A couple of years ago, Michigan football head coach Jim Harbaugh was on the hot heat. Now, he’s the consensus best head coach in the Big Ten.
It’s pretty easy to criticize Michigan AD Warde Manuel right now, but one thing he did right was keeping Jim Harbaugh as Michigan football coach when others would have fired him.
Even before the 2021 season, Harbaugh had turned around Michigan football in a pretty significant way. Some fans were blinded by expectations and Ohio State.
There were missteps along the way. Harbaugh wasn’t perfect but he was one of the best head coaches from the day he stepped on campus in 2015. The Wolverines have had one losing season and now, they are the two-time Big Ten champs.
And that success is reflected in the latest head coach rankings from the Sporting News. Harbaugh has been consistently among the best in the country with Kirby Smart, Nick Saban, and Dabo Swinney among different rankings released over the offseason. Dabo was No. 3 on the list put out by Bill Bender of the Sporting News.
Harbaugh is ranked fourth, and Ryan Day is fifth. Just how it should be.
Harbaugh is the Big Ten’s best
The results of the past few seasons pretty much speak for themselves. Plus, Ryan Day took over a juggernaut and it’s taken a step back from where it was under Urban Meyer. No question. Harbaugh took over a disaster and turned it around.
Day’s resume is still incredibly impressive. But he now has a big hole in his resume since he’s dropped two games to Harbaugh (1-2 vs Jim) and has yet to win a national title.
To be fair, Harbaugh is 0-2 in playoff games and hasn’t won a natty either, so he’s still not perfect which is why Dabo Swinney ranks ahead of him.
James Franklin also made the top 10. He’s got one Big Ten championship during his tenure but a slew of double-digit wins seasons and major bowl appearances.
The rankings of Big Ten coaches and the top 10 are fair. Things can change quickly though as we saw with Jim Harbaugh.