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HomeFootballNCAA FootballMichigan football's national title win helps this Michigan State alum gain appreciation...

Michigan football’s national title win helps this Michigan State alum gain appreciation for Harbaugh

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In 2007, I remember sitting in my end zone seat at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing while University of Michigan wide receiver Mario Manningham caught a touchdown in the corner of the endzone to lift the Wolverines to a 28-24 win over Michigan State.

I sat in that seat with my head hung so low Eeyore would’ve been jealous. My buddy Ro, in the seat next to me, did the same.

Fast forward 17 years as I’m watching UM beat the brakes off of Washington in the College Football Playoff national title game and it’s not bothering me at all. I don’t know what it is. Growth? Apathy?

It’s more likely the awareness that my program is nowhere near close to competing for a national championship. Had MSU gone 10-2, 11-1 this year, I could have come away from the title game thinking, “Maaaaaan, if we beat those @$*&%$#* we would’ve won the whole thing.”

What makes it worse is all I could think about during the title game were complementary things to say about Michigan and coach Jim Harbaugh.

His transgressions are well documented: two three-game suspensions to bookend the regular season — one for recruiting violations and one for alleged sign stealing. Following the uncovering of the sign-stealing, the time cut ties with the two staffers who likely did all the dirt. They also beat their main competition in the Big Ten East (Penn State and Ohio State) and Beat OSU for a third straight time. The Wolverines hadn’t beaten the Buckeyes three straight since 1995-97. Michigan smoked an overmatched Iowa team in the Big Ten title game.

Michigan in the playoff semi win over Alabama, even when behind, felt in control the whole way. If not for some miscues, the game wouldn’t have been close. The The Wolverines iced the cake with the blowout win over Washington, holding the Huskies high-powered offense to one touchdown.

It really pains me to do this but:

Jim Harbaugh is a helluva coach.

I know it’s already been proven, but now he’s a lock for the College Football Hall of Fame for sure.

He’s won at San Diego. He turned Stanford into a power for a short time. Harbaugh resurrected the San Francisco 49er and came within a couple plays of winning the Super Bowl, which he ironically lost to his brother John. Now he brings a national title to his alma mater and the team he’s always loved. Harbaugh might be the best football coach at any level.

Geography has won the national title for the better part of two decades. It’s no secret all the best players are down south. Since 1998, all but six of the national title winners came from southern schools. Harbaugh and his staff figured out what they needed to do to get here and it all worked.

UM was the best team all year. They proved it week in and week out.

Time to go eat some paint chips.

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