Jim Harbaugh Bides His Time, Possibly Waiting For a Block M

↵After taking Stanford from a 1-11 disaster to an 8-5 team that whomped USC behind a redshirt freshman quarterback and half-moose tailback, Jim Harbaugh is a hot name in NFL coaching circles. NFL coaching circles that lead to certain death, sure, but NFL coaching circles. ↵

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↵Team of doom the ↵first: ↵

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↵⇥The Buffalo Bills are having a difficult time luring a new head coach to western New York. ↵⇥

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↵⇥CBS' Charley Casserly reported on Saturday that the Bills offered Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh their head job, but that Harbaugh (brother of Ravens coach John Harbaugh) turned them down. ↵⇥

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↵The Bills job eventually went to Chan Gailey, thereby providing college football fans with evidence that all coaching searches are insane. ↵

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↵Team of doom the ↵second, and how: ↵

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↵⇥The Oakland Raiders have spoken to Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh about becoming their head coach, sources inside and outside the organization said, but Harbaugh did not express interest in the job. ↵⇥

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↵Turning down the Raiders job doesn't mean much other than your fight or flight reflex is working properly. So Harbaugh has that going for him. But turning down an ailing but generally functional Buffalo franchise is a sign that Harbaugh is content to watch Andrew Luck develop and take a swing at a truly excellent job in the next few years. ↵Staying long-term is an impossibility. As always, Stanford is a nice place to visit but ultimately a stepping stone. (Reason #1: no one ↵cares.) ↵

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↵The first speculative word out of everyone's mouth will now be "Michigan." Rich Rodriguez is entering his third season in Ann Arbor in search of his first winning record and hoping an NCAA investigation into excessive practice requirements comes up empty. ↵

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↵If Michigan fails to make a bowl again, Rodriguez might be three-and-out and Harbaugh will be chomping at the bit for the job. Even if Michigan limps to an 8-5 record, any backsliding in year four could cost Rodriguez his job. The chances Michigan goes looking for another head coach in the near future are 50-50, and the widely-held belief amongst Michigan folk in the know is that Harbaugh would dig his way to Ann Arbor with a toothpick if that's what it took to get the job. It certainly looks like Harbaugh is waiting for that situation to resolve itself before making a leap to somewhere where 8-5 would hurt his reputation. ↵

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↵A small problem: two years ago Harbaugh launched an academics-based fusillade at Michigan apropos of nothing, suggesting that what he really wanted was to study history but Bo wouldn't let him. He refused to back down from that, causing Lloyd Carr to call ↵Harbaugh, or at least his comments, "elitist," "arrogant," and "self-serving." There's a faction at Michigan that would rather hire Woody Hayes's ghost. It would probably take some public contrition to even get on a short list, and if there's one thing we've learned about Michigan of late it's holy hell can people hold a grudge. ↵

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↵Still, if Rodriguez does get fired, there will be one name on the list at first. It will be as easy as Cutcliffe to Tennessee. ↵

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↵What, seriously? A 4-8 WAC coach? ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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