What they're saying: National analysts weigh in on Harbaugh, Michigan

The Detroit News
Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh loses his temper with the officials after they failed to call what he thought was pass interference on a fourth-down play late in the fourth quarter as the Wolverines turned the ball over on downs.

A snapshot of what national college football analysts are saying about Jim Harbaugh following Michigan's 24-17 loss to Notre Dame:

■  Bill Bender, national college football writer, the Sporting News: "Michigan lost yet another rivalry game under fourth-year coach Jim Harbaugh, and faces an uphill battle to get in the College Football Playoff mix, given its schedule in the Big Ten," Bender writes. "You can recite whatever record fits the tweet — 1-6 in rivalry games and 8-8 since the loss to Ohio State in 2016 are the most frequent submissions — but Harbaugh isn't going anywhere.

"Still, the struggles on the road and in big-time games will need to turn at some point. If not, the expectations at Michigan need to be lowered. We would use Iowa as a reference point, but the Hawkeyes have actually been to a Big Ten championship game.

More: Wojo: Wolverines weren't ready for Irish, and that's on Harbaugh

Dennis Dodd, CBS Sports senior writer: "Hello, hot seat? Make room for one wacky, quirky, khaki coach who is running out of distractions," Dodd writes. "Satellite camps? No longer a thing. Spring practice vacations to Europe? Oslo remains an option. Chicken may be a 'nervous bird,' but Michigan fans are becoming a nervous bunch. Or at least they should be. ...

"It's hard to say Harbaugh has underachieved with 28 wins in three years. It's fair to say he better pick it up."

■  Paul Finebaum, SEC Network: “The game was at Notre Dame, so you have to factor that in” Finebaum said on ESPN’s SportsCenter. “But Jim Harbaugh was not brought to Michigan to lose to Notre Dame or to lose to anyone. He was brought there to bring back championships to that program, and he has not done it.

"The record speaks for itself,” Finebaum said. “I think he’s a good football coach, but if you can’t get over the hump at some point — this is Year 4 — then you have to wonder: What’s the point? Just to have Jim Harbaugh, a name, as your coach? Ultimately this season will be determined by what he does in the Big Ten, against Michigan State, Penn State and Ohio State.”

■ Pat Forde, Yahoo Sports: "Harbaugh characterized (the loss to Notre Dame) thusly: 'It’s a beginning for us. We’re not treating it like the end.' It feels like the beginning of the end.

"As it stands right now, Harbaugh is too big for his khaki britches. Huge salary, lots of posturing, dwindling returns. Take spring practice to Rome and satellite camps to Florida; have sleepovers with recruits; withhold rosters and depth charts like they’re classified state department documents; do all that and you’d better back it up on the field. Instead, Harbaugh is leaking credibility."

Mike Greenberg, co-host of ESPN's 'Get up:' "Michigan still has every opportunity to have a great season," Greenberg tweeted. "Run the table in the conference, play for the title. But there wasn’t one thing you saw last night that gave you the feeling they might do that. Hugely disappointing start."

■  Barrett Sallee, CBS Sports:  "Jim Harbaugh is Les Miles 2.0," Sallee tweeted. "He wants to win his way, and flat out refuses to prepare his team to win games outside of his comfort zone. All sizzle. No steak."