Numbers don’t lie, Harbaugh can’t win in primetime

I wrote last Saturday there was virtually “no way” Michigan would beat #7 Penn State at Beaver Stadium, in a so called “white out”.

Of course Michigan lost 28-21.

I’m not a sage, yet I had historical facts on my side. Going into the game, Harbaugh was 1-9 against opponents ranked in the Top 10; 0-6 vs ranked opponents on the road; and Harbaugh had never won a football game when his team was considered an Underdog.

Of course, the game at Penn State ticked all the boxes: Penn State was ranked #7 at the time, they were favored by 7.5 points and the game was on the road. So, it was a triple Whammy for Harbaugh, and to compound an already problematic scenario, Michigan fell behind by a lopsided score of 21-0 after just 23 minutes of football.

Michigan finally scored with 3 minutes remaining in the Half, but the damage was done: the lead was insurmountable, and when the game clock ticked Zero, Michigan lost 28-21.

Loss underscores another season…No Championships:

This game was bigger than a loss.

In spite of all the hype surrounding Harbaugh when he was hired prior to the 2015 season, it marks yet another season without a Championship. If the expectation was for Harbaugh to make an immediate impact and win a Championship (and of course it was) then Harbaugh has failed miserably. He has made a career of beating the daylights out of lower tier teams yet his teams lose miserably in signature games!

Harbaugh has a $49 Million contract and he is amongst the Top 5 highest paid coaches in college football.

We were told Jim Harbaugh was a Quarterback guru, an NFL savant, and we were also told he performed miracles at his other coaching stops, to which I say: where are the Championships?

The numbers don’t lie: at Michigan Harbaugh has posted a regular season record of 42-13, including just 1 win and 3 losses in Bowl games, and after last Saturday’s loss at Penn State, Harbaugh is now 1-10 vs Top 10 opponents; 0-7 vs Top 10 opponents on the road; and Jim Harbaugh has still never won a game as an underdog.

Moreover, after 8 years of coaching Power 5 Football (4 at Stanford & 4 at Michigan) Harbaugh has never won a conference Championship, not even a Division title, and after losing at Penn State 28-21, we can now count 9 seasons that Jim Harbaugh has failed to win a Power 5 Conference Championship even though Harbaugh has been bestowed with some of the greatest resources “known to man”.

How many programs can afford to take Million dollar junkets/excursions each spring, taking along 100 football players, plus staff and families of staff, an entourage of 200 or so, all compliments of wealthy donors…yet still no championships.

And with a 3-2 Big Ten record this year, Harbaugh won’t win a Big Ten Championship this year either, not even a Division title, and given his upside down record vs ranked teams, and with #8 Notre Dame, and #3 Ohio State still on the docket, it appears at least two more losses are lying in wait.

What they were saying after the Penn State game:

After getting beaten 28-21, pundits were saying Michigan played really well and made a game of it.

In addition, Michigan coaches were saying their players “fought really hard” but c’mon, really? Harbaugh’s vaunted Defense yielded 21 unanswered points to start the game, and at that point, Penn State held all the cards in their hand.

Penn State went from attack mode in the 1st Half, to management mode (or keep the game in front of you mode) in the 2nd Half. Penn State measured and managed Michigan, and at the end of the night, Penn State won the football game 28-21 and Michigan lost. In fact, in two losses this season, Michigan has been outscored 49-7 in the 1st Half and needless to say, making the score close is window dressing…getting close isn’t what coaches get paid for.

For heaven sake, Harbaugh is incapable of managing a Championship football team:

We all remember 2015, whereby Michigan was forced to punt against the Spartans with precious little time remaining on the game clock, yet Harbaugh attempted to block 11 “Thundering” Spartans with just 8 players in what can be considered a classic breakdown of scheme and personnel deployment, and of course the Spartans blocked the punt and scored a game winning Touchdown.

Since that classic debacle in 2015, there have been numerous other examples of Harbaugh’s flawed game management, and of course Harbaugh was happy to oblige with more blunders last Saturday night.

In fact, Harbaugh called Timeout before the football game even started because he was unable to get his team lined up to start the football game…of course there was plenty of mismanagement throughout the game including a 58 Yard Field Goal attempt just prior to Halftime…but Harbaugh had another coaching blunder up his sleeve.

To finish the game, Harbaugh expended his final Timeout to contest an “uncontestable” Penn State 1st Down at Penn State 10 Yard Line with just 1:45 remaining on the game clock. Keep in mind, Harbaugh expended his final Timeout. Michigan was just 10 yards from the End Zone, and given the fact Penn State would play “ultra conservative” to prevent an unanticipated Turnover, it was highly likely Michigan could have forced a punt with just 15 seconds or so remaining on the game clock.

If Michigan had forced a punt, they would have gotten the football at, or near midfield and a Timeout would have been invaluable. With today’s rules, 15 seconds is an eternity…keep in mind the Spartans beat Michigan in 2015 by blocking a punt for an improbable victory. Yet, Harbaugh helped Penn State by calling a time out, by way of contesting an “uncontestable” play, and in effect, Harbaugh conceded.

At the bottom line:

In spite of the Spartans Offensive woes, both Penn State and Michigan are beatable, and on Thursday we’ll take a look at the Spartans chances when they host Penn State next Saturday..