People always seem to say, “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” That quote certainly comes up and can be applied to a lot in life, but definitely when you are talking about college football. However, if you think Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh is a cheater, even for a split second, well, he’s got some news for you: He isn’t.
In a relatively new book entitled “Overtime: Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines at the Crossroads of College Football” by John U. Bacon, the now 56-year-old college coach chose to poke the bear, according to Jeff Arnold at Forbes.
Apparently, Harbaugh tries really, really hard to bring Big Ten titles and College Football Playoff National Championships to Ann Arbor, but when it comes to playing the big boys, especially in the SEC, it’s “hard to beat the cheaters.”
Jim Harbaugh: “It’s Hard to Beat the Cheaters”
Harbaugh, who just finished his fifth year as the Wolverines coach, is getting paid $7 million each year to end Michigan’s national title drought. He has yet to play in a Big Ten Championship Game.
Forget trying to compete with the likes of the Alabama Crimson Tide or Clemson Tigers, Harbaugh can’t even win the division with an 0-5 record against Urban Meyer, Ryan Day and the Ohio State Buckeyes.
For whatever reason, though, as Arnold points out, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh jabs at SEC schools early and often.
“Harbaugh, who has made plenty of enemies south of the Mason-Dixon line since taking over at Michigan, has poked the cages of SEC coaches repeatedly and in the book, speaks to the disparity in spending by simply telling Bacon, ‘(It’s) hard to beat the cheaters.’
— Forbes contributor Jeff Arnold
From breaking down Michigan’s academic standards to UM’s recruiting budget, Arnold’s book review is well done. It has all the proof needed.
It’s tough to win football games, whether it’s at the NCAA or NFL level. Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh knows all that too well, especially against SEC bluebloods.
What about the loss at Utah to start his coaching tenure with the Wolverine football program in 2015? How about the loss at unranked Iowa in 2016? What about losses to Florida State, South Carolina, Florida, and Alabama in the last four bowl games? We probably don’t even need to mention the two home losses to Michigan State.
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh is 47-18 overall, including 32-12 in the Big Ten. It’s a respectable record, for sure, but football fans in the Big House want rings, not participation trophies.
But when it’s all said and done, it looks like these issues are because apparently everyone cheats, expect for Harbaugh.
Look, Jim Harbaugh takes whining to the extreme. “It’s hard to beat the cheaters” is just another excuse.
It’s also safe to say LSU, Georgia, or Auburn won’t be getting calls for future non-conference games anytime soon.
This post was originally published on August 22, 2019.