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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Cardinal Ruler

Former Michigan quarterback great Jim Harbaugh--pictured sporting a 1980's haircut and an 1880's sweater--was named head football coach at Stanford yesterday.

Harbaugh was hired after leading the I-AA University of San Diego Toreros (yah, I though that was an Arena League team too) to a 29-6 record during his three years as coach. He will return to Palo Alto, where he graduated from high school in 1982, when his father Jack served as a Cardinal assistant coach.

A few thoughts regarding Harbaugh's selection:

* He was also reportedly a candidate for three other jobs: Tulane, North Texas, and Iowa State. I wonder how much of a role Harbaugh's 2005 DUI arrest played in his ultimately being passed over for those jobs.

* I would love to put Stanford on the schedule for a home-and-home-to fill some of those open out of conference dates over the next few years. Stanford is a legit opponent located in a region of top high school talent. Plus, it would be nice to crush Stanford so that their undergrads regret making Michigan their safety school.

* If Harbaugh has a few good years at Stanford, would he become a top or the top candidate to replace Lloyd if he steps down over the next few years, as many expect?


Anonymous said...

"pictured sporting a 1980's haircut." Uh, I don't want to burst anyones bubble, but he's still sporting the same 80's Michigan look. Not that there is anything wrong with that

Jim said...

How sad is it when Tulane passed him over and as you hint, possibly for the DUI, when Tulane is home of the drive-through daiquiri huts!

I guess Stanford was his safety when Bama didn't even offer.

IC said...

Good point, anon. Harbaugh appears to have aged about 6 months over the past 20+years.

Jim, it could be that Harbaugh was interviewing at other schools to boost his credibility as a legitimate candidate at a place like Stanford, which seems perfect for him:

* He is following a charisma-deficient Walt Harris, who just finished a 1-11 season.

* He's leading a program that has had success (under Green and Willingham) and he will be coaching for fans whose hopes are higher than their expectations.

* He likely has forged strong recruiting ties on the west coast, which should help him rise above other struggling Pac-10 programs (ex. UW, ASU.)

* Stanford played several underclassmen in key roles last year, and finally,

* Harbaugh said yesterday in his press conference: "I vow I will attach this endeavor with enthusiasm unknown to mankind."
That's the kind of intensity that will either lead Harbaugh to the Rose Bowl or the loony bin within three years.

js said...

Ann Arbor or bust!

Anonymous said...

I think its a shitty hire for stanford. Hell he may be a great coach for all we know, but the school he coached at for 3 years in SD is a non-scholarship school. So in other words he has no idea about the whole recruiting thing. Now that might be fine in some other conferences....but when you have to battle the likes of SC, CAL, ND, Mich, Ohio State, Texas, and the SEC schools for the west coast talent, you might have a prob

san francisco values said...

Hmmm. He's going to have do a lot to:

attach this endeavor with enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

Just saying...since just in the Bay Area, there's another Division I-A coach who sleeps in his office, he loves it so much.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:41. the problem is, you're going to have a hard time getting a proven recruiter to come to Stanford.

Psyched about Harbaugh...this might just be enough for me to re-up on my Stanford season tix after this dismal season.

As for Lloyd's eventual replacement, Les Miles all the way, baby!

Markus Arelius said...

Last games vs. Stanford were 1975 and 1976, I believe - following the 1972 Rose Bowl debacle.

Would be great to play Stanford, but I also think a home-home vs. Arizona is long overdue (1978).

surrounded in columbus said...

nice post. going 11-1 this year has certainly quieted the "fire Lloyd now" crowd (myself included), but he's still 60+ and looking at retirement in the next few years. nothing wrong w/ speculating about the future.

over the last couple of years, Jimbo has been making his way onto the "short list".

everybody talks about Les Miles, but he has a pretty good gig @ LSU. i don't think we can assume he'd leave there to come to michigan.

on the other hand, going from stanford to michigan would still be a clear step up for a coach. Harbaugh's tenure there would give him the big time coaching experience we would want him to have, while giving everyone a chance to judge his performance in D-I competition. this new gig is basically a win for everyone.

one other name to keep in mind, mike trgovac has a lot of history w/ the program, and the HC job would still be a step up from his current post of DC for the Panthers -www.panthers.com/Team/CoachBio.aspx?id=2130.

i don't think you can have too much NFL experience in college ball these days.

Jeremy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremy said...

Being a Bay Area native, Michigan alum, and son of two M alumni (one of whom teaches at Stanford), I would LOVE to see a Michigan-Stanford home and home.

Harbaugh as the potential head coach is interesting. I would love to see English get the job if he can keep the defense going strong for a couple of years (and if he does that, don't think Bill Martin won't promise him a job as Lloyd's replacement to keep him from bolting). What could be kind of "cute" is that English went to Cal, Stanford's hated rival (think smaller than Michigan-tOSU, but bigger that Michigan-MooU), so adding the Stanford-Cal rivalry to the Lloyd replacement search would be kind of neat for those of us following both rivalries. I just think English *looks* like a head coach at Michigan - he has the intensity, confidence, etc., and from the moment I saw our defense play, and then the way they shut down PJ Hill as they have every "star" RB from Wisconsin, my man-crush was in full-effect and I started arguing to my friends that English should be the heir apparent.

doug in sf said...

Well, at least it's nice that we have Harbaugh to talk about today. Otherwise we'd have to talk about Desmond Howard.

Aram said...

Stanford on the non-conference would be fantastic. There was a stretch in the 70's where we played home-at home with Stanford for 3 or 4 years. I'd be in favor of doing that again.

Although I think that would require them to change the name of the school to "Northern California" or something like that to fit in with the directional-school precedent.

Anonymous said...

home and home with Stanford? schedule it! but give them a year or two to get back better than the MAC creampuffs on the schedule already