Candidates to replace Jim Harbaugh at Michigan | Yahoo Sports College Podcast

\Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss some candidates for the likely opening at Michigan after the Wolverines latest disappointing season under Jim Harbaugh.

Video Transcript

PAT FORDE: You know, you can look and I think say, OK. Maybe this is right or wrong. But you can theorize that the pandemic, and all of the uncertainty and the upheaval, and players opting out and everything else, has broken some teams this year. But get a total pass on that, you have to have some cachet in the bank.

And if the pandemic broke Michigan, well, that's fine. But there was no cachet there anyway for Jim Harbaugh. Because they had been underperforming for years.

So this isn't one you just say, ah, do over. Some other coaches and some other programs could maybe get a do over. Jim Harbaugh ain't getting a do over out of this one.

DAN WETZEL: All right. So who replaces him? Because, at this point, it's a matter of time. I heard from so many Michigan people last night, from very connected to very not

Connected. The biggest problem they have is they got nobody. The last time they were able go, well, if we could talk Jim Harbaugh into taking the job, we'll be good. And I am, among everybody else, thought, hey, this will probably work. They'll be pretty good.

And they were pretty good for a while. Now, it's like-- I mean, they're just throwing everything at the wall. Like what do you know about this guy? What do you know about this guy? So they don't have anyone.

So let me run through some names, and you guys can laugh or not. But the number one most ridiculous name-- Urban Meyer. That's no joke there.


PETE THAMEL: Let me just say this. Urban Meyer has a bar that he owns. The title of the bar, "Urban Meyer's 7 and 0 Pint House", is his record against Michigan. I don't think Urban Meyer is going to risk his pint house name to go coach at Michigan.

Urban Meyer hates Michigan. It got him out of bed every day for seven years to beat Michigan. You can tell when they do these segments on Fox how much he delights in Michigan's struggles.

PAT FORDE: Oh yeah. Yeah.

DAN WETZEL: We'll put that one to bed. Thank you.

PETE THAMEL: Yeah, I don't think Urban Meyer is going to go to Ann Arbor.

DAN WETZEL: All right. Urban Meyer's loyal assistant and equal hater of Michigan, Luke Fickell at Cincinnati, would be the ideal candidate if he wasn't such a buckeye.

Now, Bo Schembechler was once an Ohio State assistant and hated Michigan, the team up north. That was Woody Hayes' best assistant. Is there any way they could talk Luke Fickell into taking the Michigan job, particularly with like $7 million a year? Thoughts on that.

PAT FORDE: I mean, I would try. I would absolutely try. In this ridiculous climate where you can never be seen to be turned down, you'd have to do it through nine back channels and be super quiet about it. But I would absolutely try because I think Luke Fickell is great. And he understands the Midwest and he understands the Big Ten. And I think he would be successful there.

PETE THAMEL: Well, here's the thing. Do I think in a vacuum Luke Fickell would take the Michigan job? I don't think so.

I mean, he was born in Columbus, played at Ohio State. He's never actually lived outside the state of Ohio. He went to Akron for one or two seasons to be an assistant very early in his career, post kind of GA, pre getting hired as an assistant at Ohio State.

Luke is wired in such a way. Like, Luke is not a phony person. He is an everyday person. And I don't know.

That said, when 50 million is staring at you under your nose in a top 15 job-- it's staring at you under your nose-- some of those principles may be misaligned. But do I think Luke Fickell would take the Michigan job? I do not think he would.

DAN WETZEL: All right. Then you have your Matt Campbell at Iowa State. I assume he would probably take it. Jamey Chadwell at Coastal. Something like that.

Do you have something on Matt? Maybe he wouldn't take it?

PETE THAMEL: If I was doing a list right now, I would put Matt Campbell first. He had a lot of success at Toledo. He was 31 when he was the head coach there. Beloved by high school coaches. Kind of fits that mold of genuine connection that we've come to expect there. Look, if you can get Iowa State to the brink of a Big 12 title, you have clearly done something right, something unique. So he is high on the entry list there.