When it comes to the head football coaching job at Michigan. Jim Harbaugh‘s name has been on the lips of many a UM fan over they years. Not surprisingly, his name’s high on the betting slip of one wagering website as well.
One day after Brady Hoke was dismissed as the Wolverines head coach, Bovada.lv installed Harbaugh as a 2/1 favorite to replace him. Harbaugh, a former UM quarterback, was still the head coach of the Stanford Cardinal when his alma mater last opened up, but rejected overtures on multiple occasions before taking the job as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
While his squabbles with 49ers management are well-known, it’s believed that Harbaugh has no desire to return to the college game at this time.
Right on the heels of Harbaugh is another “Michigan Man” (whoops, forgot about that memo, Jim Hackett), LSU’s Les Miles, at 5/2 according to Bovada. Like Harbaugh, Miles has seen his name connected to his alma mater many times before.
In January of 2011, Miles met with UM officials in Baton Rouge about the job but ultimately decided to remain at LSU. Around that time, a member of LSU’s board was quoted as saying that Miles had turned down more money from the Wolverines to remain with the Tigers.
Also appearing on Bovada‘s list are Tennessee head coach Butch Jones and Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy at 7/2, while former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano is at 9/2. Gundy just doesn’t seem like a good fit at UM — if he leaves OSU, he seems more like a “Pac-12 Man” than a “Michigan Man” (dammit, there I go again) — while Jones has already reportedly turned down overtures from the school.
Out of the five listed by Bovada, Schiano would likely seem to be the most viable candidate; whether he’d be the best candidate is another discussion entirely. From FOXSports.com‘s Bruce Feldman:
A wildcard in the mix with Michigan is former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who was offered — and turned down — the Wolverines job days before Rodriguez accepted it. Schiano is sitting out after being let go in Tampa Bay. Schiano’s hard-nosed, detail-oriented ways can rub some the wrong way, but he deserves tons of credit for turning Rutgers football from a punchline into a consistent bowl team. His program also shined academically at Rutgers, placing in the top three in the nation in APR during each of Schiano’s last four years at the school.
Of those not listed, the name most mentioned and most recognizable is Baltimore Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh. The brother-of-Jim was the subject of speculation regarding Michigan in late September, but was reportedly not interested in a job that wasn’t even open at the time; presumably, the non-interest holds even with it open. On top of the Harbaughs, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops was mentioned last month as a possi… sorry, couldn’t finish typing that one with a straight face.
Three names who might, to some degree, be more realistic possibilities? Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck and Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi. All three of those come with question marks too, though, from being willing to leave a job in the SEC (Mullen) to the perception of sleeping with the enemy (Narduzzi) to being similar to Hoke when he came to Ann Arbor (Fleck).
One thing about Narduzzi’s potential candidacy. Bo Schembechler was a former assistant at Ohio State, and his tenure as Michigan’s head coach wasn’t too shabby. Just saying is all.