Because Paul Finebaum Exists

Seriously, screw that guy.

Photo: Patrick Barron
There's a vague percentage of Michigan fans out there...let's say 5% that live in this world for one reason and one reason only: To bitch about Michigan football. Twitter has been a tremendous tool for connecting those people to the rest of us. It has taken all the bad things about sportstalk radio call-in shows, and condensed it down to 140 280 characters multiplied by one's ability to keep pressing enter...
Michigan needs to fire Jim Harbaugh and get a real coach who can beat our rivals! Its year 3 for crying out loud...hear me out... (1/42)
You know how it goes.

Now, listen. In the interest of full disclosure, I am fully aware that I tweeted this out Saturday night...
"Harbaugh is 1-4 versus rivals" thing as if that encapsulates the whole of his tenure, or even his career. Yeah, Michigan had the dumb thing happen on the punt and lost by a literal inch in Columbus last year. If you're ascribing that to something other than chance I cannot help you.
I was not ascribing. I was wrong and I feel bad about it. My motivation wasn't assuage or condense an entire career to one stat line...but simply to illustrate how this loss is going to play nonsensically for the next few days and weeks or longer. I was sitting in the press conference room waiting for Harbaugh when I tweeted that, overhearing media chatter and thinking to myself "Oh God, we're at that place now were his record against rivals is a thing".

But we're there now. It's a thing not because the fringe flaunts's a thing because nonsense has a half-life of forever or something. It's a thing because Paul Finebaum exists. I mean, this is the way it works . This is the world.
Personally, if I could buy up all of the Jim Harbaugh stock being sold right now, I would.

I'm not a slappy...I'm not a homer. I'm just a guy with a brain and a gut feeling. I'm a guy that looks around the Big Ten and sees Ohio State and Michigan State and Penn State and Wisconsin and how anyone thought Harbaugh would just waltz in to town and own the league while the program is still limping from almost a decade of Rich Rod and Brady Hoke and Bill Martin and Dave Brandon...I mean, if that's you, than I'll have what your having. But I live in a world where nowhere could have been any less inviting to another marquee coach than the Big Ten East in 2015.

This article began in my head as a litany of reasons why the offense is not as good as we all want it to be. But those reasons are obvious. We all know why. Outside of a few linemen and Wilton Speight...there was zero starting experience coming back. No obvious playmakers, no statistical standouts, no meaningful skill position experience. De'Veon Smith, Jake Butt, Amara Darboh, Jehu Chesson, Jabrill Peppers...all gone. And let's not minimize the loss of Grant Newsome to a devastating knee injury last year...that might be the biggest loss of all when you really look at overall impact.

I'm not here to make excuses. We all knew this was going to be a rebuilding year. Michigan has to figure it out. With this defense, they'll be in every game for the rest of the season. Limit penalties, stop turning the ball over, and you'll be amazed just how fast things could improve.

Or not. But either way, screw Paul Finebaum.

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