There's never a dull moment regarding the Jim Harbaugh era. When they were consistently coming up short, failing to beat Ohio State, and failing to reach expectations, it made headlines. Over the last few years, when they beat the Buckeyes and got into the college football playoff, it's made headlines.
Recently, the big news has been Jim Harbaugh's three-game suspension he will be serving to start the season. I've written blogs about this already. I think it's a giant waste of time. Michigan has a completely lame nonconference schedule. Harbaugh being out for three games will have little impact on the final score. But it's very obvious that Jim Harbaugh is out for blood in the situation. Over the last two years, that has worked. Vindictive Harbaugh often wins a lot of football games.
Michigan's season kicks off this week on Saturday at noon against East Carolina. That appeared to be the last thing on Jim Harbaugh's mind today. In some ways, that makes sense. He will not be on the sideline for this week's game. But he opened his press conference with a six-minute diatribe about the state of college football.
In general, I agree with what he's saying. I think most people do. If you want to be a powerhouse college football program in the modern age, you have to adjust to the rules of NIL, as imperfect as they may be. Everything beyond that, I don't feel super comfortable commenting on. Sometimes, I wish I was smarter to understand the ins and outs of this world. But I agree with the basis of what he's saying. Fans come to see the product. The players are the product. And those responsible for the product deserve to be paid. There should be some regulations to ensure the rich don't get richer.
But for now, NIL will be what free agency is in baseball. They are big market teams and small market teams. Thankfully, Michigan should be big spenders.
Harbaugh also went on to talk about his three-game suspension. It's clear that this whole situation guts him. He's a football guy. Whether you like Jim Harbaugh or not, the one thing you cannot deny is the man is obsessed with the sport. I don't think many people in the universe enjoy doing their job more than Jim Harbaugh enjoys coaching football. When he inevitably retires, I'm sure he'll become an analyst somewhere. The game is in his DNA.
I appreciate the love and passion that Jim Harbaugh has for this game. With that said, it's time we turn a new chapter here. The season is going to start. In three weeks, everyone will forget that this shit even happened. I'd understand if this was next season, and Michigan had a nonconference game against Texas. But if Michigan were to lose one of their first three games, it would be the greatest upset in college football history. These should all be cakewalks, and I expect that they will be. If any good comes from this as a Michigan fan, Harbaugh himself will feel like he has a lot to prove. There is something of a "Last Dance" vibe to this Michigan team. This may be their best shot, and I think Harbaugh knows that. I'm just glad we can finally settle it on the field. Let's get this shit rolling.