Kercheval: Harbaugh Not On The Hot Seat

Jim Harbaugh is nowhere close to getting fired, Ben Kercheval says, but restlessness is mounting in Ann Arbor

Taz and the Moose
August 19, 2019 - 12:20 pm
Jim Harbaugh Michigan Ohio State

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Four years ago, Jim Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor to a hero’s welcome. He would be the one to lead Michigan back to national prominence – and, many assumed, a national title.

Four years later, however, Harbaugh hasn’t even won the Big Ten East.

Will he still be the Wolverines’ head coach in 2020?

“Yeah, I think he is,” CBS Sports college football analyst Ben Kercheval said on Taz & The Moose. “I don’t know that he’s on any type of hot seat. He’s done well. I don’t know that he’s done as well as everybody thought that he would do. He hasn’t even won a Big Ten East title yet. You say that going into Year Five, you go, ‘Really? Harbaugh still hasn’t beaten Ohio State?’ Those are the types of things you go, ‘Man, you really thought he would have had those things checked off at this point.’ But they still won 10 games last year. His floor has been eight wins.”

Indeed, Harbaugh has finished 10-3 in three of his four seasons at Michigan. Losses to Ohio State in 2016 and 2018 may have kept the Wolverines out of the College Football Playoff.

“I will say this: I thought last year was really their window to beat Ohio State,” Kercheval said. “They were playing really well for the first two months of the year. I know they stumbled toward the end of the season. I kind of get a similar feeling with this season. They even get the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor. If you’re not going to do it, I don’t know when you’re going to do it because you’re just not going to get many opportunities. You even catch Ohio State just a little bit in transition or vulnerable.”

Ohio State has a new head coach, Ryan Day, and a new quarterback, Justin Fields. Day replaced Urban Meyer, a legend with three national titles, and Fields replaced Dwayne Haskins, a Heisman finalist and first-round draft pick.

Michigan – and its fans – have to be salivating.

“He won’t be on a hot seat if he doesn’t win the division, if he doesn’t beat Ohio State, but I really think you’re going to start to see a little bit of mounting restlessness,” Kercheval said. “It would really have to take him having a disaster – an unmitigated disaster type of season – for (him to get fired). But he’s still doing very well; it’s just not everything (Michigan fans) had been hoping for.”

Click below to listen to Kercheval’s interview in its entirety.