFP. $1 million more if UM wins the CFP championship. Those are decent bonuses. That wasn’t lost on me. But, when he signed his contract January 2021 after a 2-4 season and Ohio State owning the Big-Ten forever, very few people - Harbaugh included - would have classified those bonuses as “likely to be earned”. Michigan wasn’t even ranked at the start of the season.

     
  20. Jonathan_Vilma

    Jonathan_Vilma Well-Known Member

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    I know a couple people that went to Michigan and when I said I wanted him on the Jets they absolutely trashed the idea after the Michigan State loss.

    Harbaugh’s a step below an elite coach. He’s had a hard time finding a big time quarterback to go toe to toe with Ohio State and also held on to Don “Man-Coverage” Brown for too long before finally making the switch this past year. He got the perfect storm of getting that game at the Big House this year too.

    On another note - brilliant move by Lincoln Riley to jet from Oklahoma. The Big 12 is about to fall apart and he wanted nothing to do with being in dog fights against Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Georgia and Florida ever year.

    I’m most curious to see what happens with LSU. That job felt like Billy Napier’s all the way until Florida just swooped in. Franklin & Tucker going back to their given schools so it feels like LSU is in trouble big-time coach wise unless they can coax Urban out of Jacksonville.
     
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