SPORT

Not Even A 9-3 Record Can Ruin Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Honeymoon

Despite its history of greatness, Big Blue's faithful decide this is good enough...for now.

SPORT
Christian Petersen
Dec 03, 2015 at 12:56 PM ET

With only a bowl game to go, Michigan stands 9-3 in Jim Harbaugh’s celebrated first season as head coach. And apparently that’s good enough for Wolverine fans, whose expectations have continually lowered in recent years.

Even a 42-13 beatdown by hated Ohio State–in Ann Arbor no less–couldn’t bring to an end the longest honeymoon enjoyed by a Michigan coach since Bump Elliott’s decade-long battle to keep Big Blue’s head above .500 in the 1960s.

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Michigan’s faithful might not have mutated into Cubs fans–holders of the longest World Series drought–but an expected CFP-or-else sensibility has been likely leavened by the tenures of since-departed head coaches Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke.

When Lloyd Carr took his 122-40 record and stepped aside in 2007, Michigan, with much fanfare, lured Rodriguez away from West Virginia. Disaster ensued almost from the start. RichRod went 3-9 his first year, managed to get the school put on NCAA probation, and finished his third and final season 15-22 overall (0-3 vs. Ohio State) — the worst record in Michigan history.

Hoke, a Michigan Man, was more of a tease. He started out 11-2 but went downhill from there, going 8-5, 7-6 and 5-7 (1-3 vs. Ohio State).

And that’s why, even after the worst loss to the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor in more than 50 years, Michigan fans remain true to Harbaugh.