Four More Years! Four More Years!
Well, that might not be desirable if you're in the camp that pines for Michigan football to be elite.
But if you're among those that love to see the Wolverines floundering and/or fizzling down the stretch then you're probably just fine with Jim Harbaugh sticking around for at least four more years in Ann Arbor.
Harbaugh's first four seasons at Michigan have produced a few highlights including a 10-game winning streak last fall before the wheels came off but despite all the hype, his accomplishments aren't all that better than the four-year stint turned in by his predecessor, Brady Hoke.
|SAVIOR||GAMES||WINS||LOSSES||11-WIN SEASONS||HIGH FINAL RANK|
|BRADY HOKE||51||31||20||1||9 (COACHES)|
|JIM HARBAUGH||52||38||14||0||10 (AP)|
To his credit, Harbaugh does have three 10-win seasons under his belt already whereas Hoke did turn in an 11-win effort in Year One but saw his victory totals shrink to eight, seven and five over the next three seasons before being shown the door.
In a host of other comparison points, the two prove more similar than their reputations might suggest.
VERSUS RANKED TEAMS
It probably won't shock you that neither Hoke nor Harbaugh have a winning record against ranked teams through four seasons.
Hoke was an absolute dumpster fire posting a 4-10 record featuring a 1-4 mark in 2012 with losses to Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and South Carolina and an 0-3 run in his final season including a 31-0 shutout by Notre Dame, a 35-11 pasting by Michigan State and a 42-28 loss to the Buckeyes.
Harbaugh racked up three wins over Top 25 teams in his first season but his two losses against ranked foes came against chief rivals as Michigan State (27-23) and Ohio State (42-13) as part of a 10-3 campaign.
|COACHING LEGEND||YEAR 1||YEAR 2||YEAR 3||YEAR 4||CUMULATIVE|
With optimism at a fever pitch entering the 2016 slate, Harbaugh went just 1-2 against ranked opponents. The Wolverines beat Wisconsin 14-7 in early October but fell to Ohio State in double-overtime aided by a perfect spot from the officials paving the way for Curtis Samuel's winning score and the hangover from that game lingered in a 33-32 loss to No. 11 Florida State to cap another 10-3 season.
In 2017, the Wolverines went just 8-5 including a 1-3 mark against Top 25 teams. Harbaugh beat No. 17 Florida in the season opener in convincing fashion but his squad was flattened by No. 2 Penn State before back-to-back losses against No. 5 Wisconsin and No. 9 Ohio State to close the regular season. In those three games, Michigan lost by an average of 18 points.
Finally, last season, Harbaugh squeaked out a 3-3 record versus ranked teams but capped the campaign with ugly blowouts at the hands of the Buckeyes and Gators.
Overall, Harbaugh's mark is decisively better than Hoke's but it's also decidedly not average.
VERSUS RIVALS MICHIGAN STATE AND OHIO STATE
This one is a stalemate record-wise as both Hoke and Harbaugh went 2-6 versus the combo of Michigan State and Ohio State through four seasons.
Most Michigan fans would probably see Hoke's resume as the lesser of the two evils however as he at least did beat both the Spartans and Buckeyes once while Harbaugh does have two wins over Sparty but remains winless against Ohio State in four tries.
Not only that, Hoke played Ohio State tough in three of his four years, winning 40-34 in 2011 against a broken Buckeye team reeling from Jim Tressel's demise, before losing by five in the 2012 showdown and by just one point in 2013 after Ohio State's Tyvis Powell thwarted Hoke's gamble to win the game on a two-point conversion. Over Hoke's four years, Michigan was only outscored by 14 total points in The Game (144-130).
Conversely, Harbaugh's 0-4 mark versus Urban Meyer includes a 42-13 spanking in 2015 and of course this past November's 62-39 thrashing. Over the four games, Harbaugh's boys are on the wrong end of a 165-99 cumulative score.
OVER THE FINAL TWO GAMES OF EACH SEASON
This one contains some double-dipping obviously since The Game is the last contest of the regular season and Michigan has yet to play in a Big Ten championship game but my post, my rules.
Hoke again has the edge with his 2-6 mark over the final two games of each season during his four-year run while Harbaugh went just 1-7.
It should be noted Hoke didn't even make it to a bowl game in his swan song season of 2014 but he still dropped the final two games on the slate with a 23-16 loss versus Maryland before Meyer dropped a 42-28 on him in the Shoe.
Harbaugh has of course gone bowling in each of his four seasons in Ann Arbor with his lone win the season's final two games coming in the form on an impressive 41-7 decision over No. 19 Florida in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
Couple Harbaugh's troubles against Ohio State the four bowl game results and his 1-7 record is easy to comprehend when you consider his defenses have given up 34 points on average over the final two games of each season.
During that same stretch, his offenses have scored over 34 points once and been held to under 21 points four times.