Sallee: Harbaugh, Michigan Have "One Major Flaw"

Jim Harbaugh must change one thing – and if he does, Michigan could win a national title, Barrett Sallee says

Taz and the Moose
November 26, 2018 - 10:08 am

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Michigan had one final stop on its Revenge Tour, but the venue was booked. That venue was Ohio Stadium, and Ohio State embarrassed Michigan, 62-39, on Saturday.

Thus, the Wolverines (10-2) won’t play for a Big Ten championship – or a spot in the College Football Playoff – and Jim Harbaugh is now 0-4 against the Buckeyes.

What gives?

“Jim Harbaugh has developed a program that has one major flaw: they cannot win outside of their comfort zone,” CBS Sports college football analyst Barrett Sallee said on Taz & The Moose. “Jim Harbaugh right now I don’t think has adjusted to what college football has become. You can’t just run the ball and play defense; you have to be able to win shootouts. You have to be able to get outside your comfort zone. Alabama did it. Georgia has done it. Ohio State has done it. Michigan has not.”

Harbaugh is 38-9 against non-Ohio State opponents. But he hasn’t cracked the Urban Meyer code.

“I think what Jim Harbaugh is, is what Les Miles was during the last five years of his tenure at LSU,” Sallee said. “He flat out refused to adapt offensively. Jim Harbaugh is doing the same exact thing.”

Whether Harbaugh adapts this offseason remains to be seen.

“It’s up to him,” Sallee said. “If he decides he wants to change and get with the times, then Michigan can win a national championship. If he doesn’t, he’ll be exactly like Les Miles down the stretch: nine, 10 (wins) every single year, but not able to get over the hump against teams that can put up 40. In his division, he’s got one in Ohio State. We’ll see if Penn State can do it after Trace McSorley leaves. It’s not going to be successful if they want to win a national title.”

Ohio State (11-1), meanwhile, is suddenly knocking on the playoff door. The Buckeyes can win their third Big Ten title in five seasons this Saturday against Northwestern (8-4).

“To me, I do think they control their own destiny if chalk holds,” Sallee said. “When you look at Oklahoma and Ohio State, they’re almost the same team with different strengths here and there. Oklahoma has a better offense; Ohio State has a slightly better defense. Oklahoma has a better loss, but Ohio State has a better win. I think Ohio State would get the nod over Oklahoma as long as chalk holds.”

That means Alabama (12-0) would have to beat Georgia (11-1).

“Alabama is in provided they don’t lose by 40 to Georgia,” Sallee said. “If Alabama loses a close game to Georgia, Alabama is in the four-spot, and it’s Alabama, Notre Dame, Clemson and Georgia. Ohio State is most likely in if they win out, but they also probably should wear some crimson and white on Saturday just in case they need some help.”