'We've got to beat them guys': Win over Spartans next on Wolverines list of goals

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Indianapolis – Last year at Big Ten media days, Michigan players and coach Jim Harbaugh spoke openly about the desire to finally beat Ohio State. After all, the Buckeyes had dominated the last two decades of the rivalry.

The Wolverines did finally get that win last season, snapping an eight-game losing streak, to clinch the Big Ten East and a spot in the Big Ten championship. But Michigan did have a blemish in conference play, a loss to in-state rival Michigan State. Michigan has dropped two straight to Mel Tucker and the Spartans.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh talks to reporters during an NCAA college football news conference at the Big Ten Conference media days, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Michigan tight end Erick All said Tuesday at media days that streak must end this fall. The Michigan-Michigan State game is Oct. 29 at Michigan Stadium.

“We got to beat them guys. I feel like we gotta get after them this year,” All said. “I feel like us focusing more on Ohio State kind of, you know, I just don't want us to be more worried about Ohio State than we are Michigan State because we haven't beaten those guys in two years. And we need to get it right, get it dialed in with them too. We will.”

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Last fall Michigan players spoke about the “Beat Ohio” drill as one of the Ohio State reminders they during the season. All said the Wolverines might be adding another this season.

“We'll have a Michigan State drill soon, too, I'm pretty sure,” All said, smiling.

Beating the Spartans clearly is a focus. Harbaugh also spoke Tuesday and listed the team’s four goals.

“Beat Michigan State and Ohio State in the same year, win the Big Ten championship, win the national championship,” Harbaugh said. “We want to accomplish as many of those or all those we can.”

Backing his beliefs

Harbaugh made headlines recently for his pro-life stance after he spoke at a fundraiser to support pro-life charities and programs in southeast Michigan.

“I believe in having the courage to let the unborn be born,” Harbaugh said at the function and also during Big Ten media days.

This has been a hot-button topic since the U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade, the federal right to abortion, after nearly 50 years. The 1973 decision guaranteed federal protections of abortion rights.

“We need to talk about it,” Harbaugh said Tuesday. “It's too big an issue to not give real serious consideration to and I think that's what kind of person would you be if you didn't stand up for what you believe in and didn't fight tooth and nail for it. So yeah, I believe in letting the unborn be born.”

Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara said Tuesday he is respectful of Harbaugh’s right to an opinion.

“I think we have a really close team and we all respect each other. We all love each other,” McNamara said. “So really, my opinion and I'm sure the rest of guys can agree with me that, whatever they think or whatever anyone else's opinion is, that's theirs. And they have the right to do to have that opinion. And that's about it.”

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Why not revenue share?

Harbaugh has always been supportive of name, image, likeness (NIL) – college athletes profiting financially off their brands.

He also thinks there could be a new layer to this with revenue sharing.

"The Big Ten even, they use their name, image and likeness on the TV broadcasts," Harbaugh said. "They're the ones signing the mega TV deals and a new one is coming in 2024. Why can't that be an NIL deal right from the Big Ten? That's who is negotiating the TV deals and that's where the big money is."

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh talks to reporters during an NCAA college football news conference at the Big Ten Conference media days, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Still, Harbaugh said the priority for players should be focusing on their games, because that’s what garners attention and potential NIL deals.

“I don't think our players really care," Harbaugh said. "They just want to get as good as football as they can possibly get. And they know that they're doing really well in terms of NIL. But that's it. I think they know that it's all gonna be good.”