Is next year a make-or-break season for Jim Harbaugh in Michigan?

Video Details

Colin Cowherd welcomes in Joel Klatt, Danny Kanell and Jason McIntyre to discuss Jim Harbaugh's decision to stay at Michigan after a 8-5 season.

- Is next year make or break for Harbaugh?

- Absolutely. I don't see how you could see it as any other way. For a coach who has generated some exceptional attention to a program where he played, there's a long, rich history that's well-documented. Comes in there, makes a great splash. Creates a lot of attention. Goes down shirtless to the SCC country and hosts a satellite camp there. Rattles some cages. Gets paid a lot of money. Brings some recruits up to Michigan.

But the whole country was tired of Jim Harbaugh. You know who that act is wearing thin with? Michigan fans. They're tired of all these story lines that are captivating the national college audience in the off season. And they want to see some wins. He's 0 for Ohio State, 1-2 versus Michigan State. Finished this season with three consecutive losses. He doesn't have a signature win this season at all. Next year is huge for Jim Harbaugh. He has to start showing that it was worth it. That his salary is worth it. That all the off-field stuff is worth it. That he can coach this program and get them to where they want to be.

- Are we arguing that he can't coach?

- No. I don't think so.

- Okay, so we know he can coach.

- We better not be arguing.

- So we know he can coach.

- Right. But we've seen him, we've seen him run his course at other programs. We saw him run his course with the San Francisco 49ers. And that was a big storyline that follows. At Stanford, there's a four-, five-year window where it's exciting. Guys buy into it--

- It's got to be different at college though, because the cycle of the players will end up cycling out of that window.

- Yeah. That's why I thought he would have success there. But I think there are some causes for concern, though. Like he's supposed to be this quarterback expert. He played the position. He had Andrew Luck. Supposed to develop quarterbacks. His quarterbacks have been atrocious.

- Yeah. The last two years it's--


And Rudock was good at the end of the season.


- He inherited a really good Big Ten. This Big Ten was a mess 10 years ago. Penn State's rolling. Wisconsin may have the best staff outside Alabama in the country. When's the last time they had a bad half?

- Don't leave out Michigan State.

- Ohio State. Now Nebraska has the best young hotshot coach.

- Purdue's coming.

- Listen, he inherited a really good conference. He's winning 9 a year. Now to your point, this is where I agree. I've been really disappointed in his quarterbacks. They make pedestrian sound exciting. And honestly, I watched that quarterback play. I'm like, Jim, you're a rock star. It's a rock star position. But I think Shea Patterson, the Ole Miss transfer, will change that and be the conference's-- the Big Ten's best quarterback next year.

- We'll see. And I know that I think there's still some NCAA as far as can he play, can he not play? Does he have to sit out? So we'll have to wait and see whether he's even eligible to play.

I would say this. I think Jim this year got a bad rap because people expected him to win 11 games. There was no roster in the country more decimated by the NFL draft than Michigan.

- He had five returning starters.

- And so actually I thought they were playing pretty decently. And then the finish was obviously very bad. Now, quarterback play's where it's at. We've all mentioned it. I will just tell you right now. After studying them on film-- I did their Wisconsin game, I did their Ohio State game to close out the year-- they get quality quarterback play at all, they're winning three or four more games. Their defense is right there. Everything is right there.

- The thing where I feel like he's going to start catching some heat and deservedly so, like you talked about losing rosters, look at Saban. He loses guys every year. Dabo Swinney, he loses guys. The great coaches are able to overcome that. And they recruit well. And they develop guys within their system. It is time for Jim Harbaugh-- I just got a text. Hold on--

- Here's where it falls apart.

- I got a text from Whitlock. He just told me I need to bring up this graphic. All right? 'Cause if you look at his record compared to the guy that was before him, it doesn't look that far off.

COLIN COWHERD: I am going--


MAN ON RIGHT: Danny, here's where your argument falls apart.

DANNY KANELL: Put up Hoke's last three seasons.

MAN ON RIGHT: He had one good season.


Danny, you just mentioned the elites in college football, right? They're the only ones who have a shot. Jim Harbaugh makes Michigan elite. They're in that discussion as long as Jim Harbaugh is there. Rich Rod, Brady Hoke, they're not in the elites.

- No, you're in that discussion no matter what your name is. You have to--

- Well, with Jim Harbaugh, he gets them there. Again, two 10-win seasons. They only had one with Brady Hoke and Rich Rod over seven years. I don't think they're going to get rid of Jim Harbaugh.

- No, they're not going to get rid of him. Don't yell at me--


- They open with Notre Dame. You win that game, this discussion ends.

- If you don't, it's going to keep moving.