When Jim Harbaugh left in the mid-'80s for the NFL Draft, the Michigan Wolverines were a perennial power; now, in 2015, he returns to Ann Arbor, Mich. with the program in shambles, scraping the bottom of the Big Ten. We'd say we feel sorry for him, except that he inked a contract that'll pay him $5 million dollars per year annually to resurrect a Michigan team that used to stand at (or near) the apex of the college football world.
That same Michigan program, the one that used to sweat dominance, has hovered below .500 in the conference (which, as you may know, hasn't been viewed too favorably over that period) over the past seven seasons combined. If you're a teenager, all you may know is Michigan mediocrity. But your dad, or your grand-dad, or your grand-dad's grand-dad may view them as one of the greatest collegiate powers in NCAA history. We're talking about a team with 16 national titles (none in 17 years), 42 conference titles (none in 11 years) and 78 consensus All-Americans (none in three years). In fact, Michigan is the winningest program in the history of NCAA football, even after the combined calamities of the Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke eras. Now they can't even make a bowl when college football practically gives them away.
It's now up to Harbaugh, the alum come home, to get the program's arrow pointing upward again. He fixed a wretched Stanford program. He took the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Now he has to fix the Hindenburg-esque disaster that Brady Hoke left in Ann Arbor. To do so he has to re-root Michigan football. Here's a brief rundown of the Seven Steps Jim Harbaugh Must Take to Turn Around Michigan from two people (one a fellow alum, and the other just some guy) that don't have one one-thousandth of Harbaugh's experience or expertise. Who could possibly be more qualified?
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