Today could very well be the big day for Jim Harbaugh’s pending return to Michigan to truly begin developing. Multiple reports have now suggested Harbaugh will almost certainly be Michigan’s next head coach, but for now the entire football world appears to be on pause. Harbaugh, of course, still has a game to coach this afternoon for the San Francisco 49ers (against the Arizona Cardinals). Until that game is complete, nothing can actually happen on the Harbaugh coaching front.
Here is where we stand right now.
Respected author John Bacon, with plenty of Michigan connections at his disposal, has suggested Harbaugh to Michigan is all but a done deal. This followed word the 49ers expect Harbaugh to be the next head coach at Michigan. This is particularly interesting as San Francisco currently employs Harbaugh, despite numerous stories about a strained relationship with the NFC West franchise and the possibility of trading Harbaugh to another NFL franchise (the NFL is weird like that). Michigan officials are reportedly in San Francisco ready to hammer out the final details of a contract, but the NFL’s Oakland Raiders could also still be in the hunt.
As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk makes note this morning, there is no official status change for Harbaugh at this time, and Adam Schefter of ESPN reports there is no deal just yet between Michigan and Harbaugh. However, this could all be a formality of the process. Michigan and Harbaugh could very well have an agreement in principle, but until Harbaugh’s ties with the 49ers are cut, there is no way for that relationship to move forward.
The 49ers play in the late afternoon time slot today. Once the clock hits zero on the NFC West Division battle, the clock on Harbaugh’s return to Michigan can officially begin.