Jim Harbaugh is part mad genius. He’s part petulant child. It’s all what makes him the most intriguing college football coach in the country. He’s part football rocket scientist, and partly the kid that says, ‘I’ll take my ball (and baseball glove) and go home,’ if things aren’t going his way.
Among the deciding plays in #3 Michigan’s 30-27, double overtime loss to #2 Ohio State, was a key 4th and 1 spot in overtime, where Buckeye quarterback J.T Barrett was given a first down, inches past the marker. The first down was followed up by Curtis Samuel’s 15-yard game winning touchdown run. Harbaugh was not happy.
In the post game press conference, a livid Harbaugh didn’t engage in the customary, politically correct coach speak, instead opting to go off on the officials regarding the spot, and a host of other calls. He strongly implied they lost the game for Michigan.
Here is Jim Harbaugh ripping the officials… pic.twitter.com/dLo4xFO7RE
— Jordan Strack (@JordanStrack) November 27, 2016
Jim Harbaugh deserves a ton of credit. He’s one of the top 3 college coaches in the country. He took a skeleton of a Michigan Football program left to him by Brady Hoke, and has turned it into a contending national power in just under two years as coach.
But, the head coach of a major program whining about the officiating after a tough loss to a rival is a weak move. Even if the spot was off, you’re talking about a spot. It diminishes the win by Ohio State in the spirit of a “rigged election”, rather than crediting your historic rivals.
Harbaugh doesn’t have the gracious chip. It’s why Michigan fans love him. He’s the reason they stopped getting their asses kicked all over the field after 5 years. He loves football so much, he’s reduced to an angry kid in a neighborhood game when he loses. It’s endearing if you like him, and infuriating if you don’t.
To pin a loss on a single penalty if you’re Harbaugh and Michigan in this game is ridiculous. There were 5 other plays that made a bigger difference in deciding the outcome, including, but not limited to, the 15-yard penalty thrown on Harbaugh for a play sheet tossing, head set slamming sideline tirade that gave Ohio State the ball inside the 5-yard line for a score that closed the deficit to 17-14, heading into the 4th quarter.
— Hardys® (@HardysMedia) November 26, 2016
To reduce what was an incredible rivalry game to complaining about officiating, over a close spot, looks small. And Jim Harbaugh, a giant on the college football landscape, looks small when he does it.
You lost. Be bigger. Do better. At least there are better days ahead if you’re in Ann Arbor. You’re ahead of schedule. Be thankful for that.