Paul Finebaum was tough on Jim Harbaugh prior to his appearance in the College Football Playoff. However, it seems like Harbaugh is on his way back to the NFL, leaving Michigan without a coach to recapture their recent success.
As Wolverines faithful wonders who could replace Harbaugh, Finebaum revealed three names to watch to become the next Michigan head coach.
“I think the shortlist ought to include Bill O’Brien, who has done very well in college at Penn State, of course, before the NFL,” Finebaum said on ESPN’s Get Up. “Another name to keep your eye on is Matt Rhule. He has really done a terrible job at the Carolina Panthers, but he was brilliant in college football at Temple and Baylor.”
“And a wildcard possibly would be David Shaw. Remember, Harbaugh went Stanford to San Francisco to Michigan and I think [Shaw] is an undervalued coach, who a couple of years ago was one of the top-five coaches in the country.”
First, Bill O’Brien is the first name Finebaum mentions as a possibility. In the past, O’Brien was the leader of the Penn State Nittany Lions — helping the program get back on their feet and bringing them back to prominence. Additionally, the current Alabama offensive coordinator would bring a wealth of NFL experience to Michigan.
Next, Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule could be looking to return to college. While the NFL was Rhule’s dream, his experience has been more nightmarish than anything since joining the Panthers. Many believe he’s coaching on borrowed time, and he may be looking to escape before he’s unceremoniously fired.
Finally, David Shaw is the wildcard Finebaum mentions to replace Harbaugh. One of the most respected coaches in the nation, it’d be a coup if Michigan can bring Shaw to Ann Arbor.
Report: Jim Harbaugh plans to accept NFL coaching job
Moreover, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh’s interview for the Minnesota Vikings job on Wednesday is a formality, per On3’s Chris Balas. Sources indicate Harbaugh is reportedly planning to sign a deal to become the newest coach of the Vikings, leaving behind the Wolverines and his alma mater.
As reported by On3’s Chris Balas, sources have told TheWolverine.com that Harbaugh has said “goodbyes” and “thank yous” to several people as of Monday. While he has not yet officially addressed the Wolverines team, the belief is that his mind is already made up about leaving the program.
“Everyone is wondering if they’ll have a job much longer,” a source in the building said, via Balas. “The team will be notified of everything on Thursday.”
Before his decision is final, Harbaugh has continued with his recruiting and creating the team’s spring schedule. Additionally, there is a belief that some members of Harbaugh’s coaching staff will join him in Minnesota.