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Posted by Betonline Team on 4/13/2016 8:09:16 AM
Michigan head coach

University of Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh is the Donald Trump of college football.

He is everywhere doing anything to lure top-notch recruits to Ann Arbor. Just like it is impossible to avoid Republican presidential candidate Trump in the news cycle, it is the same with Harbaugh. In the past few months, we’ve seen Harbaugh sleep over two recruits houses, climb a tree, play touch football with young players without a shirt and, most recently, he accepted a bit role to play in a university theater production. More importantly, he has angered the bear, the Southeast Conference, by holding clinics in its territory. A few weeks ago Harbaugh packed up his entire football team and practiced at the famed IMG Academy in Florida that is rich in football recruits.

It is also in the SEC backyard, a conference that dominates college football. And the bear is not happy.

Harbaugh visited IMG during spring break and shrugged it off as a few days of football, beaches and fun. Others saw it as a way for Harbaugh to flaunt in front of some of the best high school talent in the nation. The move was both calculating and brilliant.

Harbaugh was back in the national eye and recruits from across the country were watching.

His antics make him the most dangerous man in America. Michigan plays in the tough Big Ten East Division, which has been dominated by Michigan State and Ohio State, two of their biggest rivals. The Wolverines have lost to MSU in seven of the last eight meetings and to the Buckeyes in 11 of the last 12 times.

OSU has scored 42 points in five of those games, including the last three times.

Michigan is college football’s all-time winningest program and won a national championship in 1997. However, the problem fell on hard times following the hiring of Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke. Harbaugh was hired to right the program and beat the Wolverines chief rivals. And what’s the best way to do that? Talent.

Michigan got off to a good start in Harbaugh’s first year by finishing 10-3 and beating up on Florida 41-7 in the Orlando Citrus Bowl. But the Wolverines lost to both Michigan State and Ohio State.

“We’re going to bring the finest student-athletes and character that we can to the University of Michigan,” Harbaugh told reporters. “They’ve got to perform when there’s early commitments in the classroom, on the field and as a citizen in the community. That’s how we’re going about it. I don’t hide from that at all and I won’t. That’s what we demand.”

Harbaugh’s tactics are both unconventional and troublesome to some college coaches. However, they are not illegal – for now. One of two things will happen. College football coaches will follow the lead of Harbaugh or the NCAA will change rules so no one can do them.

“I don’t think college head coaches want to do sleepovers and climb trees,” Rivals national recruiting director Mike Farrell told USA Today. “I think it’s their worst nightmare. Harbaugh is a guy, whether eccentric or planned, and I don’t know which, will ingeniously come up with ways to attract attention and become polarizing. As a polarizing individual, you get more attention than if you’re a bland, vanilla guy. There’s a method to his madness.”

Farrell is right. Harbaugh wants Michigan to be a national power again. He has a good school and program to promote. But he is also promoting himself which makes him the most dangerous man in college football.


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