Michigan’s offense has been inept for most of the season, which has led some fans to criticize him and question his coaching ability.
The Wolverines are 5-2 on the season, and they struggled to score in losses to Michigan State and Penn State. There is likely another loss or two on the schedule as they still play Wisconsin and Ohio State, and some fans would argue there hasn’t been any improvement in Year 3 of the Harbaugh era.
Don’t tell that to Kirk Herbstreit.
The ESPN college football analyst said on the weekly episode of the Herbstreit and Fitzsimmons podcast with Ian Fitzsimmons that the criticism of Harbaugh is “absurd.”
“I know it’s frustrating, I know the goal every year is to go undefeated,” Herbstreit said.
“But that’s not practical. He’s still building this program up. He’s still putting those bricks in place when it comes to recruiting.”
Herbstreit added that it’s “very, very frustrating” for him to hear that as an analyst, and he believes the program will become a contender sooner rather than later.
Harbaugh’s track record at his previous stops should quiet down any criticisms. In four years at Stanford — who was the doormat in the Pac-12 — Harbaugh took them from four wins in his first season to five in the second, eight in the third and a 12-1 season in his final year. He had similar success with San Diego and the San Francisco 49ers.
Michigan also returned five starters this year, so a rebuilding year of sorts was to be expected. College football fans are notoriously impatient, and it’s probably frustrating for Michigan fans to see Ohio State and Penn State continue to rise up the polls.
But if Michigan fans can be patient, there’s a good chance Harbaugh will turn the program into a contender in the next year or two.
(h/t The Spun)