Jim Harbaugh, and the Stanford Cardinal, finished the season on Monday night with an impressive showing in the Orange Bowl. The Cardinal dismantled the Virginia Tech Hokies in Miami, 40-12. Leading up to, and immediately following, the game rumors about Harbaugh's future with the Cardinal swirled at a breakneck pace. Would Harbaugh be tabbed as the next Michigan head coach? Was the NFL in Harbaugh's future? It seemed it wasn't a question about if Harbaugh would go, but when.
This morning, news hit that Harbaugh declined Michigan's overtures. Since the Cardinal's meteoric rise from the basement in the Pac-10, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Harbaugh would one day end up back at Michigan as the Wolverines struggled through down years. He's an alumni, a successful college coach and seemed like a perfect fit in Ann Arbor. Not so.
Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, who played quarterback at Michigan, has been cited as a potential candidate to replace Rodriguez, should he be dismissed. But a source with direct knowledge of Harbaugh's thinking said Harbaugh is "highly unlikely" to accept the Michigan job if offered, the Detroit Free Press reported.
That doesn't mean the coaching carousel speculation surrounding Harbaugh is dead and gone, however. The latest, originating from Detroit, has Harbaugh staying in the Bay Area and coaching the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners just fired head coach Mike Singletary and were rumored to be taking a look at the Stanford head man.
The Wolverine.com reports that Harbaugh likely will end up as the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.
So where does Harbaugh end up? Fans at Washington and Washington State would love nothing more than for Harbaugh to vacant the Pac-10 and head anywhere else. It's clear, especially after Monday's Orange Bowl, the Cardinal are showing no sign of slowing down with Harbaugh at the helm.