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John U. Bacon, New York Times Bestselling Author

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January 5, 2023 9:31 pm

John U. Bacon, New York Times Bestselling Author

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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January 5, 2023 9:31 pm

John U. Bacon joined Zach to discuss if he believes Jim Harbaugh will leave Michigan and which teams Harbaugh could prefer to coach in the NFL. 

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When you need to know what's happening, it's it's it's it's time to get in the huddle.

This sham with Steve Keim out there in the desert. I mean, it's like no accountability. Never my fault. It's never his fault. Stuff just happens.

Losses just fall from the sky. It's not his fault. It's not Kylie's fault. It's not my fault.

It's not the owner's fault. We just have really bad luck. Just hang in there and keep throwing money at us and we'll figure it out.

Shut up. Listen to In the Huddle, available on the Ozzy app or wherever you get your podcast. No one's more locked into the NFL than First and Pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching and then went and played behind three high level talents and only got spot starts and did okay by the way. Well, because it's just it doesn't really happen that often anymore.

Subscribe to First and Pod on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcast. A few days ago, John U Bacon, who is an author and knows the Michigan football program and Jim Harbaugh very well said from very good sources, the possibility of Harbaugh leaving for the NFL is real. Could even happen fast. Nothing final. But if he goes, it would not be because of money. NIL controller just about anything regarding UM, but his growing frustration with college football itself. And John U Bacon joins us now.

John, first off, I appreciate the time. So today, Michigan releases this statement. And the way that the headline read in the tweet, I'm like, Oh, this is going to be Jim Harbaugh saying he's definitely going to be staying. But he keeps on saying he expects to be coaching Michigan in 2023.

And when I just hear that, I go, well, you could expect to do something and then still something else could happen. Yeah, I think that, you know, it indicates that the door has not been closed to the NFL. And I think that it is leaning toward, he is leaning towards Michigan. And as I made clear in your quote, and I had a much longer piece today, by the way, about 1000 words on the Bacon blog, JohnUBacon.com, where I dive into all this.

You can find me on Twitter as well. That thread is on there. That he's got nothing to get Michigan. It's not about NIL. They finally raised about seven or $8 million in the last month or so for that. It's not about money. They're going to make him the one of the top five highest paid coaches in the country, which finished the top four to use in a row, fair enough. And he's never been that motivated by money on the grand scale. When he went to Michigan back in 2014, for about $5 million when the Bears and the Jets and others were offering him $10 to $12 million. So I've never seen that as his main motivator. But if it is, you know, they're pulling up real money there, of course. And not about control either.

That's all fine. I think about a few things. One is the itch has not been scratched for him and the NFL. His brother is still in there, of course, John, with Baltimore.

And Jim was one play away from beating his brother in that famous Harr Brother Super Bowl. I'm sure that's part of his thinking. And he's 59 years old. And at some point, there's an expiry date, as the Canadians say, on your coaching prospects in the NFL at the youth movement right now, as you know.

So all those can figure in and add one more factor. And that is that he's getting quite fed up with the NCAA. Apparently, they're about to get served with a violation of some sort from recruiting back in 2020. During a COVID blackout, it sounds like pretty small change of stuff. But as we both know, the NCAA is great at nailing misdemeanors and overlooking felonies, of course.

They're brilliant at this. And you got to go back to the J.I. Tarquinian quote that the NCAA at Philmatic, Kentucky, the Cleveland State is going to get probation. So all those are the factors at some point of saying, some point of going. So with all that being said, and I hear the quote today or I see the statement today, it's almost as if I'll just ask you the question, why even release that statement? Because he knows that that statement is going to read. It's everyone's some people like the Dyer, Michigan fans who say, all right, yeah, our guy's coming back. But I think a lot of people read that and go, OK, you expect to be back, but that's not a definitive statement.

Yeah. And he says, you know, no one knows what the future holds. There's a fair amount of cushion in that statement.

And I'm not trying to be cute with this or denigrate the idea of sending it out there. I think he's trying to calm people down, obviously. He says that I expect that I'll be enthusiastically coaching Michigan in 2023. All you have to give him is due. If he's coming back, he does everything with great enthusiasm, as his dad loved to say, attack the day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind and both his dad and he'd do that.

John does it more quietly, but he also does it. He said he's having good talks with President Santa Ono and, well, Emmanuel, I've spoken with them and I appreciate their support of me and our program. So, I mean, and he says, you know, well, no one knows what the future holds. So, you know, it indicates he does not want to alienate the Michigan people, does not want to burn any bridges, obviously. But I can't read that and say the door is shut.

And I don't think anybody, you know, who has been to law school for more than five minutes as I have, could do it either. So, I think he's leaning that way, but the door is not shut. And we are hearing that Denver, Indianapolis and Charlotte all have strong interests. What do you think his preference would be if he could get any one of those three jobs between the Panthers, Colts, and Broncos? Good question. It's quite apparent whether you're talking about football or your family, because family would love to be in Colorado, I think.

His wife was living in Las Vegas when he met her when she was working in real estate. But Denver, you know, as the NFL stopped, they put it all in for Russell Wilson and they're paying for it and Wilson's not coming through. So, they're going to have a rough slog to get out of that mess. I would say probably Charlotte, from a football point of view, makes the most sense. But who knows? I think ideally, he would like the NCAA to go away, to have his NAL bank full and probably come back. If I had a bet right now, I'd still say coming back.

But I can't say it 100 percent. So really, these allegations, I guess it's just going to depend quickly how he thinks they're going to play out and is that what's going to probably be the deciding point and if he's going to leave or stay? I can't say that, but it's supposed to come down from the NCAA, the report, the charges, if you will, on Friday or Monday is what I'm hearing. Now, it's the NCAA, so I can't... How disappointing, Zach. Nothing I say can you bank on.

I'm relying on the wrong people. But NCAA, you can't really bet on them either. But that's supposed to come down pretty soon once that comes down. And look, the NFL season ends Sunday. College football is over definitively with two teams left on Monday.

I mean, musical chariot is next week. So this thing has got to play itself out probably within a week is my guess. But the NCAA report is supposed to come down either tomorrow, Friday, or Monday will certainly be a factor. We'll get it to say what the penalty might be. And what I'm hearing is it's not the infraction itself, it's how Harbaugh and his coaches responded to it.

That might be the issue. So we're about to find out that. If there's one thing, Zach, I really hate to guess on, it's the NCAA.

Because man, if there's a lot there, I get to discern it. Yeah, John, you bank in here with us. So you think it's more likely that he's going to now be back at Michigan. Is there a percentage breakdown that you have on how much confident you are in that statement?

I'd probably go two to one, maybe three to one. But I also heard Colin Cowherd report that Denver is offering him $20 million. Now, we know that that's got to be per year. You know it's got to be a multiyear contract or else no one takes it seriously. And you know it's got to be guaranteed. It's probably talking about five years, $20 million. $100 million. After a while, Zach, we're talking about real money, aren't we?

Talking about so much money that the fourth generation of your kids, grandkids and so on, got to be complete morons to throw that all away. So that's a level of comfort few of us would understand. So that is hard to ignore. But I still don't think that... I'm dealing with guts here now. I'd go two to one, he comes back to Michigan, maybe three to one.

So here's something that I've always thought of. You know Stephen Ross's relationship with Michigan, his name is on the business school. But throughout the years, and even last year, you heard him say he's not going to be the NFL owner that takes away Jim Harbaugh from Michigan. There was a report by Armando Salguro that if, and it's a big if, the Dolphins don't make the playoffs, everything's on the table, including the coach. If let's say it's maybe the side of it that Jim Harbaugh wants to go back to the NFL and he's saying, even though I'm expecting the coach of Michigan, I'm going to go maybe pursue the Broncos job or the Panthers job.

And there's a change with the Dolphins coach with Mike McDaniel. Is that enough for Stephen Ross? For last year it was, I'm not going to be the guy to take him away to finally say this is going to be a yearly flirtation with the NFL, so I may as well benefit, especially because you have some sort of relationship with it with the Michigan ties.

Well, there has to be a threshold for that, doesn't there? And I know Stephen Ross reasonably well. He, as you know, bleeds amazing blue. He didn't name the B school after him for the hell of it.

Obviously, that's a serious check, about $300 million he's given to U of M, about $100 million to athletics, including the Stephen Ross Academic Center for athletes, which is one reason why they've been good at that. Obviously, he's going to be pretty close to Jim and vice versa. He did not want to be, it was like volunteering in the Army.

He wanted to be the first guy to step out there and see what happens. He can't be the first guy, but if they're competing offers, at that point, I think he will probably be exonerated by Michigan fans that you didn't feel horrified that if he's now going to Miami, going to North Carolina or Denver, at that point, Miami is a fair game. And, you know, that act is coming in on Sunday. We know that.

So, I'm sure we'll be watching that game as well. I think your scenario sounds about right, that if there are more than one team bidding for Harbaugh services, more than one NFL team, then he can be blamed for it. And what he really does not want to do is pick off his alma mater.

You don't get that kind of money to your alma mater unless you really love it. And he'd rather lose the occasional game, head Miami State, than pick off everything you've given away all these years, this loyal fan base. So, but like I said, if there's more than one involved, then Ross is off the hook. Well, Ross could really make it a Michigan party because Brady's going to be a free agent. Imagine they get Brady and Harbaugh in Miami? I'll tell you what, Brady might be older than Harbaugh at this point. I can't remember. But those two together for one year, you'd sell some tickets. There's no doubt about that.

At JohnUBacon on Twitter, letthemleadbybacon.com. Anything else that before we let you run that just stands out to you with all this conversation with Jim Harbaugh, his future and your knowledge of it? Well, I recall when he came to Michigan in 2014, right before then he was dealing with already getting nibbled from the New York Jets, the Chicago Bears at the time, Oakland Raiders, and he had to wait one more day to get that finalized, the day after the NFL season, of course. And he asked his dad, what should I do? He said, you know, if I make good decisions, you know, trust your heart.

And Jim looked at me and said, that's what I did. So at the end of the day, it's going to come down to where his heart tells him, and let's be practical here, what offers might actually be coming in. I've heard of Colin Cowherd's report, but there's no tangible evidence yet of hardcore offers on the table. So hard to say if that one's there. If that's the case, then it goes under the guts, and Jim works in ways that others don't. The average NFL coach would never leave the 49ers to come to the University of Michigan to make less money. That's what Jim did.

So whatever the rational point of view is, it may not work here. JohnUBacon, good to catch up with you. We appreciate the time. Thank you. My pleasure, Zach.

Zach, thank you very much. No one's more locked into the NFL than first and pod. Why is it not within the realm of possibility that Geno Smith was a victim of a horrible organization, bad offensive coaching, and then went and played behind three high level talents and only got spot starts and did okay, by the way? Well, because it's just, it doesn't really happen that often anymore.

Listen to first and pod on the Odyssey app, or wherever you get your podcast. When you need to know what's happening, it's time to get in the huddle. This sham with Steve Keim out there in the desert. I mean, it's like no accountability. Never my fault. It's never his fault. Stuff just happens.

Losses just fall from the sky. It's not his fault. It's not Kyler's fault. It's not my fault. It's not the owner's fault. We just have really bad luck. Just hang in there and keep throwing money at us and we'll figure it out. Shut up.

Listen to impress heat. Click on the link in the description to find out what you most expect to win this touchdown game. disagrees in coverage. What's happening? It's it's it's it's time to get hit in the huddle.

This sham with Steve out there in the desert. I mean, it's like no accountability. Never my fault. It's never his fault. Stuff just happens.

Losses just fall from the sky. It's not his fault. It's not his fault. It's not my fault. It's not the owner's fault. We just have really bad luck. Just hang in there and keep throwing money at us and we'll figure it out. Shut up. Listen to In the Huddle available on the Ozzy app or wherever you get your podcast.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-06 18:56:38 / 2023-01-06 19:04:28 / 8

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