Harbaugh to Michigan Rumors Still Trending Up

We've reached the final week of the NFL season, and things are still very much in play for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh. So much so that according to Rivals' Chris Balas (Link $), if this thing didn't happen, it would stun a lot of people on the UM end.

If you took a cross-sampling of all of the information that's out there...from UM insiders, NFL insiders, assorted outsiders, etc…then it looks very likely that Harbaugh will be heading to Michigan next year.

But like I've been saying ever since Hoke was fired 3 weeks ago, until Jim Harbaugh is standing at a podium and a contract has been signed, I'm not going to be 100% positive that he's coming to Michigan. My inner skeptic still has me at 50/50. Could things have been decided behind the scenes already? Absolutely. But you have to understand that there are probably less than 5 people involved in this process who are truly "in the know", and they've been very good at keeping everything hush-hush.

Jay Glazer's report that the 49ers will "cut ties" with Harbaugh 24 to 48 hours after the season ends is not surprising at all and fits right into the timeline that's been set out since the start by most of the people reporting on this search.

Being a Michigan blogger/writer/follower for as long as I have and having done this a couple times already, you do get good at knowing what information to trust and not to trust. I don't have any direct sources – not many do, but I do know people who know people and I do hear things. And I can confirm that everything that has been reported by Michigan insiders has been proven to be correct the majority of the time…much to the chagrin of national writers.

This whole thing could play out until the end of the season…or it could leak out as early as today that Harbaugh has taken the job. If he has accepted the job behind closed doors, and the niners are going to fire him anyway, then what are we all waiting for?

According to Brian at MGoBlog, Harbaugh and Michigan might not have yet met face-to-face (as in Harbaugh on one side of the table and Hackett on the other). There are rumors that Michigan is sending some high tech TV gear out to Harbaugh in order to set up a "face-to-face" meeting via the internet.

BUT! It has also been reported that Hackett will address the entire UM team Tuesday (and also again on the 30th) via video web conference (the team is not all in one place being Christmas and all). Tuesday is also Harbaugh's birthday.

TV gear being sent to SF…tomorrow is Harbaugh's bday...Hackett addressing team tomorrow via video conference call – just haphazardly connecting some dots here. IF Harbaugh addressed the team tomorrow, there's no way it doesn't leak out. This thing could drop at any time…but that's pure speculation by me.

Also, as we've said from the outset, this coaching search has been handled masterfully by Jim Hackett. Miami Dolphins owner and UM alum/donor Stephen Ross has publicly said he intends to keep head coach Joe Philbin next year, thus removing the Dolphins from the Harbaugh sweepstakes. According to our sources, it was Ross who suggested Jim Hackett to UM president Mark Schlissel when Dave Brandon was fired.

With Hackett's ties to the Harbaugh family well known, then it is clear that Jim Harbaugh was the goal for Michigan from the outset. If that is the case, then it's simply ridiculous how well executed this search has been. Ross/Hackett had to have known Harbaugh was interested from the get go. The search firm, swim lanes, Plan B's…might have all been smoke and mirrors.

From the outside. right now, it's not a done deal, but everything is trending positively for the Wolverines at this point.

Sit tight folks. This could get really interesting really quick.

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