Michigan Wolverines' head football coach Jim Harbaugh could be at center of coaching carousel

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh works on the sidelines during the first half of a game against Michigan State on Oct. 31 in Ann Arbor. (AP file photo)


AP College Football Writer

Conventional wisdom heading into this college football season has been that there is unlikely to be much coaching turnover.

Between pandemic-related revenue losses and complications of evaluating performance under such unusual circumstances, the coaching carousel figured to be quiet.

Then Michigan started 1-2 in its sixth season under coach Jim Harbaugh. The 23rd-ranked Wolverines — yes, they were still ranked — lost 38-21 at No. 13 Indiana on Saturday, snapping a 24-game winning streak against the Hoosiers.

Harbaugh has only one more season left after this on his original contract that has made him one of the highest-paid head coaches.

The khaki-clad former Wolverines quarterback returned to Ann Arbor as a savior, made Michigan better, became a content machine for sports media and lost all five games vs. Ohio State. Whatever shortcomings Harbaugh has had at Michigan, his teams have never won fewer than eight regular-season games and rarely lost to the opponents Michigan is supposed to beat.

It’s difficult to forecast where this could be going, but a scenario in which Harbaugh decides he has done all he can do with the job and moves on without hurting Michigan financially seems plausible.