Football games are won and lost on the field. It’s a simple fact that gets lost from time to time, especially in the barren wasteland of the off-season, but it’s not something that Michigan athletic director Jim Hackett has forgotten. For all that he has accomplished in finally bringing Jim Harbaugh back home to Michigan, success on the field still hasn’t found its way back to Ann Arbor just yet.
When Hackett first hired Harbaugh, he bought “maize” watches to commemorate the event. After all, it was off-season goal number one and a move that felt like it was months in the making. He wore one of the watches when he announced the hiring as a sign of “the day our guy came home.” He still wears the watch but now it’s for a different reason.
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“I wear this to remind (Harbaugh) he hasn’t won a game yet,” Hackett said. “I’ll take it off when he wins his first game.”
It’s a fair and smart thing to do. Michigan has been down this road before of hiring a big name coach in the off-season with a lot of fanfare that ultimately didn’t produce results on the field. Believe it or not, Rich Rodriguez was actually highly coveted when the Wolverines plucked him out of West Virginia.
To his credit, Harbaugh is not ignorant of the fact that he has a lot of work to do, “We’re making up ground. We’re a work in progress and we’re finding out where we’re at.”
Despite some of his off-season antics, Harbaugh has been hitting the recruiting trails hard and doing what he can considering the games haven’t started yet.
Michigan opens the season on Thursday, Sept. 3 on the road at Utah. The Wolverines’ home opener is Sept. 12 against Oregon State.