Friday, December 19, 2014

The Latest Jimmy Stuff

So the mainstream media seems to be about 2 days behind what we learn from Michigan Insiders. 

So don't be surprised that we are now starting to hear, it's done from the likes of ESPN personalities:

Marcellus Wiley @marcelluswiley  ·  42 minutes ago

Jim Harbaugh will be the Head Coach of Michigan, according to 2 of my sources. Announcement coming after the season
All this stuff has to be overwhelming for Jim and his family.   From what I can decode here is the latest:
  • Jack Harbaugh is a huge supporter for Jim to come back to Michigan.  (side note: Jack if this falls through, do you have John's number?)
  • Jim is getting called by every Michigan alum with his phone number.  Many of his close friends are former Wolverines and putting a ton of pressure on him to take the job.
  • There is talk about a face to face between Jimmy and Jim Hackett on 12/23
  • A final private decision is expected to be around Christmas and maybe shortly after the face to face with Hackett.
  • The decision won't be public until after the season.
  • Jim's agent is going to be very busy  next week taking calls from Michigan and NFL teams kicking tires.

Michigan Friday: Fact or Fiction

There is plenty of news regarding Michigan and Jimmy flying around right now.   Let's try to break down the facts from fiction. 

The offer:  Monday we heard 8 years and $48 years.  Wednesday it was 6 years $48 or $49.   Last night Bruce Feldman tweeted the specifics of the offer are not correct.   Fact - Jimmy has been offered.   The years seem to be up for discussion, my gut tells me Michigan came in at 8 years and then sweeten the pot to 6 and $48/$49.  

Les Miles has turned down and isn't considering Michigan.  False -  Les Miles would take this job in a New York minute.    He would take it now or in 10 days.    I don't want to hear about better talent or a better job at LSU.   Les would be on the next flight to DTW if asked.

The Deal to Land Jimmy is done - False.  I know there are Michigan Insiders that feel this deal is done, I'm not ready to take that leap.  I think Jimmy is very conflicted.  Everybody that he played ball with him at Michigan has called him.  He loved Bo and would love to walk in his shoes.   He is at a place right now where he is not wanted and Michigan is leaving roses at his door step.    He has a job to do and still wants to focus on winning the last two games.  

He had his regular news conference on Thursday afternoon and declined comment on both Michigan questions, with comments like:  I only talk about the job I have.   If he wasn't interested in Michigan he would have put it to the rest during that news conference.   He is in play. 

Timeline - (not really a fact or fiction question).   I think it will take to the end of the season as Jimmy doesn't want to quit on his team.  Michigan is telling recruits that there will be a new coach announced around Christmas.   I could see a scenario where he would accept the job next week and coach his last game with the 49'ers.   Again, Hackett has to close before the NFL teams get a chance to send big offers his way.   There will be a number of NFL coaches fired on 12/29. Hackett has meetings set up with the team on 12/23 and 12/28 it will be interesting what he tells the team. 

The offer going public is a bad thing for Michigan - False.  Michigan I assume didn't leak the offer.   Michigan has now put the lazy reporting of offering Duke's head coach to rest.  It's now known who the #1 target is and Michigan is willing to break the bank to get him.   Jimmy is not going to another college job, he will choose between Pro or College.   There is no defeat in that.  Yes, it puts some pressure on Jimmy, but maybe that pressure will help push him closer to a decision.   If he stays in the NFL, then it will be Jimmy's decision and not Michigan's AD being on a sailboat or hiring a WAC coach.

Michigan is killing recruiting with waiting to hire a coach - False.  We know this is a small class and were in a dead period.   If anything is killing recruiting it's the loss of the last staff and those relationships.   Michigan's new staff will have to hustle but they still can close a good class.  Look at what Meyer did with his first class and if it's a big name, Michigan will be taking calls from recruits. 

Waiting is the hardest part..................

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Michigan Thursday: You Maybe Right, I Maybe Crazy

Someone wake up Gil Brandt, Michigan has made a job offer. 

The position battle between NFL Insiders and Michigan Insiders took a positive turn towards the Michigan insiders yesterday.   Just to recap, here are their stances:

NFL Insiders:  Jimmy is staying in the league and has zero interest in Michigan.   Has already told the Maize and Blue to pound sand.

Michigan Insiders:  Jimmy is very much in play and is seriously considering coming back to Ann Arbor.  He eventually might not end up at Michigan but he will seriously consider rebuilding his Alma Mater.  

Last night it was made public that Michigan made a 6 year $48M or $49M offer to Jimmy.   This has played out exactly how the Michigan Insiders said it would.   They have targeted one guy from the beginning, the search firm has been working the Plan B list.  As soon as the 49'ers were out of the playoffs, the negotiation between Michigan and Jimmy would begin.  No promises but Michigan would take their best shot and it certainly has.   No Sailboats, No Brandon ego, just a smart strategy to get the guy you want.   Well Done, Hackett.  If Jimmy stays in the NFL now, it will because that is where he feels the most comfortable, not because Michigan didn't give it's best effort to land him.   I'm very proud how Michigan has handled this situation with everyone and their brother saying they were crazy for waiting or even trying.

I would say the Michigan Insiders have already won that battle, now it will be interesting to see who wins the War. 

A question you might be wondering is: Who is Plan B if The Bears offer Jimmy the head coaching and GM job for $15M a year?

Your guess is as good as mine.  I'm still very confident that Les would take the job if Hackett put a contract in front of him.   His removal from the process on Monday was a clear sign that Jimmy got offered and for recruiting purposes.   This is still Les dream job and would probably take a pay cut to take it.   I'm just don't know if the "haters" in the athletic department would ever let him be hired. 

The question on my mind is, how long is this Michigan offer valid?  Hackett will not want to compete with NFL teams, so I'm guessing he will need at least a private decision before the end of the NFL season which is a week 1/2 away. 

This is going to be a long 10 days. 

  • Michigan removed one of the last Brandon crazy hires when AD CMO Hunter Lochman resigned yesterday.  Athletic Departments don't need a CMO and Hunter didn't seem like he was doing a very good job with two cokes for ticket, etc.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

New Offer To Jimmy

ESPN and the NFL Network is reporting that Jimmy is considering Michigan.   ESPN's Adam Schefter is saying that people close to Jimmy are saying Michigan has a much better chance then they did a few weeks ago.  Since the 49'ers are out of the playoffs, Jim can now consider his next job.

The new reported offer is for 6 years and 48 Million.   This would make him tied of the highest salary for any coach pro or college.   Sean Payton right now makes $8M a year. 

Now that the main stream media have jumped on board, this has become very real and we should know something soon.

The NFL insiders continue to say he is staying in the NFL and the move to Michigan is still not likely.

Hackett coffee is for closers!

Wolverine Wednesday: What are Jimmy's Options?

The big debate is whether Jimmy is heading back to Michigan or staying in the NFL.  We all know too well what each insiders think will happen.   The Michigan Insiders are confident that Jimmy is close to coming back to Ann Arbor and the NFL insiders continue to say he is going to stay in the league.  

None of us are in the head of 49'ers head coach, but I thought I would take a shot at options he might be seriously considering.   I believe he won't be happy to be traded and not pick which team he prefers to go to.   The 49'ers will control that process but Jimmy would have to agree to a new contract with that team or the trade makes no sense.  Which means Jimmy does have some leverage in saying where he would go.  

#1 Michigan - I think Jimmy is interested in coming back to Ann Arbor, rebuilding is alma mater and going head to head with Meyer and Dantonio every year.  I think his dad is a huge supporter of this move and he could raise his family in A2.  He would run the entire program and have an 8 year contract. 

#2 Chicago Bears - This is the only NFL job that really concerns me.  Jimmy has history here and they are loaded on offense.   Yes, Cutler is what he is but with his history as a Bears QB he could have similar feeling for the Bears that he does for Michigan.  I would bet he also could see a path to the Super Bowl with this team.

#3: Miami Dolphins - Sun, Surf and Stephen Ross money.   This team has played better then expected this year but still has a way to go before they become a Super Bowl contender.    It's a option for him but he already turned them down to take the 49'ers gig.

#4: NY Jets - I don't think he is interested at all in being in that fish bowl. 

#5: Oakland Raiders - There is one upside to this job, he and his family wouldn't have to move.  I don't see Jimmy going to one of the worst organizations in sports. 

Could Jimmy keep Michigan on the line as he takes another NFL job?  Yes, he certainly could and that could be payback for whatever Brandon did or didn't do after he fired RR.   I just don't see that being reality.   The thing that worries me is that the Bears job didn't look like it would have been open  2 or 3 months ago.   

Hackett has to close this deal privately this week!!


Mike Ferns decides to transfer:


This is a bit of a surprise to me.  Mike was a clear leader in recruiting for the 2014 class with sending out shirts, etc.   He was redshirted this year, which was clearly a smart decision.  He needed to get stronger and put on some weight.   I don't know if this was a home sick, academics or my coach just got fired situation. 

His brother is being recruited by many programs but Michigan was not one of them (under Hoke).  Did that have something to do with it?  

Hard to say the reason but he is headed to WVU to play, so this has been in the works for sometime.  He seems like a good guy and wish him nothing but luck at West Virginia. 

Michigan is loaded at his position and if the new coach can pick up another LB in this class, Michigan will be fine.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Michigan Tuesday: Are We Getting Close?

The internet is starting to spin Jimmy to Michigan rumors.   Is anything final yet? I doubt it but I love the way this is trending.   Here is what the internet is spinning:

  • The offer is for 8 years and $49 Million
  • The staff could be DJ Durkin as DC, Andy Moeller & Ty Wheatly as Co-OC.  DJ Durkin was Florida's DC last year and worked for Jimmy at Stanford.
  • There was some reports that Jimmy texted Andy:  that it was time to get the band back together and to do it for Bo.   
  • The breaking rumors come from The Detroit Sports Rag and Gregg Henson last night.
  • Jeff Moss from the Detroit Sports Rag seems to get his information from Jim Brandstatter.  Gregg Henson also knows Brandstatter well.
Here is Jeff's tweet from last night:
There is someone EXTREMELY connected to the Michigan program who is blarghing to everyone that Harbaugh to U of M is a done deal.

What isn't a rumor is that Les Miles withdrew his name from consideration from the Michigan job last night.   Which leads me to believe there is some truth in the above information. 

  • Darrin Kirkland Jr. has committed to Tennessee, can't blame the kid when Michigan doesn't have a head coach.  I wish he had waited another week or so.

  • Taylor Lewan gets 12 months probation for his altercation after the OSU game last year.

  • OSU OC Tom Herman has accepted the HC position at Houston.  Good role for him and getting him out of Columbus is a plus!

  • Gruden extends his deal with ESPN until 2021.  I guess he isn't coming. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Michigan Monday: Now It's Going To Get Interesting

Did Michigan get a win on Sunday?  Let's hope they did.

The 49'ers lost to the NFL Champs Seattle Seahawks and the Detroit Lions won when the Vikings decided to try nearly a 70 yard field goal. Those wins will keep the 49'ers out of the playoffs with two games to go. 

That means it's time for Jimmy to make a decision on his future.  Mgoblog reports that there are people very close to the search that Hackett is very close of getting Jimmy to come home.    It's time to close for Hackett and team. 

Why now?

Because NFL teams can't officially contact Jim about coaching for them for at least two weeks.   Jimmy still has a year on his contract and the 49'ers would have to give permission for any team to talk to Jimmy and to discuss a trade.   Michigan has a two week window to close him before someone like Miami or Oakland starts to negotiate.   

The latest reports are that Stephen Ross might want Jimmy to come to South Florida.  He mentioned earlier in the Fall that he preferred to have Jimmy go to Michigan.  Even though he gives hundreds of millions of dollars to U of M, his name will be dirt with fans and some alumni if he gets into a bidding war with the Wolverines.  In fact, he might already be lined up to cover some of Jimmy's salary if he does come to Ann Arbor.  I don't see Ross doing this, but if he is involved it's probably a clear sign Jimmy wants to stay in the NFL.

Buckle up because I see Michigan having a head coach or a very good idea who the head coach will be this week.   I'm still sticking to my two candidates: Jimmy and Les.

BTW: The recruiting dead/quiet period starts today.